As With any large-scale industry, it is essential to consider the impact CBD growth is having on the planet
. This article will discuss what CBD is, how it is produced and how each step plays into broader concerns for conscious users. Making these issues a priority is something many CBD companies are doing because it is an environmentally friendly product.
What is CBD
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound
that is extracted from both hemp and marijuana. However, hemp-derived CBD is legal
while marijuana-derived CBD is not, even though they’re from the same plant family: cannabis. Hemp has a very small concentration of THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana, and is cultivated to have a high concentration of CBD. This compound affects the body’s receptors responsible for regulating pain
, inflammation, and body temperature, among other functions. Hence, there is a market swarming with CBD products, from oils and dog treats to gummies and bath bombs.
CBD and the environment
Any global industry, such as the CBD one, will have a knock-off effect in terms of emissions; that’s why it is essential to consider CBD’s impact when it is being cultivated, harvested, and shipped
. An essential benefit of the hemp plant is its various uses
. Each part of the plant can be used for several purposes, making a market nobody has foreseen. The central fibrous byproduct is perfect for creating rope, for example, and the seeds are high in fatty omega acids. This is great because it means there is very little need for wastage from the cultivation and harvesting of hemp. Since practically every part of the plant has many uses
, it is a very efficient crop to farm, adding to its environmental benefit. Hemp also grows very fast
, which means a higher production rate can be achieved by using a small portion of land, which improves efficiency. Since it’s a competitive plant with deep roots
, it requires minimal pesticides
when being planted. These roots also enable the hemp plant to source water from beneath the topsoil, which is very good because it ensures the ground is not drained from some vital minerals to continue being fertile. Hemp also has a good impact on the soil surrounding it
because it has been proven that it removes traces of heavy metals
. It is also a plant that helps air quality; a study showed that every ton of hemp grown, can process 1.63 tonnes of carbon, putting it in the upper percentile of plants regarding air purification.
Because of its quick growth rate and how its roots work, harvesting hemp allows for an easy rotation after each harvesting period
. This harvesting process is very similar to the one of any other crop. The main issue with hemp is the regulation surrounding its growth.
Hemp, a Biodegradable Product
Because of where they come from and how they are harvested, hemp products are 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable
, which is excellent. Not only that but due to the huge amount of carbon they process, products that make use of them more permanently, like textiles and building materials, represent a large-scale removal of carbon
. This process is called carbon sequestration. Industrial hemp plants are part of a network of high biomass crops that store high percentages of carbon through photosynthesis. This also represents another way in which hemp can feedback into the earth
. This sequestered carbon can be returned to the soil through a process termed biosequestration. If the crop is slow-smoldered rather than burned, it creates biochar that can be spread across the soil and return various nutrients to the ground.
Why Don’t We Use Hemp More?
Although hemp is a low-maintenance plant to grow, harvesting its fibers and seeds is not that easy. Cultivating hemp
is a complicated, laborious, and intensive process, which is why it costs roughly six times as much as wood pulp to produce. Alongside that, extracting CBD from industrial hemp is even more costly and labor-intensive
. However, the proper framework could help hemp become the right crop for farmers to leave less environmentally friendly and economically viable industries like tobacco and dairy while still sustaining their agricultural jobs. In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill
introduces pilot programs that support those farmers to switch over to hemp production.
CBD Sustainable Production
CBD is a very resilient plant, which, as we said, allows CBD companies to limit pesticides and herbicides
in their farming journey. That’s why, most brands rely on rich soil, rain, and sunlight for their production. Soils fueled with agrochemicals lose their ability to produce rich crops. Natural farming, however, allows CBD companies to maintain their fields’ ecology and avoid soil erosion.
Trustworthy CBD oil companies use CO2 extraction
, which maximizes CBD quality. It is, undoubtedly, the most environmentally friendly way of processing hemp oil because it is safe and leaves no toxic waste, it is renewable, and it does not bring many emissions to the atmosphere.
Many CBD companies have started switching to eco-friendly products
. Therefore, they use glass CBD oil bottles instead of plastic ones. Glass is much easier to recycle than plastic. Other approaches to sustainable packaging and distribution include plant-based inks, recyclable paper, and less plastic in CBD oil droppers.
The CBD Industry Moves Towards Sustainability
Today, more and more CBD companies are shifting towards organic CBD production
. Adhering to organic hemp production standards, they obtain USDA certificates to ensure the highest CBD quality. Also, lots of CBD brands have begun using renewable energy to cover their farming needs. Thus, using sustainable CBD production practices and renewable energy becomes a long-term trend for the brands.
Uses of Hemp
Another sustainable fact about hemp, as we said before, is that it has many uses. It is a versatile plant and can improve sustainability in multiple industries like:
Fabric, Rope, Textiles and More
Cotton is the world’s leader product in fabric production, however, it uses 50 percent more water than hemp. It also accounts for 25 percent of the world’s pesticide use. Hemp fiber clothing,
on the other hand, is lightweight and three times as strong as cotton
, which makes it perfect for clothing, rope, and other textiles
Hemp has been gaining popularity as an important and reliable protein source
, especially for plant-based protein fans. There are 10 to18 grams of protein, approximately, per serving of hemp protein powder or hemp seeds. Also, tere are 20 amino acids in hemp, including the nine essential ones that the body does not produce on its own. Hemp also has a larger quantity of essential fatty acids
than any other nut or seed oil. Hemp milk is an excellent alternative to other animal or nut milk forms that may contain common allergens.
The U.S. government patents CBD as both an antioxidant and a neuroprotectant. These properties can lead to several natural health benefits like pain management and sleep aid. The best way to obtain such benefits is by using CBD oil because the effects are more rapid
In 1916, the USDA reported that an acre of hemp produces as many papers as four acres of trees, every year
. Hemp also has a higher percentage of cellulose which is the main ingredient in paper. Hemp paper, however, is not commonly produced in the United States because of higher production, and because there is not enough cultivated hemp domestically.
Hemp is already being used to make biodiesel
and bioethanol. Hemp biodiesel is the name for various long-chain alkyl (ester) based oxygenated fuels which are made by pressing the oils present in hemp seed and stalks. Alcohol fuels, on the other hand, such as ethanol are produced by fermenting the whole hemp plant.
Hemp fiber can be used as reinforcement for composite materials
. Plant-based resins like soy, canola, or corn can be incorporated in hemp blends to make a 100 percent biocomposite. These hemp composites are used by many automotive companies
such as Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Honda to create different vehicle parts.
Body, Face and Hair Care
Hemp oil is becoming very popular as a go-to additive for body, face, and hair care products
like lip balm, conditioner, shampoo, lotions, among others. Antioxidants present in hemp CBD oil
can also help combat wrinkle-causing free radicals. The high presence of essential fatty acids found in hemp helps considerably to restore and maintain skin health. These are some examples of how hemp and CBD products can be used, and proof of their versatility. In a world in which deforestation is at its highest point, and where the most important scientists in the world are urging for immediate action to reduce climate change, water pollution, and coastal deterioration, among others, having a product as sustainable as hemp is an opportunity to make better farming and consume