Hemp: Good for the environment? Absolutely!
This blog has mentioned more than once the benefits of hemp and CBD for humans. Hemp seeds are redolent with Omega-6 and Omega-3. These essential fatty acids can protect your heart and they also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Even though CBD from hemp offers health benefits to people, so does industrial hemp offer benefits to the environment. And I might add the economy. You see before 1958, hemp was a major player in America’s agricultural community. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. It was a hot commodity because it could be used in so many ways—textiles, biofuel, food, supplements, body care products, heck it’s even used in automobiles. The plant is truly a marvel.
Alas, as I’ve mentioned in a past blog, hemp became the red-headed stepchild of agriculture due to its association with marijuana. Now we need to import hemp from other countries. Pity. Canada alone has a billion dollar hemp industry on its hands, while Americans maintain the obdurate ill will toward a plant that could be a boon to our environment as well as our economy.
Here’s the deal. Hemp can grow in just about any conditions. It’s naturally resistant to pests, so no pesticides to mess up the air or kill critters other than pests. In addition:
· Because of its low lignin content, hemp can be pulped using fewer chemicals than with wood. Its natural brightness can obviate the need to use chlorine bleach, which means no extremely toxic dioxin is dumped into streams. A kinder and gentler chemistry using hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine dixoide is possible with hemp fibers.
· It grows tightly spaced, crushing weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It leaves a weed-free field for a following crop.
· Hemp can displace cotton, which is usually grown with massive amounts of chemicals harmful to people and the environment. In fact, 50% of all the world's pesticides are sprayed on cotton.
· Hemp can displace wood fiber and save forests for watershed, wildlife habitat, recreation and oxygen production, carbon sequestration (reduces global warming), and other values.
· Hemp can yield 3-8 dry tons of fiber per acre. This is four times what an average forest can yield.
Is this a great plant or what? So, by purchasing and using hemp products we not only do ourselves a favor, we help the environment and the economy. Now, America just needs to start growing it again.