IS HEMP BETTER FOR MAKING PAPER?
Since the enactment of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, wood fiber from trees has been the most common source of fiber for papermaking. Proponents of hemp argue that it is more suitable because of its higher cellulose and lower lignin content. Trees are only about 30% cellulose, while the cellulose content of hemp’s inner core (hurds) can be between 40 and 50%. Hemp’s lower lignin content means paper made from it doesn’t have to be bleached and does not yellow, crack, or deteriorate like paper made from trees. Contrary to urban mythology, the Declaration of Independence was not written on hemp paper, though some copies the Gutenberg Bible that weren’t printed on vellum are said to be printed on hemp-based paper. Modern processing methods have made it possible to use hemp in eco-friendly building materials such as particleboard, insulation, and hempcrete bricks.