Hemp. What exactly is it, and what makes it so great? Hemp is a variation of the cannabis plant, but unlike its cousin marijuana, it will not get you high. Hemp has been grown and used throughout history to make things such as hemp paper, hemp sails on ships, and hemp clothing. Nowadays, people are rediscovering the things that make hemp so great, such as its environmental benefits, its durability as a building material, and its amazing potential in the food and healthcare industries.
Easy on the Environment, and Your Wallett
Hemp produces significant environmental benefits and has the potential to create a more sustainable world. It directly benefits the land around it by enriching the soil where it is grown, absorbing toxins and radioactive materials from the environment, and rapidly removing carbon dioxide from the air. It can grow in a variety of climates and is naturally resistant to pests and weeds, eliminating the need for harsh pesticides and herbicides. Hemp is also fairly inexpensive to grow. It could potentially stimulate the economy by helping struggling American farmers and creating millions of new jobs. Hemp grows quickly and provides important nutrients to the soil, all while taking up less space than many traditional crops and using very little water. Hemp is an ideal crop for sustainable farming, benefitting the environment and economy, and even fighting deforestation.
A Miracle Alternative
Hemp can benefit the environment in more than one way. It is an extremely durable building material and can be used as an alternative to many other substances, such as plastic, which are damaging the environment. Hemp is biodegradable and products made from it can be easily recycled, reused, or composted. Many products can be replaced by hemp alternatives, and consumers are excited about the endless possibilities. Hemp fibers can be used as an alternative to wood in almost every circumstance, including paper, wood chips, and building materials such as flooring and roofing. It can be used as a more durable alternative to cotton and other textile materials to make clothing, carpet, and bags. Hemp clothing has been particularly popular among consumers due to its breathability and natural moisture-wicking and anti-microbial properties. Perhaps most exciting, hemp can be used as an alternative to most plastic products. Hemp plastic could be a biodegradable substitute for plastic bottles, single-use packaging, and even car parts. Recently, LEGO has been looking at hemp plastic as a new material for its iconic blocks.
Brain and Body Booster
One of hemp’s most notable advantages is its health benefits. You’ve probably heard the buzz about CBD oil, the seemingly miraculous product that comes from the hemp plant. CBD oil has been proven to have a wide variety of health benefits including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, improving sleep, and relieving chronic pain. In January 2019, Consumer Reports surveyed more than 4,000 CBD users in the U.S. and found that 25% used CBD to replace over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and sleep aids. Millennials were more likely to use CBD to reduce stress and anxiety, while baby boomers were more likely to use it to help with joint pain. Hemp oil and hemp seeds are also incredibly rich in nutrients, omega-3s, and protein, making them popular additions to recipes. Endless recipes incorporating hemp can be found on blogs and Pinterest, with consumers putting hemp in anything from smoothies to salads to cookies.