Houses, clothing, food. What if I told you that there is one plant that could give it all to us. This week we’ll talk about why hemp will be the plant of the future!
Maybe it’s a bit ironic that I call it the plant of the future because hemp was one of the earliest crops to be used in agriculture by our ancestors. Findings show that hemp was already used 8000 years ago. That was way before the first pyramids came around, how sick is that?
Hemp … can we smoke that?
No, no, no. Let’s get this straight first. Hemp is the non-smokable version of cannabis. Smokable and non-smokable cannabis look a lot like each other, but they vary in their uses. Kind of obvious since I just told you that you can smoke one and can’t smoke the other, but ah well :). Hemp can be called hemp if its content of THC is below 0,2 / 0,3%, depending on which place in the world you are. Even though a little higher amounts of THC also wouldn't get you high, but these are the percentages that our dear bureaucrats came up with.
But wait ... what’s the point of using hemp if you can’t smoke it? Hold on there rascal, there’s plenty of other things you can use it for.
Hemp is, together with bamboo, one of the fastest growing plants there is. Hemp requires little to no water in its growing stage and if we compare it to cotton, for example, it uses about 75% less water and 66% less land for the same amount of clothing.
Hemp could be a solution for many things we are struggling with; sustainable resources for clothing and buildings, food shortages and energy storage. Maybe one day we’ll even find out that it’s a great resource to make rockets from, but until then we’ll have to do with the list of applications down here.
Wait, are you telling me that this plant can do all those things? Jup! And that’s why we need more of it. Okay, but I’ve heard a lot of good stories about bamboo, why isn’t bamboo the crop of the future? Well, I think that we need both of them! Hemp and bamboo are similar in a lot of things, but in one application they differ: clothing. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, bamboo clothing is usually made with chemicals, while hemp clothing can be made without them. Besides this exception, I think we need both hemp and bamboo in our future.
Where the hemp at?
Okay Erik, I’m convinced of your plant, but if it is so good, why don’t we see it everywhere? That’s a good question with a difficult answer. The main reason we found is that hemp has a stigma surrounding it because of cannabis and that companies searched for other materials to do hemps job. Luckily the stigma is changing, so we see more and more hemp products (Yay!). It will take years before this change is done, but we are witnessing the beginning of it happening.
Enjoy your weekend and we'll see you next Friday!