You may think that corn or wheat are the oldest crops in the world, but there is one that most people nowadays don’t know and that is hemp.
This is one of the most versatile crops and it is really useful to create many things that we can use every day, from plastics to paper, hemp is helping the humanity to live in harmony with our planet and that ecosystems that are in it.
If you want to know why this plant can be so important for our future, then take a look of these 13 amazing ways hemp can be a game-changer for our world:
1. It prevents pesticide pollution
Many farmers have to deal with annoying pests all the time, so they use pesticide that is very toxic for our environment, but did you know hemp is naturally resistant to many common pests?
Cotton or Flax usually consume more of the 50% of pesticides, but growing hemp does not require pesticides or herbicides so that makes it very useful.
Many pesticides end up in our rivers, oceans and ponds every single year and these pesticides can easily contaminate our water sources, while harming the living creatures that live there, along with anyone who could ingest it.
You need to be careful with these contaminated water sources, because they have been linked to cancer, birth defects, ADHD and even Alzheimer’s Disease to name a few.
So, if you were thinking that pesticides are only dangerous for the environment, then you were very wrong, because that they can cause a lot of damage to your health.
If integrate hemp to your crops, you will significantly reduce the exposure to unnecessary toxins or even pollutants that are in common pesticides.
2. It Helps to Restore Soil Fertility and Quality
Since this crop is very versatile, it can grow in a lot of terrains and soil types, it’s roots are very deep and help to hold the soil together which helps farms to combat soil erosion.
Moreover, hemp helps to make your soil more fertile by increasing the microbial content of it. The stem and leaves of this plant are very rich in nutrients and after harvesting, these nutrient-dense remnants of the hemp plant return to the soil, making it richer and rejuvenating it during a long period of time.
3. You can produce biodegradable plastics
Believe it or not, only in the US more than 45 billion plastic water bottles were used in 2015 alone and that’s not the crazy part, because many of these bottles go to the garbage and it could take between 400 and 1000 years to decompose.
The United States have more than 300 million of people and although is taking measures to combat this, the recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent which is very low. Nonetheless, there is still hope to make things look better in the future.
The basic building blocks of plastics are cellulose which it comes from petroleum, so you could say already that they are very toxic for you. Hemp on the other hand is one of the greatest produces of cellulose on earth and it could be used for many things since it’s biodegradable.
So, if you want to try to help the planet, why don’t you use non-toxic and biodegradable hemp to produce plastics that are environmental-friendly? Come on! Let’s stop stuffing our landfills with toxic chemicals that we could reuse.
4. Hemp is an outstanding renewable biofuel
Nowadays, much of the fuel that we use is really toxic and contributes with climate change greatly, but what if you could have a non-toxic fuel that could be domestically produced from hemp?
Hemp has been on this planet for hundreds and thousands of years and yet no one thought that a totally renewable fuel could be made of it.
Hemp can be converted to biodiesel at a 97 percent efficiency rate because it can burn at a lower temperature than other biofuels that are available in the market. Moreover, if you burn hemp fuel in a diesel engine, it eradicates the exhaust odor of petroleum with a pleasant smell.
There are many cars out there that pollute our air, so why don’t we try to change things with the help of hemp?
5. The hemp plant absorbs toxic metals
We need to protect mother earth, that’s something that most people don’t get, that our planet has plants that feed, clothe and house us that come from the earth, so what do we keep creating things that damage our environment and soil?
Man-made waste is all around the world and has contaminated soil across the globe, which represents a threat for our planet’s health so a change is needed immediately.
Do you know that plants can produce oxygen for carbon dioxide right? Well it’s the same case for hemp, only that this plant can eliminate toxins from the environment faster and hemp is so effective at absorbing these toxic materials that is has been used for removing nuclear radiation from Chernobyl.
6. Fabrics made from hemp do not contain chemical residue
Maybe you don’t know about this, but actually the majority of synthetic fibers that we use today are manufactured from polymer-based petrochemical materials, which are very toxic and hard to produce because they require an energy-intensive process.
Also, this type of manufacturing process contaminates our air when it releases toxic emissions into it while also leaving toxic residues within the fibers. That’s one of the bad things of working with products that are related with petroleum.
