Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Category: Sustainable Living

Working Out With CBD: How CBD Supports Muscle Gain & Boosts Stamina

CBD is quickly becoming a vital part of many workout routines. Whatever style of fitness regimen you prefer, muscle development and muscle recovery play key roles in overall health and wellbeing.

Let’s look at why so many leading athletes are working out with CBD.

CBD is quickly becoming a vital part of many workout routines. In capsule or oil form, CBD is an important part of any holistic health and wellness routine. Whether you’re a professional athlete, amateur jogger or busy mom, this beneficial supplement made from hemp can help. Whatever style of fitness regimen you prefer, muscle development and muscle recovery play key roles in overall health and wellbeing.

Since the World Anti-Doping Agency lifted its ban on CBD, many fitness professionals and athletes use CBD as the staple for their high-performance fitness regimens to build muscle and boost stamina. CBD can do a lot of ‘good’ for the human body. That being said, it’s important to use the highest quality CBD from natural hemp oil, from a CBD supplier you can trust. Bargain priced “CBD” products frequently contain very little CBD content by volume. If you’re going to buy CBD oil, be sure it is 100% premium and pure from hemp with less than 0.3% THC content – which will ensure it is legal in all 50 states.

CATABOLIC HORMONES PLAY A KEY ROLE IN BUILDING MUSCLE

Catabolic hormones are those in the body which cause a breakdown of muscle tissue. For athletes and others with the goal of increasing muscle mass and improving muscle tone, reducing the levels of catabolic hormones, such as cortisol, is imperative.

Cortisol is a hormone that reduces protein synthesis and actively prevents tissue growth. Excessive cortisol levels are usually the culprit when those who work out diligently fail to achieve the muscle building results they expected from their rigorous fitness routines.

A woman seen from behind holding a weight on her shoulders. Some top athletes are now working out with CBD. CBD oil can reduce the effects of anxiety and promote more restful sleep, all of which promote a better workout.

Some top athletes are now working out with CBD. CBD oil can reduce the effects of anxiety and promote more restful sleep, all of which promote a better workout.

The key to understanding cortisol’s negative effect on muscle-building is to recognize that cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day. The hormone is secreted by the adrenal gland. Cortisol levels are usually higher in the morning, decreasing throughout the day, and at their lowest at night. This explains why muscle recovery happens most efficiently while we sleep.

Of course, cortisol does provide some important benefits, or the body wouldn’t produce it. Cortisol is instrumental in the liver, helping to remove toxins from the body. Cortisol has other roles in the immune system regulating blood sugar levels, and enhancing short-term memory. At natural levels, cortisol is quite beneficial and CBD oil can help maintain a healthy cortisol balance.

CBD’s ANTI-CATABOLIC PROPERTIES AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP

From research done on the Endocannabinoid System, we know that CBD oil consumed engages CB2 receptors in the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain, the control centers of the Endocannabinoid System responsible for regulating sleep and mood. Nearly 25 percent of Americans struggle to achievedeep REM sleep. However, with the support of CBD, regular deep REM sleep can be achieved to augment protein synthesis for building muscle tissue at the most optimum time when growth inhibiting cortisol levels are at a minimum. This is one indirect way CBD helps to manage cortisol levels.

A preliminary study published in September by the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research suggests CBD works directly with the Endocannabinoid System to interfere with cortisol secretion as reported by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, where subjects experienced a significant decrease in cortisol levels in their blood. This means that CBD can slow the breakdown of muscle mass and help athletes to build more muscle.

We know about CBD’s calming anti-anxiety and mood-regulating effects when working in natural harmony with our Endocannabinoid Systems. It’s easy to see how CBD’s multiple and very beneficial therapeutic effects, and its direct anti-catabolic action all combine to keep cortisol at the properly balanced levels to benefit our systems.

