The application of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) for a green economy: a review


Abstract: The concern for the issues related to the growing needs of human civilization like resource depletion, pollution, climate changes, and health risk has led to a search for eco-friendly alternatives to environmental problems. Recently, hemp started gaining popularity for its medicinal, nontoxic, greenhouse negative, and biodegradable properties. Originating from the steppes of Central Asia, Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) is one of the oldest domesticated plants known to humans. Since 5000-4000 BC, different parts of the plant were used for spinning, weaving, papermaking, the seed for human feed, animal feeds, medicinal, and health purposes. Reports also suggest the use of hemp as an organic additive in the historic earthen plasters of Ellora Caves, India (6th Century). Due to its psychoactive and recreational properties, this environmentally friendly plant lost its importance eventually in the 19th century and its cultivation was made illegal. People, in general, changed their outlook towards the plant and considered it a sign of moral indignation. Recently, food, pharmaceutical, textile, paper, building, energy, and other industries found hemp to be a promising solution for synthetic-based economies. Since then, the cultivation of hemp has been reintroduced, legalized in some countries, and now in recent times, there has been a good reimplementation of the plant in creating a green economy. This review will highlight the application of hemp and display its outstanding qualities in minimizing environmental and health issues. Based on the knowledge gained from various scientific resources; the commercial, industrial, and agricultural potential of the plant will be unveiled to give more push towards the hemp cultivation.

Keywords: Eco-friendly, biodegradable, reimplementation, green economy, reintroduced

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