Η industrial or fibrous hemp (hemp) has a minimum content of THC (the active psychotropic substance) and has been used all over the planet since ancient times. From the Egyptian Pharaohs and the Ancient Greeks, to the Chinese Emperors and the early Christians, thehe fibres, leaves, oil and seeds of the plant have been used for hundreds of purposes such as the production of durable fabrics, ropes, paper and pulp, the production of food with high nutritional value, but also building and insulation materials, bioplastics and biofuels (the diesel engine was originally designed to work by burning hemp oil).
The seeds and oil from hemp fibre have a very high nutritional value, containing high quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, minerals and vitamins.
Industrial hemp also has very beneficial properties for the decontamination of water and soil, the restoration of ecosystems, agriculture and chemical and nuclear contaminated areas. It can be used as a natural pesticide and is beneficial in enriching arable soils through crop rotation (rotating crops in the same field so that it can “rest”).
Because the cultivation of hemp fibre does not require large amounts of water and no chemical fertilisers and pesticides, it is considered to have a negative carbon footprint and a beneficial overall impact on the environment.
Hemp can replace cotton cultivation as it is more durable (up to 3 times), has higher quality fibre and a higher yield per hectare than cotton, which requires at least 4 times more water and many chemicals.
Hemp can also replace wood pulp (e.g. for the production of banknotes and paper), since it is more durable and more efficient per hectare of cultivated area, thus saving valuable forests and resources.
Hemp fibre paper can be recycled up to 7 times while regular paper can only be recycled three times.
In Europe, more than 15,000 hectares (150,000 acres) are currently cultivated, mainly in France, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Italy, Austria, Spain, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
China is the world’s largest producer of hemp and accounts for almost 80% of global production, with more than 30 countries involved.