WHY HIGH-STRESS WORKOUTS AND OTHER STIMULANTS MAY BOOST CORTISOL LEVELS

Increasing levels of the hormone testosterone with intense periods of weight lifting is the well-known mechanism for building muscle mass, but the level of cortisol which also increases during an intense workout has the exact opposite effect.

Cortisol levels rise significantly in response to stress no matter what time of day or what the situation. That’s why the fitness community calls cortisol “the stress hormone.” An intense heavy workout routine is a source of physical stress. That’s in addition to the unavoidable day-to-day environmental stresses everyone experiences.

A woman works out with handheld weights in a gym.

High intensity workouts can actually produce harmful stress hormones in the body. Working out with CBD may counteract some of these negative effects of intense exercise.

When cortisol levels soar in response to extreme workout stress, the high amount of the catabolic hormone can cause high blood pressure, lower bone density, and eat up muscle tissue negating the positive benefits of the workout. In the worst-case scenario, unregulated cortisol can cause the physical condition to nosedive. That’s the exact opposite result of what your fitness regimen is trying to achieve.

This is (unfortunately) similar to the effect that caffeine causes. It has been demonstrated that as little as 2-3 cups of coffee per day can cause cortisol levels to rise. However, CBD oil’s natural stimulating effects provide all the energy-boosting benefits without the jitters while maintaining cortisol at beneficial levels.

Pre- and post-workout CBD oil supplements can balance cortisol levels to let you optimize results from your workout time. But, as always with CBD, there is good news and more good news.

CBD BOOSTS STAMINA AND HELPS YOU ‘FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS’

Stamina is something that each person desires for their workout or work day.

The most understood feeling of stamina is what we all know as the “runner’s high” that you can get from any long-form workout. For years, endorphins have gotten the credit for maintaining stamina through long, cardio-focused workouts. However, recent research has shown that the endocannabinoid system is the true generator of the legendary “runner’s high.” Findings show that it’s the rush of anandamide, the natural endocannabinoid compound regulated by CBD via the Endocannabinoid System, which deserves the credit for the sudden onset of the euphoric, pain-free, calm sensation.

Now within a CBD-optimized homeostasis where you are “firing on all cylinders,” stamina and energy levels are improved, breathing is well-regulated, and CBD’s anti-inflammatory action keeps muscles cramp-free while balancing dopamine at proper levels to promote smooth movement and balance. Some scientists refer to this homeostasis as “the Goldilocks Zone.” It’s that state in which mind, body, and spirit function together and everything is “just right.”

CBD BOOSTS STAMINA BY REGULATING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

The last key to building muscle and boosting stamina is maintenance of our blood sugar levels. Contrary to common belief, we can do this through more ways than just a balanced diet.

A runner is crouched on the starting line, ready to race on a track. Using CBD oil can actually boost stamina, which is just one of several benefits of working out with CBD.

Using CBD oil can actually boost stamina, which is just one of several benefits of working out with CBD.

Chronic inflammation has long been established as a cause of insulin resistance resulting in Type 2 diabetes. As reported by Diabetes.co.uk, the immune system, cell growth, sugar metabolism and heart function all also appear to prospectively benefit from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.

When blood sugar is regulated, less insulin is present and therefore less fat is stored. When less fat is stored, your body works in an anti-catabolic mode to help produce more muscle.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WORKING OUT WITH CBD

CBD oil’s anti-catabolic properties are making it the most recommended supplement in fitness regimens where increasing muscle mass is a primary goal. CBD’s additional benefits for runners, yoga enthusiasts, professional athletes and more in the health and wellness world strongly suggests that this is not a fad, but a supplement that is becoming the norm. More and more people are beginning to second-guess western medicine and are looking for a more natural way to help fight disease and pain – and CBD is increasingly the answer.

CBD can be ingested in capsule form, oil form or topically as a cream. CBD creams and salves also have a place in the fitness industry for topical inflammation, pain relief and flexibility – three things that are key to a safe and successful workout. It’s important for each fitness enthusiast to research the different ways to leverage CBD’s benefits and test dosages to see what works best for your body. The future is bright with CBD.

