b'HEMP IS COMING BACK, FOR (THE) GOODT HE #HEMPREVOLUTION IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. BY: FRANCESCO MIRIZZIH emp (Cannabis Sativa L.) is one of the most debated but yet one of the most misunderstood plants in todays world. It has accompanied humankind since the Neolithic and evolved with it. Initially used for its nutritious seeds, hemp was the first fiber to be used along flax, providing textile andlater oncordages and sails, which allowed the flourishing of the international maritime trade. Medical properties were also dis-covered around 2700 B.C. in China and spread around the world.After having lived its golden age in the XIX century, the production started decreasing in all countries and hemp, once populating Europe from Finland plains to Sicilian mountains, almost disappeared from our fields, weakened by the booming of synthetic fibers. Nonetheless, its use endured in some countries, although at a smaller extent. Translated in numbers, the sur-face under hemp in the early 19th century in Europe was above 400,000 hectares, while in the period between 1960 and 1990 the total area stabilized around 10,000 hectares. The decrease in production entailed the disappearance of the manufacturing industry, de-localized in countries with lower labour cost and available raw materials.The many purposes of the industrial hemp were then overshadowed by the recreative use of high THC strains of cannabis. The lines between the two varieties became blurred in peoples mind. Nonetheless a major difference still sub-sists: industrial hemp has no psychoactive properties and hasFrancesco Mirizzibetween 100 and 500 times less THC than its recreative (or medical) family members. The climate crisis, an increased awareness of the unex-ploited potential of agriculture and the longing memory of the past glory allowed hemp to start regaining its popularity inDID YOU KNOW?the 2000s, driven by the sale of CBD extracts and consumers demand for natural and sustainable products. The sown area has increased by 600% in the last 30 years and the market of CBDIndustrial hemp has betweenextracts, hemp construction and technical textiles is growing100and500times less THC than itsand gaining interest of international investors. The use of high THC strains for medical purposes has also undoubtedly accel- recreative (or medical) family memberserated this hype.The real added value of industrial hemp is the possibilityOne hectare of hemp is capable ofto produce food, food supplements, feed, biomaterials (plastics, textile, construction material, insulation, paper, supercapacitors,capturing up to13.4 tonsof CO 2etc.), energy and positive environmental externalities with one rotation crop. Hemp farming requires very low or no inputs andThe sown area of hemp has increased byhas positive effects on soils and biodiversity, while its processing produces zero waste: everything is used or further transformed.600%in the last 30 yearsThe versatile nature of hemp potentially represents multi-bil-lionsof downstream markets, particularly in manufacturingWe expect the European Parliament toof reusable, recyclable and compostable materials. In Brussels words, hemp can dramatically contribute to theratify the re-establishment of the THC leveldecarbonization of essential products and help industry and agri- on the field at0.3%culture attain the Green Deal objectives. One hectare of hemp is capable of capturing up to 13.4 tons of CO 2and its carbon 10IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'