Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

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Could Hemp Finally Become The “New Billion Dollar Crop”?

Back in 1938, Popular Mechanics issued an article entitled “New Billion-Dollar Crop.” It promised farmers in the United States a lucrative cash crop worth hundreds of millions, one that would…

Hemp New Billion Dollar Crop

An article featuring hemp in Popular Mechanics Magazine in Feb 1938

Back in 1938, Popular Mechanics issued an article entitled “New Billion-Dollar Crop.” It promised farmers in the United States a lucrative cash crop worth hundreds of millions, one that would not compete with other mainstream products. However, marijuana prohibition followed soon afterward and hemp, the promised billion-dollar crop, became illegal instead. That is, until now…

With the rapid deregulation of cannabis, both industrial hemp and psychoactive cannabis (marijuana), there is every reason to grow hemp once again. Although related to cannabis sativa, hemp contains significantly less THC, offers serious economic benefits, and has a myriad of potential uses. The promises made to farmers back in 1938 may finally become a reality.

The Unknown Benefits of Hemp

Hemp was once the world’s standard fiber. Its tensile strength remains unmatched to this day and its durability is unduplicatable. The fiber of this plant used to produce over 5,000 different textile products before prohibition, ranging from fine lace to rope, and its cellulose made more than 25,000 products, from cellophane to dynamite. It was an integral part of American history.

Hemp could jumpstart textile industry
This plant is set to become a standard fiber once again. After removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, it is possible to make any fiber-based or cellulose-based product on earth, from dresses to houses and even plastics. Every part of the plant is usable, making hemp the most versatile and promising crop for the future. Here are just some of the benefits to expect from this million-dollar crop:

1. Hemp Can Jumpstart Job Creation

Hemp will not compete with other products made in the United States. Instead, it will lower imports and create jobs. Hemp can displace all raw material imports and manufactured products made in China, India, and everywhere else but here, which will rebuild the manufacturing sector and employ thousands of currently unemployed Americans.

2. Every part of a hemp plant can be used = More profits for farmers and manufacturers

Fiber-removing machines cut down prohibitive human labor significantly and slash manufacturing costs by half. The rest of the stalk, which contains as much as 77 percent cellulose, also has a highly lucrative market. Every part of the plant is usable and can turn staggering revenues. Manufacturers can make an excellent profit competing with foreign fiber imports, and still pay good prices to farmers per ton.

Hemp can help farmers

3. The Environmental Benefits – Hemp Could Heal Our Soil

For farmers, hemp is among the easiest crops to grow. It thrives in most soils, but does particularly well on land suitable for oats, wheat, and corn. It grows happily in every state. Its growing season is also short, so farmers can plant it after harvesting their other crops. Per acre, hemp can yield as much as three to six tons.

This plant has long roots that penetrate soil deeply, breaking it up and creating ideal soil conditions for the next year’s crop. It can also reach 12 feet in height, and because it has very dense foliage, it chokes out weeds most effectively. Land abandoned because of quack grass or Canadian thistles is reclaimable after just two successive hemp harvests.

4. Improved Production Will Be The Difference For Hemp In The 21st Century

Back in the old days, workers would cut hemp and leave it in the field for several weeks to decompose enough to pull the fibers off by hand. Even the first fiber-extracting machines could not reduce wastage, improve quality, or lower costs during this process. Today’s machines can and will, at a rate of several tons per hour, improve production costs, quality, and wastage.

5. All This Could Help Accelerate Economic Growth

The raw fiber of hemp can make strong rope or twine, burlap, carpet warp, and even linoleum backing. It is bleachable and easily refined. Its byproducts are resinous and highly valued commercially. Hemp can replace foreign fibers currently flooding U.S. markets. Before prohibition, the hemp industry was a major economic contributor.

One large powder company, for example, was using hemp to manufacture TNT and dynamite from thousands of tons of hemp each year. Another paper company was growing hemp in Minnesota to make cigarette papers instead of forking out millions annually in foreign import duties. There was an Illinois factory using hemp to produce bond paper. These are a few examples of thousands.

“These are just a few examples out of thousands…”

As a natural material, hemp can be a major economical source of pulp for making the highest quality products. Its high percentage of alpha cellulose promises unlimited supplies of the raw materials needed for thousands of cellulose-based items and fiber-reliant textiles. The U.S. imports almost all linen, burlap, and binder twine from the exploitative labor force of other countries.

We should be exporting these products and many more, which we are currently importing. Canvas, bowstrings, fishnets, rope, damask tablecloths, overalls, clothes, and millions of other everyday products can originate from national farms instead. The exorbitant cost of importing foreign fibers and products should rather become available as income for Americans.

