Hemp is finally legal to grow in the U.S., allowing us to produce twice as much fiber as cotton, twice as much ethanol as corn, and 4 times as much paper pulp as trees per acre, using far less water and pesticides, while fixing the soil.
It’s also a medicinal super food.
Hemp just became legal to grow in the United Stares for the first time in nearly a century.
The cannabis analytics firm New Frontier predicts that the hemp industry will reach $5.7 billion by 2020.
Here are 7 reasons that’s great news:
Hemp is thought to be the first plant cultivated by humans for fiber, around 8,000 years ago. It was used by every civilization for clothing, sails and ropes, and even in the building of the pyramids
The first Bible and first drafts of the American Declaration of Independence were printed on hemp paper. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers and Americans used to be able to pay their taxes in hemp.
Then in the 1920s, DuPont bought up all the rights to a hemp fiber processing machine and squashed them right after they patented nylon. Soon after, hemp was demonized and outlawed.
Not only would hemp make nylon obsolete, it would make all kinds of products and industries obsolete, which is why it’s illegal.
Below are seven products that could be made better and far more sustainably with hemp:
Cotton is not king! Hemp plants yield twice as much fiber as cotton per acre, using about a tenth the water, and far fewer pesticides.
Clothing and other textiles made from hemp are also far more durable than cotton, so they last longer and need to be replaced less often.
Hemp fiber is 3 times a strong as cotton and more breathable.
Hemp provides up to four times as much paper pulp as trees per acre, and only requires 4-6 months to grow a whole new crop, as opposed to 6-8 years for trees to regrow.
Plus, you can recycle hemp up to seven times, compared to the three times wood pulp can be recycled.
Hemp bricks and hemp chipboard is lighter and better insulating than wood, and best of all doesn’t require deforestation.
They are pest-proof, mold-proof, breathable, non-toxic and they even pull CO2 from the atmosphere!
Hemp seeds may be the most efficient and environmentally friendly plant for making biodiesal available
Hemp can be grown in less fertile soil, using less fertilizer and less water than most plants and the remaining biomass of the plant can be used for making ethanol.
Hemp can produce 10 tons of biomass per acre every four months, while corn produces 4 tons per acre over about twice a year.
Half of the oil we consume goes toward making plastic. While we can all acknowledge that we need to use less plastic in general — especially single-use, disposable plastic — hemp plastic is a far better option than petroleum-based plastic, as it is 100% biodegradable and recyclable.
Hemp seeds are even more nutritious than chia seeds.
They have the optimum ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
They are also a perfect source of protein, containing all 20 amino acids.
Hemp seeds also contain a very absorbable form of protein, not found in any other food, called globulin Edestin that helps repair DNA.
They’re also high in Gamma-Linolenic acid, which is essential for healthy hormone production.
They’re also high in fiber and are a pre-biotic, meaning they feed good bacteria in your gut.
Because of its perfect fatty acid profile of omega-3 fats and GLA, hemp seed helps naturally balance inflammation levels and strengthen the immune system.
A study published in the British Journal of Cancer found that the THC in hemp seeds can stop and possibly reverse glioblastoma multiforme (a deadly form of brain cancer).
A study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found the THC in hemp seeds improved advanced stage breast cancer.
A German study found similar evidence that hemp seeds can inhibit cancer growth and metastasis, particularly in lung cancer.
Two other studies (here and here) suggest that hemp seeds can improve cardiovascular health and reverse high blood pressure.