As a cover crop, hemp has many benefits for soil health. It eliminates weeds, reduces the need for synthetic herbicides, and adds diversity to crop rotations. Hemp's long roots help keep the soil together, reducing erosion and loosening it for other plants. It also produces large amounts of biomass, which returns nutrients to the soil.
Hemp is often grown in rotation with winter cereals, as it requires little chemical input and helps purify the soil. It can be planted close together, making it a high-yielding crop. Hemp is also known to be resilient to extreme weather conditions and can even be used to help mitigate the damage caused by nuclear disasters.
is a genetically distinct variety of the same plant species known as marijuana. Researchers are now testing the ability of hemp to grow in contaminated soils with little or no negative effect on the plant.