The rise of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the wellness and health industry has been nothing short of surprising. CBD can be seen everywhere, from skincare products to edible gummies. However, as with any rapidly growing industry, it is important to consider the environmental impact of this component. The fact is, sustainability is not just a trend, it is our responsibility as humans, and the CBD industry is not excluded.
Also Read – The Comprehensive Guide To Cannabidiol (CBD)
Agriculture & Land Use
The hemp plant is central to CBD production. It is popular not only for CBD extraction but because it is also used for making textiles, paper, and even biofuel. Hemp is environmentally friendly because of its low demand for water, pesticides, and fertilizers. Hemp cultivation is sustainable than many other crops. However, it is possible that this green image can easily be destroyed if the rapid growth of hemp farms results in deforestation or negatively affects natural habitats because of large scale cultivation. Being able to strike a balance between meeting the rising demand and conserving the environment is a must.
Pesticides & Herbicides
Even though hemp’s resilience means it requires fewer pesticides than most crops, organic cultivation will greatly enhance this environmental advantage. When farmers minimize or completely eliminate the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, the soil will be fertile and this can go a long way in preventing any form of harm to local ecosystems. Following these organic farming practices not only boost the sustainability credentials of CBD products but also appeal to consumer that are looking for organic options.
Efficient water use in agriculture is non-negotiable given its importance. Because hemp already has a drought-resistant nature, that positions it as a more sustainable crop compared to those that demand a lot of water, like cotton. Yet, even with its lower water needs, it is important that hemp farmers use water conservation techniques to have efficient irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting to make hemp cultivation even more water-wise.
After harvesting hemp, extracting CBD is the next crucial step. The CO2 extraction method is the most environmentally friendly method because it doesn’t produce waste and also ensures the extracted CBD maintains high purity. On the other hand, using the solvent-based extraction method can be harmful to the environment, especially if the solvents are not disposed correctly, they can contaminate soil and water sources, thereby causing long-term environmental damage.
The conversation about sustainability does not end with CBD products, it also extends to how are packaged. The fact is, packaging materials are major contributors to global waste contaminating the environment. By embracing biodegradable or recyclable packaging, CBD producers can reduce the environmental impact of their products. This eco-friendly approach should also be extended to shipping materials.
Transporting goods around the world produces substantial carbon emissions. This means local buying of hemp and selling the CBD products in nearby will reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation. This practice will not only benefit the environment but also attract consumers who are keen on supporting local businesses and lowering their carbon footprint.
Efficient waste management is important in the CBD industry because it involves how the remnants from hemp plant are handled after extraction and the waste generated during the manufacturing process. Having an efficient waste management system like recycling and ensuring responsible disposal of non-recyclables will help to promote the need sustainability within the industry.
Energy is used at each stage of CBD production, which is from cultivation to extraction and packaging. Complete dependence on non-renewable energy sources will not help other sustainability efforts. This is why manufacturers must adopt solar, wind, or hydro energy into the production process to reduce carbon emissions and increase cost savings for the business.
Regulations & Certifications
Just like any other industry, the CBD sector must be regulated to ensure adherence to environmental sustainability. Putting strict environmental guidelines in place will encourage sustainable practices across the industry. Also, having certifications like “Organic” or “Sustainably Produced” give consumers transparency and assurance regarding the products they are buying.
The role of the informed consumer is important because only an informed consumer base that cares about sustainability will be a driving force for positive change in any industry. Educating customer to have a deep understanding of the environmental implications of their purchases will help them make the right choices by endorsing businesses that value the environment and inspire other companies to join in.
The CBD industry has been seeing remarkable growth, which means it has the potential to set sustainability standards. At every point, from the fields where hemp is cultivated to the shelves where CBD products are purchased, there is an opportunity to make ecologically driven decisions. As consumers, we have the power to shape industries by supporting sustainable CBD production. With this, we can enjoy the benefits of CBD without destroying our planet.
Dr. Jason O’Donnell works at Holy Cross General Hospital. He is a General Practitioner with extensive experience in cardiology, geriatrics, adult medicine, and internal medicine. Dr. O’Donnell studied at the UCL Medical School and holds a Doctor of Medicine in London in the UK. He also completed an internal medicine internship at London Imperial College. From here he went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at St. George’s London University. He is currently practicing adult medicine, cardiology, geriatrics, and internal medicine at Holy Cross General Hospital. Before he performs any operation, he first assesses the patient’s medical goals and concerns. After the surgery, he monitors the recovery of the patient and makes adjustments to the treatment program, when necessary. Dr. O’Donnell is also a proud member of Health for Humanity where he volunteers his skills in medicine for people in need across the globe.