The Environmental Benefits of Industrial Hemp
When you choose CBD, you’re not just promoting your health and wellness; you’re also supporting a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable world through the environmental benefits of industrial hemp. Unlike some other crops, hemp and the environment share a beneficial relationship that helps improve and revitalize the soil, protect natural resources, and provide a sustainable cash crop with a variety of potential uses. Industrial hemp, and the CBD derived from it, could be one of the keys to a cleaner, healthier Earth.
What Is Industrial Hemp?
Industrial hemp is a member of the cannabis family. Unlike its more (in)famous cousin, marijuana, hemp contains a concentration of less than 0.3% THC by weight. It won’t get you high, but humans have used it for centuries to make textiles, papers, and medicinal supplements for whole-body wellness support.
In the American industry, Hemp served an important role for generations before being targeted by a smear campaign intent on associating it with its psychoactive cousin, marijuana. When the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was passed, it illegalized all forms of cannabis without differentiating hemp from marijuana. As a result, this sustainable, versatile crop largely disappeared from American soil.
As Americans’ views of marijuana evolved, interest renewed in industrial hemp and the environmental benefits of this renewable cash crop, alongside its industrial and wellness uses. Under a pilot program in the 2014 Farm Bill, which was then expanded and made permanent in the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was officially recognized as a separate plant and lifted the legal prohibition on hemp. This effectively re-legalized hemp at the federal level and has led to an explosion of the hemp industry coast to coast, as companies look to both turn a profit and benefit both consumers and the environment with hemp products that better their lives.
Why is Hemp Good for the Environment
Why is hemp farming good for the environment? In short, it supports good soil health, is easily recyclable and biodegradable, traps carbon from escaping into the atmosphere, offers a sustainable alternative to logging, and can be made into a potent biofuel that is a more eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.
1. The Root of the Issue
The hemp plant is tall and straight, with thin fans of leaves located mostly at the top of the plant. To anchor these stalky giants, hemp grows a large taproot that runs deep into the soil. This taproot is the basis for several of the environmental benefits of industrial hemp.
First, well-rooted crops help control erosion. They help “fix” the ground, keeping dirt from being blown off by high winds or carried away by heavier rainfall. These deep taproots help make hemp more resistant to drought as well. This creates hardier crops that help preserve the land through dry, rough conditions.
Secondly, as these taproots bring up water, they also bring up nutrients that are often trapped under layers of soil. This can be vital for land maintenance because large agricultural operations can leach the nutrients from an area, leaving it dry and dead if not carefully planned and monitored. Hemp not only improves its soil, but it can also be planted in rotation with other crops to keep the soil fertile and healthy.
2. Waste Not, Want Not
Hemp’s biomass is also readily recyclable. One of the most significant environmental benefits of industrial hemp is its ability to avoid needless waste. Hemp fibers can be easily composted into a nutrient-filled natural fertilizer. This means that even the parts of the plant not utilized in production can still be purposed to help grow the next crop of hemp or other plants, lowering the demand on our landfills and returning much-needed vitamins and minerals to the soil.
3. Carbon-Greedy, for Reduced Greenhouse Emissions
Carbon is a hot button issue for those concerned about the environment, and rightly so! Carbon emissions cause devastating amounts of environmental damage. But hemp consumes large amounts of carbon, making it a potential tool for reducing the amount and effects of carbon emissions!
While we want to keep more carbon from entering the environment, especially through greenhouse gasses, Hemp biomass is made of up to 40% carbon. Hemp crops sequester carbon, keeping it trapped where it can’t do damage. When hemp is harvested for fiber products, this creates a durable good with the high-carbon fibers that can keep the carbon out of circulation for an extended period of time.
4. Fast Growing, Sustainable Alternative to Logging
Compared to other fiber crops, such as trees, hemp is fast-growing and provides a greater yield on a per-acre basis. These environmental benefits of hemp mean that timber and logging, which clear-cut entire swathes of forests, aren’t needed. Instead, sustainable paper and textile manufacturing can turn to hemp fibers. Commercial logging operations create an enormous amount of greenhouse gasses due to the machinery they require. Worse, they wipe out the old-growth forests that have provided oxygen and diverse wildlife habitats for centuries. Once these forests are gone, it could take centuries to adequately replace them. With the accelerated rate of climate change, that is time the environment doesn’t have, so sustainable alternatives like hemp farms could be an ecologically sustainable alternative.
5. Ending the Reliance on Fossil Fuels
The potential for hemp oil as a biofuel has long been known. Hemp oil can be processed into biodiesel that could be burned for electricity generation or power motor vehicles with a diesel engine. While still in the early stages, as this alternative fuel technology matures, it could help ease humans away from their reliance on dirtier fossil fuels. The end goal is to adopt more environmentally friendly practices, making them as easy as going about your daily routine. Pulling into a greener gas station powered by hemp biodiesel is one ecologically-friendly alternative.
How You Can Help
While the environmental benefits of hemp are plain to see, mass adoption needs your help. When you shop from reputable CBD suppliers and manufacturers, choose sustainable hemp clothing, or use hemp paper, you’re supporting an industry dedicated to providing you the highest quality products possible while giving our environment the help it needs.
At CBD Choice, we’re proud to offer you a curated selection of the finest hemp CBD products on the market. By choosing manufacturers dedicated to protecting the environment and delivering hemp that is naturally grown to support your health and wellness, we can make supporting hemp’s environmental benefits easier on you, the consumer. If you have any questions for our CBD experts, give us a call at (888) 519-2445. Order your premium CBD oil products online from CBD Choice today.