Wednesday July 8, 2015

By CO Pot Guy

7 Reasons Why the Hemp Industry is Going to be Huge News

By now we're almost all aware of the many reasons why marijuana should be legalized across the country but hemp production has yet to be given the same amount of recognition in the US. With the large amounts of research that have been done to prove the medical benefits of marijuana, an equally large amount of research has been conducted on the benefits of legalizing hemp production as well. And the results are something every American should get excited for.

Top 7 Reasons Why Hemp Will be a Mega Industry:

1. Hemp can be used as paper

No, we're not talking about rolling papers but actual paper that can be used in books, ancient fax machines and those ultra-hip moleskine notebooks everyone is carrying around. We can literally save the trees with hemp production. As an added bonus, paper made from hemp is longer-lasting and much more durable. It can really withstand the test of time. For example, most of the early documents that were printed on hemp paper hundreds, even thousands, of years ago are still in excellent condition.

2. Hemp boosts biodiversity

Hemp is the crop that keeps on giving. This wonder-crop can be recycled twice as many times as paper made from wood pulp. On average hemp produces more than twice as much fiber per hectare as traditional pine forests and a surprising 3 to 4 times as much compared to typical forests. A newfound reliance on hemp production could also lead to a reduction on our dependence on old growth forests. These old growth forests are an important part of the planet's carbon dioxide absorption, as they represent one of the largest concentrations of biodiversity.

3. Hemp is good for the soil

Unlike other plants that deplete the soil that they grow in of its vital nutrients, hemp works to help revitalize the soil as it grows to maturity. It is literally the plant that gives back to the earth. Hemp works to revitalize the soil it grows in by aerating the soil and slowly depositing carbon dioxide back in to the soil over time. With it's revitalizing powers, hemp is an ideal crop for regular rotation. In fact, with each new planting the crops will only get better because the soil has been enriched by the crop before it.

4. Hemp can be grown chemical free

What's better than a crop that enriches the soil as it grows? How about a crop that can be grown to its full potential without the use of harmful pesticides or herbicides? In information released by the FDA, more than 877 million pounds of pesticides were used on US crops in the year 2007 alone. But because hemp is not a GMO crop that can only be grown with the help of these harmful and expensive pesticides, it is a healthy and natural crop that can be replanted many times over without harsh chemical use.

5. Hemp can be used as fuel

This happy and healthy little plant can also be used as a cleaner burning, more sustainable fuel option. According to recent research, the same qualities that make it a better paper source also make hemp perfect for ethanol fuel production in the US. Compared to the gasoline that most vehicles across the globe use to function, ethanol is the cleanest burning alternative available. Some studies have shown it to burn so clean that after a 3,500-mile road test ethanol left engines in pristine conditions and completely residue free.

6. Hemp makes for an excellent fiber

Because hemp is one of the strongest plant fibers on the planet it can be used for a variety of different functions. This strong and durable fiber is so tough that sailors have been know to use it for their sails. Hemp was once so well loved by our country that Betsy Ross actually sewed the very first American flag using hemp. In more modern times it can be used to make jeans, shoes, high fashion clothing, lingerie and much more.

7. Hemp is edible and healthy

Hemp seeds can be eaten on their own or used to make hemp oil which is very high in protein. Hemp seeds are also a good source of iron, calcium and contains more essential Omega-3 fatty acids than walnuts. Hemp milk is already a popular dairy alternative in many states across the US but hemp can also be used to make craft beers, fermented for wine and used in iced tea.

Industrial Hemp is the Wave of Future

When it comes down to it, industrial hemp production has a great amount of potential to increase biodiversity, protect cropland, reduce pollution and revolutionize the paper industry. With the turn around time for mature hemp plants ranging from 60 to 90 days and 90 to 120 days for grain production, the possibility of a thriving hemp economy in the US is a very real possibility. Now is the perfect time to rewrite the history of hemp use in this country and start boosting our economy with the help of this once demonized and hated crop.

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart (license)

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