 

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DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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Highland Hemp House: Sharing The Beauty & Potential In Hemp Homes (VIDEO)

The Highland Hemp House is a unique hempcrete home in Bellingham, Washington. Older toxic building materials in this 1960s house are being replaced with healthy, sustainable, carbon-negative hemp.

The Highland Hemp House is a unique hempcrete home in Bellingham, Washington.

Originally built in 1969, owner Pamela Bosch wanted to replace older, toxic building materials with something healthy, sustainable, and eco-friendly. The answer was hempcrete, made from combining the hurd (woody core) of industrial hemp plants with lime and water. Bosch hired Hempitecture to oversee a total hempcrete retrofit.

Previously, Hempitecture created a hempcrete retreat center at 7,468’ in Idaho’s Lost River mountains. Idaho Basecamp uses the center for yoga classes and other events to help people feel in touch with nature.

HIGHLAND HEMP HOUSE: HEMPCRETE IS HEALTHIER & MORE SUSTAINABLE

Why choose hempcrete? Hempcrete is more breathable, making it healthier for occupants. Hempcrete is mold-resistant, pest-resistant, and fire-resistant. It’s carbon-negative, since it’s absorbs CO2 from occupants over time. Hempcrete is an energy efficient insulator, completely non-toxic and even has great acoustics.

The Highland Hemp House in Bellingham, Washington is a unique hempcrete retrofit. This 1960s home is being completely remodeled with hemp, becoming healthier, more sustainable, and carbon-negative along the way.

The Highland Hemp House in Bellingham, Washington is a unique hempcrete retrofit. This 1960s home is being completely remodeled with hemp, becoming healthier, more sustainable, and carbon-negative along the way. (Courtesy: Highland Hemp House)

Best of all, Hempcrete is so easy to work with anyone can learn. To create hempcrete walls, builders first mix, then spread the hempcrete into forms. After it dries, the forms are removed, and the walls will naturally grow even more durable over time. Highland Hemp House is frequently open for workshops, tours, and hands-on building. So far, they’ve put in over 1150 hours of labor and poured over 587 batches of hempcrete.

As work continues, Pamela Bosch hopes Highland Hemp House will be “a physical testament to the beauty and potential in hemp building.”

Thanks to TAAP Media for video production assistance.

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Why Grow Hemp: The Many Uses Of Hemp On Smaller Farms

More and more people are asking themselves, “should I grow hemp?” The secret truth to hemp’s growing popularity is it’s one of the easiest, most versatile and most sustainable crops you can grow.

More and more people are asking themselves, “should I grow hemp?”

Across America, we’re witnessing an ever-growing market for industrial hemp. Only two years ago, there were less than 10,000 acres growing across the country. Today, this new cash crop has reached an astounding 27,000 acres. And that number continues to rise.

This comes as no surprise considering hemp’s wide variety of uses. Even beyond the industry, many small farmers are finding ways in which hemp benefits their lives.

The simple answer, you get more out of it than you put in and the crop can grow in some inhospitable conditions. However, as you’ll find out from reading, the real reasons go deeper than that.

WHY GROW HEMP? HEMP IS SUSTAINABLE AND HAS MANY, MANY USES

The secret truth to hemp’s growing popularity is it’s one of the easiest and most sustainable crops you can grow. Unlike major cash crops such as corn or wheat, hemp grows in dense clusters that require very little pesticide or herbicides and a minimal amount of fertilizer. It  requires less water than some cash crops like cotton, though it isn’t considered a low water crop.

A hemp farmer surveys his crop at sunrise. Why grow hemp? Farmers grow hemp because it requires little maintenance and offers many uses.

A hemp farmer surveys his crop at sunrise. Why grow hemp? Farmers grow hemp because it requires little maintenance and offers many uses.

