Industrial hemp is a versatile, sustainable plant with several applications of its various forms, including fiber obtained from hemp stalks, food obtained from hemp seeds, and oil obtained from hemp flowers and seeds. Industrial hemp has the potential to offer a solution to the crisis of climate change, since it is a viable energy source that satisfies the three pillars of sustainability, namely economy, environment, and society. Although industrial hemp has been growing as an agricultural commodity in different parts of the world for decades, its production was banned until recently in the U.S. because of its association with marijuana. We conducted a literature review to explore some of the reasons why the U.S. production of industrial hemp has increased significantly since the ban was lifted. Our findings revealed that hemp’s rapidly increasing popularity in the U.S. since 2018 can be attributed, in part, to its sustainability potential (defined as the potential to positively impact the sustainability of products, using hemp as a renewable raw material). This study fills a gap in the knowledge regarding hemp’s potential as a sustainable crop.
Kaur, Gurinder and Kander, Ron, "The Sustainability of Industrial Hemp: A Literature Review of Its Economic, Environmental, and Social Sustainability" (2023). School of Design and Engineering Papers. Paper 1.
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