Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

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Category: Hemp News

The Right & Wrong Way To Legalize Hemp In Kansas

It is hard to understand how Kansas, a land of beautiful prairies and the nation’s third highest number of agricultural acreage, is one of the last states to end prohibition of industrial hemp. But will farmers be shut out by the new legislation?

It is hard to understand how Kansas, a land of beautiful prairies and the nation’s third highest number of agricultural acreage, is one of the last states to end prohibition of industrial hemp.

Thirty-four states have now passed hemp legislation including New York state.

In fact, Governor Cuomo recently earmarked over $2.6 million for a hemp processing plant and seed certification program, and wants to make New York state a national leader in hemp production.

With China and Korea leading the world in hemp production, Russia now the world’s largest exporter of wheat and other nations increasing grain production, the U.S. is no longer the world’s only agricultural superpower. Hemp provides for over 50,000 products spanning across 10 different industries. My coalition, Kansans for Hemp, has conducted community forums across the state and continues to hear that farmers need the Kansas Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to allow hemp legalization bill HB 2182 to have a hearing, dropping any proposed legislation that leaves farmers out. Research was already conducted at Kansas State University during the 1970s, now it is up to Kansas lawmakers to not “research out the farmers” as some lawmakers have proposed.

WILL FARMERS GROW HEMP IN KANSAS? A TALE OF TWO HEMP BILLS

Given the low prices for wheat, corn and soybeans, Kansas farmers desperately need a more profitable alternative. Because of low prices, farmers have to increase yields per acre to break even or make a small profit. Increased supplies of grain put downward pressure on prices, and we have a vicious economic cycle that farmers cannot escape — unless they have the economic freedom to diversify commodities and grow a more profitable crop.

Hemp Field In Summer

A dense field of green bamboo-like industrial hemp stalks grows tall in the summer sunshine. Industrial hemp can be harvested for thousands of uses.

The people of America’s Heartland know good public policy is made through input from many stakeholders, so when introducing a new commodity offering as much opportunity as hemp does it makes sense why the number of those involved increases. In 2017, two hemp bills were introduced and as with most revenue-generating issues, there are now multiple influences attempting to guide the outcome.

One hemp bill (HB 2209) was introduced which only allows universities the ability to cultivate hemp for research purposes, it never had a hearing. The second bill (HB 2182) is closely modeled after laws in Tennessee and Kentucky. It was passed out of committee and passed the House floor by a vote of 103-18. The house bill was then sent to the Senate Ag committee, however the Chairman (Sen. Kerschen) chose not to deal with it because of how late it was in the session. The state lobbyist and Kansans for Hemp were told there would be a hearing in 2018.

The first day of 2018 session, Chairman Kerschen instead introduced a Senate version of HB 2209, titled SB 263. To be clear, both SB 263/HB 2209 are limited, watered down legislation that is in fact not in compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill, Sec 7606, the landmark federal legislation which re-legalized hemp in the U.S. HB 2209 also cuts out farmers completely as it leaves out crucial details of any licensing administration processes, and excludes other entities like technical and community colleges from doing research.

A source told us that there has been a pledge of money from the representative who introduced the House version, to help with the research (which seems unethical). Chairman Kerschen is ignoring HB 2182, including the 103 votes from the House, and held a two-day hearing on SB 263 which again is not what we have continuously heard that Kansas communities want or need.

KANSAS LAWMAKERS MUST STUDY OTHER STATES’ HEMP LAWS

Kansas needs to look no further than across the western border into Colorado to see there is room for all when it comes to this rapidly expanding industry.

Hemp Harvest

A farmer harvests hemp with a tractor under a cloudy sky. Legal hemp in Kansas must allow for growing by everyday farmers, not just academic institutions.

However, contrary to what some organizations claim additional, exclusive research is not necessary under the 2014 Farm Bill. Pilot programs which are open to farmers (like HB 2182 establishes) are approved under a state’s department of agriculture, and do not require oversight from any other agency, including law enforcement.

By contrast, bills like SB 263 completely take farmers out of the equation which will not only yield inaccurate or non-comprehensive research conclusions, but distrust will come from farmers who will continue to not be allowed to gain crucial experience necessary to understand best methods for propagating, cultivating, and harvesting industrial hemp.