The possibilities for the paper industry are even greater. Instead of importing paper products and destroying forests globally, the country can produce every page of paper it needs itself. On just 10,000 acres of hemp, it is possible to make the same amount of paper currently produced on 40,000 acres of other pulp lands.

But First, Hemp Needs To Overcome Some Obstacles

Despite the huge benefits of growing hemp crops, many farmers seem reluctant to try it. The law is in flux and currently unstable, and to make money from hemp, farmers must have access to the proper equipment within a reasonable distance of their farms. Without machinery to handle hemp crops, farmers may struggle to find a profitable market, unless manufacturers purchase as is.

Female hemp blossoms contain THC, albeit very low levels of it. It is impossible to grow hemp without the flowers. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a scheduled narcotic, even though California and other states do not. Producing narcotics is federally illegal. States are making their own laws, however. To thrive, the hemp industry only needs regulatory guidelines and approval.

Hemp’s exaggerated connection to marijuana is outdated, though. People grow their own high-level THC plants already. The low-level THC in hemp is inadequate for recreational or medical use. If state and federal regulations can protect people without preventing the legitimate cultivation of hemp, this billion-dollar crop will advance American industry and agriculture immeasurably.

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Why did the ‘Hemp For Victory’ film disappear? How the US hid all evidence of the film after WWII

During World War II, hemp was so desperately needed by the Allies that the United States briefly reversed its stance on hemp and encouraged farmers to grow it. Afterwards, they…

During World War II, hemp was so desperately needed by the Allies that the United States briefly reversed its stance on hemp and encouraged farmers to grow it. Afterwards, they tried to erase all records of the campaign.

Millions of people are rediscovering the benefits of hemp, both as a health remedy in CBD oil and a raw ingredient in dozens of hemp-based products. Far fewer are aware of hemp’s history in the U.S. as a cash crop, or the lengths that the government went to suppress that history.

One of the most remarkable examples is “Hemp For Victory,” an educational film produced by the USDA in 1942 that encouraged farmers to grow hemp. After the war, when growing hemp again became illegal again, the government hid the existence of the film for years until pro-cannabis activists forced them to bring it back into the light.

hemp for victory film
The story of “Hemp For Victory,” and indeed the facts laid out in the film itself, make it clear that hemp was once an essential part of American (and indeed, virtually all human) life, and could be once again if laws continue to change.

Before Drug Prohibition, Hemp Was A Vital American Crop

Before cannabis and hemp were made illegal in the aftermath of alcohol prohibition, they were everyday parts of many people’s lives. Hemp was used to make products like cloth, rope, and sails from the moment the American colonies began, Early drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper, though the final version still preserved today is written on parchment.

While smokable cannabis likely reached the United States in the early days of the 20th century (the common slang term “marijuana” reflects its likely origins as an import via Mexico), cannabis tinctures were widely used in medicine for at least a century beforehand, even available in many drug stores. For a brief moment, Turkish smoking parlors were all the rage in American high society.

Of course, all that changed with the beginning of the war on drugs. As alcohol prohibition ended, much of the same law enforcement apparatus that had targeted speakeasies and booze smuggling turned against cannabis in the 1930s. Even humble hemp was demonized for the cause of drug prohibition — until, that is, the U.S. military faced a wartime shortage decades later during World War II.

War Shortages Force Us Government To Declare ‘hemp For Victory’

Long ago when these ancient Grecian temples were new, hemp was already old in the service of mankind. For thousands of years, even then, this plant had been grown for cordage and cloth in China and elsewhere in the East. For centuries prior to about 1850 all the ships that sailed the western seas were rigged with hempen rope and sails.

For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable. …

— From “Hemp For Victory”

“Hemp For Victory” is a fascinating film, not only because of its origins and the attempted cover-up, but for its contents as well. In 13 and a half minutes, the USDA offers a concise history and truth of hemp that’s been largely censored from textbooks. Hemp was a central part of human culture and even today hundreds of thousands of acres are legally grown worldwide.

It’s also remarkable that a government agency would flip flop on a core drug policy, going from banning to encouraging hemp, just about a decade after the war on drugs began.

As the film explains, “the culture of hemp in America declined,” though the cause had as much to do with drug prohibition as with the “cheaper imported fibers” the USDA blamed. In any case, under wartime conditions, imported hemp became dangerously scarce.

