The global market for CBD is currently worth almost $3 billion and is expected to reach almost $14 billion by 2028. As a result, we expect more Industrial Hemp to be planted to cover the surging demand. Inevitably, this leads to an increase in the production of byproducts, both in the field and during manufacturing.
When Hemp is processed for its leaves, stalks, and stems that contain CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids, it leaves behind agricultural waste that needs to be handled. To get a better idea of how much agricultural waste is produced, for every acre of Hemp harvested we get up to five tons of agricultural waste produced from stalks, stems, leaves, and root balls.
Likewise, when CBD is produced, there are chemical byproducts that need to be disposed of. Depending on the extraction method, these byproducts may contain butane, ethanol, and other harsh chemicals. This means that CBD waste must be processed in a meticulous way.
Finally, the packaging that contains CBD products needs to be dealt with in a specific way, as it may contain traces of THC and other cannabinoids.
We are seeing in both the United States and at a global level an increasing demand for waste management, Hemp recycling, and innovative ways to handle Hemp byproducts.
What Are the Byproducts of Hemp Cultivation and Manufacturing?
As we saw above, there are three levels of hemp byproducts that require special disposal:
- Agricultural waste
- Manufacturing waste
Hemp growers must dispose of everything that is left behind after harvesting. This includes flowers, leaves, stems, soil, root balls, and anything organic that was not used for manufacturing. These can add up to a significant amount of organic material.
Additionally, Hemp is a phytoremediation plant. It has been used for millennia to clear soil and prepare it for new crops. Studies confirm that Hemp is indeed a powerful bioaccumulating plant that sucks harmful substances from the ground. Farmers often use it to clean up soils from cadmium, lead, nickel, and other harmful heavy metals, as well as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Special care and attention must be paid if Industrial Hemp was grown using pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
It is inevitable that waste will be produced during manufacturing. Post-production waste includes ethanol, butane, oils, and waxes as well as failed products. Failed products can be products that do not match the industry standards and quality controls or CBD products that contain too much THC.
Finally, manufacturing waste also includes items such as gloves, jars, and any other material used in the production of CBD oil.
The last component of CBD production and sale byproducts is packaging. Since packaging comes in contact with cannabinoids and traces of THC, it requires special attention and handling. Tubes, jars, tins, plastic containers, and other packaging items must be recycled in very specific ways.
What Can I Do with Hemp Byproducts?
In the case of agricultural waste, the choices Industrial Hemp growers have, include the following:
- Composting: they can compost their agricultural waste. However, if pesticides were used or if the Hemp was bleached, then the composting material will be contaminated.
- Landfill: the simplest but least environmentally-friendly approach is to send the agricultural waste to a landfill.
- Incineration: Industrial Hemp growers can send their agricultural waste to an incinerator that will burn all byproducts, leaving no traces of pesticides or chemicals.
Is There a Better Way to Use Hemp’s Agricultural Waste?
With an eye on the expected growth of agricultural waste, innovative businesses and companies are looking into ways to recycle and reuse agricultural waste by turning it into novel products.
Traditionally, Hemp has been used to produce paper, rope, sails, textiles, and fibers. Technology is showing us the way ahead, as businesses are using Hemp byproducts to produce insulation, construction materials, plastic, and even Hemp ethanol by fermenting leftover Hemp leaves.
Already, there are several companies that are producing a wide range of products made from Hemp agricultural waste.
Fibers and More
A new Colorado-based company called 9Fiber is taking Hemp agricultural waste to create new Hemp-based products such as paper, textiles, automotive applications, cellulose, bio-plastics, construction, insulation, and even fuel.
To create textiles, they decorticate and decontaminate the agricultural waste to remove any residual traces of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids, as well as pesticides and chemicals. They then soften and whiten the fiber to give it the desired softness and consistency for whatever purpose it will serve. 9Fiber has managed to develop a process that requires only hours from agricultural waste to fiber consistency.
