Could Cannabis Be A Secret Weapon Against Climate Change? - HØJ

Could Cannabis Be A Secret Weapon Against Climate Change?

Estimated 5-minute read

Here at HØJ, we know that one of the best things about December is the amount of parties and opportunities to have a good time, with the winter holidays bringing the perfect excuse to chill (in more than one sense), relax and enjoy the jolly atmosphere that only this month brings, made even better if you try one of our numerous special winter ideas, like our delicious cannabis eggnog, or our nifty gift guide for the stoner looking to give the perfect Christmas present.

However, beyond the general good times this season brings, December is the tail end of the year, and thus a good moment to reflect upon the future, what the new year will bring, and everything we have at our reach to ensure it is even better than the last. After all, 2023 is right around the corner, and thinking how next year will go for our favorite hobby, and how it can help other big problems of tomorrow could be a great start. And perhaps one of the most interesting developments recently when it comes to weed is how it can be useful to fight one of the biggest threats that awaits us in 2023 and beyond: climate change.

Yeah, one of the topics that is on everyone’s minds due to how important it is to solve as a problem has a little tie-in to the cannabis industry, one that is growing in importance in size day by day, so maybe there’s something in this hobby that could help us bring a better future together. So strap in, that today we are going to learn about the surprising effectiveness of cannabis when it comes to fight climate change, and what this development may bring to our community as a whole. Happy new year!

Let’s talk about carbon dioxide

Okay, but how exactly can cannabis help to fight climate change? Well it has a lot to do with carbon dioxide, which is one of the main chemical compounds responsible for heating up our planet today. As you may already know, carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a bad thing to have in our atmosphere. As the Columbia Climate School explains, carbon dioxide “soaks up this infrared energy, it vibrates and re-emits the infrared energy back in all directions. About half of that energy goes out into space, and about half of it returns to Earth as heat, contributing to the ‘greenhouse effect”, which means that a lot of heat enters our planet, but it doesn’t leave afterwards.

Now, carbon dioxide is not something new, and this gas has a pretty important place inside our overall ecosystem; with its ability to trap heat, it allowed Earth to develop a pretty stable and warm temperature for life to flourish (without it, the whole Earth would be set permanently at -18°C, which is more or less the average temperature of Siberia). In other words, when it's kept in check, CO2 is good for the environment. Alas, as you know, our emissions of carbon dioxide are not kept in check at all, and this imbalance in the amount of CO2 we are pumping into the environment is pushing us quickly into an era where the climate is out of whack, bringing all sorts of problems and challenges that we need to deal with now.

Of course, the easy answer is to reduce our carbon footprint, which is a lot easier said than done, so we are not going into that whole can of worms. Nevertheless, while we manage to do that, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide we are producing now is kind of urgent, and here it is where cannabis gets invited to the party: it’s really, really good at absorbing CO2.


Weed makes everything better! Who knew?

While this whole research is still in its early stages, we already have some promising results when it comes to using cannabis to fight climate change. Specifically, it’s hemp which can be used to absorb carbon and avoid dumpling more of it into the atmosphere. According to a team of researchers at Hudson Carbon, which “converts farmland into value far beyond crop yield. Through regenerative agriculture, [and] nurtures farmland into assets that store and sequester carbon, reestablish biodiversity, protect and purify water, and mitigate the release of methane and nitrous oxide”, hemp has the uncanny ability to absorb more than twice the amount of carbon dioxide of the atmosphere compared to trees.

And not only the quantity of carbon dioxide absorbed is important (which is about six tons per year for trees compared to the nearly 16 tons per year of hemp), but also hemp permanently tramps the CO2 inside its fibers, taking them out of the atmosphere once and for all, and it does so while growing, resulting in a crop that has a negative carbon footprint, making it one of the best plants to grow during high carbon emission times.

If all of these results are true, and the research at Hudson Carbon is very promising, that means that wide implementation of hemp crops can be a net benefit for people fighting climate change. And considering how the United States are responsible for nearly 28% of the yearly carbon emissions, a solution like this can be a complete game changer. Considering how the social acceptability of cannabis is already changing, arguing that it can also help the environment can ensure these crops become as popular as they were almost a century ago.

After all, we have discussed before how hemp has plenty of uses and advantages above other traditional crops, like cotton, and growing it in big quantities already brought plenty of positives before we found out how it can help diminish climate change. In the words of Ben Dobson, president and CEO of Hudson carbon, as quoted by an article by the Daily mail, “Roughly speaking, if [the US] did 50 million acres of hemp, we would be sequestering a couple hundred million tons of carbon per year on that acreage.” In other words, we would have a new weapon to use in our war against greenhouse gasses and climate change. So there you have it, if anything else, the future has a nice silver lining. 

Next year our fight continues, but for now, we can relax knowing that something positive may happen in the field of hemp and cannabis. 

Happy new year, and enjoy your 2023 with HØJ!

Author: Shaggy

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