Hemp is an extremely fast growing crop, producing more fiber yield per acre than any other source. Hemp can produce 250% more fiber than cotton and 600% more fiber than flax using the same amount of land. The amount of land needed for obtaining equal yields of fiber place hemp at an advantage over other fibers. Hemp grows best in warm tropical zones or in moderately cool, temperate climates, such as the United States. Hemp leaves the soil in excellent condition for any succeeding crop, especially when weeds may otherwise be troublesome. Where the ground permits, hemp's strong roots descend for three feet or more. The roots anchor and protect the soil from runoff, building and preserving topsoil and subsoil structures similar to those of forests. Moreover, hemp does not exhaust the soil. Hemp plants shed their leaves all through the growing season, adding rich organic matter to the topsoil and helping it retain moisture. Farmers have reported excellent hemp growth on land that had been cultivated steadily for nearly 100 years.
When you’re this strong they call you legendary
Aside from the myriad environmental reasons for supporting the growing hemp industry, one might also be persuaded by the fabric’s legendary strength. In fact, hemp is the most durable of natural fibers: 3.3 times more durable than cotton. The extended life of hemp means that if everyone wore it, we could reduce by one third the resources needed to clothe the planet.
The weaving of hemp fabrics is one of the world’s oldest industries, and soon will be the only sustainable path left for our future. Our ancestors used hemp 10,000 years ago because of its extremely high fibre content and multiple uses. By planting hemp instead of cotton today, we can produce 250% more fibre on the same amount of land. Since hemp is resistant to insects and diseases, it requires no pesticides. By way of contrast, non-organic cotton growers are responsible for over 50% of world pesticide use. Since non-organic cotton is often rotated with certain food crops, toxic pesticides build up and find their way into our meals. Run-off from non-organic cotton fields further pollutes streams, lakes, and all the creatures that depend on them.
When conspiracy isn’t just a theory
We are not the first to profess the benefits of hemp for the world and its inhabitants. The outlawing of hemp was a great conspiracy, headed by an evil petrochemical consortium and its partner in crime, the wood-pulp industry, as documented in Jack Herer’s excellent book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. These industries apparently felt threatened by the relative cheapness with which hemp’s clothing fibers and high-cellulose pulp could be produced. They would lose billions of dollars if hemp had been developed to its full potential, so they undertook a misinformation campaign to outlaw industrial hemp by demonizing marijuana, meanwhile obfuscating the differences between the two strains of cannabis.