Industrial hemp can bring countless economic and environmental benefits for the industries that adopt it and its supply chain.
Industrial Hemp, also known as hemp, is the denomination of the strains of the Cannabis sativa explicitly grown for industrial uses. Although both industrial hemp and cannabis as a drug derived from the same species of plant, there is an essential difference between them. To be considered hemp, the plant must not contain more than 0.3% of the psychoactive ingredient THC – tetrahydrocannabinol.
Historically, humankind registered the use of hemp for industrial purposes since at least 10,000 years ago. However, mistaken with the psychoactive strain, hemp was prohibited in many countries along with all cannabis species and only recently are being accepted again. This article will show you some reasons why industrial hemp is on the rise again and becoming an industry to reckon with.
Because hemp oil and CBD are changing people’s health
Hemp’s reputation still leaves much to be desired, but CBD (cannabidiol) is spearheading a global change of hearts for industries, governments, and regulatory agencies. The most significant break-through that hemp has faced in recent years comes from the studies and discoveries of CBD (cannabidiol), extracted in the form of oil. CBD oils represent the most abundant use of hemp, used for dietary supplements, personal care, and industrial applications.
The health benefits from hemp include overall body and immune system wellbeing, as well as safe treatments to help the regulatory system and alternative medicine for various diseases and conditions. The nutrients, fatty acids, and antioxidants found in the hemp seed are helping people around the world to eat healthier. More than that, the uses of CBD are shifting the paradigm of alternative and complementary treatments for diseases like refractory epilepsies, PTSD, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s syndrome, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and many others.
Because industrial hemp can be the base of numerous things
There’s currently an intense buzz around the world about the benefits that industrial hemp could bring to the environment. However, there are also countless economic and management benefits for the industries that adopt it and its supply chain. There’s a wide variety of industrial and commercial products that can be derived from industrial hemp, such as textiles, paper, bioplastics, biofuel, and many others.
The crops of hemp can have more efficiency than traditional crops while requiring less water and fewer acres for the same amount of final product. Another benefit that hemp brings for farmers is that they can use all parts of the plant on the supply chain: from the seeds to the stalk. The hemp hurd (core fiber) can be used to create hempcrete and as animal bedding. The hemp bast (fibers outside the plant’s stalk) is highly valuable since it is a robust fiber, mainly used in the textile and paper industries.
A great additional advantage of planting industrial hemp is its adaptability to most soils. One can plant and harvest hemp on infertile non-cropland soils, it requires a smaller amount of water, it needs fewer pesticides and no herbicides.
Because industrial hemp is a versatile and sustainable crop
When compared to other crops used to supply textile products, biodiesel, ethanol, and others, hemp can consume less water and fewer acres for the same amount of final product. For instance, an acre of hemp can yield up to 300 kilograms of grain, over 500 kilograms of fiber and 80 liters of pressed oil. An acre of cotton yields approximately 360 kilograms of fibers, with the need of almost twice the amount of water that hemp needs. For biodiesel, when compared to corn, hemp can produce twice the amount of oil per acre.
When it comes to paper production, one acre of industrial hemp can produce the same amount of paper as four acres of trees. Also, the stalk takes only a few months to mature, as opposed to paper that can yield from 20 to 80 years. The final product can be recycled up to eight times, different from the wood pulp paper that can be recycled only three times.
Using hemp for industrial purposes is, undoubtedly, a global trend to keep an eye on. Throughout the world, many countries are changing their laws and regulations to open their markets, industries, and farms for industrial hemp. This plant has enough potential to change the market and give birth to numerous businesses.