Lawmakers could also look to the restrictive hemp laws in Virginia for an instructive example of what not to do. As reported in January by Marijuana Business Daily, laws in that state make it impossible to profit from hemp growing, and as a result interest in the crop has languished, with just 100 acres grown in 2017.

“We’re way behind the ball,” Virginia farmer Graham Redfern complained to Marijuana Business Daily’s Kristen Nichols.

LEGAL HEMP IN KANSAS OFFERS HOPE FOR FARMERS

With downward trends in markets, our rural and frontier communities need support now more than ever. Hemp is a perfect opportunity where they are willing to collaborate with the state and other entities on something that is new and exciting.

Research and production must be happening simultaneously, because how we move forward as contributing leaders is through both innovation and practical application. Kansans are known for dreaming big, but we cannot allow our own fears or the stories we tell ourselves guide decisions that negatively impact our children and grandchildren’s futures.

In 1863, Kansas was the number one producer in the nation of bushels per acre of industrial hemp. Now is the time to be courageous and give this legacy crop back to Kansas farmers, and help contribute to the nation’s largest developing industry. On February 1, 2018, SB 263 passed out of committee with amendments to the full Senate. It has yet to be determined if farmers will be included in a Kansas industrial hemp program.

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Hempcrete Homes Are Sustainable, Durable, And Healthier To Live in

Did you know there’s a building material that’s durable, sustainable, healthier for the occupants and even carbon negative?It’s called hempcrete, a composite made from fibers of the industrial hemp plant mixed with lime.

Did you know there’s a building material that’s durable, sustainable, healthier for the occupants and even carbon negative?

It’s called hempcrete, a composite made from fibers of the industrial hemp plant mixed with lime.

The United States is perfectly positioned for a hempcrete building boom. Interest in green building is growing as people seek out sustainable, low-cost alternatives to traditional buildings made from petrochemicals or dwindling natural resources like wood. At the same time, the stigma around hemp is disappearing as more learn about the plant’s benefits. Hempcrete has unique health benefits and, because it enables low cost, modular design, it could even be a part of the solution to America’s affordable housing crisis.

“It’s just an awesome material,” declared Greg Flavall, CEO of Hemp Technologies, a leading builder of hempcrete homes. “I’ve never seen anything like it and we have studied other materials like flax, corn stalks, linseed oil stalks, even wood, and hemp wins by far hands down.”

A pair of hands holding dried, shredded hemp shivs, which look a bit like wood chips. They are ready to be mixed with lime and water and formed into blocks.

In 2009, Hemp Technologies oversaw the first permitted hemp home build in North America, in North Carolina. However, hemp’s uncertain legal status sent Flavall to New Zealand, where the crop was legal to grow for use in building materials. He’s traveled the world helping create hempcrete structures ever since, working on everything from jungle cabanas to wine tasting rooms. Now that hemp is becoming popular in the U.S., demand for his services is skyrocketing here too.

We recently caught up with Flavall to learn more about why hempcrete is better than other green building materials, and to hear about one of his most recent projects, a home retrofit which could soon be part of an upcoming TV show on hempcrete homes.

HEMPCRETE IS HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE TOO

Agricultural hemp is the close cousin of psychoactive cannabis or “marijuana” (the plant people consume to get high). While marijuana is prized for its flowery tops, hemp is grown for its tall, fibrous, leafy stalks which are a little bit similar to bamboo. Hempcrete is made from hemp shivs, which are the fibrous, woody core of those stalks, also known as the hurd. The shivs are chopped up into chips, which are mixed with water and a lime binder to form concrete-like stone slabs that have a pleasant, earthy appearance that many people find appealing.

Hemp is a more sustainable option than many other commonly grown crops, because it requires very few pesticides and can easily be grown in very dense plots. But the benefits don’t stop there, especially when it comes to hempcrete homes.

“We have seen, anecdotally, reductions in healthcare cost and absenteeism because of living in a hemp building,” Flavall said.

Like many aspects of hemp science, more research will be needed to prove how significant a health benefit hempcrete can have for its occupants, but Flavall’s claims make sense when you consider the many documented beneficial characteristics of the material. Much like the original hemp plant, hempcrete is known to be extremely pest resistant. It’s also extremely durable and fire resistant, which is especially important when Flavall builds in environments like New Zealand, where both rain and seismic tremors are extremely frequent.

“Hempcrete works so extremely well. It dries out, it continues to breathe, and it makes the indoor quality of living phenomenal.”

