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Why Get Into Hemp?

Updated: Jun 12

Hemp is an extremely versatile crop that is easy to plant. Hemp farmers supply products to dozens of industries worldwide, and interest in hemp has been growing since regulations have been loosened in many states across the country. With all the demand for this product, farmers may wonder where to focus their energies. In this article we will explore how hemp grows, what are the benefits of growing hemp, and many of the potential uses for hemp.

Growing Hemp

Industrial hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant. It differs from marijuana because it typically has a lower amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana) and higher levels of CBD (cannabidiol, the relaxing chemical). Hemp has been cultivated for many uses throughout history, as we will discuss later in this article.

Hemp is a surprisingly robust plant. It can grow in many different climates. In the United States, hemp can grow in most every state. Because it has deep roots and grows relatively close to the ground, it is safe from many types of inclement weather. It also does not require much water, making it a great option for growers in the Southwest, where limited water can make some crops unfeasible to plant.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about growing hemp is that it grows very quickly. Within only a few months of planting, the crop may be ready for harvest. With climate control and effective use of greenhouses, a farm can potentially produce a few cycles of hemp crop each year.

Effects on the Environment

Hemp is one of the easiest plants to make organic. Since it grows so quickly, it outgrows many weeds, so you might not need to worry about using weed killers. Also, it does not attract pests in the same way that many other plants do. This allows farmers to avoid using harmful pesticides. Organic farmers can grow hemp without even having to consider coating their product in dangerous chemicals and poisons.

Hemp's deep roots act as a natural way to aerate the soil. The roots also help break up the soil and allow new nutrients to revitalize depleted earth. Additionally, hemp draws in lots of carbon dioxide (CO2) which can have environmental benefits. Scientists believe that large quantities of CO2 can have adverse effects on the air quality and climate change. Hemp takes in CO2, helping to clean the air from the effects of pollution.

Hemp can also provide more fiber at a faster rate than many trees. An acre of hemp can grow the equivalent of four acres of forest, and in only a few months. This could significantly cut down on forestation worldwide.

Hemp Uses

Hemp has thousands of uses, dozens of which are viable options for the average hemp farmer.

The most well known and recently popular use of hemp is for the extraction of CBD. CBD has been reported to have relaxing or healing effects, and can help people with anxiety, muscle ache, and overall wellness. As the hemp industry expands, CBD has been added to many beauty and health products, in addition to candies, pet treats, and common food and beverage items.

Historically, hemp was cultivated for use of its fibers. Hemp fiber is one of the most durable natural fibers, and has been used to make rope (cordage), clothing, and canvas bags. The word canvas is actually derived from the ancient word for cannabis. Hemp fiber softens each time it is washed, so it’s a great textile to use in clothing, especially for jeans.

Like many other oil producing plants, hemp can be a source to produce biofuels. The hemp seed oil can be refined into biodiesel, and the stalks can also be used to create ethanol and methanol. There is a growing demand for renewable fuel sources, and hemp may provide a good alternative to nonrenewable petroleum.

Hemp has also been making waves in the construction industry with new products like hempcrete. Hempcrete and other natural materials are replacing plaster and traditional concrete in many new projects, offering a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative.

Hemp pulp is also used in making paper products. Hemp paper is acid free and takes less of a toll on the environment because it doesn’t require bleaching. Plus, hemp is easier to recycle and grows faster than trees. In fact, the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper!

There are also many food items that are made with hemp. From hemp milk to chocolate, manufacturers are beginning to see all the wonderful parts of using hemp as an ingredient in their products. It provides many vitamins and minerals, and is natural.

Finally, among thousands of industries incorporating hemp into their products, the plant has taken the skateboarding industry by storm. Hemp skateboards are cheap and durable, and, of course, better for the environment.

Final Point

Hemp has been fueling innovation across many industries. Besides being easy to cultivate, hemp is in high demand, and keeps getting more and more popular as the years go by. It’s important to begin hemp cultivation with a concrete business plan based on market facts. We have seen farmers go deeply into the red attempting to farm hemp for profit, and on the flipside we have seen farmers enriched by adding the plant to their fields. The difference is often a proactive financial model that includes distribution plans.

Whatever space in the hemp world you occupy, Sonder Accounting is here to provide you with high quality, industry-specific accounting. We have years of experience helping hemp-related businesses, from CBD brands to building materials to services, use their financial data to make stronger decisions.

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About the Authors

Sonder Accounting was founded in 2016 by Kara Janowsky to serve the financial maagement needs of the nascent cannabis industry. Our small and specialized team has partnered with over 250 businesses in similar industries to build functional financials that drive business growth:

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