“Philippine and East Indian sources of hemp [are] in the hands of the Japanese, and shipment of jute from India curtailed,” explains “Hemp For Victory.”

Efforts to encourage hemp growing were already underway:

In 1942, patriotic farmers at the government’s request planted 36,000 acres of seed hemp, an increase of several thousand percent. The goal for 1943 is 50,000 acres of seed hemp.

After the war came to a close, imported hemp became available again, and “Hemp For Victory” was buried in the government vaults.

The Government Tried to Hide The Film – Activists Force Them To Admit “Hemp For Victory” Exists

Today, you can find “Hemp For Victory” in the U.S. National Archives, under record number “1682.” But sometime after the film’s release and the end of the war, it’s existence had been scrubbed from government records, including the archives. The USDA had even asked college libraries to remove the film from their holdings.

After decades in obscurity, in 1989 a number of cannabis activists, including the famous hemp expert Jack Herer, discovered or were given copies of “Hemp For Victory” on VHS. Despite the film’s obvious government origins, inquiries to government agencies, from the USDA to the Library of Congress, came up empty handed. Here’s a typical response from one government official, as quoted in “The Great Book Of Hemp“:

We contacted the Washington, DC office of the Department of Agriculture and also the Federal Audio Center and have been unable to locate any film with the title “Hemp for Victory” that was produced by any department of the federal government.

Herer attempted to find the film at the National Archives to no avail, but in May 1990, a hemp researcher named John Birrenbach received a different answer from another archivist, who successfully discovered both reels of the original film. For a fee, Birrenbach received an official government videocassette copy of the film, finally definitively proving that it was a real USDA film. The cover of the original VHS box can be seen on Birrenbach’s website, The Institute For Cannabis.

Can Legalization Bring A New Victory For Hemp?

new hemp for victory
Unearthing “Hemp For Victory,” and the other strides made by pro-cannabis activists like Herer and Birrenbach, have helped modern Americans rediscover hemp’s great potential.

Today, most hemp is still imported from overseas. This can sometimes cause issues with quality and purity of CBD extracts and other hemp products. At the same time, high quality organic sources are available, and hemp is once again being grown in the U.S. thanks to progress toward legalization.

Despite continued threats from the U.S. government, over half the U.S. plus the District of Columbia have passed laws loosening restrictions on cannabis, and pilot hemp growing programs continue under regulations outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill.

Domestic hemp farmers once contributed to victory for the U.S. and its allies in World War II. Someday soon, hemp’s tremendous potential could once again represent victory for all the earth’s people.

 

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Hemp Makes Great Plastic, So Why Isn’t Hemp Plastic Everywhere?

Plastic is an inescapable part of our everyday lives, so why is almost all of it still made from polluting, non-renewable petrochemicals? You may have heard that agricultural hemp, the…

Plastic is an inescapable part of our everyday lives, so why is almost all of it still made from polluting, non-renewable petrochemicals?

You may have heard that agricultural hemp, the non-mind-altering cousin of cannabis (commonly known as marijuana), has dozens of potential uses from clothing to paper.

Since virtually all climate scientists agree that we must replace our dependence on fossil fuels, and given that hemp can even make the soil cleaner, it’s surprising that this miracle crop isn’t in wider use.

When we looked into the topic, we found that hemp is already appearing in some commonplace objects, including cars, and could soon find it’s way into more. But there are also remaining barriers that keep hemp plastics more expensive and less versatile, for now.

Alternatives Needed As Plastic Pollutes Water & Land

plastic pollution

Researchers found 38 million pieces of plastic waste on one uninhabited island in the South Pacific. That’s just one island.

Not only are the harmful effects of global warming increasingly clear, conventional plastics linger in the environment and can even enter the food chain to detrimental effect on human and animal health.

In one especially shocking recent example, researchers from the University of Tasmania and the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds found 38 million pieces of plastic waste on Henderson Island, an uninhabited coral island in the South Pacific.

“I’ve travelled to some of the most far-flung islands in the world and regardless of where I’ve gone, in what year, and in what area of the ocean, the story is generally the same: the beaches are littered with evidence of human activity,” Jennifer Lavers, a marine scientist from the University of Tasmania, told The Guardian.

The oceans are in a similar or even worse state, thanks to the risk of microplastics, or tiny fragments of plastic that pollute the waters and are often eaten by marine life. The infamous “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is actually largely composed of millions of these tiny particles — as much as 1.9 million per square mile — according to a 2014 report from National Geographic.

Hemp Cellulose Fibers A Good Source For Many Plastics

Some of the earliest plastics were made from cellulose fibers obtained from organic, non-petroleum-based sources.