A close up of the surface of a hempcrete wall. The woody texture of the hemp shivs is still visible in the finished product, which many homebuilders find appealing. (Photo: Flickr / Jnzi’s Photos, CC-BY Creative Commons license)

As hempcrete dries, it absorbs the carbon dioxide produced by the occupants and grows harder, essentially turning to stone. Not only does this make the building stronger, but it makes hempcrete into a carbon-negative building material by leaving less of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere than is produced by building with it. Even in this form, hempcrete remains “breathable” — homes remain rain proof but permeable to gases and moisture are less prone to mold and better for the overall health of their occupants.

According to Flavall’s calculations, hempcrete buildings in the U.S. remain carbon neutral even though most of the hemp used in current building projects must be imported from overseas. It’s also a surprisingly affordable option: he said it meets or beats other common building materials in up-front costs when used properly, in addition to incredible savings on heating and cooling costs over the lifetime of the building.

“At the end of the day when you turn the key to move into your new home you’re at the same price as regular construction,” Flavall said.

MAKING FRIENDS WITH HEMPCRETE: HEMP HOME RETROFIT BECAME A ‘RELATIONSHIP BUILDER’ FOR PETERSEN FAMILY

“Our hempcrete project began with a passion for natural building,” Stacey Petersen told us.

Greg Flavall (left) with Stacey Petersen holding a wheelbarrow, during the hempcrete retrofit of the Petersen’s home in Missouri. Building with hempcrete was so easy, everyone could help out. (Photo: Facebook / HT Global Hemp House Build TV Series, used with permission).

After other sustainable building fans tipped her off to their work, Greg Flavall and Hemp Technologies led a major hempcrete retrofit of the Petersen family’s home, located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, in December 2017.

The simplicity of working with hempcrete allowed everyone, even family friends, to participate in the building process.

“It’s not rocket science to build like this and it really brings people together,” Petersen recalled. “It was a relationship builder on top of having our house insulated with hempcrete.”

Stacey’s husband, Jon Petersen, is the Pastor of Ministries at Desperation Church In Liberty, Missouri, and their embrace of the hemp is another sign that the stigma around this misunderstood crop is disappearing. Not only are they already planning their next hemp project using leftover supplies (“a greenhouse or a mother-in-law cottage,” Petersen told us), but they also use CBD oil, an extract of industrial hemp, to ease symptoms of severe epilepsy in their 10-year old son, Jeriah.

A growing body of research suggests CBD oil helps kids with epilepsy, and that’s been true for Jeriah as well. While not a miracle cure — he still suffers from severe seizures that sometimes land him in the hospita l– the supplement seems to reduce the number of seizures. Perhaps even more importantly, Stacey Petersen believes it helped the family wean Jeriah off a potentially dangerous medication which was actually making his symptoms worse.

‘There’s one kid in Colorado who’s been trying to wean this drug for a year and a half, it’s so intense, and we were able to do it in about 2 months.”

The Petersens are continuing to use CBD as Jeriah explores other forms of treatment, and his illness also inspired their interest in hempcrete. Since Jeriah uses a wheelchair, the Petersens swapped their previous multi-story home for single-story 1960s house of about 2300 square feet.

“My son, obviously he has a lot of challenges so we need healthiest living environment possible for him,” Stacey Petersen said when I asked her about the appeal of hempcrete.

But she also told us she loves that hempcrete is fire and termite resistant, and requires very little upkeep. “Anything to make my life more simple I’m all about that!”

HEMPCRETE HOMES ON TV AND HEMPCRETE AFFORDABLE HOUSING: LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE

The retrofit of the Petersen’s new home was filmed for a prospective new TV series, “HT Global Hemp House Build,” currently being developed in a partnership between Flavall and Diana Oliver of Thunderbird Productions, producer of the Hempsters documentary series. The show is currently seeking sponsors, but they’ve already filmed multiple episodes including the one featuring the Petersens which will be cleverly titled “The Hempster and the Pastor.”

Poster for the upcoming TV show, “HT Global Hemp House Build TV Series,” from Hemp Technologies and Thunderbird Film & Entertainment Co..

Flavall and Oliver worked together on a pilot episode in 2011, along with Ervin Dargon of Mingo Video, but the sudden death of Flavall’s business partner, Dave Madera, from cancer, cut the initial phase of the project short. The first episode is dedicated to Madera.

