Can you guess one of the first plants cultivated by humans? If you guessed the hemp plant, you’re right. For over 10,000 years, the hemp plant has been cultivated for a variety of purposes, including textiles, materials, medicine, food, and more. Most people think that cotton was the first fiber material to create materials like clothing; however, it was actually hemp.
Up until 1937, hemp plants were a significant part of the cash crop in the Eastern United States. It was put to a stop because hemp was outlawed and considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. From 1937, hemp was illegal to harvest and produce until the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp by separating it from the Controlled Substances Act. Keep in mind that in order for it to be considered as hemp and not illegal, it must not contain more than 0.3% THC.
THC, otherwise known as tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, which is the compound that causes a “high.” Because industrial hemp contains such little contents of THC, it does not result in a high and can be used for a variety of purposes.
How Does Hemp Benefit the Environment?
One of the many incredible benefits of hemp is that it can be used for a wide range of purposes. For materials and textiles, such as clothing, shoes, ropes, paper; to food; to medicinal purposes; to building and construction material; and more. There is definitely no shortage of ways it can be used. In addition, every part of the hemp plant can be used and serves a significant purpose.
Some of the factors that set hemp apart from other materials is that it is highly sustainable, making it an eco-friendly, natural resource for many different purposes. For example, hemp grows similarly to a weed, meaning it grows fast and in abundance with little care. Hemp plants do not require a lot of irrigation nor do they need pesticides to grow. This makes it extremely environmentally friendly.
More than ever before, our air, water, and land are being polluted. Some of the most significant reasons are due to the textile and plastic industry’s byproducts. A lot of the waste that is produced each year ends up in landfills and oceans and most of it is not biodegradable. This causes a huge concern for our environment today and in the future.
However, industrial hemp products can be used as an environmentally friendly alternative to everyday products. Here are five ways hemp products can be a great alternative for our environment:
Hemp bioplastic is a great alternative to many plastic products, including plastic bottles, plastic utensils, grocery bags, and so much more. Hemp contains natural and highly durable fibers that can replace traditional plastic. Hemp and plant-fiber plastic is 100% biodegradable, which can do wonders for our environment.
Hemp Paper and Cardboard
You’d be surprised how long hemp paper has been around. In fact, the Declaration of Independence was actually written on paper derived from hemp. The paper used in today’s day and age is made from wood, which is resulting in a significant deforestation problem.
Deforestation is a huge contributing factor to climate change, soil erosion, and the displacement of animals. These are just a few of the problems that deforestation is leading to. As we know, trees take years to grow and we are cutting them down faster than we can grow them. We need trees to take in carbon dioxide, but the problem is that we are cutting down these trees that are of paramount importance to our environment.
However, hemp plants can be harvested a lot faster and makes an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional paper making. The great thing about hemp paper is that it is highly durable and even stronger than wood-pulp paper. In addition, hemp paper doesn’t become yellow. Therefore, no harmful chemicals are needed to whiten paper, as the white color from hemp paper can be maintained for years. Another benefit of hemp paper is that it can be recycled many times – in fact, it can be recycled up to seven times. On the other hand, traditional tree paper can only be recycled up to three times – and that’s only under certain circumstances.
Fabric and Textiles
Traditionally, hemp has been used to create clothing, shoes, and rope for thousands of years. However, the clothing industry now uses cotton and polyester to create clothing, which has resulted in significant water pollution, soil erosion, and uses harmful pesticides. However, some companies utilize hemp fibers to create clothing and other materials, which creates breathable, odor-resistant clothing that is also better for the environment.
Building and Construction Materials
Hempcrete, also known as limecrete, is a building material alternative that can be used in place of concrete, wood, carpet, insulation, and other materials. Hempcrete is extremely lightweight, but very durable and serves a great purpose for building and construction projects, as it is breathable, non-toxic, pest and mold-resistant, and provides great insulation. Hempcrete can be found in a number of different building material forms, including bricks.
Overall, hemp can be used as an environmentally friendly alternative to so many different products. It is an incredibly versatile plant that can serve a number of different industries as well. Keep in mind that the hemp products mentioned above don’t just stop there. Hemp can also be used in natural remedies, foods, and more.
Waferz aims to be the leading resource for education, providing valuable insight about hemp, cannabis, and related topics. We are dedicated to keeping you abreast of the latest news, information, and developments surrounding hemp, ensuring that you stay informed and connected at all times. Our goal is to continue being a reputable resource in the hemp and cannabis industry, utilizing years of experience, skills, and research to help you stay informed and connected. If you wish to learn more about hemp with Waferz, feel free to visit https://waferz.co/blogs/learn for more information.