Hemp fiber is superior to cotton in many ways. Cotton requires large amounts of pesticides and herbicides, while hemp does not. In fact, 50 percent of the world's pesticides and herbicides are used in cotton production. Not only can hemp be used for an astounding number of products, but its net environmental benefit is impressive.
It grows in a variety of climates and soil types, is naturally resistant to most pests, and grows very closely spaced, allowing it to overcome most weeds. Hemp is a natural substitute for cotton and wood fiber, and can be pulped off with fewer chemicals than wood due to its low lignin content. Its natural glow can prevent the need to use chlorine bleach. The plant captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and quickly cleans the air we breathe.
For every ton of hemp produced, 1.63 tons of carbon are removed from the air, making it a much more effective carbon dioxide scavenger than trees. Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a botanical class of Cannabis sativa cultivars grown specifically for industrial or medicinal use. It can be used to manufacture a wide range of products, including paper, ropes, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food and animal feed. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth and was one of the first plants to be converted into usable fiber 50,000 years ago.
Major companies such as Ford Motors, Patagonia and The Body Shop are still using sustainable hemp seeds, fiber and oil as raw materials to manufacture a wide variety of products. Hemp seeds can also act as a great source of hemp seed protein when added to food for both humans and animals. Different parts of the plant offer different uses; for example, hemp can be used as a wood alternative for floors and panels in the same way that it can be an alternative to paper. For centuries, items ranging from ropes to fabrics and industrial materials were made with hemp fiber.
Hemp has been wrongly confused with marijuana by many legislators who believe that by legalizing hemp they are legalizing marijuana - which is not true. Some countries allow hemp to be cultivated for commercial purposes while others only allow its use for medical or scientific purposes. Hemp offers an incredible range of benefits that make it special compared to other materials. It requires fewer pesticides and herbicides than cotton; it captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; it can be used to manufacture a wide range of products; it is odour-resistant, breathable, UV-protective and fire-resistant; it can act as a great source of protein; and it has been used for centuries in items ranging from ropes to fabrics and industrial materials.