Humanity has been growing hemp for over 12,000 years, and for good reasons - it’s easy to grow, it’s great for us and great for the planet. With over 25,000 uses, hemp is uniquely versatile, making everything from protein powder, biofuels and clothes.
Not only does hemp provide us with benefits, but it’s also great for the environment and is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. Hemp products can completely biodegrade, are recyclable and are famous for their durability.
It’s carbon negative
When plants photosynthesise (use light to transform carbon dioxide and water into energy), they remove CO2 from the atmosphere. CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have almost doubled since pre-industrial times, primarily due to burning fossil fuels.
While all plants photosynthesise, they don’t do so equally - hemp is one of the fastest natural CO2 converters in nature. They sequester it faster than trees, and hemp efficiency is comparable to that of an entire rainforest. Every tonne of hemp grown removes 1.63 tonnes of CO2 from the air.
It’s great for the earth
Hemp is naturally pest resistant and can prevent weeds from growing nearby. Thanks to these properties, pesticides and herbicides are unnecessary for their cultivation. This saves money during the growing process and protects the environment from toxic chemicals.
The roots that hemp grows are extensive and help hold the soil together. This prevents soil erosion, a rapidly growing issue in drier regions of the world.
Through a process called phytoremediation, hemp removes contaminants from the soil it sits in, purifying it for itself and the surrounding flora and fauna. It can even absorb heavy metals, such as lead and nickel, that find their way into the soil from industrial pollution.
Phytoremediation may not be unique to hemp, but its retention of toxic chemicals is. Most plants will release toxins and metals absorbed from the soil back into the environment over the course of their life. However, hemp holds onto it, only freeing it back into the earth at the end of its life. At this point, more hemp plants will absorb it, repeating the cycle.
It grows readily
In as little as four months, hemp can grow to full size. Unlike most crops, it’s not climate-sensitive and can grow almost everywhere. In Australia, it’s able to grow in both the summer and winter months.
While many crops require huge quantities of water to grow, hemp needs a comparatively small amount. To grow 2.2 pounds of cotton, you need over 5000 gallons of water. For the same amount of hemp, you need just 700 gallons - a reduction of 86 per cent!