The hemp plant is one of the most versatile and one of the world’s oldest crops. From paper to plastic, the hemp plant provides a way to live in harmony with the environment and the ecosystems that support it. Hemp does not require pesticides or chemicals to protect it from elements, insects, or animals and is easy to grow. The plant can be grown organically in over 80% of the earth’s climates. It can grow easily and densely in the prevention of harmful weeds. Hemp plants can develop very quickly and can fully mature in just 3-4 months unlike trees, which we utilise for almost all paper products, they can take decades to mature. Thomas Jefferson quoted “Hemp is necessary for the prosperity and wealth of the nation”.
For around 12,000 years hemp has been growing worldwide and is considered a super-crop. It is known to be one of the most versatile crops. It can meet all the challenges of climate change due to it being a powerful bio tool, preventing eco-systems destruction and is very sustainable. Hemp has around 25,000 uses, it can produce fibre, fuel, offers medicinal properties that are unique, and is a great food source. A hectare of hemp produces as much fibre as 4 hectares of trees or 2 hectares of cotton. The crop is a very natural and versatile product which could potentially replace cotton, petroleum, cotton, wood, and plastics.
The plant can grow in a short summer window of the annual cycle, it is flexible, can grow in different soil types and in diverse climates. It doesn’t require herbicides and pesticides as it can grow in tight spaces blocking and out growing weeds.
It can produce bio-degradable plastics
To decompose plastic water bottles it can take between 400 and 1000 years. Plastics are cellulose that are derived from petroleum. Petroleum is highly toxic to the environment. The hemp plant is a great cellulose producer on this earth and is also bio-degradable. Using this plant to make plastic would have a major positive impact on the environment and the planet.
Hemp as Bio-Fuel
For hundreds and thousands of years, the hemp plant has existed and is known to be an exceptional renewable bio fuel. It can convert to biodiesel at a 97% efficiency rate. Compared to any other biofuel, the hemp plant can burn at a lower temperature. If we transition to hemp plant biodiesel, we can help heal the planet one step at a time. As hemp is a biomass crop, it can be added to food produce.
Cultivation of hemp can help prevent deforestation
Deforestation is on the increase across the globe at alarming rates. It is estimated within 100 years there will be no rain forests. It grows rapidly, meaning it can produce varieties of biomass that would be required in modern society. Hemp is far less vulnerable to climate changes, comparing it to medium and slow forest growths. Wherever Hemp is growing, it can process into many sustainable raw materials. It can preserve and save remaining biodiversity and forest resources.
Hemp as Food
Hemp protein contains all 21 amino acids including the essential one’s adult bodies cannot produce. With any dietary need’s, hemp can supply a vegetarian source of essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, fibre, and a balanced and complete gluten-free the essential amino acids.
It can help restore soil fertility
Hemp can be grown in a wide variety of soil types and terrains. It can form deep roots helping to hold the soil together, this will help prevent soil erosion. It also increases the microbial content of the soil. The leaves and stem of the hemp plant are rich in nutrients. Once harvested, the nutrients can be rejuvenated by returning it to the soil for a rich yield for the following year.
The Hemp plant is water efficient
Over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids can help in the prevention of repelling insects, water loss, protection against UV-B radiation, and improve water efficiency. To produce every pound of cotton it requires 1400 gallons of water, however hemp only requires half of the water or less to produce 200-250% more fibre.
A hemp-based economy would allow us to power our vehicles and utilise cleaner energy to heat our homes. There is the potential to gradually get rid of the toxic products that can take thousands of years to decompose and reverse climate change. Hemp has the potential to leave a greener and cleaner planet for generations to come. Hemp is versatile because it is seasonal, a versatile biomass, sustainable, and a biodegradable product.