Hemp eradicates deforestation and reduces carbon emissions Deforestation contributes to approximately 25% of all global carbon emissions. Growing hemp could not only stop this process, but completely reverse it. This is because hemp plants have the ability to absorb CO2 from the air. Hemp, a non-psychoactive strain of the cannabis plant, seems to be able to do anything.
It is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, it is capable of holding 15 tons of carbon dioxide in the soil per hectare and it drives out weeds to such an extent that very little herbicide is needed to grow it successfully. When implemented in a crop rotation, hemp can be a boon for farmers. In fact, the Rodale Institute found in its trials with hemp cover crops that soybean and wheat yields increased the following year, while weed pressure decreased. This could be due in part to the plant's ability to extract heavy metals such as cadmium and lead from the soil and, at the same time, aerate the soil with its root system, ultimately leaving healthier soil for the next plant.
In short, the impact of hemp on the soil is minimal and, at the same time, it retains an enormous amount of carbon in a very short period of time. But the benefits of hemp don't end at the farm. As I mentioned earlier, according to the USDA, it has more than 25,000 uses. Its seeds are rich in nutrients and can be eaten raw or turned into milk or oils.
Its stems can be used to make fiber that is stronger, more absorbent, more durable and better insulating than cotton, and if clothing isn't what you need, you can make hemp paper or even hemp concrete. When wood waste from the fiber manufacturing process is mixed with a binder based on lime and water, a hardened substance similar to traditional concrete is obtained. Except that this concrete filters CO2 from the air as it dries. As a result, a square meter of hemp concrete surface can retain up to 16 kg of CO2 equivalent throughout its life cycle.
And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many more applications, such as insulation, that can be made with hemp. So if hemp can meet so many needs, why isn't it everywhere now? This is the shocking story of how the United States came close to having a sustainable hemp-based society, and then threw it all away. According to the report, to minimize risks and maximize the opportunities of hemp for countries and producers, governments must clarify its legal status as a non-toxic substance. Hemp can grow in a wide variety of climates in most parts of the world, it can be planted in land unsuitable for other crops, and it helps to replenish the soil by removing heavy metals and other contaminants.
While industrial hemp has no intoxicating properties, the lack of a clear legal distinction means that it remains a controversial plant in many countries. As all parts of the plant (roots, flowers, fruits, stems and leaves) can be used, growing hemp will generate much less waste and pollution than other crops, whose discarded parts can have an enormous ecological footprint. By exploiting all parts of the hemp plant, developing countries could create sustainable production chains that contribute to the growth of rural areas and boost economic diversification.