Hemp and the future

Chapter 8

The versatility of hemp implies that hemp may be integrated into many industries in the future. This naturally translates into better economies. More people will be able to differentiate hemp from marijuana. Hemp has the potential to help us change our climate when it is integrated into our agricultural system. First, it will replace a lot of cash crops that require a lot of water and agrochemicals. It will take on some of the paper production job such that deforestation will decrease. It requires fewer toxins to process while producing biodegradable products that are ecofriendly. Furthermore, it will assist in reducing the green gas emissions since it grows more densely in small areas and requires CO2 to photosynthesize.

Hemp also offers the opportunity to jump into an untapped industry but with immense potential. Information from past experience with hemp has already proven that it can be a valuable cash crop with many different uses. Research on optimal use and innovations for hemp would lead to many world collaborations. Research grants can allow us to optimize many industries in an aim to meet many of our sustainable development goals. All of these research jobs and all implemented projects will lead to a new job niche providing employment from many people.

In the fashion industry at the moment, there is an ongoing fast fashion trend. There are two main Fashion runways and other minor clothes expo that aims at creating new stylish designs. Some textile industries have been producing similar clothing in much cheaper synthetic materials because they sell. Most of these clothes are made of inorganic materials, therefore, they cannot degrade organically. On top of that is the fact that the fashion styles last such a short time that more clothes are being discarded leading to pollution in landfills. This trend is being met by a new fashion trend advocating for more sustainable clothes and more recycling instead of discarding.

The food, beauty and pharmaceutical industries also stand to gain a lot. Farmers will get a chance to do organic farming cheap by reducing the use of agrochemicals but also profitably growing more hemp per acre of land than many cash crop farmers. Hemp grown for the sake of maximizing CBD yield will be able to sell to this industry. The beauty industry will be able to create organic skin care products that have fewer side effects than synthetic skin products. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oils can be incorporated into the food industry as a supplement or food. The pharmaceutical industry will be able to gain an arsenal with many positive effects and fewer side effects than synthetic chemicals used in our drugs.

In ancient France, the Romans used to incorporate hemp fiber in construction as early as the 6th century. Currently, its uses are being analyzed in terms of its insulating properties and as an alternative to fiberglass. The reason hemp is useful is because hemp fibers are very sturdy. It’s also very breathable with a good thermal performance, therefore, preventing the growth of moulds and reducing utility bills. Hempcrete is also being used in retrofitting. The best thing about structures made from hemp is that they absorb co2 from the environment consequently reducing the user’s carbon footsteps and getting stronger in the process. Counties like Ukraine, Sweden, France, and Jamaica have already begun erecting hemp structures. Building costs may be a little steep at the moment due to low hemp supply verses its demand, but prices will reduce as more farmers plant it.

The energy industry as a whole stands to gain a lot from hemp cultivation. Fossil fuel sources are getting deleted, so there is already need for other sources of fuel particularly renewable ones. Henry Ford in 1941 invented a car whose body was made from hemp fibers but which also ran on hemp diesel. His idea did not gain much popularity as fossil fuel was discovered. We have seen how fossil fuels have negatively affected our environment and biomass fuel like fuel from hemp and other renewable sources like wind, hydrothermal and geothermal sources will help prevent further damage to the earth. Oil spills remain a constant danger to our animals both on land and sea.

While this is just a view of the industries that profit from hemp, we cannot fully understand other secondary and tertiary benefits it will have. But, if we can take anything from the past, it would be that hemp is good for our land, economy, and overall health. It is exciting that hemp has finally being legalized in the United States as it gives us a chance to fully tap into its potential and improve the state of our country.

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