Renaissance of Industrial Hemp: A Miracle Crop for a Multitude of Products

Lokendra Pal, Lucian A. Lucia

Abstract


The US, which historically has been a major producer of hemp, has recently reintroduced industrial hemp production. The idea is to provide agriculture and farming communities with new economic opportunities (2018 Farm Bill) to replace lost income from formerly more profitable cash crops such as tobacco. Industrial hemp is a scalable crop that could provide significant economic and environmental benefits; however, the true valorization of industrial hemp will hinge on significant innovation and the development of high-value applications. Utilization of the whole hemp plant may be the key to attaining economic, environmental, and social sustainability. Further, strong community outreach and education is required to overcome the stigma attached with industrial hemp due to its morphological and genetic similarities to its psychoactive-rich (> 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinols (THC)) analogue. This editorial identifies critical research, educational, and community outreach platforms to develop a robust US industrial hemp program, with a goal to enable the renaissance of this miracle crop. Collaboration of the forest sector, universities, and industries is urged for the establishment of a center or consortium that fosters the future advances amongst more productive hemp cultivars, local farming practices, and bioproducts development for economic outlets for this miracle crop.

Keywords


Industrial Hemp; Oil Cultivars; Seed; Biomaterials; Pharma; Nanocellulose; Fibers; Composites; Sustainable Bioproducts; Tissue and Towels; Molded Packaging

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126