Hemp Paper – Fighting Deforestation One Acre at a Time

Paper is a vital commodity for today’s society, and we use it as if the trees we harvest to produce it are grown overnight. It’s estimated that roughly 25% of waste in the average landfill is composed of paper. Over 93% of paper made today is produced from trees. Given the fact that the world’s demand for paper is expected to double by the year 2030, it’s safe to say we must find an alternative to paper from trees immediately. Luckily, with the 2018 Farm Bill Act being passed, industrial hemp and its regenerative agriculture properties might just be what our planet needs to mitigate the damages we’ve inflicted on our forests.


Hemp paper is vastly superior in comparison to tree paper in every aspect. Environmentally speaking, hemp can be recycled up to 8 times, where paper from trees can only be recycled 3 times. Furthermore, trees that are processed into paper take several decades to grow. Hemp can be grown and harvested up to 3-4 times in the proper climate. To cap it all off, one acre of hemp can provide as much paper as up to four acres of trees. Hemp paper has the potential to fill our planet’s paper demand in an efficient, regenerative process.


It almost sounds too good to be true, especially when you consider the fact that hemp paper is not only better for our planet, but its also a much higher quality paper. Where paper from trees is liable to being easily ripped, hemp paper requires significant force to be ripped. It also degrades much slower in comparison to tree paper. For example, one of the earliest drafts of our nation’s declaration was on a piece of hemp paper, and that copy is still in pretty solid shape considering it was made over 240 years ago. Hopefully hemp paper will begin to mitigate the demand for tree paper as farmers throughout the country develop the best ways to grow this fantastic plant for its strong natural fiber. It’s a win-win scenario for the farmers who grow hemp, the consumers who use the paper, and most importantly, our planet.

Hemp Fiber – The Strongest Natural Fiber on Earth

Although the major demand for hemp is rooted in society’s recent CBD boom, there has also been a resurgence for the fibers contained in the crop’s stem. The industrial hemp plant commonly grown today is made up of two fibers found in the stem. The outer fiber is called the bast, and the inner is labeled as the hurd.

Bast fiber found within hemp stalk

The bast fiber is what gives the hemp plant strength, growing thicker and longer as the plant resists winds during its developmental growth stage. The inner hurd fibers are short and less useful than bast fibers in an industrial sense, although the hurd fiber is said to still be more durable and just as useful as cotton by many farmers.

Hemp fiber uses

You may be wondering what exactly makes hemp fibers superior to other natural fibers. The past century’s dominant cotton industry was threatened by industrial hemp, so they resorted to slandering hemp plants via association with marijuana. I’ll touch on the history of the hemp plant more in a future post, but essentially the heads of the cotton tycoon started the war on hemp in order to maintain their position at the top of the fiber industry. The main reasons why hemp is the superior fiber can be broken down into three factors; it requires 50% less water to grow, hemp naturally fights off bacteria, plus it won’t ever shrink such as cotton does. Beyond those factors, hemp is also used to strengthen concrete and it can be converted into a bio-fuel which is much more efficient than ethanol. Furthermore, paper created from hemp fiber is one of the most durable papers on the planet. I hope you learned something from this post, check back in next week for more hemp content!

Eco-Friendly Hempcrete demand increases

hemp informative

Traditional mediums used to construct buildings most often include the carbon-heavy substance concrete. While it’s safe to say that cement is a time-tested, durable foundation, its production comes at a serious environmental price. Worldwide, it’s estimated that cement production accounts for roughly 7% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Thankfully, the demand for alternative building materials such as hempcrete is on the rise.

When the light, strong, inner core of hemp stalk is ground up and mixed with lime and water, the mixture gets poured into brick molds, creating blocks of hempcrete. Not only is hempcrete stronger, lighter, and the most earthquake-resistant of all materials, but it’s also the healthiest! The leftover hemp stalk found in the bricks continues to breath excess carbon out of the environment for decades after being made. Furthermore, the production is 100% natural, allowing for those who build with hempcrete clean, petrochemical-free air to breath in their homes.

“The most sustainable building material isn’t concrete or steel — it’s fast-growing hemp. Hemp structures date to Roman times. A hemp mortar bridge was constructed back in the 6th century, when France was still Gaul.”

Popescu, A. (2018, January 27). There’s No Place Like Home, Especially if It’s Made of Hemp. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/science/hemp-homes-cannabis.html.