Last year, with Flavall once again building with hempcrete in the U.S., they decided to revive the show.

Oliver told us, “It’s a homeowners dream to lessen their carbon footprint and build a beautiful house to last generations that is mold, pest and fire retardant.”

The timing for a show like this seems perfect to Flavall, who said interest in hemp and hempcrete is booming. Even though he’s been legally building with hempcrete in the U.S. and elsewhere for almost a decade, he credits the current rising interest to the spread of marijuana legalization.

“I’m a Baby Boomer and I’m seeing a lot of those Baby Boomers coming back to me and saying ‘I guess now that it’s legal to smoke it’s legal to build with it.’”

Next, Flavall hopes to help tackle the affordable housing crisis in the U.S. by building add-on units to existing homes, made from hempcrete. “We have a lot of interest from people who have the ability to build an addition or retrofit their garage or put up a detached ‘granny flat.’”

Hemp can help “bring their mom and dad home, or bring the kids home, whichever it is, and create additional space with low impact.”

Between the growth of green building, and widespread interest in “tiny homes,” Flavall believes hempcrete has a big future in the United States.

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Top Hemp News Of 2017: US Moving Toward Hemp Legalization Despite Some Setbacks

2017 was an exciting year for supporters of hemp. The stigma surrounding this plant has continued to decrease as more and more people discover hemp’s almost limitless uses. While hemp…

2017 was an exciting year for supporters of hemp.

The stigma surrounding this plant has continued to decrease as more and more people discover hemp’s almost limitless uses. While hemp isn’t completely legal in the U.S. (yet), there’s growing bipartisan support in Congress, and at every level of our government, in support of full legalization.

And since we’re big fans of CBD oil, a healing supplement made from hemp, we were thrilled that more people learned about CBD and its many benefits. Global attitudes are changing too, with some of the most influential authorities on international drug policy also changing their tune about CBD in 2017.

It’s not all good news, of course: cannabis still has some powerful enemies, but overall this year gave us hope for hemp. Below, we’ll look at the highs and lows of hemp over the past 365 days.

THOUSANDS DISCOVER CBD OIL AS GROWING SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SUPPORTS CBD’S BENEFITS

 

top hemp cbd news 2017
One of the most remarkable stories of 2017 was a study published in August by HelloMD and Brightfield Group which revealed that 42 percent of CBD users give up pharmaceutical drugs. Though it’s not a fully scientific, “double blind” style study (the 2,400 people who responded were drawn exclusively from the user base of HelloMD, a pro-cannabis website), it shows that many people are discovering that CBD helps them feel healthier.

That’s probably no surprise given the ever-growing mountain of scientific evidence supporting the use of CBD. An important study released in May by the New England Journal of Medicine gave new support to the idea that CBD can help kids with epilepsy:

The average number of seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 in subjects receiving CBD, versus a reduction of just .8 in the control group who took the placebo. Additionally, about 43 percent of the subjects receiving CBD saw their seizures decrease by at least half. 5 percent actually became completely seizure free with CBD, compared with 0 of the controls.

Much more research into CBD oil’s benefits is needed, but over the past year we’ve looked at preliminary evidence that suggests it can help with chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation and joint pains (especially topical CBD), schizophrenia, and depression.

INTERNATIONAL AUTHORITIES RETHINK GLOBAL DRUG POLICY ON CBD

In April, the World Anti-Doping Authority ruled that athletes will be allowed to use CBD oil starting in 2018. Though they made the policy change in 2017, many sportswriters point to the choice by MMA fighter Nate Diaz to vape CBD oil after a bout in 2016 as a key influence in the change. UFC fighters will also face different rules when it comes to drug testing thanks to his act of defiance, and we expect more people — not just athletes — will be open to trying CBD as a result.

 

 

World Health Organization CBD

The main meeting room at the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva. (Image by Thorkild Tylleskar on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA license)

Of even greater importance for the future of international drug policy, the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, a division of the World Health Organization, reported that CBD oil is safe and should remain completely legal. The ECDD, whose recommendations help determine which substances remain legal and illegal on worldwide, went even further by suggesting CBD oil deserves further scientific research because of its incredible potential:

“There is also evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions,” noted the ECCD. … The “diverse” range of conditions for which CBD has been considered by scientists as a possible treatment is “consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia [controlling the flow of oxygen], anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic [pain relieving], anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and anti-tumor properties.”

