Factoid #9 Hemp vs Trees
Not to say that Industrial Hemp is competing with trees for paper and other resources but rather as an accoutrement and possibly even a major alternative to other wood products. Due to its ability to grow rapidly in a variety of soils and climates, Hemp could easily save millions of trees each year from needless deforestation.
Industrial Hemp has the uncanny genetic makeup to thrive in a number of climates and can grow on just about any continent. Hemp is resilient, strong and literally grows like a weed. It can cultivate from germination to harvest in 90-100 days average. Hemp grows up to 30 feet tall and dense within only a few inches between each plant making efficient use of the soil and nutrients.
Within the first couple weeks, the Hemp leaves are scrubbing the air of CO2 and various pollutants. It has the potential to produce enormous amounts of oxygen rivaling many forests. Hemp makes a perfect rotation and companion crop, and in some areas of the world, up to four harvests can be cultivated per year.
Industrial Hemp paper is actually superior to wood pulp paper in durability and resistance to molds, mildew and even insects. The transition of Hemp pulp rendering from stalk to production is relatively quick and much more efficient pound for pound than heavy and cumbersome trees. There is no bark to peel, no seasoning or sawing as with wood production. Hemp stalks are dried, pressed then separated to extract the woody inner core called ‘hurd’. Hemp stalks are set aside and further refined to be used as Hemp fiber for cloth material, rope, etc. Making Hemp paper takes less time and uses far less energy than wood pulp paper, and with no processing by-products associated with wood refinement.
Unfortunately, due to Industrial Hemp’s look-alike cousin, recreational marijuana, it has inherited a commonly misunderstood reputation of having the same psychoactive properties as pot. The trace amounts of THC in Industrial Hemp is so negligible that it makes it impossible to ever get high off it. Its only crime is that their leaves look alike. Nearly every country grows hemp except the United States, which still classifies the edible Industrial Hemp plant as a Schedule 1 narcotic.