Hemp is one crop that has been receiving a lot of attention recently because it is one of the sources of CBD, a highly valued therapeutic compound. Hemp isn’t the only source of CBD. The cannabinoid can be derived from other cannabis plants like marijuana but the US law permits the sale and possession of hemp-derived CBD products alone. Marijuana-derived CBD products are dealt with differently.
In addition to being a rich source of CBD and other cannabinoids, hemp is a food crop and also has various industrial applications that were identified many years ago. In this article, we discuss the ecological benefits of hemp.
Phytoremediation refers to the ability of a plant to convert harmful pollutants in the soil into harmless forms or remove them. Hemp is known to have the property and that makes it an ecologically valuable crop. Many other plants exhibit the same property but hemp’s effectiveness in carrying out the process is much appreciated. Plants that perform phytoremediation use different mechanisms to do the same. Some plants pull out pollutants from the soil and release them into the air through their leaves. However, hemp plants hold the pollutants till their death.
Prevents Soil Erosion
Hemp has a stable deep root system that holds the soil together and prevents the chances of soil erosion that could be caused by agricultural practices, excess rainfall, and other phenomena.
A Larger Area Can Be Treated
Because it is a phytoremediant, hemp can be grown in highly polluted areas to clean the soil and make it suitable for agriculture. Hemp was grown in large areas around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the disaster to reduce soil toxicity.
As it has a deep root system, large areas can be treated using the crop. Hemp is also known to grow fast like a weed.
Reduced Use Of Fertilizers And Pesticides
Hemp is tolerant of a variety of environmental conditions that often eliminates the need for fertilizers for its growth. Long term use of chemical fertilizers has serious negative effects on soil quality. As hemp can be grown without using any chemical fertilizers, the cultivation does not cause any adverse impacts on soil quality and purity of adjacent water bodies.
Effective For Crop Rotation
Hemp is an effective rotation crop that can be grown to improve soil fertility, prevent soil erosion, and increase the nutrient content available for plants. The farming techniques of hemp grown as a food/industrial crop and a CBD source have significant differences.