Although the WHO still considers psychoactive cannabis to be a dangerous drug without medical benefits, we were pleased to see that the committee will be reevaluating other cannabinoids, and the plant as a whole next year.

DESPITE THAWING ATTITUDES TOWARD HEMP, STATE & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STILL FIGHT AGAINST CBD

 

Indiana CBD Illegal
The WHO’s support for legal CBD oil puts the global community at odds with some elements in the U.S. government that continue to fight against the legalization of hemp and cannabis. In late 2016, in a move that many hemp experts consider absurd, the DEA declared that CBD oil illegal. Industry advocates insist that various Congressional bills and legal precedents make CBD legal to extract from hemp and sell, and they’re ready to go to court to keep it available if necessary.

In general, individual CBD consumers have not been affected by these legal challenges and even the DEA admits that individual CBD users should be safe from prosecution. However, there were a few unfortunate and costly crackdowns against CBD vendors.

Indiana State Excise Police seized CBD products from dozens of stores in the state over the summer. A detailed investigation by the Indianapolis Star revealed that a law meant to legalize CBD for people with epilepsy had provided police with an excuse to crack down on CBD vendors, even though the law (unlike a similar one that just went into effect in Texas) doesn’t provide patients with a clear way to legally buy CBD.

Although the Indiana Attorney General later insisted that CBD is illegal, other state officials (and their dogs) vowed to resist, with lawmakers promising to revisit the issue in an upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly.

CANNABIS HAS INCREASING BIPARTISAN SUPPORT AMID US HEMP BOOM

More states began their own hemp programs in 2017, or expanded existing programs to great success. Vote Hemp reported that the U.S. grew 23,346 acres of hemp in 2017, a significant increase from 2016’s total of just 9,770 acres. This growth is just the beginning, with Wisconsin among the latest to jump on the hemp legalization bandwagon and states like Pennsylvania promising to significantly increase the number of acres allowed in 2018.

 

top hemp news 2017
Hemp returned to the U.S. in a big way in 2014 after decades of prohibition, with the passage of that year’s Farm Bill, which re-legalized the growth and sales of hemp for research purposes. With hemp appearing on more and more farms of all sizes since then, this once-controversial plant has increasing support in Congress, even among some of the most conservative lawmakers. While the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, a bill to completely legalize hemp in the U.S., stalled in 2017, the fact that it had enthusiastic sponsorship by both Republicans and Democrats suggests it’s only a matter of time. John Ryan of Ananda Hemp agreed with us when we asked him about the bill in August:

“Whether this bill gets passed or not this is a growing movement, this is an unstoppable movement. We will get this stuff done whether it’s this …  bill or not. This plant will be legalized.”

Attitudes are changing in individuals too. With every person who tries CBD or another hemp product, and with each state that legalizes recreational or medicinal marijuana, more people realize that what was once called a “demon weed” is actually a miraculous crop that can help humanity.

Despite some dark moments over the past year, it seems like they’re great things ahead for this plant. We hope you’ll join us in nurturing America’s love affair with hemp in 2018.

 

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World Health Organization Says CBD Safe, With No Potential For Abuse

A division of the World Health Organization declared CBD oil to be safe, with many potential benefits, and recommended that it should remain fully legal. The recommendations came in a…

A division of the World Health Organization declared CBD oil to be safe, with many potential benefits, and recommended that it should remain fully legal.

The recommendations came in a report from the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), which advises the global body on how to handle various substances that could be addictive or otherwise harmful.

The authors were unambiguous about their assessment: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

The report also outlines numerous potential benefits of CBD, though the authors emphasized that more research is needed. The findings are an important sign of the shift in attitudes toward this beneficial extract, which thousands of people use regularly. It also places WHO policy at odds with that of the United States: last year, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued frightening statements insisting that CBD remains illegal.

CBD oil is a nutritional supplement made from agricultural hemp, a close relative of psychoactive cannabis, or marijuana, the substance that people consume to feel high. By contrast, while CBD causes few if any side effects, a growing body of evidence suggests it could help conditions ranging from depression to some forms of chronic pain. The hemp industry has promised to fight the DEA in court, if necessary, and so far individual consumers haven’t faced legal trouble as a result of buying CBD-only products.

As we’ll explain below, we believe the latest findings from the WHO could be an important part of changing how CBD is treated, worldwide.

