Industrial hemp – agriculture’s best kept secret

John Ryan

How’s this for a fictional scenario: imagine an agricultural crop that could replace the plastics industry. That would mean half the world’s oil production, which is used in the plastics processing industry, wouldn’t be needed.

Imagine if that same crop could provide high quality paper products, meaning no more forests would have to be chopped down.

At the risk of sounding like John Lennon, imagine if this same crop provided building bricks so insulated your house required no expensive heating or cooling; if the health foods that could be produced from it could help beat many types of cancers; if the wood replacement products were lighter and stronger than the construction materials made of wood; if this crop used only 20 to 30 per cent of the water needed for other major crops; if this crop needed no expensive pesticides or herbicides… imagine all that.

This crop exists and until 1900, it was the largest traded commodity in the world.

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