Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species. Hemp is distinguished from psychoactive cannabis varieties as it has small amounts of the intoxicating cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
With hemp being one of the first plants to be used as a fibre 10,000 years ago, it has a long history of being utilized for industrial purposes.
Hemp is not only an extremely versatile raw product, but the environmental benefits of hemp are extensive.
Here are 20 benefits of hemp, based on science.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and expel oxygen (O2) into the air for us humans to breathe. Without trees, we wouldn’t be here.
Hemp has been proven to absorb more CO2 per hectare than any other known forest or commercial crop, making it ideal for meeting the ever-growing need to decrease CO2 output in the atmosphere. Couple this with the fact that hemp grows over 13 feet in just 100 days, and hemp is very clearly one of the fastest CO2-biomass conversion tools available.
Furthermore, hemp stores carbon for the entire life of the plant, meaning products produced from hemp store carbon. This storage neither poses a risk to human health or decreases the quality of hemp-based products.
Hemp is an important plant in the fight against anthropogenic climate change. Hemp helps clean the air as hemp plants reduce CO2 in the air. Cleaner air is associated with lower mortality rates and respiratory disease, and reductions in other health conditions.
More and more regions around metropolitan areas are starting to farm hemp to help reduce smog and air pollution, which is a significant problem for large cities around the world. Hemp is an optimal plant to grow in cities where space is limited and the priority is to absorb as much CO2 as possible from each plant as quickly as possible.
A regular passenger car emits approximately 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide annually. One car can drive for about 13 years and still break-even emission-wise with the absorption of one ton of hemp.
The annual carbon footprint of an average EU citizen is around 10.5 tons of CO2. One ton of hemp can, therefore, neutralize the carbon footprint of an EU citizen for six years.
To absorb the equivalent 64 tons of CO2 from one ton of hemp, this would require 2,860 fully grown trees.
Trees take several decades to fully grow while hemp grows rapidly. Additionally, you can replace many applications of trees with hemp (i.e. composites, paper, and fuel).
In construction, Hempcrete — a concrete-like building material — is not only more eco-friendly than conventional concrete, but it also absorbs more CO2 over time, which makes the Hempcrete even stronger.
By using what nature has given us, hemp can replace conventional sources of industrial materials, and this can help save our forests, reduce harm to ecosystems, and minimize deforestation in the rain forests of South America, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Unlike conventional plastics, the plastic made from hemp doesn’t cause permanent pollution as it can naturally degrade within a relatively short period. In the right environment, hemp plastic requires only three to six months to decompose completely.
Plastics from crude oil can take up to 1,000 years to naturally decompose. Within that period, plastics can end up in the mouths of animals and other places that plastic doesn’t belong.
The taproot (large dominant root) of hemp plants can penetrate deep into the soil to absorb required water and nutrients. Hemp also recovers nutrients that could be leached below the root zone and enter groundwater. This deep penetration is important as it can help eliminate groundwater pollution.
Through absorbing water and nutrients from deep levels of soil, surface-level soil doesn’t dry out as easily due to the nutritional needs of the plant. This benefits overall biodiversity as smaller plants with smaller roots don’t experience water scarcity due to the demands of hemp plants.
Hemp has deep roots that open up the soil and enhance the tilth (physical condition and suitability) of soil for future crops.
In some sense, hemp acts as a fertilizer for subsequent plantations. With a low need for care, hemp is rather appealing for farmers.
Hemp can be used to improve the soil in your garden if you have hard and unsuitable soil. Over time, growing hemp will improve the health of your soil.
Hemp doesn’t require pesticides. Since there are no chemicals from pesticides being absorbed by the human body, serious health problems from pesticide exposure are minimized.
Furthermore, hemp’s pest resistance makes natural cultivation possible without major losses of yield. This type of farming is far healthier for soil and general biodiversity. Additionally, groundwater is not exposed to toxic chemicals.
In many countries, there are large-scale agricultural and environmental problems. For example, monocultures — the practice of growing a single crop — has negative effects on biodiversity and the quality of the soil. This type of agriculture often causes nutrient deficiencies for plants, causing many issues. Hemp can minimize these problems by acting as an ‘in-between crop’.
Countries such as Australia and France reward farmers with CO2 certificates for growing hemp, which is a testament to official governmental bodies recognizing the benefits of hemp for the environment. These incentives of credibility also financially benefit farmers.
One benefit of hemp is that it can be grown in different climate zones and soils, meaning it is easy to grow in remote areas that have fewer agricultural resources.
Soils are often polluted with toxic materials. Hemp helps absorb these toxic materials from the soil, thereby decreasing the presence of them in the soil over time. Keep in mind that these toxic materials do not stay in the hemp plant and are dissolved entirely, and so no harm to humans is possible from using or consuming end-products made from hemp.
Formula Swiss aim to ensure we cultivate the highest possible quality hemp products while reducing harm to the environment.
We focus on reducing the amount of energy required to produce our products. Because our greenhouses are locally based in Switzerland, we can precisely control our production and ensure we consistently maintain a high standard of quality output for our customers.
Since we don’t use chemicals on our plants, the products themselves are also free of chemicals. This makes our products a healthier alternative to mass-produced hemp products that use chemicals for cultivation.
We use significantly less energy by not using air conditioning. Based on the research we have conducted, it is simply not necessary to use air conditioning in greenhouses to cultivate a quality product.
We don’t use artificial light outside or in our greenhouse. Instead, we only use artificial light indoors to produce new strains, CBD buds or medical cannabis.
We only source the very best organic seeds from trusted Swiss suppliers or organic seeds with extensive documentation of their origin. This way we can ensure every step from the seed to the final product is 100% organic.
By not using heating systems to dry our hemp plants, we can save a lot of energy and give plants a natural drying process. Without using heating we also maintain as low of a CO2 footprint as possible.
We are licenced by the GMP to prove that we are doing everything necessary to ensure we produce the best quality products and that we are trustworthy in that respect.
Our packaging materials are sourced from Swiss suppliers who exclusively use sustainable wood products. We care about the environment, and we protect it the best we can.
We test all our product batches internally and verify our results with sample testing in external labs based in Switzerland and the EU. This rigorous testing process ensures that there are no toxic or harmful materials present in the products we sell.
All our products are registered in Switzerland and the EU to ensure they meet all necessary legal requirements so that they can be shipped fast to our customers without issues at customs.
The bottom line
The rising demand for industrial hemp in food, personal care, textiles, and other industries is expected to rise in the coming years, and for good reason.
The benefits of hemp for the environment are countless. Growing hemp helps decrease our ecological footprint, improve soil health for future crops, and cleans our air by removing CO2. While hemp-derived products can also be recycled and are 100% biodegradable.
Hemp is and will be a driving force for sustainable farming around the world.
We are very proud of the hemp-derived products we produce and pride ourselves on consistently meeting and exceeding legal guidelines to ensure our customers are receiving the highest quality products on the market.
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