WHO: ‘CBD IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ABUSE’ BUT HAS GREAT HEALING POTENTIAL

 

 

World Health Organization CBD

The south face of the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva. (Wikimedia Commons / Yann Forget, CC-BY-SA-3.0 license).

The ECDD’s report was actually published in November, but received renewed attention from policy makers and in the media after the Dec. 13 publication of a set of the committee’s recommendations for various narcotic substances. The committee raised a serious alarm about the risks posed by carfentanil, a dangerous synthetic opioid similar to the notorious fentanyl, but their response to CBD was sharply different.

While the ECDD wants to see the strictest possible controls put on carfentanil and other synthetic opioids, they argued that CBD should remain totally legal and recommended further investigation of its potential benefits.

“The ECDD therefore concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol and postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances,” the WHO reported.

The ECCD’s report on CBD goes even further, both in suggesting that CBD is safe for human consumption and that CBD has many potential benefits that deserve deeper research.

“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

“CBD is not associated with abuse potential,” the authors wrote. They also reported that numerous studies have found that CBD is nontoxic with few side effects. Preliminary research, they noted, even suggests that CBD “has no effect on embryonic development.”

Just as importantly, the report acknowledges the growing body of scientific evidence which suggests CBD has great healing potential. “The clinical use of CBD is most advanced in the treatment of epilepsy.”

Many epilepsy sufferers, including children with forms of epilepsy that are difficult to treat through conventional means, have discovered that CBD can offer sometimes significant relief to their symptoms.

“There is also evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions,” noted the ECCD. “However, this research is considerably less advanced than for treatment of epilepsy.”

Additionally, the “diverse” range of conditions for which CBD has been considered by scientists as a possible treatment is “consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia [controlling the flow of oxygen], anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic [pain relieving], anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and anti-tumor properties.”

The authors add that CBD might even help with tobacco and other forms of drug addiction. The report also includes a rather remarkable chart outlining all of CBD’s potential benefits:

 

WHO CBD Potential Benefits Report

Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Report on potential CBD benefits.

 

WHO REPORT ON CBD CAN LEAD THE WAY TO BETTER GLOBAL DRUG POLICIES

The ECCD’s primary role is to advise the WHO and its member governments (including the U.S.) about how to handle mind-altering substances. Based on their recommendations, drugs are “scheduled,” or listed in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, a 1961 international agreement that determines which drugs are illegal, and which are considered to have medical benefits despite their risks.

By recommending that CBD oil remain unscheduled, the ECCD sends a powerful message to the global community that CBD should be legal. While stopping short of openly recommending the use of CBD, the WHO also clearly expressed the need for more investigation into CBD and other similar “cannabinoid” substances.

It’s not the only recent sign of thawing international attitudes toward CBD. As previously reported by Ministry of Hemp, the World Anti-Doping Agency, which sets global policy for substance use in sports, will allow athletes to use CBD starting in 2018.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the debate rages on between hemp advocates who say CBD is both legal and beneficial and government officials who insist it is, and should remain, a “Schedule I” substance — in other words, an illegal drug deemed to have no medical benefit whatsoever.

We believe there’s every reason to hope that the overwhelming body of scientific evidence about the benefits of CBD, and the support of influential bodies like the WHO, will eventually force the United States to reevaluate its stance too. Thanks to the ECCD and so many passionate advocates for legalization, It’s only a matter of time before CBD, and cannabis in all its forms, are fully embraced as a miraculous gift to humanity.

 

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The World Anti-Doping Agency Changes Course On CBD | Why Athletes use CBD Oil

A defiant act by an MMA fighter transformed global policy on athletes using CBD oil. When MMA fighter Nate Diaz took a few drags from a CBD-laden vape pen during…

A defiant act by an MMA fighter transformed global policy on athletes using CBD oil.

When MMA fighter Nate Diaz took a few drags from a CBD-laden vape pen during a press conference, he put his career at risk. Instead of hurting him, the act influenced an important change to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s policies, and helped reduce the stigma around hemp.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract of cannabis or industrial hemp which doesn’t cause people to get high. Instead, its beneficial properties includes reducing inflammation. Now, many more professional and top-ranking amateur athletes will be able to use CBD, because recently WADA removed cannabidiol from its list of banned substances.

In this article, we’ll look at why athletes use CBD, and why this change matters for everyone, not just those who compete at sports.

