Just how does hemp cultivation benefit the environment?

OK, so you may think we are biased about hemp and I suppose you are right! But that is because hemp is seriously as badass as it is made out to be. As if hemp's endless list of sustainable and medicinal uses wasn’t enough, this wonder crop is also good for the environment, so much so that growing hemp has been described as the ‘silver bullet’ in the fight against climate change. So why is hemp so good for the environment?

 

Hemp is one of the largest absorbers of Co2 on our planet

Yes, you heard that right and this fact alone is why hemp is set to be one of the leading tools in our fight against climate change. Our much-loved crop can absorb 22 tones of Co2 per hectare. This is down to the fact that hemp grows so fast, making hemp absorb Co2 faster than even our forests. This makes hemp a leading carbon offsetting crop. As soon as hemp is planted it starts helping the atmosphere instantly, just having it growing starts capturing carbon and it continues to do so throughout the whole crop processing and product lifecycle! Wow!

 

Hemp gives back its nutrients to the earth

As hemp arrives at the end of its growing lifecycle it begins to shed its leaves. This leaf matter falls to the ground and as it decomposes replenishes the soil with nutrients. The stem is also packed with nutrients so on completion of harvesting and crop processing the stem can also be used as fertiliser which also returns 80% of the plant’s nutrients into the soil.

 

Cannabis Farm

 

Hemp can be grown on existing agricultural land and in nutrient-poor soils

There’s a reason why hemp was given the nickname ‘weed’. The hemp plant is very durable and can grow in a range of environments and nutrient-poor soils. It doesn’t require as much water or care or attention as other crops which is why it earnt this reputation. The roots of the hemp plant grow so deep (it’s said up to nine feet!) that it also helps to fight against soil erosion.

 

Hemp is more durable than other crops and can be used with organic pesticides

Don’t get us wrong, hemp still has its own set of pests! However, it still doesn’t require the same amount of pesticides and herbicides as other crops. Hemp can be cultivated completely organically with the use of organic pesticides that benefit the environment and ecosystem.

 

Hemp offers a solution to our plastic problem

Unfortunately, this was already known back in the early 20th century when hemp cellulose was already being promoted as an affordable and renewable raw material in place of plastic. However, when Marijuana was made illegal in Nixon’s war on drugs, hemp was taken down with its sister, meaning our world now drowns in synthetic plastic derived from petroleum as a result of this 40-year incarceration. A bigger injustice on our planet as the ban on hemp in the first place!

 Boimass Power Station

Hemp fiber can be utilised as a building material and as such helps tackle deforestation

Hemp can take the strain off the world’s forests by supplementing trees as an alternative source for wood and even paper. Due to hemp's ability to grow so fast, it also gives trees that extra time to grow and the rest bite that our forests so desperately need, by reducing the number of trees we are cutting down in the first place. In addition to a wood substitute hemp fiber can also be turned into hemp concrete and even a steel alternative. ‘Hempcrete’ is much a lighter than traditional concrete and is known for better thermal regulation and higher fire resistance and the hemp steel alternative is said to be 10 times stronger than steel and more flexible! Wow!

 

Hemp absorbs lethal metals

We, humans, are great at toxifying our environment and we have done so now to such an extent that preventable diseases are increasing across the globe. Recently it was proven that planting hemp in contaminated soils reduced the level of toxic materials in the soil and even in those cases the hemp grown can still be used for certain industrial use.

 

Hemp can also be used as a biofuel

Biofuels or much more sustainable due to the fact we can be growing at the same time as burning them so carbon offsetting at the same time a being put to use, and we know that hemp is already good for that. Also, biofuels are better for engines and machinery as they are better lubricators. Another major plus point is that burning hemp biofuel smells like hemp, much better than those nasty diesel fumes we are used to being choked by!

To get your hands on this wonder crop for any variety of uses either in its raw form, oil or biomass get in touch with one of our expert consultants who can guide you in making the purchase you need to create the materials mentioned in this post and of course, to help make the world a better place for all!

 

Sources: 

https://hemp-copenhagen.com/images/Hemp-cph-Carbon-sink.pdf

https://cannasystems.ca/single-column/joomla-content/602-cannabis-and-global-climate-change

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/25/hemp-wood-fibre-construction-climate-change

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2013/05/29/industrial-hemp-a-win-win-for-the-economy-and-the-environment/#592d509e289b

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