The world has been ravaged by the novel coronavirus pandemic, and hardly anyone needs reminders of the ways the disease has changed the world cultural landscape.
Perhaps most prominent among these changes is the new ubiquity of face masks in public spaces. All over the world, wearing masks has taken on a heightened level of popularity as a counter to the spread of the virus and may remain far into the future. Hemp variants have also entered the mix.
“Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say in their guidance on mask-wearing.
“This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.”
There are a number of reasons why mask options that feature hemp construction, and many industrial hemp and cannabis companies now sell such wares to the public.
According to Hemporium, hemp makes a great choice for mask material because it is hypoallergenic and may even hold some anti-bacterial or anti-microbial benefits.
Some hemp mask products are even highly environmentally-friendly and biodegradable.
For those familiar with the history of hemp production in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, this should come as no surprise.
Hemp has been used in textiles for centuries, frequently for clothing. It is also highly sustainable, as the crop requires far less water than cotton and synthetic alternatives. Some studies also indicate it does less damage to soil.
LA Weekly reports that Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate majority leader and major advocate for the legalization of industrial hemp back in 2018, has recommended hemp masks rather highly.
McConnell claimed in a tweet that Kentucky farmers in his state have been greatly helped by the demand to produce hemp masks and hemp-manufactured hand sanitizers as the pandemic has continued to roil the country.