Between Hope and Alternative | alive
It’s hard these days not to feel overwhelmed by just one touch, which has to do with pandemics, climate crises, and political upheaval. But where there is a crisis, as the saying goes, there comes an opportunity. Change occurs when companies, governments, individuals, communities, and cultures move to a new reality.
On the other side of this crisis, imagine an ecotopia of vegetable fuels, bioplastics, regenerative agriculture, effective natural health products, and sustainable industries. We can all figure it out, and we can all do it.
CBD … and much more
One of the many products from the
“CBD was so exciting,” says Annie Rouse, an expert on the hemp industry. “But the hemp plant can offer a lot more – in the areas of grain for food, animal feed and industrial oils. Fiber for biomaterials; and cannabinoids for wellbeing, of which CBD is just one of over a hundred. “
It’s the work of seed geneticists, farmers, and hopeful startups to figure out how the whole plant can be used for the great trifecta of grains, fiber, and flowers.
“Hemp has the potential to replace many products that use petroleum, corn, soy, cotton, or wood, whether it’s CBD [from the flowers], Protein powder from the seeds or ingredients from the stems for paint or building materials, ”says Morris Beegle, an American hemp promoter and president of We Are For Better Alternatives (WAFBA).
“If you look at the full spectrum of what all of these goods produce, hemp can theoretically compete with a more environmentally friendly ingredient than these other options.”
Additionally, hemp can combine romance with science by saving small towns while helping the climate crisis.
This plant is one of the things that will make a difference, ”says Michael Bowman, hemp farmer and lawyer. “[If] Those little towns are getting five or six families back, it really makes a difference. It’s a way to bring them back and get them excited. “
And there is a lot to look forward to. Although hemp does not bind as much carbon dioxide as trees, it makes an energy-efficient harvest with positive carbon-sequestration effects. Hemp roots, Bowman says, store carbon in the soil. Buy a hemp shirt and keep carbon in your closet. Build a house with hemp concrete insulation, a biocomposite made primarily from limestone and hemp, and store carbon in your home.
That is of course a big task. Anchored interests have a way of staying. Governments can decisively influence this change. In Europe, an EU mandate for sustainability has led car manufacturers to use hemp instead of petroleum plastic for door panels and dashboards.
“If you and I are on the phone in 10 years and hemp fiber isn’t a big part of the materials world,” says Josh Hendrix, hemp producer and industry representative, “I’ll be shocked.”
Between the acute crisis of today’s pandemic and the ongoing crisis of climate change, there is an opportunity to shift the broken systems of the past towards a more balanced future for all involved. Hemp can be a vehicle for this change.
“Hemp can have its huge economic, environmental and social impact on the world,” says Patrick Rea, who runs a venture fund and business accelerator in the cannabis industry. “It won’t happen overnight, but it will. Business is a great actor in social change, and hemp will be great business. ” [END]
Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance hypes hemp
Canada’s hemp industry has grown steadily since its resurgence with the legalization of commercial production in 1998. The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) was founded in 2003 and today represents more than 250 farmers, processors, manufacturers, researchers, entrepreneurs and marketers in the Canadian hemp industry.
The CHTA is Canada’s primary promoter of hemp for nutritional and industrial uses by disseminating information and coordinating research. It was an integral organization in building the hemp industry in Canada.
The organization has also been a leader in legitimizing hemp internationally through its collaboration with ASTM International, the American Society for Testing and Materials. The two help facilitate the development of the industry standards that any mature agricultural crop needs for wide acceptance and use.
“CHTA’s expertise in the field of industrial hemp is well known,” says Dr. Ralph Paroli, Chair of the Cannabis Committee and Director of Research and Development in Measurement Science and Standards for the National Research Council of Canada. “CHTA’s involvement in the committee will strengthen ASTM International’s prestigious global standards, particularly in developing standards for industrial hemp.”
Industrialists can use stem fibers to make paper, cloth, rope, and building materials, while the seeds can be used to make food, cosmetics, plastics and fuels. The flower has another well-known use: for its health-promoting cannabinoids like CBD.
“As research into hemp feed is already in progress, the CHTA is looking after its farmers,” says Annie Rouse, an expert in the hemp industry, “by helping to open more grain markets that support demand and expand the market.”
While most of Canadian hemp is grown for industrial purposes, some Canadian hemp growers harvest the leaves and flowers to sell to licensed processors who mine them for their cannabidiol (CBD).
When it comes to selling CBD in Canada, the lines are still blurry as only licensed manufacturers and registered retailers can sell it. However, this is a promising area of growth and opportunity for the Canadian hemp industry – with plenty of room for improvement and education.