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Hemp, a member of the cannabis family, is a sustainable super-plant that has been around for millennia. There was a short period in history when industrial hemp was forbidden as one of the controlled substances under the Marihuana Tax Act. But after more than seven decades, the hemp plant is in wide use again.
The science is proving a plethora of hemp health benefits, while its many industrial applications range from eco-friendly textiles and biofuel to wellness products like CBD oils and balms. And let’s not forget its numerous environmental benefits.
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Why People Use Hemp Today
Hemp is emerging as a versatile resource with an astonishing variety of applications. As markets for green and sustainable products grow, hemp cultivation creates opportunities for farmers, manufacturers, and businesses. Moreover, the rapid growth of the industrial hemp market brings more jobs, contributing to economic growth.
Industrial hemp is a versatile plant that has many industrial uses. Strong and durable hemp fiber has found its purpose in many industries looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials.
Fibers from this plant also made it through to the textile industry for producing clothing, bags, and other accessories. Cellulose from hemp straw is used for making bioplastics. This material decomposes in about three months, contains no toxins, and is fully recyclable.
Flowers and seeds can be used to create foods and supplements like hemp protein powder, hemp milk, and cooking oil. Also, hemp is a common raw material in the production of paper, biofuel, and building materials.
It’s not just hemp’s industrial uses that mark its significance; the plant is also carving out an impressive presence in the wellness industry. Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence of the medical benefits of this plant are promising.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound found naturally in a cannabis plant. It has a range of therapeutic benefits, including pain management, anti-inflammation, and anti-anxiety effects. More and more consumers are turning to hemp products as natural alternatives to synthetic medicines, but they might need more details on CBD before the purchase.
Hemp Environmental Benefits
A versatile industry use contributes to hemp’s popularity. But its environmental sustainability makes this plant a hero in today’s world, where the impacts of climate change are increasingly visible. Hemp can benefit soil, air, water, and ecosystems by mitigating the risks of climate change and global warming in many ways.
1. Carbon Sequestration
Hemp is an excellent carbon sink and a natural air purifier. An acre of hemp crop can absorb about 4 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year, roughly six times more than an acre of rainforest. And all that hemp can go into further processing, thus stopping the re-release of CO2. That makes hemp one of the fastest CO2-to-biomass conversion tools known today.
This ability of hemp is valuable as we face the challenges of climate change. By opting for hemp-based products, you decrease your carbon footprint and actively support the drop of CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
2. Soil Remediation
Hemp is a bio-accumulator plant known for its unique ability to absorb toxins from the soil without dying. This characteristic makes hemp ideal for soil remediation. It has been used to clean up contaminated soils through a process known as phytoremediation in many regions across the globe.
By helping to detoxify the soil, hemp plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy ecosystems and promoting biodiversity. It can even grow in poor soil with minimal watering and fertilization, where it can improve its nutritional quality by absorbing carbon and nitrogen from the air and transferring a portion of it to the ground.
3. Water Conservation
Hemp is much less thirsty than other commercial crops, for instance, cotton. Hemp yields use roughly half the water required by cotton, making them a far more sustainable choice for textile production.
Additionally, hemp isn’t too demanding about its growing conditions. It thrives in different climates and soil types, which further reduces its water requirements and helps in conserving this precious resource.
4. Reduction of Deforestation
Hemp is a fast-growing plant that can produce more fiber per square meter than trees. This makes hemp an excellent alternative to wood pulp paper. Also, it’s recyclable up to eight times, making its production more cost-efficient.
By switching traditional paper to hemp paper, which is sustainable, we could significantly reduce deforestation rates and prevent soil erosion that usually results from tree loss. That way, we could maintain our planet’s vital green cover and preserve biodiversity.
5. Pest Resistance
Hemp’s natural resistance to pests obviates the need for chemical treatments, making crop cultivation a safer, non-toxic farming practice. That’s beneficial for both the environment and the farmers who grow it.
When hemp grows near other crops, it prevents them from fungi, insects, and diseases. It also improves soil quality by eliminating toxins and heavy metals. That way, plants can grow chemical-free, which is of great importance for organic cultivation.
6. Eco-Friendly Energy Products
Hemp producers use every single part of this plant. After harvesting flowers, which usually go into producing three types of CBD, they use hemp stalks, seeds, and leaves to make biomass. It can be the basis of many energy products used for heating, like pellets and briquets.
As for hemp seed oil, almost all of its amount can be converted into biofuel. Biodiesel from hemp oil is a clean, low-toxic alternative to fossil fuels. By relying on fuel made from hemp, greenhouse gas emissions can drop significantly.
With its environmental benefits, vast industrial use, and promising medical features, hemp truly earns its superplant status. The choice is clear: when you choose hemp, you’re not only opting for personal benefit but also supporting a greener and more sustainable planet.
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