You can grow hemp almost anywhere in the country, excluding very dry deserts and high mountaintops. Preferably, hemp prospers in well-drained soil that has a high quality of organic matter. This guide from HempTechGlobal offers more detail on the logistics of growing and harvesting hemp. One potential complication is decortication, in which the parts of the hemp plant are separated. Decortication can require access to specialized equipment.

Research has discovered growing hemp holds potential to heal polluted soil. With the possibility to replace fossil fuels and be a new source of paper, hemp is considered one of the most eco-friendly crops around.

In fact, there are over 25,000 known uses for hemp. Whether you’re looking for something as complex as a form of concrete (hempcrete) or something as simple as some pet bedding, hemp has you covered.

People’s health also benefits from access to hemp. Hemp is a superfood that provides a great source of nutrients and fibers. But even better, it’s the key ingredient in CBD oil, an amazingly beneficial nutritional supplement.

When it comes to why people grow hemp, whether it be for personal or industrial use, there are a wide variety of reasons to consider. Many farmers report it’s an incredibly rewarding crop to grow.

IS IT LEGAL TO GROW HEMP?

One of the biggest questions people have when deciding to grow hemp is about legality. In most people’s minds, it’s still very much attached to its still federally illegal cousin, psychoactive cannabis (‘marijuana‘), making many farmers all the more cautious.

In 2013, Colorado farmer Ryan Loflin revolutionized the country by being the first to harvest hemp in America since 1957. Since then, the 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to pursue hemp farming for the sake of research practices. Since then, 38 states have legalized hemp cultivation.

Because each state operates differently under the bill, it’ll be necessary you do some research before planting any hemp crops.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GROW HEMP

There are some legal factors you’ll need to keep in mind before starting your hemp garden.

The first and most important is you’ll be required to have a license. One which requires a fee and lots of paperwork. In some cases, you may face a criminal background check.

Furthermore, after harvest, your plants must be tested for their THC levels. If they test higher than .3 percent, your crop will most likely be destroyed.

Industrial hemp grows in long, tightly packed rows on a farm. While there are large-scale uses for hemp, many smaller farms also grow hemp.

Some hemp farmers, such as Kim Phillips from Montana, run into unexpected difficulties. Her water source is federally regulated by the Bureau of Reclamation, so she had to request access to their assets for hemp irrigation. Since they didn’t approve her request in time, her plants withered the first time she tried to grow hemp.

Because hemp plants are required to have such a low amount of THC, many farmers find the most difficult task is finding the proper seed. Since hemp legality is so recent, the seed industry can’t always keep up with the ever-growing demand for seeds.

There have also been reported difficulties shipping seeds through states where hemp production is still illegal.

DESPITE COMPLICATIONS, SMALL FARMERS STILL GROW HEMP

Even with everything that’s been mentioned, the demand for this eco-friendly crop is enormous. Many farmers are jumping on the hemp bandwagon.

If considering an industrial hemp operation, you might want to take precautions to inform the community. Many hemp farmers post signs explaining that their crop is not marijuana. Tom Hewson, a Colorado hemp farmer, gathered his neighborhood together for a community meeting to inform them about the crop he had planned, and why he chose hemp. In his words, “educational efforts are critical.”

You may still wonder if it’s beneficial for you to grow it for personal reasons. The truth of the matter is, the legal standpoint on hemp may turn some growers off. But, if you can look past those obligations, hemp can be of great use to you.

As already mentioned, there’s such a wide variety of ways in which hemp can be used for your personal benefit. Even more so, though, by deciding to grow hemp, you can be a part of creating a more sustainable way of life.

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Hemp Pesto Aioli & Hemp Tacos: Cooking With Hemp Way Foods

Sampling Carla Boyd’s cooking was one of the highlights of our recent visit to Denver. Boyd is the founder of Hemp Way Foods, a Colorado company. She shared two of her favorite recipes with us: hemp pesto aioli and hemp tacos.

Sampling Carla Boyd’s cooking, including her hemp pesto aioli, was one of the highlights of our recent visit to Denver.

