Hemp

Hemp has the potential to disrupt some of the largest global industries and Puregene is on track to harness its full potential through technology.

puregene novel varieties

Hemp

HEMP IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE

The versatility of Hemp and Cannabis has made it the ultimate solution to most of your development needs. These claims have been substantiated by a number of industry-leading sources:

  • “Hemp is Carbon Negative, as it absorbs more carbon than is emitted during production.” - Catherine Wilson, European Industrial Hemp Association
  • “Hemp is an incredibly nutrient-dense superfood that is full of antioxidants, protein, essential minerals and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete plant-based protein.” - Navitas Organics

As an animal feed and source of high-quality protein for human consumption, cannabis seed is competitive with soybean – the most commonly used plant-based bulk protein source. The seeds of cannabis are an excellent source of dietary oils, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Soy is a good comparative example, which is grown extensively in South America, in unsustainable production practices that lead to deforestation and pollution. Cannabis has the potential to produce more protein per acre than soy, which means less land is needed, and it results in less deforestation and less pollution. Furthermore, soybean, which is grown predominantly in Brazil at the expense of the rain forest, requires weekly pesticide treatments damaging the environment. By comparison, cannabis can grow well in more temperate, continental, and Mediterranean climates allowing it to be cultivated closer to production sites.

It also makes an excellent animal feed and substrate for novel meats. In addition, hemp uses approximately 50% less water than cotton and produces at least twice the amount of fiber compared to timber, over the same period of time. Its fiber production potential is even greater per hectare than a pine forest. Cannabis-derived products are finding applications in the construction industry as concrete alternatives, fiberboards and other multi-purpose building materials.

Which explains the rapidly increasing demands in most industries. It’s a no-brainer really, as the benefits and evolving uses of these superplants continue to exceed all expectations. Cannabis has the potential to further disrupt some of the largest global industries, such as novel foods, advanced and sustainable materials like foams and bioplastics with a plethora of applications. In fact, cannabis, or hemp, was once one of the most important crops grown in the United States. The fibers, which comprise up to 20% of the plant, were used in rope, sail cloth, sacks, paper, and an array of other products.

Because cannabis is an incredibly fast-growing plant that performs well in marginal conditions throughout the globe it can displace many environmentally more destructive crops and fossil-fuel based materials. Sustainable cannabis can play a major role in global climate change mitigation strategies. Today, Puregene is contributing to these efforts with research that seeks to replace advanced materials like foams traditionally produced from fossil fuels with lignin from cannabis. Cannabis-based green alternatives are being shown to provide superior performance compared to their carbon-heavy counterparts.

Challenges do remain regarding nitrogen use efficiency, but these can certainly be mitigated or overcome through modern breeding techniques. Cannabis is nowhere near its genetic potential and the technologies developed at Pure are aimed at unearthing the current diversity within the species to develop the next generation of cannabis for recreation, medicine, and industry.

A high-quality variety is the assembly of hundreds of unique “good” traits. In maize, the targeted assembly of good traits into one variety started in the 1940s with the advent of hybrid breeding systems and the “Green Revolution”. Yields continued to grow into the 1980s and 2000s with the implementation of DNA-based breeding and GMO technologies. Today, genomics-based breeding efforts continue to improve maize productivity up to 6 times what it was less than a century ago.

Before the “Green Revolution”, hemp was one of the most productive crops and rivaled the productivity of modern maize for biomass productivity. Before prohibition, hemp grain was a staple feed crop, and up to 3 times more productive than corn.

Due to prohibition cannabis and hemp have not seen over 100 years of breeding advances. The rapid implementation of these technologies will vault cannabis as the crop of the future.