The UK has a unique opportunity to establish a leading position within one of the most important and rapidly growing agricultural and industrial markets that has emerged for decades.
In response, the British Hemp Association has been formed by a group of hemp businesses and industry advocates. It is part of a growing worldwide movement that supports hemp and the use of the whole plant and we have joined together to promote a healthy and robust hemp industry here in Britain.
Hemp has been used globally for thousands of years as an extremely versatile, robust and environmentally friendly plant delivering considerable societal and economic benefits to people and communities. It is one of the oldest food crops in our diet, and the basis of one of the oldest fabrics used by humans.
Hemp grows to between 1.8 and 4.5 metres tall (dependent on variety/cultivar) in four to five months in the UK. Weeds are almost eradicated due to the dense canopy of shade leaves, eradicating the need for pesticides and herbicides. It can also be grown with no agricultural chemicals, reducing soil toxicity.
RESTORES SOIL HEALTH
Hemp is so versatile that it thrives in adverse soil conditions. It sends out strong root networks, locking Nitrogen in it’s leaves. The deep roots provide a binding function, helping to prevent soil erosion, and hemp was also used to clean up the nuclear spill in Chernobyl, Russia.
One hectare of industrial hemp can absorb approximately 15 tonnes of CO2 (Lhoist 2016) making it one of the fastest CO2-to-biomass conversion tools. Industrial hemp is the perfect carbon sink because it absorbs more CO2 per hectare, annually, than any other commercial crop or commercial forestry.