AFTER NATE DIAZ VAPES CBD AT PRESS CONFERENCE, WADA CHANGES GLOBAL ANTI-DOPING RULES

Diaz surprised reporters when he used a vape pen during a press conference after his August 20, 2016 loss against Conor McGregor, who at the time was the featherweight champion mixed-martial arts fighter. Visibly bruised from the fight, Diaz explained that his vape contained CBD oil, and went on to tout CBD’s benefits to the assembled media:

“It helps with the healing process and inflammation and things like that, so you want to get these for before or after the fights, in training. It’ll make your life a better place.”

However, CBD was on WADA’s list of banned substances and also banned by its national equivalent, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). UFC fighters are tested for prohibited substances after the fight and, according to the rules at the time, were prohibited from using banned substances during a window that begins 6 hours before the pre-fight weigh-in and ends six hours after the bout.

Even though Diaz had already been tested (and that test eventually came back clean of all prohibited substances including CBD), the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) would have been in their rights to suspend or punish him for the public infraction.

‘I’VE BEEN A GAME CHANGER’: NATE DIAZ TAKES CREDIT FOR CHANGING CBD IN SPORTS POLICY

Instead, the USADA decided to issue an official warning against Diaz’s conduct. In April, the UFC changed their rules, shortening the prohibited substance use window.

“The in-competition window now closes after the completion of the post-fight drug test sample collection,” reported Marc Raimondi at the site MMA Fighting on May 6.

In September, WADA announced that “cannabidiol is no longer prohibited.” WADA was founded by and is still largely sponsored by the International Olympic Committee, and so regional agencies like USADA quickly follow its lead when it comes to changes in policy. According to the site MMA Junkie, CBD will be removed from USADA’s list of banned substances in 2018. Psychoactive cannabis remains prohibited by both WADA and USADA.

“Yeah, they changed it compliments of your boy here,” Diaz told MMA Fighting in May, taking credit for the policy shift already in progress.

“I’ve been a game changer,” he added. “We just ain’t get no credit for it.”

Diaz, who along with his brother, fellow MMA fighter Nick Diaz, is an outspoken advocate for cannabis legalization, also told MMA Fighting that though he’d benefitted from industry sponsorships he’d made the decision to try CBD “organically.”

WHY ATHLETES USE CBD OIL AND HEMP FOR BETTER HEALTH & WELLNESS

atheletes use cbd

It’s easy to see why someone like Diaz would seek out CBD. Though professional athletes are often well paid and showered in fame, pro sports are notoriously hard on the human body and MMA fights, in particular, leave competitors battered and aching.

Science has shown that CBD can reduce inflammation and ease chronic pain, all while causing few side effects. While we don’t know how many athletes use CBD, studies have shown that vaping CBD is a very popular way to take this supplement, alongside other methods like CBD tinctures and gummies.

CBD isn’t the only form of hemp which can benefit athletes, either. Hemp is a high-protein food that’s rich in nutrients, high in fiber, and might even help fight bad cholesterol. Best of all, it tastes delicious, with a rich, nutty flavor. Hemp seeds go great in smoothies or on salads and yogurt, and hemp protein powder is also widely available.

WHY IT MATTERS TO EVERYONE THAT NATE DIAZ AND OTHER ATHLETES CAN USE CBD OIL

In an October 1 discussion on MMA Junkie, retired fighter Danny Downes downplayed the importance of the policy change, while sports columnist Ben Fowlkes called it a small but important shift toward more sensible treatment of fighters who use substances like CBD and cannabis.

“It’s pretty minor, sure, but it’s an encouraging sign,” Fowlkes said.

 

cbd for mma

While it may be a minor change for MMA fighters, we think it could have much bigger repercussions for all of us. Athletes are looked up to as the pinnacle of human prowess, and we often model our behavior on theirs. The athletic community can set a precedent for the wider world and, as we’ve recently seen, professional athletes can also be important advocates for social change.

At Ministry of Hemp, we see this as a positive step forward toward the deregulation of cannabis and the removal of all legal barriers around hemp growing and use. The timing couldn’t be better either: while the DEA has made absurd threats against CBD vendors, Congress is considering fully legalizing hemp through the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also preparing to advise the World Health Organization about its policy on CBD.

So thank you, Nate Diaz, for helping remove a bit of the stigma around hemp and cannabis, and making the world a little safer for CBD users everywhere.

 

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