In this article we’ll be covering the many hemp uses and how we can utilize this crop to improve the lives of New Zealand families and our economy as a whole.
Though hemp’s unique attributes it has the capacity to be grown easily without the use of pesticides or the need for crop rotation. Hemp can help clean up our soil, rivers and oceans while reducing our carbon footprint.
Hemp can also assist in reducing the need for deforestation to protect our native flora and fauna which is so integral to New Zealand’s travel and tourism industry, not to mention the health of our population, as we’re a nation of great outdoor adventurers living in a country with very little in the way of creatures in the wild that can cause harm.
New Zealand industrial hemp is extremely reusable and recyclable which can reduce the need for non-biodegradable plastic product processing to make way for a cleaner, greener NZ with less plastics going into filling landfills.
Farming hemp in NZ also paves the way for us to produce our own biofuels to power our cars, homes and cities. Anything that is diesel powered can be powered right away with hemp biomass. Biodiesel and ethanol can both be made from hemp seed, so why not get your farm into this crop?
Many people have discovered the amazing healing power of hemp for many ailments. Hemp products are capable of relieving mood imbalances, sleep disturbances, inflammation, pain, cognitive issues, and lowered immune functions, to name a few.
Just when it seems there isn’t much more that hemp can do, it turns out hemp can help heal the environment. As we face the major issues of global warming and pollution today, we must focus on protecting our planet.
Industrial hemp is a hardy crop that is capable of growing in harsher conditions in comparison to crops like wheat or corn. It can be planted in the same soil for several years while still producing a substantial yield. Other crops must be rotated on a yearly basis.
With a quick search, you'll notice there are no registered pesticides for hemp in New Zealand because farmers prevent disease and pests from infecting their plants via crop rotation. Hemp plants and their seeds are quite strong and have a natural defense against pests. This farming method prevents more chemicals from polluting our waterways and environment. The potential is huge, and the rest of the world is catching on.
Yes. New Zealand hemp growth is regulated by the ministry of health. Industries wishing to take advantage of the cannabis plant as an agricultural crop, whether to sell as animal feed, or hemp seed for human consumption, need to do so under licence.
Hemp is being used in a process called “bioremediation.” Bioremediation is a practice that uses living plants to clean water and soil in contaminated areas. The hemp plant draws toxins, oil, metals, radioactive material, chemicals, and pesticides.
These contaminants become trapped in the plant after they are removed from the water or soil source. The plants are not suitable for use by humans or animals in any form of products after bio remediation. There is currently hemp planted near the Chernobyl disaster site to remove nuclear waste from the area.
The hemp plant is now being recognized for its carbon dioxide uptake capabilities. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas that is responsible for warming the temperature on Earth to life sustaining standards. Unfortunately, there is an excess of this gas in the atmosphere, and it is contributing to global warming.
Hemp Global Solutions, which develops innovative technologies for growing and harvesting hemp, estimates that for every ton of hemp grown, 1.63 tons of carbon dioxide is absorbed, preventing it from entering the atmosphere.
An estimated 3.5 to 7 billion trees are cut down each year, according to the Rainforest Action Network, to make paper, building materials furniture and a variety of other products. Many forests are cleared out for farming land, roads, and business or residential developments, a practice that destroys ecosystems.
Trees also play a critical role in preventing the buildup of greenhouse gases. Hemp can be converted into many of the same products as wood and won’t displace native plants and animals. Hemp can be grown in lower quality more extreme climates than many other crops, so “ideal” farming land isn’t required. It can also be planted in dense clusters, which requires less acreage.
A crop of industrial hemp can reach full maturity in as little as 3-4 months in the right climate, such as that of New Zealand. The crop can then be processed and sold as oil, mulch, building material, seeds for human consumption, and much more.
Products made from hemp are a much safer environmental alternative than current ones. Most hemp products can be recycled or reused while being biodegradable. For example, plastic will not biodegrade, and it is a major component of landfills. Too often, plastic winds up in the environment and food chain, which poses a threat to animals and humans.
Hemp cellulose can be used to make a variety of plastic products like cellophane and rayon. Hemp cellulose is used in “composite bioplastics” with other plant sources, which create strong and sturdy products. There are many hemp uses.
85 percent of energy consumed today comes from fossil fuels, which are nonrenewable sources as they take millions of years to produce. When fossil fuels are burned, they release toxins into the air that contribute to global warming, acid rain, and air and water pollution. Hemp provides an alternative to fossil fuels as it can be turned into a biofuel.
Biofuels are defined as fuels directly derived from living matter. Both biodiesel and ethanol have been created from the hemp plant. Biodiesel can be used to fuel any diesel vehicle when processed properly. Ethanol is an additive used in gas to fuel non-diesel vehicles. Even contaminated hemp that has been used to remove toxins from the environment can be converted into a usable, safe fuel source.
One of the helpful aspects of farming hemp in New Zealand is that it is frost tolerant. It can withstand extremes. In drier climates, such as in the Tasman, Hawkes Bay, and Canterbury, it's likely that irrigation would be necessary to keep the crop from floundering.
The truth is, the hemp plant is healthy for all ecosystem’s; from New Zealand’s natural native ecosystem, the ecosystem of our communities, and our families, to the ecosystem of our bodies. This means the entire country as a whole gets healthier.
Most of our articles are dedicated to bringing awareness of hemp uses for human health and assisting with various ailments, diseases and illnesses, but the truth is, there are many diseases as a country we are dealing with; farmers struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table, the everyday working kiwi is more stressed than ever, our families are getting more sick as diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer rates rise, all while large multinational corporations continue to make a profit from our sick and disadvantaged people.
If we can pool together and make NZ healthier with this high fibre crop, our country, nation and families will be much better off. If you hear this message as good news, consider this skip over to our blog as we cover the latest research on all things to do with your bodies own endocannabinoid system, how hemp helps to nourish and fuel this system of healing within the body, and how each cannabinoid inside hemp has a purpose for healing what modern medicine grapples to understand.
This article is part 1 of our two part series on sustainable farming hemp in NZ. Click here to go to part 2.
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