Industrial hemp is a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to wood. It has 400% more usable fiber than an acre of trees over its 40-year life cycle, and it takes just 100 days to grow to a stage where its fibers can be used. In comparison, a tree needs 50 to 100 years to reach a similar stage. Hemp also reaches an impressive height of up to 20 feet when it's ready to harvest.
Hemp chips can be directly replaced by wood chips in oriented fiberboard, particle board and other panel products. It is also better for making paper, and press are experimenting with taking the waste products of other hemp products and turning them into paper. Hemp litter has a higher concentration of cellulose than wood, which provides only 42%. Hemp paper is also much more environmentally friendly and sustainable than tree paper, as hemp can be produced much faster than trees.
It resists decay and does not yellow or brown over time. As hemp fiber gains momentum, there's no question of gradually eliminating other fibers and completely replacing them with hemp. Finding a patented automated solution that would allow the CIHC to become a low-cost, high-value hemp fiber processor immediately made a lot of sense. Hemp was widely used around the world in the 19th century, but declined in the early 20th century when hemp production and trade began to be banned.
I am very interested in the possibilities of replacing wood pulp with hemp for the production of corrugated cardboard boxes. The most important thing for governments to understand is the potential of hemp to heal the planet and promote human health. Competing on price with wood for building composites, hemp is currently not competitive in the Pacific Northwest. However, with its many advantages over wood, it is only a matter of time before hemp becomes the preferred choice for many industries.