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Earth Day 2024

on April 22, 2024

Earth Day 2024 and the Green Credentials of Cannabis

Every year on the 22nd of April, organisers, businesses, and citizens all over the world come together to celebrate Earth Day. Originally launched on the same day in 1970, Earth Day has consistently raised awareness for the protection of our planet. In its over 50-year history, Earth Day has evolved into the largest civic movement in the world, recognised in 192 countries and by over a billion people!

In honour of this important annual date, we’re taking a look at the green credentials of cannabis and how this amazing plant could help boost the health of our planet.


An efficient CO2 absorber

We all know that plants are essential for absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, but few are aware of how efficiently the cannabis plant can achieve this. It is estimated that just one hectare of hemp can absorb up to 22 tonnes of CO2 per year - that’s more than any woodland!

This CO2 is then permanently fixed in the plant's fibres, which can be used in the manufacture of many useful and environmentally friendly products…

An environmentally-friendly alternative

Hemp and cannabis plants (Cannabis sativa) can be utilised for a huge range of industrial purposes, including the manufacture of plastics, construction materials, clothing and paper. In fact, hemp paper can be recycled up to twice as many times as its timber-sourced counterpart and is a much more environmentally friendly alternative to fibre-glass installation in buildings. 

A growing number of companies are now embracing hemp-based plastics as a more sustainable option to products made from crude oils. In recent years, global car manufacturer BMW has even embraced hemp (alongside other natural fibres from kenaf and flax) to replace some of its car parts.

A helping hand to the earth

Throughout its long history, cannabis has thrived in a huge range of environments around the world. Its adaptability means that the crop can even grow in poor-quality soil - and even improve soil quality. The crop’s wide, interlocking root network is not only great at preventing soil erosion it has also been found to absorb dangerous radiation. 

Furthermore, hemp possesses natural defences against common pests and its dense growth prevents the growth of weeds, reducing the need for potentially damaging herbicides and pesticides!

The importance of growing responsibly

As you can see, the cannabis plant has some incredibly impressive environmental benefits. Yet, in the UK, strict licensing measures mean that we are not utilising this incredible crop anywhere near as much as we could be.

While the natural cultivation of hemp and other cannabis crops can have a significant positive impact on both the land it is grown on and the wider environment, it is also important to recognise the negative impact of irresponsible farming. For example, indoor cultivation of cannabis requires staggering amounts of energy to grow a single plant. According to the International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC), each indoor-grown cannabis plan is equivalent to 70 gallons of oil.

In recent years, environmental changes have become more obvious than ever before in our history. But while we all recognise that changes need to be made to ensure a bright and healthy future for our planet, more education, awareness, and action are still desperately needed. Cannabis possesses some impressive green credentials - but only when cultivated responsibly. Perhaps it's about time we put these benefits to better use.