Plan to Save Our Forests

Some cannabis plant strains regularly reach tree-like heights of 20 feet or more in one growing season.

The new paper making process used hemp "hurds" - 77 percent of the hemp stalk's weight - which was then a wasted by-product of the fiber stripping process.

In 1916, USDA Bulletin No. 404 reported that one acre of cannabis hemp, in annual rotation over a 20-year period, would produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees being cut down over the same 20-year period. This process would use only 1/7 to 1/4 as much polluting sulfur-based acid chemicals to break down the glue-like lignin that binds the fibers of the pulp, or even none at all using soda ash. All this lignin must be broken down to make pulp. Hemp pulp is only 4-10 percent lignin, while trees are 18-30 percent lignin. The problem of dioxin contamination of rivers is avoided in the hemp papermaking process, which does not need to use chlorine bleach (as the wood pulp papermaking process requires), but instead substitutes safer hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching process.

Thus, hemp provides four times as much pulp with at lest four to seven times less pollution.

As we have seen, this hemp pulp paper potential depended on the invention and the engineering of new machines for stripping the hemp by modern technology. This would also lower demand for lumber and reduce the cost of housing while at the same time helping re-oxygenate the planet.1

As an example: If the new (1916) hemp pulp paper process were in use legally today, it would soon replace about 70 percent of all wood pulp paper, including computer, printout paper, corrugated boxes and paper bags.

Pulp paper made from 60-100 percent hemp hurds is stronger and more flexible than paper made from wood pulp. Making paper from wood pulp damages the environment. Hemp papermaking does not.

(Dewey & Merrill, Bulletin #404, USDA, 1916; New Scientist, 1980; Kimberly Clark production from its giant French hemp-fiber paper subsidiary De Mauduit, 1937 through 1984.)

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