Hemp’s Exciting Future

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Hemp has been in the headlines a lot lately.

Not just because of its recreational use or its medicinal benefits. It is also being increasingly infused in edibles and beverages.

A Long History

Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) – from the same family as marijuana but without the psychoactive ingredient THC – has been used for thousands of years, including in the making of paper, rope, cloth, and fuel.

Hemp is a weed and thus grows easily without much watering and does not require pesticides. It takes up little space, produces more pulp per hectare than trees, and is biodegradable. Hemp crops even give back to the environment by returning nutrients to the soil and sequestering carbon dioxide.

Although still used a lot in China and Europe, hemp went out of fashion, by and large, when it was banned and replaced by plastic, fossil fuels, cotton, and other profitable products. Due to these products causing harm to the earth’s environment, the race is on to produce sustainable alternatives.

A New History

Innovators are taking up the gauntlet to cultivate this versatile plant for biodegradable materials including plastics, hempcrete, textiles, wood, biofuels, hemp-paper and even car components.

Furthermore, every part of the plant can be used. The stalk’s outer layer can make textiles, canvas, and rope while its woody core – hemp hurd – is used for paper, construction and animal bedding. The seeds are high in protein, fiber, omega-3 fats, and other nutrients. Their oil can be used for paints, adhesives, cooking, and plastics.

Can the ‘Green Rush’ help us solve current global environmental issues? Possibly, particularly with the banning of single-use plastics in the European Union from 2012, and the big opportunity this brings for hemp products to replace plastic.

Hemp will be tested thoroughly and surely be used in the very near future as a very plausible and exciting solution to some of our global environmental issues.

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

Photo:

Industrial hemp crop in southern Spain.

Sebastien Naville Sebastien Naville

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