Why Hemp Is The Sustainable Crop You're About To Hear More About
There's a reason hippies loved hemp. The flowering plant, a type of cannabis that's bred to contain low amounts of THC, was an agricultural staple for thousands of years until it became illegal to grow in the U.S. in the 1970s. But ever since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, American farmers have started putting it in the ground yet again, and the hemp market is poised to grow to $10.6 billion by 2025—which, it turns out, could be good news for the planet.
Hemp's sustainable potential.
There are a few things that make hemp hot in the environmental space: For one, it's a hardy plant that can grow in many different environmental conditions. Though it thrives in warm, humid climes, it can survive in colder areas as well. It's also quick to grow; some forms are ready to be harvested just 60 days after planting.
In a relatively short amount of time, hemp develops a strong, deep root system. Equipped with this underground web, the plant is really effective at absorbing toxins and heavy metals from surrounding soil, so it's known as a bioremediator.
Following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, hemp was planted to help clean up the area surrounding the nuclear site, and more recent research validates its ability to absorb and trap environmental contaminants like cadmium and selenium.
In addition to filtering out toxins, the quick-to-grow crop can help improve the quality of degraded soil, making it a promising option for land restoration and regenerative agriculture projects. In the future, it can be planted alongside other bioremediators like sunflowers, poplar trees, and mustard plants to restore farmland that has been degraded by industrial agriculture and make it suitable for growing again.
As it cleans the ground, hemp also filters the air and absorbs high amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. The crop's ability to draw down carbon rivals that of plant and tree species that are much larger and more resource-intensive to grow.
A final point in hemp's favor is the fact that it can be turned into many different products. While hemp that is planted to absorb heavy metals is a harder sell, cleaner varieties can be turned into consumer goods like food, clothing, building products, paper, and nutritional supplements.
As hemp cultivator Gavin Stonehouse tells Rolling Stone, "If you can clean up the environment and still get a commercial product, you are killing two birds with one stone."
EU Certified Organic hemp blend to ease anxiousness & stress.*
Needless to say, the sustainability editor in me was excited to see hemp extract on the menu of our new lineup of supplements, launched earlier this year.
mbg's hemp multi+ is certified organic (as I previously reported, hemp's bioremediation properties make it especially important to buy organic) and free of heavy metals. From a human health standpoint, the cannabinoids in hemp make it a powerful plant for stress relief and mood regulation—two things most of us could use some help with right about now.*
Topped off with other calming plants like clove, rosemary, black pepper, and hops, it's a formula filled with ingredients that are as sustainable as they are functional—and that's reason to rest easy.*