The benefits of hemp are wide-ranging, and it is important to understand how this plant can not only improve our lives, but also the environment. Let’s dive into a few ways hemp can help the planet!
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a plant in the cannabis sativa species that is grown for industrial and medicinal purposes. It is an extremely valuable resource. In fact, the use of hemp dates back thousands of years, and early uses of hemp can be traced as far back as 500 BC. In the United States, hemp was an important part of life for early colonists and in the 1600’s many farms were required to grow hemp in order to operate. In the 20th century hemp was made illegal. However, in 2018 Congress passed the Farm Bill that allowed for the sale and cultivation of hemp as long as it has .3% or less of Δ-9-THC. Since then, hemp has grown in popularity, and it is estimated 1 in 7 adults use a cannabinoid-based product for their health and wellness.
Health and Wellness
Within the flowers and sugar leaves of the hemp plant are powerful cannabinoids that through research have demonstrated great therapeutic value. Everyone can benefit from cannabinoids, as all of us have an endocannabinoid system, even our pets. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and various receptors in the body to produce its therapeutic effects. Here are a few of the many benefits cannabinoids deliver:
- Reduces acute and chronic pain
- Mood and memory support
- Gastrointestinal benefits
- Anti-anxiety and Anti-depressant
- And so much more!
Hemp seeds from the hemp plant and oils made from them offer nourishment. Hemp seeds are considered a superfood, as they have many nutrients the body needs. Here are some of the many valuable nutrients’ hemp seeds deliver:
- Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s
- All Nine Amino Acids
- Vitamin E
Hemp can be made into thousands of resources we use every day and in turn can help reduce environmental harm when utilizing hemp, rather than the current options offered. Here are some of the ways hemp can make products we use often.
One of the basic components of plastic comes from petroleum. Instead, hemp can be substituted for producing plastics to make it greener and more biodegradable.
To combat deforestation, paper can also be made from hemp; since hemp naturally has a lighter color, it also eliminates the need for chlorine bleach.
Hemp can be a great alternative to fossil fuels. Because hemp is fast growing, it is a more efficient biomass source for methanol production than corn. It’s biodegradable and is ultimately better for the environment.
Hemp can be used in fiberboards and hempcrete in homes, which is stronger and lighter than ones made from wood. Hemp is also mold-resistant and non-toxic.
Hemp clothes are strong and durable, which makes them perfect for cold weather temperatures. They also don’t absorb moisture well, which means they stay dry and comfortable even in the rain. Hemp clothes are also cheaper to produce than traditional clothing, which means they can be sold at a lower price point.
Air pollution is harmful to both human health and the environment, and hemp can help reduce it. Hemp captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to clean the air we breathe.
Hemp is beneficial to the environment in many different ways.
- Hemp can restore fertility to the soil. Its deep roots hold the soil together, preventing erosion, and hemp increases microbial content in the soil. Hemp can also enhance soil health by absorbing toxins and making nitrogen-rich soil. It has also been shown to increase yields of crops grown on the same acreage afterward.
- Pesticides can easily seep into water sources such as a river, oceans, or ponds, and they can be harmful to the environmental habitat. Hemp is naturally resistant to pests, and because of this, it doesn’t require many pesticides or herbicides.
- Hemp cultivation can also help to reduce the use of water. Hemp plants require less water than many other crops, which means that hemp can be grown in areas prone to drought, like California.
Hemp is one of the more sustainable crops out there. Not only does it have a low environmental impact, but it can also help to improve the quality of our air and water. From using hempcrete as a building material, to creating clothing from hemp fibers, there are many ways in which hemp can help the planet and all who live on it.