Hemp is often called the “wonder crop” because of its many uses and contributions to the environment. Beyond the production of CBD, it’s important to take a step back and see how the hemp plant is grown and produced.
Benefits of Growing Hemp
According to this article, “Hemp is a crop that leaves minimal or no footprint on the earth while addressing many of mankind’s present needs.” This amazing plant can be formed into a number of products that are all 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and more.
Where many crops deplete the soil of necessary nutrients for proper plant growth, hemp actually restores some of those nutrients back into the soil including nutrients, nitrogen, and carbon. It even goes so far as absorbing toxins from the soil from existing traces of pollution and chemicals. The plant releases significant amounts of oxygen into the atmosphere and removes and absorbs higher quantities of carbon during photosynthesis than other crops.
Additionally, hemp is naturally pest and weed resistant, growing well without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. The hemp plant naturally fends off plant diseases, other invasive plants, and forms of fungi that can appear during growth. Hemp also has a high growth yield, up to 8.7 tons per acre in some cases.
Carbon is a huge concern for our environment, and as mentioned above, hemp plants do a great job in helping control high levels in our atmosphere. In fact, for each unit of hemp plants grown, roughly more than one and a half times more carbon is removed and absorbed from the environment. This article states that 1.62 tons of carbon dioxide are removed for each ton of hemp harvested. Even when formulated into other products such as concrete, hemp has the ability to continue to absorb carbon over time.
In addition to the effects on environmental carbon, soil erosion is also important to be aware of in regards to farming practices. Some crops may not provide enough root structure in the soil to prevent runoff and the loss of topsoil. Hemp plants on the other hand have extremely long roots that grow deep into the soil, holding onto the nutrients to stabilize the ground.
Water consumption is another environmental concern for crop production and growth, and the impacts that it has on the surrounding landscape. Hemp uses much less than other standard crops making it very environmentally friendly, to help conserve water usage. In fact, hemp consumes 50% less water for complete growth than a crop of cotton plants, according to this article. Instead of using cotton to produce fabrics and clothing or even paper, hemp can actually do the same.