Hemp vs Climate

The Hemp vs Climate White Paper is a simple integrated assessment model for large scale carbon farming using Canada’s wild hemp, and carbon sequestration using biochar and building materials.

 Click here to download the White Paper 


The “Saviour” Technology  

Bioremediation technologies are some of the most economically viable negative emissions technologies. Most modeled pathways to staying “well below” 2C above pre-industrial era temperatures rely heavily on bioremediation. This is why bioremediation has become known as the “saviour technology” among climate-scientists. Most models show we will breach this 2C limit by the end of this century if bioremediation is not deployed at a global scale from mid-century onwards. (1) 


Bio-remediation does have many skeptics, however. When data-scientists have tried to model carbon farming at scale, they often conclude that it requires unrealistically large amounts of land to make a significant impact. (2) This model works because it involves using wild hemp, in a country with plenty of farmland and water, producing food primarily for export.  If we can show the world that bioremediation is working at scale, Canada will be the global leader in the fight against climate change.



Carbon Farming Canada's Wild Hemp


Wild hemp grows extraordinarily quickly, outcompeting other plants for available solar energy above ground, and soil nutrients below ground. It has grown wild in Canada for 200 years without need for fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides or human cultivation of any kind. Wild Hemp produces far more biomass than domestic hemp, because it gets a big head start. Domestic hemp Is planted at the end of May, when the wild hemp is already significantly established below ground.



Every morning, as solar energy reaches the leaf, the process of photosynthesis begins. The plant draws CO2 from the air and H20 from the soil to form carbohydrates. All plants capture carbon in this in this way, but they are not equally good Canada’s wild hemp is the most efficient organism on earth for carbon farming. 



 After most of the seeds and water leaves have fallen off the plant, the hemp can be harvested for the stocks and cannabinoids. The seeds are left to grow next year, and its roots and leaves left to compost.



Mycorrhizal and other soil organisms digest the carbohydrates in the compost, causing CO2 to enter the soil carbon pool. The wild hemp seeds germinate long before most plants. Beginning in late winter they grow deep roots, protected from the elements under the cover of their composting ancestors (3)


Biochar & Building Materials 

Biochar can be made by burning hemp biomass (post cannabinoid extraction) in a controlled process called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is achieved using a specialized kiln that creates high temperatures in a low oxygen environment. The kiln deposits the carbon as biochar. Biochar literally is the carbon that the hemp had captured, hardened into a solid-state that can be added back into the hemp field. In the field, it improves soil quality and remains sequestered in the soil carbon pool for thousands of years.


Hemp Building is ideally suited Materials for various building material applications. Hempcrete, hemp insulation, and hemp boards are all examples of building technologies that also sequester carbon.


Hemp vs Climate is actionable using current technology. However, there is a great deal of opportunity for improvement. This is particularly apparent when e conduct life-cycle assessments (LCAs) to calculate the rate of carbon successfully captured by the hemp, but lost before it is sequestered.  

This model projects 18.5% of the carbon will be successfully sequestered (2)


This model is based on current reality. With improved technologies. There is the possibility that improvements in Hemp vs. Climate could more than triple Canada'scarbon sequestration capacity. 



Canada's Available Land for Carbon Farming


Carbon farming at the scale needed to make a significant impact, Fortunately, this model proves Canada has enough land to on climate change will require an enormous amount of land. meet our climate treaty obligations by carbon farming our wild hemp.


 The Unused Field Opportunity

893,979 Hectares of farmland are unused. 

This is what the impact would be if this land was established as wild hemp fields and harvested annually for cannabinoids, building materials, and bio-char.

$3.5 million tons of greenhouse gasses would be sequestered annually.


The Beef Opportunity

more than 50% of Canada's beef production is exported (10)

This is what the impact would be if this land was established as wild hemp fields and harvested annually for cannabinoids, building materials, and bio-char.

43.5 million tons of greenhouse gasses would be reduced/sequestered



The Field Crop Opportunity 

more than 50% of Canada's field crops are exported (10)

This is what the impact would be if this land was established as wild hemp fields and harvested annually for cannabinoids, building materials, and bio-char.

81 million tons f greenhouse gasses would be sequestered annually (9)



For Canada's farmers to chose to make the transition from farming for export to carbon wild hemp, it will need to make good economic sense.


This model shows the projected value of cannabinoids at the proposed scale to be comparable o the revenue currently coming from all food exports and petroleum exports combined.


The Effect on the Cannabis Industry

Perhaps the most significant impact on the cannabis industry would be the addition of a great many ‘rare cannabinoids’ into the marketplace. Cannabinoids like THCV, CBDV, and CBC are typically only found at trace levels (>0.01%). The effect of mass-producing hemp biomass would be that these cannabinoids are no longer rare.


These rare cannabinoids could one day become more popular in the marketplace than THC and CBD are today

Download the white paper for the full copy with sources