By Noah Chen
It’s no secret that hemp has many uses. Not only has the hemp plant shown the potential for legitimate medicinal uses, but it can create sturdy building materials and fine fabrics as well.
Growing hemp is relatively easy and good for the environment. You can even get more than one crop grown in a single year. Combine all this with the fact that hemp materials can replace many products currently made from trees, and you’re left with an indisputable fact: industrial hemp is better than wood.
The BEST paper is hemp paper
Did you know that hemp is the best material for making paper? It’s true! Hemp contains more cellulose than trees, which means we can produce paper at a faster rate. Additionally, hemp pulp doesn’t require bleaching or as many chemicals to process as wood pulp.
So why do we spend so much time and energy making paper from trees?
It’s all because of William Randolph Hearst. He’s the man who served as the inspiration for Citizen Kane. He was also an incredibly wealthy newspaper owner who once purchased a large amount of forest so he could turn it into paper.
Well, it turned out hemp was a much better choice for making paper. Mr. Hearst stood to lose a lot of money if newspapers and books got printed on hemp paper rather than tree paper. So, Hearst used his status and lobbied congress to make hemp illegal, even for paper, and it remained so until the 2018 Farm Bill passed.
A faster and cheaper alternative
Not only can hemp produce paper faster, but the plant itself grows much more efficiently. Hemp requires less water to grow than trees, and reaches maturity in a much shorter period of time. Trees take years to grow, hemp takes weeks. Not only that, but an acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper as four acres of trees – a massive improvement!
Replacing wood in the construction industry
While wood isn’t always used in construction, it does pop up, and there’s something to say about replacing it with hemp-based concrete. It is lighter, stronger, and more insulating than traditional concrete. It’s also immune to things like termites and rot. There’s no reason why buildings that use wood as one of the construction materials couldn’t substitute in hempcrete.
Hempcrete is so effective in construction because the fibers of the hemp plant are strong. Like, really strong. When compared to a Douglas Fir, a common softwood used in construction, hemp fibres are four times tougher.
Saving our trees with an adequate replacement
Using industrial hemp to replace materials and products currently made out of wood, can help protect our environment. The trees remain untouched, to grow big, strong, and do their job of trapping harmful carbon dioxide so it’s no longer in our atmosphere. Hemp also absorbs CO2, keeping it trapped forever. The plant also cleans and aerates the soil and requires little water to grow. Rotating in a hemp crop can help invigorate a field.
Without sacrificing quality, you could switch from wood-based products to those made from hemp, giving our natural forests some much-needed time to rest and regrow.
Get to know hemp
Whether you’re a farmer, manufacturer, or consumer, there’s a lot to learn about industrial hemp. Most importantly, know where the hemp extracts and products you buy come from. Quality is everything in the hemp industry, and Arbor Vita8 prides itself on superiority at every step of the process. To learn more, contact us today.