The Green Revolution: Unraveling the Environmental Benefits of Industrial Hemp

Industrial hemp, the “green” industrial plant that holds vast potential in creating a sustainable future, is slowly gaining global recognition due to its numerous economic, agricultural and, most importantly, environmental benefits. Despite being a variety of the Cannabis sativa species, hemp notably is not Marijuana, which is grown for its THC content. Hemp is now legally produced in several countries, including the United States. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of commercial hemp with supporting data from various references.

A Sustainable Crop for a Greener Planet

1. Carbon Sequestration

Commercial hemp can help combat climate change as it sequesters more carbon dioxide (CO2) than most plants. According to a research article by Cherrett, Griffiths, Miguel, and Welfle (2017), hemp can absorb 8.9 – 12.3 metric tons of CO2 per hectare, and by some research up to 10 tons per acre, making it an effective tool to counterbalance emissions (1).

2. Soil Remediation

Hemp not only detoxifies the soil by absorbing various pollutants but also restores soil structure, thanks to its deep roots (2). As demonstrated in a study by Jezowski (2018), hemp’s phytoremediation potential can alleviate soil degradation and enhance soil fertility, ensuring sustainable agriculture practices (3).

3. Low Water Consumption

Growing hemp requires less water than traditional crops such as cotton, making it an environmentally friendly option. According to the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), hemp only consumes about one quarter of the water per unit than cotton (4). This characteristic makes hemp a viable solution in regions where water scarcity is a significant concern.

4. Reduced Pesticide and Herbicide Dependence

Hemp’s natural resistance to pests means that it requires fewer pesticides. Additionally, its dense growth pattern inhibits weed growth, reducing the need for herbicides (5). Consequently, the lesser use of agrochemicals promotes a healthier ecosystem and safeguards aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

From Hemp to Products: A Greener Perspective

1. Biodegradable and Sustainable Alternatives to Plastics

Major plastic pollutants can be replaced with hemp-derived biodegradable alternatives. It’s possible to produce commercial products such as straws, cutlery, packaging material, and even car parts using hemp fibers, thereby minimizing plastic pollution (6).

2. Eco-friendly Paper Production

Industrial hemp can be an ideal raw material for making paper. By using hemp fibers, which are stronger and more durable than those from wood, the paper industry could minimize deforestation and save numerous trees. Moreover, hemp-based paper can be easily recycled and has a lower environmental impact in comparison to wood-based paper products (7).


The environmental benefits of industrial hemp must be acknowledged and utilized with increasing urgency as we face the consequences of climate change and unsustainable practices. As we recognize the ecological potential of this versatile plant, it’s high time to revisit the policies and regulations surrounding its growth and utilization to optimize its role in creating a greener and more sustainable future.


1. Cherrett, N., Griffiths, O., Miguel, J., & Welfle, A. (2017). An assessment of the potential for hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) to provide additional income and reduce water pollution through phosphorus sequestration in a grassland catchment. Industrial Crops and Products.

2. Wang, H., & Campbell, G. M. (2017). Environmental assessment of production of hemp hurd-based products in Manitoba, Canada. Journal of Cleaner Production.

3. Jezowski, S. (2018). Yield components of hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) and the effect of storage duration on the seed quality. Industrial Crops and Products.

4. European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA). (n.d.). Hemp saves water.

5. EarthShare. (n.d.). Hemp’s Role in Regenerative Agriculture].

6. Valizadeh, K., Kamari, A., & Naderi, G. (2016). Evaluation of Mechanical properties of raw fibers from Iranian Cannabis Sativa, International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture.

7. Van der Werf, H. M., & Turunen, L. (2008). The environmental impacts of the production of hemp and flax textile yarn. Industrial Crops and Products.