Individuals have started to become more environmental-conscious in recent years, thanks to growing evidence regarding the need for the same. In addition, as more and more people begin to investigate the carbon footprints of companies and manufacturers, brands have no choice but to be eco-friendly and do better by the environment.
One of the industries that have come under the scanner is the cannabis market that has grown considerably in recent years. As a result, cannabidiol products might have a notable impact on the environment. However, studies show that growing hemp will help the environment rather than harm it.
So how does CBD oil production and sale affect global emissions, climate change, and the environment? Here is a look at everything you need to know regarding the ecological impact of cannabis.
What is CBD?
CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid found within the cannabis plant. The Cannabis Sativa contains over a hundred different chemical compounds, with CBD and THC being popular cannabinoids. However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not produce any psychoactive properties. As a result, individuals can use products containing these extracts for extended periods.
Instead, Cannabidiol works by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system, which controls everything from our sleep patterns to our appetite. The compound binds to receptors and neurotransmitters and influences our hormone production and regulation.
Companies extract Cannabidiol from an industrial variant of cannabis called hemp. While marijuana contains higher concentrations of the psychoactive THC, hemp has more Cannabidiol. As a result, commercial extraction methods focus on hemp – the more efficient source of obtaining Cannabidiol.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, the production and sale of hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal within the US. As a result, the demand for such products has risen significantly in the last three years, leading to higher production.
How has this increase in production affected the environment? First, let us look at how the growth cycle of the hemp plant impacts our ecology.
Life-Cycle of Hemp
Unlike marijuana, which cultivators grow indoors to exercise extensive control over variables, such as soil nutrients, sunlight, and water, hemp is an external crop. Marijuana requires abundant water, electricity, and HVAC equipment to grow due to its highly volatile nature.
In addition, cultivators need to control the temperature within the indoor facility stringently to nurture the plants and ensure a good harvest. As a result, any cannabis product made using extracts grown indoors consumes far more energy than hemp.
On the other hand, hemp is an eco-friendly plant that is sturdy and robust. Natives worldwide have farmed and cultivated hemp for centuries, thanks to its less demanding growth cycle. The plant grows with ease and is an excellent crop choice for small farms as it requires minimal water, unlike more popular crops.
It takes in roughly 25 to 30 inches of water, and most farmers utilize rainwater harvesting to meet these requirements. As a result, the crop does not lead to any water wastage and encourages natural watering and conservation methods, such as drip irrigation. Additionally, hemp is a zero-waste plant as farmers can utilize every part of it for some purpose.
Is Cannabis Environment-Friendly?
As you can see, the growth cycle of hemp is an environmentally conscious process that does not impact the Earth. However, specific challenges within the industry require thought and action to turn hemp into a 100% eco-friendly crop. The primary issue within the cannabis market is the transportation of raw materials.
While crops themselves do not lead to excessive carbon footprints, most manufacturers ship their products halfway around the world. Doing so leads to higher carbon footprints as such transportation occurs through shipping lines and freight planes.
The best way to tackle these issues is to source and produce locally. The US has a viable cannabis market and can deliver the required volume of hemp without relying on external sources. If consumers start sourcing natural, US-grown hemp over other variants, the overall footprint will reduce considerably.
An additional challenge faced by manufacturers is the mass-production process which requires substantial amounts of hemp. The extraction methods used to obtain cannabidiol do not offer high efficiency, and hence, companies need many hemp plants to create small quantities of CBD, just like plainjane.com. However, researchers are working on more efficient ways to extract these compounds.
Investing in the right technology and processes will help farmers manage their carbon footprint and make the most out of their crops. Hence, the industry is highly sustainable and environmentally friendly. There are a few issues that farmers are working out to create a transparent and accountable system that provides consumers greener and better options.
Why Does Being Eco-Friendly Work in the Marketplace?
The cannabidiol market is on track to be worth over several billion USD in the coming years. As a result, manufacturers and companies are rushing to the forefront of this field to capitalize on the opportunity. Hence, the market has become competitive in recent years due to newer products and brands.
Since consumers have several options to pick from, companies need to ensure their brand stands out from the rest. One of the easiest ways to do so is to provide greener, purer, and more sustainable products. As a result, more and more consumers look into sourcing, packaging, harvesting, and extracting Cannabidiol.
Therefore, companies that promise eco-friendly and ethically sourced products to develop a competitive advantage over the others. Studies also show that millennials and younger customers are more likely to prefer eco-friendly products. As environmental consciousness grows to new heights, brands have no choice but to adopt a more sustainable manufacturing route or technique.
For instance, several brands now offer their products in 100% recyclable and compostable packaging to reduce waste. Other companies have switched to glass and wooden containers with aesthetic designs to prevent plastic accumulation. Maintaining minimal waste standards and eco-friendly policies also push companies to give back to the environment.
Many brands nowadays plant a tree for every product sold, helping replenish the ecosystem and initiate sustainable changes. Several brands have also partnered with organizations and non-profits that fight for climate change and environmental consciousness. As a result, the entire industry will adopt a greener, healthier, and more sustainable standard.
People opt for Cannabidiol primarily because of the medicinal and therapeutic benefits it provides. It helps people with pain management, inflammation control, and appetite regulation. Additionally, it works as an excellent muscle relaxant, helping combat anxiety, depression, and even insomnia.
However, investing in such products also allows customers to support environmental improvement. Hemp helps the Earth by revitalizing the soil, protecting natural resources, and serving as a sustainable crop. What is your favorite green product that contains hemp extracts? Let others make more sustainable choices by providing details of your favorite brands in the comments below!
Author: Kaitlin Justice