The hemp plant is from the cannabis plant family and specifically, it’s categorized under cannabis sativa and has 0.3% THC content (the psychoactive compound). The seeds in the plant produce an oil known as hemp seed oil, hemp oil or even cannabidiol (CBD oil). While it’s one of the oldest plants in the world, it’s also one of the most versatile with over 50’000 different uses. It is also the strongest natural fiber in the world. But could be the ultimate game-changer for planet earth?
The plant has been used as a form of medicine and as a crafting tool dating back tens of thousands of years in Ancient China. It is believed that the plant then spread out to India, and onwards to Africa.
While industrial hemp is used today, we aren’t using the plant to the best of its ability, nor are we utilizing it for its benefits. Below, I list the plants’ benefits on the planet and why we should start introducing it now, not tomorrow.
What Can Hemp be Crafted Into?
Hemp’s versatility is endless once you get creative. The stalk of the plant alone can be turned into textiles. In India, it was common to make clothes, shoes, diapers and fine fabrics due to the fact that it was inexpensive and common. The stalk of the plant can also be used for industrial textiles such as rope, canvases, carpets, netting, printing, and packaging. Back in the 1820s, the most common fiber was cotton, which could do a lot of stuff like hemp but cotton is extremely toxic, and not as durable.
Recently, the potential therapeutics of the chemical compound from the hemp plant called CBD (cannabidiol) are being unraveled. The studies on CBD from the plant have shown that it can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions both mental and physical. So much so that the beauty industry have started adding it to their products. Now, there is an endless supply of hemp products from soaps, lip balms, cosmetics, shampoos, and other lotions and potions. To add to this, the food industry is also promoting its benefits while also creating hemp-infused foods such as EFA food supplements and more. Even the sports industry is getting on board with cannabis.
How Can Hemp Resolve Environmental Issues?
Hemp can combat Global Warming – Growing hemp can help the environment. It cleans the atmosphere and reverses the damage that has already been done. It does this through bioremediation. High levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide) is what causes global warming. While we know that trees also breathe in CO2, hemp consumes four times more than trees do. Hemp is also very sustainable because it grows very quickly (12-14 weeks growth cycle). It has deep roots that allow it to grow in different types of terrain and various types of soil, meaning hemp can grow in pretty much any environment. All of which makes it out to be a very effective global warming fighter.
Hemp can remediate soil – In Chernobyl, scientists planted a small hemp farm to see what it would do with the toxins and radioactive material in the air and in the ground. Through the research, scientists discovered that hemp conducted phytoremediation and decayed toxic chemicals. From this, they found that the plant could remediate the soil.
Hemp can be used for building cars and houses – “Hempcrete” is turning into the new concrete. Hempcrete walls are rot-free, mold-free and fire-resistant while also being 100% biodegradable.
In 1941, Henry Ford owned a car made with plastic and soybean hemp. The car could withstand ten times the impact of any car without having a single dent to show for it. The car was also lighter in weight than steel. Currently, the carbon footprint for manufacturing a standard car is ten tons. In 2017, Bruce Dietzen invested $200’000 towards building his very own carbon neutral hemp sports car called Renew. Currently, it is valued at $40’000. The car was made up of 100 pounds of woven hemp cannabis making the body of the car lighter than fiberglass! The car runs on recycled agricultural waste (biofuel), which hemp can also be made into.
Hemp can reduce deforestation – Seeing as it can be used as resource material for paper and wood, it can be an alternative to cutting down trees. An acre of hemp produces the same amount of paper as 4 acres of trees. Seeing as trees grow a lot slower in comparison, growing it can speed the replacement rate of trees that have already been cut down. If people starting utilizing it as a source of paper, we can prevent deforestation and protect the earth’s lungs!
Hemp can be turned into biodegradable plastic – Plastic is made from non-renewable, polluting petrochemicals and everyone knows that plastic is a serious issue when it comes to our planet’s health. Reducing plastic waste should be one of our top priorities, while this is being said, it’s not addressing the current problems that the earth is already facing in regards to plastic waste.
Tons and tons of waste is currently being collected from our seas, rivers, oceans, and lakes which have harmed animals, big and small. Animals have been found to contain microscopic sized plastic particles in their stomachs. So much so, that plastic has entered the food chain leaving a detrimental effect on animal and human health. To prevent all of the above, by introducing hemp-based plastic, we will be able to reduce our waste, re-use, recycle and if hemp plastic reaches our oceans, at least it’s biodegradable.
Hemp can cure world hunger – This tiny little plant is considered to be one of the most nutritionally dense sources of food on the planet. Its seeds provide us with plenty of protein, vitamins, amino acids and more! Also, hemp as a source of food, can be versatile. Its seeds can be made into oil and flour. It is said that hemp was one of the first crops to ever be cultivated dating back twelve thousand years ago.
I think that it’s about time that we start going back to our roots (if you’d pardon the pun), to improve our future generations. With Canada being one of the first to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, they have to be aware of hemps potential in helping the planet. However, making the switch straight away may not have much of an effect and it may not solve all of the world’s current problems, but the plant has been patient with us, now we must be patient with it. With the future of cannabis changing before our eyes within the last year, why don’t you check out my most recent article on cannabis predictions 2019.
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any cannabis-based company, of any sort. My opinions and my experiences are my own and genuine.