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Hemp VS Cotton: which one is better for the environment?


What is Hemp?


Hemp is a distinctive variety of plant species that are precisely grown for industrial purposes. It is one of the rapidly growing plants on the planet as it requires only 3 to 4 months to mature.


A wide range of products can be manufactured by using Hemp. Some of them include textiles, paper, commercial items, ropes, biofuel, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, and animal feed.


Hemp seeds are a great source of iron and are extremely rich in complete protein. Furthermore, they can be eaten raw. Moreover, they can also be sprouted or made into a dried sprout powder.


It is a vegan-friendly source of nutrition.


Even though Hemp has several uses, it is most widely used for making fabrics. It has a rich history. Hemp made items ranging from industrial materials to fabrics to ropes to canvases centuries ago.


Hemp is used in producing several other kinds of products such as clothing, accessories, homewares, and dog collars in the present context.


What is cotton? 


Cotton is another extraordinary variety of plant species that are widely used as fabrics all around the world. It has been used in the world for more than 7000 years. Furthermore, it is a soft and fluffy staple fiber.


It is used in making a large number of textiles items. These include terrycloth, also known as terry cotton, for highly absorbent bath towels and robes. The worldwide favorite, i.e., denim for blue jeans, is also made up of cotton. Other products such as cambric, corduroy, seersucker, and cotton twill are also made up of cotton.


Socks, undergarments, and most of the T-shirts are made from cotton. Moreover, it is also used in making the yarn that is used in crochet and knitting. Thus, it is regarded as the king of fashion.


Furthermore, it is used in fishing nets, coffee filters, cotton paper, and bookbinding. These are only a few products to name as there are countless of them.


Cotton is widely preferred because of its hypoallergenic nature. It is easy to maintain and non-irritant to the skin. It is used for several medicinal purposes.

Both of these plants have several benefits. But when we put them head to head, which one is bound to win? Which is better for us and the environment? Let us read that below.


Hemp VS cotton – Head to Head 


By now, we know that both Hemp and cotton have a wide range of uses and a vibrant history. However, when scrutinized, are they worth all the boost that they get?


For years and years, cotton has occupied the most important place in the world of fabrics. From bedsheets to dishcloths, cotton is everywhere. However, cotton is not sustainable. According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the production of 20,000 kilograms of cotton requires about twenty thousand liters of water.


While cotton takes a long period to grow, Hemp takes only 2-4 months to mature. This saves a lot of time for growing and harvesting.


Hemp has thick and fibrous stalks that make it usable in the area of construction.


One of the boons of cotton fabric is that it is and more comfortable against the skin than hemp fabric because it is comparatively softer in nature. Hemp fiber has a boorish or rough feel to it in its natural spun or raw state and is susceptible to wearing out.


However, the natural softness of cotton makes it less durable. Moreover, Hemp needs fewer resources to grow than cotton.


Hemp needs much fewer nutrients from the soil. Furthermore, it aerates the soil it is grown at, leaving it nourished and rich for future crops.


Likewise, Hemp produces three times more fibers per acre as compared to that of cotton. Hemp fibers have a comparatively large surface area. This contributes the fabric for better dying and better color retention than any other fabric, including cotton. Additionally, cotton can fade quickly in the sun.


Furthermore, Hemp needs very little or no pesticides to grow correctly. It doesn’t require any other kind of chemicals.


Hemp VS Cotton absorbency


Hemp indeed absorbs more moisture than cotton does. It is said to be four times more absorbent than cotton.


Additionally, Hemp has some antibacterial properties that help you look fresh longer.


Hemp VS Cotton breathability 


Cotton is undoubtedly one of the best breathable fabrics that you can buy and wear; however, Hemp gives it a colossal competition. Hemp is said to be more pervious or breathable than thick cotton fibers.


Let’s talk of strength


Hemp is said to be eight times stronger than cotton fibers. In addition, it provides you four times more durability than cotton.


This clarifies that Hemp lasts longer.


Now let us have a glance at some other pros of Hemp.


Pros and Cons – Hemp 




  • Doesn’t require many pesticides or any other kind of chemicals.

  • Versatile and useful

  • Helps lowering deforestation rates

  • Doesn’t pollute the environment


Everything has certain shortcomings and disadvantages. Hemp has it too. Let us have a look at it.




  • Requires some unique pieces of machinery to harvest

  • Expensive than most other fabrics

  • Illegal to grow in most the areas

  • Mostly mistaken as marijuana

  • Creases a lot after washing


Now, let us see whether cotton surpasses the shortcomings of Hemp or not. But, first, let us check its pros and cons.


Pros and Cons – Cotton




  • Soft

  • Hypoallergenic and anti-fungal

  • Easy to wash

  • Very affordable




  • Non-stretchable

  • Wrinkles and tears easily

  • The plant needs a lot of pesticides and other chemicals

  • Its higher qualities could be expensive

  • Needs a lot of resources to cultivate

  • Can discolor in the sun

  • Cotton blend clothing could hurt the environment

  • Not sustainable

  • Can’t grow in countries with a scarcity of water


After analyzing all these things, environmentalists have concluded that Hemp is far eco-friendlier and suitable for the environment. However, due to ‘cotton-craze’ and unawareness, many are still in a dilemma regarding choosing.


Keeping every postulate in mind, especially comfort and environment-friendly, Hemp is indeed a wiser choice available.

Three puffs a day of cannabis helps people with chronic nerve pain, it makes them feel less pain and sleep better. About 10% to 15% of patients attending chronic pain clinics use cannabis as part of their pain control strategy

Mark Ware, M

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