• Joe Garms

Benefits of Hemp

The environmental benefits of hemp are noted because it can be grown in all parts of the world.

For clarification, marijuana and hemp are derived from two different strains of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is grown for its psychoactive effects (THC) and hemp (CBD) for industrial purposes. Marijuana (THC) is approved for personal use in some states but hemp (CBD) is not approved for personal use.

A group of senators introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, allowing farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. Also, some state legislatures are promoting industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.

Hemp is considered good for the environment because it can reduce the number of trees used to produce wood and paper. It grows faster than trees and can produce more paper in a smaller space than trees. As an alternative energy source, hemp makes less reliance on fossil fuels possible by providing an efficient biomass source for methanol and ethanol.

It has potential to reduce air pollution. When burning hemp as a fuel, carbon dioxide released into the air is absorbed by the next crop. It can be harvested quickly after planting, reducing carbon dioxide build up. As a leafy plant it contributes a high level of oxygen to the atmosphere during growth, potentially reducing the effects of global warming, acid rain and the depletion of the ozone layer.

Compared to wood, hemp can be turned to pulp faster without chemicals that create health concerns. The quality of paper from hemp is durable, producing paper that can be recycled more times than tree-based paper.

Homes built with hemp products provide good thermal insulation, resulting in less fuel consumption.

As an agricultural crop, it grows dense and vigorously and after harvest can enrich soil as compost for crop rotation.

Switching to hemp products, when possible, can leave a cleaner and greener planet for the next generation.

http://www.ncsl.org/research/agriculture-and-rural-development/state-industrial-hemp-statutes.aspx

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