What is Hemp?
The hemp plant is an amazing species with over 60,000 uses that is often misunderstood due to its relation to the marijuana plant. Unlike marijuana, hemp does not contain significant levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the compound that causes the intoxicating effects. Rather, hemp has high levels of CBD, which has no psychoactive properties and contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties when applied on the skin. The hemp plant originates from Central Asia, and it was earth’s largest agricultural crop for 3000 years! It was so important to ancient Chinese culture that this plant was considered sacred, with hemp cultivation techniques being covered in ancient confucian texts. Hemp eventually spread to Europe in the middle ages, and it is now widely grown across North America, Asia, Europe and North and South America.
What is hemp’s environmental impact?
Hemp is often called Earth’s most sustainable natural resource. It is multipurpose, as it can be used to make paper, clothes, skincare products and food using the edible seed which is a source of fiber, protein and magnesium. The production cycle of hemp is low, allowing for large amounts to be produced in a short period of time. It is a carbon negative plant, and it is actually more effective than trees at capturing and storing carbon from the atmosphere, capturing carbon at twice the rate of forests. While conventional agriculture emits large amounts of carbon, hemp farms do the opposite, helping recycle carbon from the atmosphere while producing more usable fiber in the same amount of land. Hemp also requires little water to grow and improves soil health by replenishing the earth with nutrients. It is biodegradable too!