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Beyond The High : How Cannabis is Changing Our World

Cannabis is a plant with more than 420 compounds, with only about 120 identified as cannabinoids.

The cannabis plant has been reported to have more than 30 use cases which can change our world. Scientists and cannabis experts have reported how every part of the plant can benefit mankind. These benefits range from changing the face of transportation and energy to healthcare, building, clothing, and industrial products.

While many people are more concerned about cannabis’ ability to interact with cannabinoid receptors and trigger homeostasis and other biochemical processes in animals, adequate care must be taken to note that cannabis use goes beyond the heavily marketed cannabinoids. Cannabis is a plant with more than 420 compounds, with only about 120 identified as cannabinoids. Other compounds in the plant include complex sugars, flavonoids, esters, terpenes, and essential nutrients. These compounds can be purified or converted to other useful products that improve human living.

When fully explored, the cannabis plant has the potential to provide answers to some of the biggest challenges in the world. These challenges and how cannabis may help are discussed below;

  1. Phytoremediation
    Cannabis is not only good at maintaining balance in biological systems by interacting with ECS receptors. It may also have some roles to play in environmental safety and balance. Researchers have identified its possible roles in restoring heavy metal-contaminated soils. This is possible thanks to hemp’s deep roots and its tolerance to the accumulation of different heavy metals (like lead, Nickel, and chromium), pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and toxins. As a fast-growing plant, hemp can absorb pollutants and store them in its roots and leaves without harming the plant itself. Although the hemp plant used in phytoremediation cannot be used for personal use, the stalk can be converted to biofuels and other building materials.
  2. Carbon removal
    Hemp may be more effective at tackling climate change than trees. It is twice as effective as trees at absorbing and locking up carbon. Research shows it can absorb 8 to 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. That is more than any
    woodland. This absorbed carbon dioxide is permanently fixed in the hemp fibres and can be used for other commodities, including medications, textiles, and concrete. Hemp is a fast-growing plant that breathes in four times more carbon dioxide than trees. It is a carbon-negative plant, and information from research shows an acre of hemp can remove up to ten tonnes of carbon from the air.
  3. Hemp Biofuel/gas
    Hemp fuel may be a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel energy. It is faster, easier, and cheaper to produce and may be a carbon-neutral alternative to diesel. Hemp fuel is environmentally friendly with fewer emissions, thus keeping our environment cleaner while powering our machines and vehicles. Hemp fuel is generally considered more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels. When burned, hemp fuel releases carbon dioxide (CO2), but the CO2 emissions are roughly equivalent to the amount absorbed by the hemp plants during their growth, making it a carbon-neutral fuel. Additionally, hemp cultivation can improve soil quality and reduce soil erosion.
  4. Fire Resistant building materials
    Materials like hempcrete, hemp fiberboard, and hemp fibre-reinforced composites are changing the face of the construction industry. Hempcrete is one of the most popular hemp-based building materials, and it exhibits excellent insulation properties, providing thermal efficiency in both hot and cold climates. It helps regulate temperature and reduces the need for additional heating or cooling. It is breathable, allowing moisture to pass through the material and preventing issues like condensation and mould growth. It helps maintain a healthy indoor environment. It is naturally fire-resistant due to the high silica content in the hemp fibres and the slow combustion of lime.

While cannabinoids and terpenes serve as the core of cannabis use and research, adequate care must be taken to note that cannabis has some other uses which, if utilized, can change our world. Please note that researchers are still verifying the effectiveness of some of the listed items in this article.

Freelance Cannabis Writer and Content Strategist | I add fun to the complexities of cannabis science | Speaker at the 2022 Emerald Conference | Sports Cannabis Contributor Writer

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