The easy-to-grow hemp plant, also known as industrial hemp, is a natural solution to the problem of global warming. No matter how incredible it sounds, it is true. There is enough scientific evidence to justify this claim by scientists and hemp activists.
Contrary to popular belief Hemp cannot be grown with marijuana and it is not a psychoactive drug! It is necessary to dispel the suspicion with which many countries across the globe still regard hemp. It is true that hemp belongs to the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa, as drug cannabis, also known as marijuana. But hemp is not psychoactive like its cannabis cousin. A significant difference in the chemical composition of hemp and cannabis makes the latter psychoactive and the former devoid of such effect. Cannabis contains high concentrations of the chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has psychoactive properties.
That is why cannabis can cause a “high”. Hemp, on the other hand, contains only up to 0.3% THC and lacks in psychoactive effects, therefore. Overlooking this difference has already caused enough damage. As a typical example of human fallibility, hemp still remains illegal in many countries. mainly countries that were colonized by the West who wanted to make sure those nations would be kept in permanent debt. Hemp Industries represent a potential Trillion dollar crop as it can be made into so many products cheaply! Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the major gases causing the greenhouse effect. Hemp cultivation is one of the most viable countermeasures we can take. Generally speaking, more plants means less CO2 emission as plants absorb the gas. Hemp is particularly efficient in containing CO2.
A 2010 article in The Huffington Post quotes a scientific report to inform us that every ton of hemp can absorb up to 1.63 tons of CO2. This plant can trap carbon dioxide and hold it for as long as the plant is alive. Hemp products also offer other ways of restricting CO2 emissions. Hemp biofuel is one of the most easily renewable natural energy sources that can effectively reduce our dependence on petrochemicals.
The plastic we use, which is in itself a major environmental hazard, is also a petrochemical derivative. Hemp bioplastic is a fully biodegradable natural solution. Switching to hemp bioplastic can achieve two goals at one go: reduce fossil fuel dependence and address plastic pollution.
Then there is hempcrete: a bio composite generally of hemp hubs, lime, and water. Hemp hubs, also known as hemp shives, are the woody inner layer of the hemp stalks. Hempcrete is a versatile insulation material for buildings.
The use of hempcrete can give us carbon-free buildings. It can also reduce carbon by reducing our use of other thermal insulation materials that consume more energy. Hempcrete is a naturally breathable insulation material. It can both absorb and release heat, which makes it suitable for different weather conditions. Hempcrete also has other remarkable advantages. Natural resistance to molds and destructive pests, to fire, and to elemental corrosion makes hempcrete highly durable.
Hemp cultivation needs little extra irrigation when adequate rainfall is available during its growth phase. In addition, switching to hemp fabric instead of cotton can considerably reduce our need for irrigation. Experts inform that every pound of cotton needs 1440 gallons of water. Hemp, in sharp contrast, needs about half that amount of water. It also produces more than double the fiber of cotton per acre. Think hemp fabric if you want to participate in efforts to fight against global warming. The increasing demand for plant-based, high-protein foods and healthy oils has created renewed interest in the nutritional value of hemp-related food products. Hemp seeds are gluten-free and nutrient-rich with a nutty flavor and yield a high-protein flour and healthy oil.
Hemp seed-derived ingredients can be used to add protein, carbohydrates, oil or nutrients to a variety of foodstuffs including shakes and juices. Hemp is also used to make plant-based derivatives as alternatives to dairy, for example, hemp milk. After the extraction of oil from the hemp seeds, the remaining hemp cake is then grounded to form hemp flour, which contains 15 - 20 % highly dig-estible protein. Add hemp flour as protein powder to pies, cakes, muffins and bread as a low-carb wheat flour substitute. Use 25% hemp to 75% flour ratio. Hemp flour can also be used as an ingredient in snack bars. Hemp protein powder also can be added to smoothies and soups, while hemp flowers can be used to make a calming herbal tea.
Hemp is a easily renewable resource material that can be made into 50,000 plus products. Restoring hemp to nature can power jobs and businesses in real estate, farming, fashion, medicine, building materials, recreation and other fields. Hemp is a trillion dollar crop! Hemp, a crop that will not compete with other African products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by the west who exploit migrant labor and it will provide tens of thousands of jobs for African workers throughout the land.
Inexpensive machines designed for removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without prohibitive amounts of human labor. Hemp is the standard fiber of the world long before the introduction of cotton its less durable competition. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to hemp silks and fine laces, and the woody “hurds” remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane. Zimbabwe has removed industrial hemp from the country’s list of dangerous drugs and set the defining line between marijuana and hemp at 1.0%.
Zimbabwe joins Australia, Ecuador, Malawi, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Uruguay in increasing the THC level allowed in industrial hemp from 0.3% to 1%. According to the law amendment: “Industrial hemp means the plant cannabis sativa L and any part of that plant, including the seed thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers, whether growing or not with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than one per centum on a dry weight basis.”
The government sees industrial hemp as a replacement for the country’s falling prospects in tobacco, which makes up roughly 20% of Zimbabwe’s exports. Contraction in the tobacco industry has contributed to stagnation which has beset the country’s economy for nearly two decades despite the African nation’s vast wealth of natural resources. Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Research Board (TRB) was given a directive to make reforms by 2025 and has established itself as the center for national research, development and innovation in tobacco and “alternatives and alternates,” which apparently includes hemp. TRB has been testing and developing hemp varieties for adaptation to Zimbabwe’s climatic conditions over the last few years.
Industrial hemp has been identified as a crop of interest in the government’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to advance agricultural profitability and rural development. The global cannabis industry is expected to be a $46 billion business worldwide in three years — up from $16.47 billion this year, said Tino Kambasha of the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency. The global industrial hemp market size was valued at USD 8 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow to USD 36.98 billion by 2030