What’s So Great About Hemp?
The 2018 farm bill reclassified industrial hemp as a commodity crop, making it legal once again. This has opened up a world of possibilities. Potential health benefits are only the tip of the iceberg. Hemp cultivation dates back more than 10,000 years and hemp has been utilized for hundreds of products from food to fuel to fiber.
Aside from the health and wellness benefits of CBD, hemp has the power to transform the environment and strengthen local economies while having a positive impact on the environment for the future of our children. Hemp is environmentally regenerative, restoring air, water and soil.
The Benefits of Hemp
CBD OIL: A potential key to health and wellness
CBD (Cannabidiol), which is extracted from hemp, is a popular natural remedy used throughout history for many common ailments. Many users of CBD products report experiencing a sense of calm and improved focus, relief from stress and help recovering from exercise or exertion induced inflammation*. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation, production and sale of hemp and its extracts.
The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions, including sleep, appetite, pain and immune-system response. Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain associated with aging, repetitive motion or exertion by supporting a healthy inflammatory response within the body.*
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. CBD works with the body to use more of its own cannabinoids to help the body help itself. This is why studies have shown CBD to be potentially beneficial for such a wide variety of ailments.
Hemp grows in almost any environment
Imagine if there was a crop that could be cultivated almost anywhere in the world and could produce over 25,000 products. Better yet, this crop could mature within months and keep producing for years to come. That crop is industrial HEMP, hemp is an incredibly durable plant that can survive almost anywhere.
From California to Florida, a unique benefit of hemp is that it can grow in a broad range of climate types, which means hemp has the potential to be sourced locally.
Hemp supports sustainable farming
Farmers who practice sustainable farming techniques know the importance of rotating crops by season. This keep the soil nutrient-rich and increases the overall yield.
Hemp is an ideal plant for crop rotation. It enriches the soil while also removing toxins, and can reverse the effects of soil compaction and erosion. Growing hemp helps keep the soil healthy for years to come.
Hemp reduces carbon in the air
HEMP pulls CO2 out of the atmosphere through phytoremediation, capturing up to 20 tons of CO2 per acre and releasing oxygen back into the air. This reverses the effects of global warming.
Hemp also produces more biomass than any other plant that can be grown in the U.S. This biomass can be converted to fuel in the form of clean-burning alcohol, or no-sulfur man-made coal. Hemp has more potential as a clean and renewable energy source than any crop on Earth! It is estimated that if hemp was widely grown in the U.S. for fuel and/or energy, it could supply 100-percent of all U.S. energy needs.
Hemp absorbs metals and reduces our exposure to pollution
Man-made waste has contaminated the soil across the globe. The health of the planet, as well as our own personal health, is at risk and the need for change is urgent. Hemp is so effective at absorbing toxic materials, it has even been considered for removing radiation from Fukushima.
Hemp is naturally resistant to pests, so it doesn’t require herbicides or pesticides. By replacing less-hardy plants with hemp, we can significantly reduce our exposure to unnecessary toxins and pollutants.
Hemp is biodegradable
Humans buy about one MILLION plastic bottles per minute! Americans used over 50 billion plastic water bottles in 2018. Even more crazy is that plastic water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Sadly, only two percent of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S.
The basic building blocks of plastics are cellulose derived from highly toxic petroleum. Hemp, on the other hand, happens to be the greatest cellulose producer on earth. The most amazing news is that hemp also happens to be biodegradable.
Hemp oil is a renewable biofuel
Biodiesel is produced by the pressing of hemp seeds to extract their oils and fats. After the extraction, the product is then put through more steps to make it into a usable hemp biofuel for vehicles.
If processed correctly, biodiesel can be put into any diesel-powered automobile. It can be stored and transported like diesel, so there isn’t a need to create a new system for transportation.
Hemp conserves water
It takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of blue jeans. In fact, cotton is one of the most water-dependent crops around and is quickly depleting our limited freshwater sources.
Meanwhile, hemp requires minimal irrigation in comparison to cotton. A study in the UK comparing cotton production to hemp production found that it only takes 634–898 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of hemp. Article Link.
Hemp Seeds are a superfood
Hemp seeds are one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. In every 30 grams of hemp seeds, or about a tablespoon, there are 9.46 grams of high-quality protein. A complete protein, hemp seeds supply the body with amino acids, vitamins and much more. Whole hemp seeds are also extremely high in insoluble fiber—something the modern processed diet is lacking. Studies have shown this superfood protects the brain, boosts heart health, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, boosts immunity, eases the symptoms of certain skin conditions like eczema and eases the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Hemp seeds are also exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids (EFAs): omega-6 and omega-3. Hemp-seed oil is made up of nearly 85-percent essential fatty acids. It offers the optimal EFA ratio of 1:4 omega-3 to omega-6, compared to fish oil which is higher in omega-3. There are other benefits of hemp oil over fish oil as well. Hemp oil is vegetarian and vegan and offers a substitute to protect fragile environments from over-fishing There is also no risk of concentrated pollutants such as mercury, PCBs or dioxin being passed up the food chain from fish to fish and potentially ingested by people.
Not only is hemp nutritionally rich in nutrients, but it is also versatile. In addition to oil, hemp seeds can produce flour. Cultivating hemp as a staple crop could feed and nourish the vast number of people who are hungry and suffer from malnutrition. As a plus, the rich, nutty taste is delicious.
Hemp fiber is superior to cotton
On an annual basis, one acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton, lasts twice as long as cotton, and will not mildew.
Cotton grows only in moderate climates and requires more water than hemp; but hemp is frost tolerant, requires only moderate amounts of water and grows in all 50 states. Cotton requires large quantities of pesticides and herbicides—50-percent of the world’s pesticides and herbicides are used in the production of cotton. Hemp requires no pesticides, no herbicides and only moderate amounts of fertilizer.
Did you know the majority of synthetic fibers we use today are manufactured from polymer-based petrochemical materials (AKA highly toxic materials)? Producing these synthetic materials requires an energy-intensive process, burning large amounts of gas, coal or crude oil. This type of manufacturing process releases toxic emissions into the air and into the fibers we wear every day.
Nature has provided the solution to many of the planet’s problems with hemp. At First Crop, we’re cultivating solutions.
Hemp builds strong, healthy homes
The use of the hemp plant can extend into every aspect of our lives—including our homes. Fiber boards made from a hemp-based composite are stronger and lighter than those made from wood. Not to mention the combination of hemp and lime (hempcrete) results in a soundproofing system and insulation superior to that of concrete.
Hemp homes also provide a healthier living environment. Unlike fiberglass or drywall, hempcrete is nontoxic and mold resistant. Hemp homes are also shown to have incredible durability. One hemp home in Japan is estimated to be over 300 years old.