But try to take it easy, because these things can be avoided with the help of hemp. Hemp fibers are easily removed from that plant, which is really useful if you want to create new clothes from it since these will have zero chemical residue. Moreover, hemp is also a highly durable fabric and UV resistant.
7. Hemp can reduce the effect of carbon emissions
Hemp is very helpful for our environment and its characteristics make it very unique. If you would like to plant hemp, well you are doing a favor to the planet, since it’s one of the few crops capable of reducing carbon emission through rapid carbon dioxide uptake.
This process is known as carbon sequestration, where hemp captures carbon emissions from the atmosphere and makes the process of photosynthesis more efficient. Think that for every ton of hemp produced, 1.63 tons of carbon are removed from the atmosphere.
8. Industrial hemp conserves water
Water is something that many people believe that it will be the cause of WW3 in the future, that’s why many scientists are trying to figure out how to use less water while producing things like cotton.
It’s a little bit shocking, but it can take more than 5000 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of cotton! That’s why industrial hemp is an excellent option to reduce the cost of irrigation and water spent, since this crop only requires 634-898 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of hemp, way less that the amount that you will require if you comparing it to cotton.
9. Hemp supports sustainable farming practices
If you are a farmer or have worked as one before, then you ought to know the importance of rotating crops by season. Hemp helps you in every way possible, because not only does it keep the soil nutrient-rich, it also increases the overall yield.
Another thing that hemp is really useful is that it can remove toxins. Growing hemp will assure you a brighter future, where the air and soil will be very clean and habitable for years to come.
10. Hemp reduces air pollution
How wonderful would be to have something that will help to reduce air pollution, right? Well if you were thinking that hemp is the solution then you were right.
We are used to see a lot of air pollution in countries like China or even the United States, but did you know that it could harm your health permanently if you are exposed to it frequently?
If we keep ignoring climate change and the issues that we are facing because of it, then our problems are likely to increase even further. On the meantime, hem can break down pollutants and help us to improve our air quality greatly.
Another great use for it, is paper source, because hemp can help to eliminate the need for chlorine bleaching, a direct cause of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
11. Hemp grows in almost any environment
It doesn’t matter if you live pretty far away, hemp could definitely grow there, since it could be cultivated almost anywhere in the world. Actually, since hemp doesn’t require any pesticides as we said before it could produce over 25,000 products.
You know the best part? That this crop matures within months and keeps producing for years to come, making it one of the most durable plants for agriculture.
From the desserts of Arizona to the humid weather of India, hemp can grow in a broad range of climate types, which is always a plus if you want hemp to be sourced locally. Since this is a really good source of food, income, and even more, hemp farming could help us to change our lives for the better.
12. Cultivating Hemp Prevents Deforestation
If you have been watching the news lately, maybe you have heard something about deforestation and how is increasing across the globe alarmingly. Some studies have shown that the rate of deforestation equates to a loss of 48 football fields every minute! Which is damaging the land for agriculture.
Some scientists say that if this continues in less than a century we will not have rainforests and it’s quite ironic that even though that the US has less than 5% of the world’s population, it consumes more than one-third of the world’s paper.
But if we start using hemp, we can easily replace trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper. This might sound amazing, but one acre of hemp can produce as much paper annually as four acres of trees.
In addition to that, trees take forever to grow but hemp can do it rapidly and it can also reproduce within months. Hemp paper is also more durable than paper produced from trees.
13. Helm helps to build stronger and healthier homes
By this point, you might have noticed that hemp can be used in almost every aspect of our lives, including our homes.
If you use wood to build your house, your contributing with deforestation, but fiberboard made from a hemp-based composite are stronger and lighter than those made from wood.
A material made from hemp and lime (hempcrete) exists nowadays and it’s really useful, since it is a soundproofing system and insulation superior to that of concrete.
There are actually hemp homes that are being built in countries like Japan, and there is actually one that is estimated to be over 300 years old, so you could say that hemp is a very durable material and also nontoxic. Unlike fiberglass or drywall, hempcrete is mold-resistant and will make your home Eco-friendlier.