Boyd is the founder of Hemp Way Foods, a Colorado company. People lined up to sample her hemp burgers, vegan hemp nachos, and hemp tacos at the NoCo Hemp Expo last month. After we tried her food, we knew we wanted to find out more and get a few recipes for our readers.

Hemp hearts are a key ingredient in Carla Boyd’s hemp pesto aioli, along with many other delicious recipes.

Hemp hearts are a key ingredient in Carla Boyd’s hemp pesto aioli, along with many other delicious recipes.

We spoke with Boyd by phone to learn how she discovered hemp. She also shared two of her recipes, which you’ll find below: her famous hemp pesto aioli and hemp tacos.

HEMP WAY FOODS CREATED AFTER HEMP HEALED ILLNESS

Boyd began investigating hemp as a food source because of severe digestive problems. Her quality of life suffered, and nothing else seemed to help.

“I was a walking skeleton at the time,” she described. “I wasn’t absorbing any nutrients.”

Boyd was already involved with hemp advocacy, “but I had never really focused on the food side.”

Further research into hemp’s nutritional benefits led to the creation of her first product, a hemp burger.

“People started asking for it and wanted to buy it,” she recalled. “I never planned to have a food company; it’s almost like the company chose me.”

Hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory substances. Hemp protein is also one of the most easily available and digestible proteins in the plant world. Boyd believes all of this contributed to making hemp easier for her body to process and use.

As Boyd’s health improved, the company grew with her. Four years later, Hemp Way Foods offers both the burger and hemp crumbles, which come in both original and sriracha pepper flavors. Both the hemp burger and hemp crumbles are vegan and free from common allergens like gluten, corn and soy. Hemp Way products are found in about a dozen restaurants and retail locations in Colorado, with plans to go national in the works.

Along the way, Boyd received the enthusiastic support of other hemp industry advocates and entrepreneurs.

“In the hemp world, there’s definitely a camaraderie,” she said.

Fresh basil and hemp hearts mix to create heavenly flavor in Carla Boyd’s hemp pesto aioli.

Fresh basil and hemp hearts mix to create heavenly flavor in Carla Boyd’s hemp pesto aioli.

HEMP PESTO AIOLI RECIPE

Recipes by Carla Boyd, Hemp Way Foods

Ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz. jar mayonnaise
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts (any brand)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha for added kick
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Combine Hemp Way Foods’ hemp burger crumbles with hemp pesto aioli and other fresh ingredients for a delicious taco dinner.

Combine Hemp Way Foods’ hemp burger crumbles with hemp pesto aioli and other fresh ingredients for a delicious taco dinner. (Carla Boyd / Hemp Way Foods)

Directions: De-stem basil leaves. Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate. Hemp pesto aioli can be used as a sauce or spread in almost any dish.

HEMP TACOS WITH HEMP WAY FOODS’ CRUMBLES

Ingredients:

Directions: Defrost crumbles in a skillet with small amount of oil to crisp (1 tsp.). Stir all ingredients together and toast in the pan. Toast crumbles to desired crispness (about 8-10 minutes). Serve in corn tortillas with hemp pesto aioli on top.

 

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5 Healthy Seeds You Should Add to Your Diet Today

Seeds are especially rich in trace minerals like folate, iron, zinc, and healthy fats. But we don’t always get seeds in our diet, which means we’re missing out on many health benefits.

Healthy seeds like flax, hemp, and sesame are an incredibly rich source of nutrients.

Seeds are especially rich in trace minerals like folate, iron, zinc, and healthy fats. But we don’t always get seeds in our diet. For many of us, nuts are the main type of seed in our food, and we rarely expand our diet to take advantage of the wide variety of healthy seeds available in nature – which means we’re missing out on many health benefits.

Healthy seeds like flax add valuable nutrients and delicious flavor to your meals.

Healthy seeds like flax add valuable nutrients and delicious flavor to your meals. Other good options include hemp, sesame and chia seeds.

