Farming Hemp: Good for the Soil? | Westword

Ask a Stoner: Is Growing Hemp Good For My Soil?

Stay calm with the nutrients, and your ground will be good.
Share this:
Dear Stoner: What does growing hemp do to the soil it’s grown in? Is it bad or good? I’ve been thinking about farming a few acres but want to be sure it’s eco-friendly.

Dear Clarence: While the impacts of marijuana grows have been a strain on the environment and illegal growing has harmed the soil and water at national and state parks, growing hemp could help micro and macro environmental efforts. Unlike marijuana cultivations, hemp farms won’t be required to have indoor setups, which have larger carbon footprints than outside grows. Legal hemp farming also comes with regulations regarding pesticides, nutrients and waste, something illegal marijuana grows don’t have.
Farming hemp can contribute to the environment in several ways, creating biofuels and building materials that are more eco-friendly than their traditional counterparts. The plant can also benefit your soil. A company called Phytotech reportedly used hemp to clean the soil around Chernobyl of radioactive materials in the late ’90s, as well as pesticides, solvents and other toxins. A 2012 study in China showed that hemp can also be used to absorb cadmium, a toxic metal that can cause cancer and other systematic diseases. I wouldn’t recommend using that hemp for any consumption purposes, but the point remains: Hemp is healthy for the earth!

Send questions to [email protected].
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Westword has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.