Since growing hemp has been illegal for almost a full century, researchers have been unable to learn all the benefits associated with it. Currently, most states have an active hemp industry or have authorized hemp research.
Hemp is a distinct variety of the cannabis plant but it is not the same as marijuana. Although hemp is commonly associated with marijuana, it should not be.
Industrial hemp and marijuana are two completely different plants, inside and out. Hemp contains a very small amount (less than 1%) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana (the chemical that gets a user high). Legal marijuana has a much larger amount of THC (between 15%-30%).
Benefits of industrial hemp
The benefits associated with hemp are endless. Countless products used by people every day can be created from hemp. Some of these products include the following:
• Paper products: Hemp can be used to make paper and it only takes a couple of months to grow. Hemp is environmentally friendly. It is naturally acid free and can be recycled up to 7 times (normal paper can be recycled up to 3 times).
• Clothing: Hemp can be used to make clothing. One acre of hemp produces as much material as 2-3 acres of cotton.
• Building materials: Hemp can be turned into a variety of building materials. You can build a wall out of hemp that is rot free, pest free, mold free, fire resistant, and will last 500 years. You can also make biodegradable plastic out of hemp.
• Gasoline/Fuel: Hemp can be turned into fuel that can be used in your car today. This is done by pressing the hempseed and turning its oil into a biodiesel that is biodegradable and cleaner for the air. Hemp is not the best alternative for fuel because it takes a lot of hemp to make one gallon of gas.
• Nutrition: Hemp can be used as a supplement for nutrition. Hemp is high in protein, contains essential omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, potassium, and dietary fiber.
A $50 billion industry by 2026
The benefits associated with hemp are endless. However, the best part about it is the conditions which it can grow under. If you look at pictures of New York from the mid-1900s, hemp was growing everywhere.
Hemp has multiple growing seasons and it can be grown in some of the toughest environments. Researches have estimated that the Florida hemp industry could be a $460 million dollar industry per year.