EATING SEEDS FOR A BETTER DIET

Seeds contain minerals, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamin E; and these nutrients help keep your heart healthy and your body disease-free. Our ancestors relied on seeds to stay strong and healthy, and you can do the same by making minor adjustments to your diet. Let’s take a look at some healthy seeds to add to your diet, and reasons why you should be eating them.

FLAX SEEDS

They contain antioxidant properties and essential omega-3 fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid, which enhances cardiovascular health. According to a paper published by Biochimie, a journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, alpha-linolenic acid reduces the risk of stroke significantly.

Flax seeds contain lignans, which are plant compounds that are reported to have antioxidant properties and to reduce the risk of cancer. The concentration of lignans found in flax seeds is 800 times higher than any other plant food. One Canadian study found that women who eat flax seeds are 18% less likely to develop breast cancer.

One way to eat flax seeds is to bake them into cookies or muffins, but you can also sprinkle them into your salads to get all the nutrients.

Hulled hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are a popular form of hemp seeds.

Hulled hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are a popular form of hemp seeds.

HEMP SEEDS

Hemp seeds contain over 30% healthy fat, and are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain phytosterols, a compound that is known to reduce cholesterol, and gamma-linoleninc, another compound that has great health benefits. The balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids affects immune responses in the body; and hemp seeds provide a good supply of polyunsaturated fats.

One study showed that giving hemp seeds to people with eczema can increase the levels of essential fatty acids in the blood. To get the most out of hemp seeds, grind them or buy them hulled as “hemp hearts” and add a spoonful to your morning yogurt or sprinkle them over fresh fruit.

Chia seeds are a source of nutrients like calcium, fiber, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.

Chia seeds are a source of nutrients like calcium, fiber, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.

CHIA SEEDS

They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and they contain calcium, fiber and iron. Omega-3 acids help to raise HDL cholesterol in your body (don’t worry this is “good” cholesterol), and they also protect you against strokes and heart problems. Chia seeds can help you reach your fitness goals by curbing your appetite, which is essential in managing body weight.

The best way to eat chia seeds is to add them into smoothies, salads, and granolas. You can also add one or two tablespoons into a beverage drinks – make sure to stir for at least 3 minutes. If you add the seeds to a drink or a “wet” dish, they swell up slightly as you eat, and they’re also a bit crunchy.

Healthy seeds like sesame can add fiber and trace nutrients to your diet.

Healthy seeds like sesame can add fiber and trace nutrients to your diet.

SESAME SEEDS

Sesame seeds are known for having a high nutritional content that include vitamins, minerals, natural oils, and trace minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper. In addition to all that, they also contain fiber, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, and proteins.

The high fiber content helps with digestion and zinc is useful in production of collagen, which gives your skin elasticity and helps to repair damaged tissues. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2016, sesame seeds enhance antioxidant properties and minimize oxidative stress.

SUNFLOWER SEEDS

These small healthy seeds contain at least two nutrients that are good for your heart; Vitamin E, and folate. Just one quarter cup serving will give you 60% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin E – and from a nutritional standpoint, this is important in a number of ways. Vitamin E assists the body in neutralizing free radicals and this protects cell membranes against swelling and redness.

The magnesium found in sunflower seeds can promote better moods, while other nutrients keep your heart healthy.

The magnesium found in sunflower seeds can promote better moods, while other nutrients keep your heart healthy.

Both Vitamin E and folate have been shown to promote cardiovascular health, and magnesium, another ingredient found in sunflower seeds, enables muscles and the skeletal system to function properly. Magnesium also assists in respiratory function, heart health, and healthy PMS.

Magnesium also promotes a healthy mood. Over a century ago magnesium sulphate was given to people suffering from depression, and its success made it a valuable nutrient. Today magnesium is used in homeopathic therapies for mental health.

