Hemp Benefits: The Sustainable Raw Material of the Future?
Updated On May 19, 2023 | by Samara Davis
Hemp is an ancient, versatile crop that is gradually rediscovered after a long time. More and more products are being made from it. This is considered one of the most sustainable raw materials of the future.
First, you should know cannabis is a legal product and that cannabis seeds are also permitted. You can find the seeds you are looking for on Sensoryseeds’ online shop.
But What is it All About?
People in China and Persia were already using it as a raw matter 12,000 years ago: The fibers were used to make textiles and paper. Even Gutenberg’s first Bible was printed on this in 1455. The sails and ropes of large ships were also made of cannabis.
Hemp is a Useful Plant and Textile Raw Material
But with industrialization, it was gradually displaced: New machines helped with cotton processing. And with the pharmaceutical industry’s progress, cannabis lost its medicinal significance. After the Second World War, the cultivation of cannabis was banned altogether.
It was not until 1996 that commercial marijuana cultivation was allowed again in Europe and the UK. This is low in THC (=tetra-hydro-cannabinol), which is why it is not suitable for further processing into drugs. Farmers complain, however, that it is challenging to obtain authorized fruit—the THC limit (<0.2%) is often exceeded. Also, the quality of the textile hemp competition from China, for example, which is not approved in Europe and the UK, is sometimes better.
The Ecological Advantages of Hemp
- It is undemanding and grows in almost any soil from the tropics to Siberia. Cotton, on the other hand, only grows in some regions. The result is longer transport routes and more intensive irrigation compared to marijuana. This also applies to organic cotton.
- This grows up to four meters high and develops many roots. In addition, its foliage is so dense by July at the latest that weeds in the field do not get enough light and die. That is why marijuana does not need to be chemically sprayed with herbicides, from which insects such as bees and soil animals suffer most. Thus, its cultivation in organic agriculture can be used for environmentally friendly weed control.
- Hemp fields have a humid climate, perfect for fungal infestation. However, cannabis is very resistant to this, which is why it does not need chemical fungicides.
- Everything from the seeds to the leaves to the stalks can be utilized. The raw substance is thus optimally used.
- Plant fibers are very resistant. That is why paper made from cannabis, for example, can be recycled more often than paper made from wood fibers. The material cycle is thus extended.
- The ecological disadvantages of its cultivation
Conventional Harvesting Machines have to be Converted and Produced.
- Due to the size of the hemp, the strong roots, and the humid climate in the plantations, weeds do not stand a chance on the fields, which is why it does not need to be sprayed. At the same time, however, important weeds can no longer grow, and diversity is endangered. This is why large cultivation areas and perennial self-sequences should be avoided.
- Modified agricultural machinery and choppers are needed for the huge mills. However, these have to be produced first, which means a significant expenditure of resources.
- Due to its size and foliage, fresh marijuana is not suitable for transport. Cultivation is, therefore, sustainable if a plant is available for processing on-site or nearby.
- Otherwise, many environmentally damaging kilometers have to be traveled.
- One solution could be cooperatives that share regional processing facilities and harvesting machines.
A Diverse Range of Products, from Hemp Fibers, Fruits, Seeds, and Leaves
Hemp is very versatile and can be used for many products. All components can be processed – high added value is the result.
Fibers are obtained from the thick stems of the flora. Among other things, they are processed into marijuana ropes, sealing stuff, paper, car interior lining, and textiles (such as clothes, mattresses, towels, and backpacks).
Several online shops on the internet sell its textiles.
Plant fibers can be processed into building materials such as concrete substitutes or insulation wool. These are considered very breathable, low dust, and skin-friendly.
Pressed and glued, the parts are also used to make boards that are further processed into furniture.
Hemp produces edible fruits in the form of small nuts. They are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated as well as saturated fatty acids. Small quantities are used for bread or muesli. Flour can also be made from them.
Hemp seeds are also edible. You can use them in spreads, chocolate, or bread. Edible oil is also made from its kernel. Further processed, the oil is used in cosmetics, varnishes, or paints.
They also contain surfactants, which is why they can be used to make organic detergent. The pharmaceutical significance is also growing again: its oil is effective against neurodermatitis or allergies.
THC is used to inhibit nausea and as an appetite stimulant in AIDS and cancer therapies. However, research into the medicinal effects of cannabis is still in its infancy.
Leaves and Plant Residues:
The flora residues can be used as biomass in power complexes to produce renewable energy. In addition, the remains of the stems are used to make very absorbent bedding for animals.
Conclusion: The Cannabis Complex, an All-Rounder
It grows everywhere and is therefore resource-saving. The plant can be utilized entirely and does not require any synthetic chemical sprays during cultivation. It is, therefore, suitable as a raw substance for many products. The disadvantages in cultivation can be avoided by alternating crop rotation and cooperatives. It is precise because of its versatility, regionality, and robustness that hemp is a hopeful, renewable raw stuff of the future.