Since President Trump passed the 2018 Farm bill and legalized industrial hemp production nationwide, the value of hemp as an agricultural commodity has opened new doors for businesses.
The benefits of hemp are often seen in various business sectors and different walks of life. If you wish to invest in the industry, you have reached the right place.
Read on about the best opportunities of putting your money in the industrial hemp business.
What is Industrial Hemp?
Industrial hemp is a widely popular variety of cannabis Sativa plants. It is grown to make different industrial products. Industrial hemp is used in healthcare, construction, paper and pulp industry, biodegradable production, food, and animal welfare.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive, intoxicating component present in cannabis alongside hemp and marijuana. These cannabinoids have various side effects on humans like increased heart rate, euphoria, hunger, memory problems, and other psychotic behaviors.
For industrial hemp to be allowed in the country, it should ideally contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Hemp that exceeds this threshold is still considered illegal under federal law.
Here are a few points to keep in mind if you plan to grow industrial hemp.
Choose the right genetics: The benefits of hemp vary according to the parts of the plant. For example, hemp oil extracted from the stem is used for making textiles. You can choose the right genetics according to your requirements.
Consider climatic conditions: Industrial hemp is a sturdy plant that grows up to 6-9 feet in height. Hence, it is not suitable for indoor plantations. It has deep roots that can extract water from dry soil and can be grown in different environmental conditions.
Select the best soil quality: Selecting a well-drained clay soil is best for large-scale hemp cultivation.
Plan suitable planting dates and density: You should plant your hemp seeds keeping in mind harvesting dates. Also, selecting high planting density can give your enormous yields of premium quality hemp fiber. A high-density plantation also reduces weed infestation in the farms.
Benefits of Industrial Hemp
Here are a few innovative uses of cultivating a multi-beneficial plant like hemp.
Hemp seeds, which are rich in iron, have high nutritional value. They are a complete source of protein and contain all nine amino acids. They can either be consumed raw, sprouted, or mixed with your meals. Hemp oil is used in baking and as a cooking ingredient.
Hemp fiber is used to make an excellent quality of durable clothing. Hemp uses less water and can produce 260 percent more fiber than cotton. Bleaching agents used in hemp fiber are also environment-friendly.
Hemp fiber clothing is also flame retardant and absorbs more moisture. Hemp can also be used in other applications like making ropes, shoes, carpets, and nets.
Hempcrete, derived from the plant stem, is a wet mixture of hemp shiv and lime. It can replace concrete blocks and insulation materials in roofs and ceilings like fiberglass.
Walls built with hempcrete absorb moisture and prevent mold infestation on walls.
Paper and Pulp Industry
The hemp plant gives a stronger and more durable fiber to produce papers. It is used for making cigarette papers, filter papers, and paper money. The only drawback with hemp is higher production costs and undeveloped manufacturing units in the paper and pulp industry.
Industrial hemp plays a major role in the reduction of plastic pollution. Hemp is used in the production of bioplastic, which is recyclable, non-toxic, and heat resistant. It is widely used in the packaging industries and consumer goods sector. It is a better choice compared to polypropylene plastic.
Fuel and Energy
Seeds and stalks of industrial hemp are widely used in the production of biofuels. Biofuels can replace diesel and petrol in vehicles and help in reducing air pollution in the environment.
The FDA has recently approved hemp as a safe prescription drug to treat various health issues in children and adults.
Animals also reap the benefits of hemp similar to humans.
Hemp seed oil and hemp cake can be used as animal fodder. Hemp Hurd is commonly used as animal bedding. Hemp pellets are used as an herbal medical supplement for animals.
There are countless benefits of harvesting industrial hemp. Compared to other crops, they grow with less water, need zero pesticides, and clean the soil and environment naturally.
Industrial hemp is also used in various cosmetics, beauty care products, and cleaning essentials. Hence, investing in the hemp business is a valuable and profitable choice for many farmers.