MAKE HEALTHY SEEDS AN EVERYDAY PART OF YOUR DIET

In order to see the long-term effects of these nutrients you have to make seeds a part of your daily diet. Find creative ways to include seeds in your snacks, drinks, and whole meals. Keep a bag of mixed seeds in your fridge to sprinkle on soups, salads, casseroles, and any other food you like. Remember, cooking is also a option when eating seeds, so find new ways to cook with seeds for a healthier diet.

We think you’ll quickly find that these healthy seeds become an essential, even craveable part of your meals.

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Here’s Why Hempcrete Is The Greatest Innovation in Healthy Homes

Growing interest in a lesser known building material could create healthy homes all over America. It’s called hempcrete and it’s durable, sustainable and carbon negative.

Growing interest in a lesser known building material could create healthy homes all over America.

It’s called hempcrete. This combination of chopped hemp shiv and lime binder is durable, sustainable and carbon negative. Lime is an abundant quarried material and hemp is a renewable biomaterial — both safeguarding the sustainable future of hempcrete and our planet.

HOW DOES HEMPCRETE PROMOTE HEALTHY HOMES?

Hempcrete is a breathable matter, absorbing moisture from the air when humidity is high and releasing it again when humidity levels drop. This ensures that water vapour can pass in and out of the wall rather than becoming trapped and causing damp problems.

healthy homes can be made from hempcrete like this experimental building in Singapore

The wall of a hempcrete building in Singapore. Hempcrete buildings are healthy homes because this unique building material is pest and mold resistant and vapor permeable. (Flickr / Jnzl’s Photos, CC-BY license)

When cooking or in bedrooms at night from the occupants breathing, there is often excess moisture in the air. Hempcrete absorbs this moisture into the walls to be released later, discouraging damp. This in turn combats the formation of fungi and mold spores which are damaging to human health.

The regulation of humidity has been shown to inhibit the spread of viral and bacterial infections, allergic reactions and respiratory conditions. This ability to regulate air quality reduces the need for powered air filters and ventilation systems, allowing for truly healthy homes.

WHAT ABOUT HEMPCRETE AND PEST CONTROL?

Hemp is naturally fire-retardant and pest-resistant. Because of these properties, there is no need to add the chemicals which are usually added to building materials, including formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and VOCs have been implicated in both asthma and allergies. The omission of these chemicals obviously contributes to the health of the occupants of the house.

hempcrete shreds

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.

Hempcrete can be used to build new healthy homes or add an extension to your existing home, perhaps a “granny annexe” allowing elderly parents to move in with their children in a healthy environment or a “relaxation room” for family members to unwind and breathe deeply.

HEALTHY HOMES AND HEMPCRETE: WILL THE BENEFITS WEAR OUT?

Hempcrete is an incredible material which has negative carbon emissions. This means that it absorbs more carbon dioxide than is produced by building it.

Even in this form, when hempcrete has consumed more carbon dioxide than it has left in the atmosphere, it remains breathable, so homes continue to be rainproof but remainpermeable to gas and moisture in the environment. Hempcrete homes will stay healthy for life.

What with the growth of green building, interest in healthy homes and and widespread need for sustainable building materials, hempcrete is set to be the home building material of the future.

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How Yoga & CBD Can Reduce Stress & Help You Feel More Connected | Yoga And CBD

If you suffer from stress or related conditions such as anxiety and depression, you certainly aren’t alone. These are two of the most common illnesses in the world, but fear not; there are many natural ways you ease your stress.

If you suffer from stress or related conditions such as anxiety and depression, you certainly aren’t alone.

These are two of the most common illnesses in the world, but fear not; there are many natural ways you ease your stress. Spending more time in nature, yoga and CBD products all harness the power of nature to heal and balance our bodies.

In this post, we highlight the many ways that Mother Nature can help us lead a calmer, more balanced life.

CBD and yoga at sunset

Seated in lotus position at sunset, a woman cups her hands over her heads. Yoga and CBD, like other forms of self-care, can ease stress and anxiety.

