Hemp and a healthy ecosystem

Most of these blogs tell you about how CBD from hemp works in your body to help you balance your health. Well, you know, CBD and hemp are good for humans, but hemp could really lend a hand in keeping our environment healthy.

Hemp and our environment

The debate over climate change and whether to do anything proactive is more political than rational. I mean, if you are halfway responsible, you will take care of where you live. You own a home, the roof needs to be replaced; you don’t quibble over whether it’s because of shoddy workmanship, natural change or whatever. You fix the roof.

The same would make sense for our planet. Now I’m not being overly simplistic here, there are products that we use that can, and do, harm the planet. There are also alternatives to those products that can help the planet stay balanced.

Hemp is one of those versatile crops that can be used in so many consumer products. On top of that, hemp can be recycled, reused and is 100 percent biodegradable. But here’s also a little tip, hemp has the potential to do all that, and help balance the economy.

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Sustainable hemp

Hemp is not new. It’s been used for centuries and is found in more than 25,000 products. But, it was forcibly removed from American agriculture for self-serving and political reasons I won’t go into here. As a result, manufacturers who make products from hemp must import it from Canada, China or other countries where it is legal. Now, however, the Farm Bill has passed and farmers can once again get grants and crop insurance to grow hemp on U.S. soil.

The plant itself is hardy and seems to grow well almost anywhere, without chemicals, insecticides, fertilizer or pesticides. Its very presence in the ground threatens weeds, and here’s the really big deal: carbon sequestration. Essentially, hemp stores high amounts of carbon in its roots and body and hangs on to it, even when it becomes a manufactured product.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hemp, as I’ve mentioned, is multidimensional as well as biodegradable.

Uses for hemp

The versatility of this plant is pretty amazing.

Food: Its protein and oil serve as a great source of fiber, iron, potassium, zinc, amino acids and essential fatty acids that are important factors in helping keep our bodies healthy.

Fiber: Textiles from hemp are stronger than cotton or silk fibers. Clothing from hemp lasts longer than other products, it’s biodegradable and versatile. Plus, growing hemp leaves less of a carbon footprint than cotton, which requires a lot of pesticides and insecticides.

Plastic: Yes, it can even be an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. Just as strong, just as versatile, but biodegradable. Plastic takes about 400 years to degrade and right now there are about 6.3 billion tons of it littering our planet and waterways. Think about that.

Construction: Hemp can be used in all aspects of building construction from insulation to building materials that are stronger than wood and concrete. Hemp construction products also provide natural insulation. Plus, it’s nontoxic, water- and fire-resistant, and energy efficient.

Fuel: In 1940, Henry Ford built a car with hemp plastic panels that were 10 times stronger than steel. It also ran on hemp fuel. Hemp can produce two kinds of fuel that burn cleaner than fossil fuel: biodiesel from pressed hemp seeds and ethanol/methanol from fermented stalks.

Personal care: CBD from hemp can be found in a plethora of skin care products from shampoo to lotions to soaps and more. The reason being optimal fatty acid, which promotes skin elasticity as well as shiny, strong hair.

Wood replacement: Because of its versatility, hemp could save the trees, trees that provide oxygen to our atmosphere and absorb carbon dioxide. Any construction product, paper or fiber that can be made from wood can be made from hemp. It grows faster than trees and costs less and is more efficient to harvest.

Why not let hemp do the heavy lifting for our bodies, our economy, and most important, our environment. It’s not a silver bullet, but it’s a start.