When you choose CBD, you’re not just promoting your health and wellness, you’re also supporting the environmental benefits of hemp. Unlike some other crops, hemp and the environment share a beneficial relationship that helps improve and revitalize the soil, protect natural resources, and provides a sustainable cash crop that has a variety of potential uses. Industrial hemp, and CBD derived from it, just could be the answer to a cleaner, healthier Earth.
What Is Industrial Hemp?
Industrial hemp is a member of the cannabis family which has a concentration of less than 0.3% THC by weight. It won’t get you high, but it has been used by humans for centuries to make textiles, papers, and as wellness support. Hemp served an important role in American industry for generations before being targeted by a smear campaign intent on associating it with its more psychoactive cousin, marijuana. When the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was passed, it included cannabis without differentiating hemp from Marijuana, and the crop largely disappeared from American soil.
As American’s views of marijuana evolved, interest renewed in hemp and the environmental benefits it may offer alongside its industrial and wellness uses. Under a pilot program in the 2014 Farm Bill which was then expanded and made permanent in the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was officially recognized as a separate plant, effectively re-legalizing it at the federal level. This has led to an explosion of the hemp industry coast to coast as companies look to both turn a profit and also give consumers and the environment hemp products that better their lives.
Environmental Benefits of Hemp
The hemp plant is tall and straight, with thin fans of leaves located mostly at the top of the plant. To anchor these stalky giants, hemp grows a large taproot that runs deep into the soil. This taproot is the basis for several benefits hemp offers the environment.
- The Root of the Issue—First, well-rooted crops help control erosion. They help “fix” the ground, keeping dirt from being blown off by high winds or carried away by heavier rainfall. These deep taproots help make hemp more resistant to drought, as well. Creating hardier crops that help preserve the land through dry, rough conditions.Secondly, as these taproots bring up water, they also bring up nutrients that often are trapped under layers of soil. This can be vital for land maintenance, because large agricultural operations, if not carefully planned and monitored, can leach the nutrients from an area, leaving it dry and dead. Hemp not only improves its soil, but it can also be planted in rotation with other crops to keep the soil rich and healthy.
- Waste Not, Want Not—Hemp’s biomass is also readily recyclable. One of the biggest environmental benefits of hemp is its ability to avoid needless waste. Hemp fibers can be easily composted into a nutrient-filled natural fertilizer. This means that even the parts of the plant not utilized in production can still be purposed to help grow the next or other crops, lowering the demand on our landfills and returning much-needed vitamins and minerals to the soil.
- Carbon Greedy—Carbon is a hot button issue for those concerned about the environment because it is causing huge amounts of environmental damage. Their need for carbon is where hemp and the environment differ. While we want to keep more carbon from entering the environment, especially through greenhouse gasses, Hemp biomass is made of up to 40% carbon, and that’s a huge amount. Hemp crops sequester carbon, keeping it trapped where it can’t do damage. When hemp is harvested for fiber products, this creates a durable good with the high-carbon fibers that can keep the carbon out of circulation for an extended period of time.
- Fast Growing—Compared to other fiber crops, such as trees, hemp is fast growing and provides a greater yield on a per acre basis. These environmental benefits of hemp mean that timber and logging that clear-cuts entire swathes of forests aren’t needed. Instead, sustainable paper and textile manufacturing can turn to hemp fibers.Commercial logging operations create an enormous amount of greenhouse gasses due to the machinery needed. Worse, old growth forests that have provided oxygen and diverse wildlife habitats for centuries. Once they’re gone, it takes an equal amount of time to replace them. That is time the environment doesn’t have as climate change progresses.
- Ending the Reliance on Fossil Fuels—The potential for hemp oil as a biofuel has long been known. Hemp oil can be processed into a type of biodiesel that could be burned for electricity generation or to power motor vehicles with a diesel engine. While still in the early stages, as this alternative fuel technology matures, it could help ease humans away from their reliance on dirtier fossil fuels. The end goal is to make adoption of more environmentally friendly practices as easy as going about your daily routine, such as pulling into a greener gas station.
How You Can Help
While the environmental benefits of hemp are plain to see, mass adoption needs your help. When you shop from reputable CBD suppliers and manufacturers, choose sustainable hemp clothing, or use hemp paper, you’re supporting an industry that’s dedicated to providing you the highest quality products possible while helping the environment.
At CBD Choice, we’re proud to offer you a curated selection of the finest hemp CBD products on the market. By choosing manufacturers dedicated to protecting the environment and delivering hemp that is naturally grown to support your health and wellness, we’re able to make supporting hemp’s environmental benefits easier on you, the consumer.