Why Hemp?

Although it’s currently a niche product, hemp has been important to humanity since the beginnings of agriculture.  Spend a little time on the Internet reading about hemp’s uses and its history, and you’ll start to wonder why it does enjoy such a small share of the many markets in which it can be used.

There are basically three big reasons I chose to use hemp:

  • Practical – hemp may be the perfect fabric for clothing.  It’s comfortable, durable, and easy to care for.  It insulates well, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  It blocks harmful UV rays.  It’s four times stronger than cotton, and lasts about six times longer, actually getting softer as it ages.
  • Environmental – hemp is great for the environment.  Hemp produces much more fiber per acre than cotton.  Additionally, the rest of the plant can be used for a diverse range of products too numerous to list.  It requires little fertilizer and little or no pesticides or herbicides in contrast to cotton, which according to Wikipedia accounts for 18% of the world’s pesticide use.   Its root system affixes the soil, and because it consistently shed its leaves throughout the growing season, it maintains moisture levels in the soil.  It is great as a rotation crop.  It could also partially replace trees in the papermaking industry, helping to reduce deforestation.
  • Political – the US ban on industrial hemp costs our economy billions of dollars.  For all of the talk out of Washington about the desire to help American farmers, it seems inconceivable that they could deny the farmers this potential revenue stream.  The United States is the world’s largest exporter of cotton, which is heavily subsidized by the taxpayers.  These subsidies allow the cotton to be sold for less than the production cost, which creates economic hardships for small growers in other countries.