Prosthetic Limbs from Hemp
A Canadian charity called Kindness 3D is going a step further. They are taking cannabis packaging that has been contaminated by THC, decontaminating it, and turning it into prosthetic limbs.
Hemp Instead of Cotton
The British company SeFF Fibre is using Hemp fibers to produce soft and easy-to-produce textiles. Their aim is to make fine textile fibers that can easily compete with cotton. Cotton production is heavily polluting and requires vast quantities of water. By creating textiles from Hemp byproducts, the British company is offering a more sustainable way for fashion and clothes companies to have the materials they need.
An American company called Hempitecture has dedicated itself to producing building materials for the construction sector. They have already created concrete out of Hemp, which they dub Hempcrete. The use of Hemp byproducts is more environmentally friendly than concrete and can create materials that are just as strong and stable.
What Does the Future Hold for Hemp Byproducts’ Use?
As we move into a world more concerned with sustainability and environmental protection, it is no wonder that there is growing interest in re-using agricultural byproducts that would otherwise be thrown away. Hemp is no exception. Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to utilize Hemp’s agricultural byproducts.
Some promising future applications for Hemp byproducts include Hemp ethanol, plastics, paper, building materials, and even car parts.
Fuel production from Hemp fermentation produces Hemp ethanol. Research has shown that Hemp ethanol is sustainable and more environmentally friendly than corn ethanol.
Making plastic from Hemp, particularly in 3D production, could be a new way to make recyclable and biodegradable plastics. It would also mean less petrol extraction.
Paper from Hemp
Paper is another field where hemp could be highly helpful and productive. Paper is currently produced from trees. Almost 7 billion trees are cut every year to produce paper. Hemp grows within 120 days and can be replanted every year. Shifting from tree-based paper to Hemp-based paper could have a significant impact on the environment while also generating jobs in the Hemp industry.
Hemp for Building
Besides Hemp concrete, researchers have come up with ways to use Hemp for flooring and wood alternatives. This could be important for construction and furniture making.
Most hardwood floors are made from trees: oak, walnut, maple, and ash trees are cut down to produce wood. An oak tree needs 60 years to mature. Once it’s cut down, a new tree is planted—but still requires decades to grow before it can produce valuable wood. Additionally, when we cut down trees, we disrupt wildlife habitats.
Hemp, on the other hand, can produce fibers within months. Because Hemp is grown in farmland, there is less wildlife disruption.
Cars from Hemp
Research has shown that Hemp could be stronger than steel in terms of strength-to-weight ratio. Hemp parts could be as strong as metal and plastic parts, with far less environmental impact. The goal is to make lighter cars that would have lower fuel consumption by using Hemp parts.
By substituting Hemp for metal, we could ensure that we use fewer fossil fuels and fewer metals while producing less CO2.
What about Post-Production Hemp Byproducts?
Hemp Oil and CBD manufacturers often hire businesses that specialize in the removal of hazardous Hemp-related materials. These companies can handle waste management and product destruction as well as decontamination and packaging removal.
These businesses follow local, state, and federal rules for the disposal of Hemp-related byproducts and help manufacturers focus on their work: to produce helpful and beneficial Hemp Oil products.
Synchronicity Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Products
Our team at Synchronicity often marvels at how Hemp can help improve our lives directly and indirectly.
Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil may help our bodies and minds relax and focus on life. It may also support our physical balance and mental sharpness.
However, that’s not all. Hemp can help our world become better, safer, and cleaner. It can assist us in protecting forests and reducing our carbon footprint. And it can provide novel solutions that are environmentally friendly compared to current polluting ones.
The impact of Industrial Hemp can be momentous. We are happy to see it attract the attention it deserves!
When you buy Synchronicity Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products, you support a healthier lifestyle. See our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products online or try out our trial kit to decide which ones work best for you. We offer free shipping on all orders.
Feel the Full Effect™ with Synchronicity and enjoy the purest Hemp Oil.