Cannabis has become a national highlight in the recent times. This is primarily because of its newly discovered health benefits and most especially because of the battle in its legalization. There are multiple research studies and media sponsored events to shed light on the potential of cannabis in treating cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, pain relief, seizures, and multiple sclerosis. However, all these fuss merely focused on marijuana which is known for its high THC content that can give you the “high” sensation. There is limited attention given to hemp which is low in THC and at the same time and high in cannabidiol which has a lot of health benefits as well as environmental benefits. Hemp production continued all throughout the world including that of Europe and East Asia. If we only substitute some of the industrial materials we use now we can enjoy a lot of environmental benefits.
Hemp has a major role to play in reducing carbon emission. It can also be used as hemocrete or concrete that’s made from hemp. It can also be used as plastic substitute to ensure low impact to the environment. It can also be used as fuel substitute which lessens carbon emission. A professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Connecticut discovered that hemp can be converted to biodiesel which is 97 percent efficient and can burn at reduced temperatures compared to all other biodiesels available in the market.
Hemp is known for medicinal properties their phytocannibinoid extracts such as CBD and to a lesser degree, THC. CBD has pain relief properties among many other beneficial medical possibilities with little to now side effects. Studies of high CBD products that come from industrial hemp generally show side effects only when pharmaceuticals are involved.
It is said that about 95 percent of paper production comes from wood pulp. The truth is that hemp plays the same role, but it has an advantage. It can be recycled twice compared to that of wood pulp. It can produce much fiber by three to about four times for every hectare for the typical forests and twice much as pine plantation. It shall be said that hemp can keep up with man’s needs for paper products. Forests are not able to keep up with rampant deforestation.
Hemp is also helpful in terms of giving our soil protection. An R&D ecology group from Nova Institute discovered the favorable effects of hemp on soil structure. This is so because it curtails the presence and proliferation of fungi and nematodes. It is also known to have a high shading capacity which suppresses weed growth. Imagine that hemp can be grown in a highly inhospitable soil which may be deemed worthless. An example of this is soil that is heavily polluted by heavy metals.
According to the World Health Organization wing on cancer research, the world’s most popular weed killer known as glyphosate which is a probable carcinogen which is linked to cancer. Genetically modified crops or GMOs all require herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers for survival; hemp does not need any of these. Hemp on the other hand can be grown almost anywhere. When hemp is used as substitute to GMO, we can make sure that the damage to our health and our environment is lessened.
Hemp is also a good substitute for cotton. Hemp fiber is known to be ten times stronger than cotton fiber. It can also be used for all clothing types. Cotton is grown in warmer climates and it demands a lot of water. Hemp on the other and requires only a small amount of water and it grows in all fifty states of the US with varying climates. That’s why there are many US stores that sell hemp-made products such as clothing, paper, ice cream, soap, hemp oil, cosmetics, cheese, etc. The demand for these products have continued to flourish. Hemp is also easy to cultivate since it is weed resistant and it also has a few insects as enemies. This directly means that there is no pesticide and insecticide needed. Cotton on the other hand is heavily dependent on pesticides. It is said that 50 percent of pesticide use in the US is spent on cotton. This automatically means that when you use hemp instead of cotton you will reduce the use of pesticides.
One other element that people can benefit from hemp is the nutritional high-protein oil that can be extracted from the hemp seeds. This high-protein oil can be used for both humans and animals. This oil is not intoxicating and it’s easier to extract oil from hemp than from soybeans. The best part is that it is possible to process and flavor hemp protein the way you do with soybean protein. Hemp oil can also be used in producing salad oils, tofu, cheese, butter, and other foods. It is also possible to use hemp oil in the production of varnish, paint, lubricating oils, plastic substitutes, and even ink. Hemp is the main source of these products since fifty percent a mature hemp plant’s weight is made up of seeds. Majority of the hemp-derived products are non-toxic; they are also biodegradable and highly renewable.