THE POWERFUL EFFECTS OF YOGA

Over the past decade, numerous studies have revealed that yoga has the ability to significantly lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Thus, this ancient practice is used in everything from cancer therapy, to substance abuse recovery, eating disorder recovery, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and even recovery from breast cancer.

Researchers believe that stress relief comes from three major sources: the yogic asanas or poses (which involve intense coordination between body and mind), controlled breathing (which lowers the heart and breathing rates) and mindfulness (yoga is often accompanied by meditation, which aims to keep us “in the present moment”).

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful ways we can stop stress in its tracks, because it allows us to escape the frequent ruminations about the past or worry about our future. When we keep the mind in the here and now, we are able to breathe better, focus more, and create a mental state that is incompatible with panic attacks and general anxiety.

A woman practices a yoga handstand atop a mountain. Studies show time spent in the outdoors has measurable benefits.

YOGA AND SPIRITUALITY IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Yoga, especially when performed in the Great Outdoors, can deeply enrich our spirituality, since nature itself has very similar benefits to those bestowed by yoga –– including stress reduction and a deep sense of mindfulness.

Recent research proves that those who are more spiritual, are generally happier. Somehow, believing in a greater power than ourselves enables us feel less insignificant, isolated, and anxious. Yoga helps us tap into our inner need for spirituality, while nature is an outward manifestation of the life force that runs through all of us.

A person dressed all in white practices tai chi on a beach.

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO YOGA

Yoga is far from being the only mindfulness based activity; there are more to choose from, including Tai Chi. Systematic reviews have found that Tai Chi has powerful psychological benefits, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Research currently recommend that Tai Chi be adopted in education institutions because of the many benefits it can bestow on students.

Of course, Tai Chi also has important physical benefits, which are in fact very similar to those of yoga. These benefits include improved flexibility, stability, balance, and lung capacity, along with reducing stress.

YOGA AND CBD FOR STRESS

CBD is increasingly being used to battle stress, owing to its ability to react directly with cell receptors, including serotonin and dopamine receptors. It is vital not to confuse CBD with THC (the cannabinoid responsible for the ‘high effect’ of marijuana). While THC can have many benefits, CBD offers numerous positive effects for its users while leaving their mental state mostly unchanged.

CBD is often taken as an oil but also used topically to treat skin conditions and inflammation, or even consumed in sweets like gummies. It is just one of the many naturally occurring compounds found in all cannabis plants. Because of how CBD interacts with serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain and nervous system, more of these neurotransmitters can flow through the body, resulting in a greater sense of calm and wellbeing.

CBD MIMICS THE HUMAN BODY’S NATURAL ‘CANNABINOIDS’

In the early 1990s, researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system, a part of the nervous system which is responsible for important functions including mood, pain tolerance, memory, sleep, and appetite.

A model of a CBD model. A growing amount of evidence shows CBD, found in all cannabis plants, can benefit humanity.

It also helps maintain homeostasis, the self-regulating process through which the body tends to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions changing conditions in order to promote its own survival. This stability, commonly referred to as a ‘dynamic equilibrium,’ helps maintain temperature, blood oxygen levels, moisture, etc.

The endocannabinoid system has receptors throughout the body; these are put into action by important neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. CBD mimics these endocannabinoids, and can thus help the body maintain many vital functions. Thus, CBD has benefits that extend beyond stress busting; it also promotes heart health, helps fight inflammation, promotes healthy skin and hair, and more.

A MULTI-LAYER APPROACH TO BATTLING STRESS

If you think you may have anxiety or depression, it is important to check in with a doctor. Working alongside your therapist or other health professional, you can take many approaches to  battling these conditions.

It is important to tackle stress from a multi-layered perspective, too. Holistic activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness meditation, and time spent in nature have proven to be a useful complementary therapy for anxiety and other stress-related conditions. CBD, an almost miraculous supplement made from natural hemp, can be an important part of our anti-stress toolkit too.

Whatever approach you take, if you make time to care for yourself and your wellbeing then every other part of your life will seem a little bit easier.

 

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