“Hemp cellulose can be extracted and used to make cellophane, rayon, celluloid and a range of related plastics,” reported Seshata, a writer at Sensi Seeds in 2014. “Hemp is known to contain around 65-70% cellulose, and is considered a good source (wood contains around 40%, flax 65-75%, and cotton up to 90%) that has particular promise due to its relative sustainability and low environmental impact.”

While 100% hemp-based plastic is still a rarity, some “composite bioplastics” — plastics made from a combination of hemp and other plant sources — are already in use. Thanks to their high strength and rigidity, these plastics are currently used in the construction of cars, boats, and even musical instruments.

could hemp be used for plastic bottles

Bioplastic Is Promising, But Can’t Solve All Our Pollution Problems

Many plastic products are made from polymer resins, including polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, found in everyday products like plastic bottles. While advocates hope to someday see 100% hemp-based plastic bottles on supermarket shelves, the technology just isn’t ready for prime time.

Companies like Coca-Cola have experimented with 100% plant-based bottles, but commercially available products are made from no more than 30% plant-based materials, while the remainder is made from traditional fossil fuel sources.

The good news is that many corporations are investing heavily in researching replacements to traditional PET. It’s likely the first company to produce a viable commercial product could stand to earn millions.

Unfortunately, even plastic that’s deliberately designed to be biodegradable can still be a source of pollution. Almost nothing biodegrades in a landfill, and hemp microplastics could still cause problems when introduced to the oceans. Biodegradable plastics need to be sent to commercial composting facilities for efficient disposal, and these facilities aren’t available to everyone. In addition to creating better alternatives to plastic, we’ll still to create more responsible attitudes toward disposable products.

Cost And The War On Drugs Are Biggest Barrier To Hemp Plastic

While fossil fuel costs are kept low with subsidies, hemp products for the most part remain costly luxury items. While some hemp is grown in the United States under pilot programs legalized by the 2014 Farm Bill, most is still imported from other countries.

Though hemp requires fewer pesticides and has a smaller environmental footprint than many other crops, growing and harvesting it remains labor intensive. Another drawback is that hemp requires “significant fertiliser in some soils, and also has relatively high water requirements,” as noted by Seshata.

However, hemp prices would almost undoubtedly come down, and technology improve, if we ended the war on drugs — particularly the many restrictions on legally growing hemp and cannabis.

could hemp plastic be used for legos
One of the most provocative examples of hemp’s potential plastic future could come from LEGOs, the ubiquitous building block toy. which is promising to phase out fossil-fuel based resin by 2030.

“Hemp might just be the cost effective, environmentally sustainable alternative material that LEGO is looking for,” speculated Emily Gray Brosious in a February 2016 investigation from the Sun Times.

Whether or not we’re ever able to build a spaceship from hemp bricks, the full promise of hemp plastic remains tantalizingly close, but just out of reach.

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Why Hemp Clothing? A Viable Solution to One of World’s Major Problems

San Luis Obispo, April 2017 — EVERYBODY knows how bad oil is for the environment. Its by products spew from the back of our cars, its thick black toxicity lays…

why hemp clothing
San Luis Obispo, April 2017 — EVERYBODY knows how bad oil is for the environment. Its by products spew from the back of our cars, its thick black toxicity lays upon our gulfs when spilled, and some people can even taste the dirt and chemicals fracking adds to our water. While oil has been at the forefront of our conception of pollution, another industry lurks in its shadow (and in your shadow) and has been a harbinger of environmental damage. The clothing industry has been hiding behind our backs, giving us fast fashion and synthetic fabrics that are continuously destroying the environment in many different ways.

When four students at Cal Poly SLO discovered this fact, they became determined to enact change in any way possible. After refining uncountable plans and courses of action, one rose above them all. Bract Company: a clothing company dedicated to educating people on the endless benefits, uses, and sustainability of hemp as well as providing products that enable sustainable and affordable outdoor wear.

The clothing industry has three main phases of pollution separated into cultivation, production and use & disposal. Hemp is a viable solution on all of these fronts.

hemp vs synthetic vs cotton

Hemp fabric can help us conserve a LOT of water & the use of toxic chemicals

1. Cultivation: Hemp can reduce carbon & water waste

Cotton makes up almost 40% of the clothing industry and is a massive contributor to its pollution. Cotton uses 24% of the world’s pesticides and 11% of the world’s insecticides. These dangerous chemicals damage arable land and can seep into local waterways contaminating the ground and drinking water. Cotton is also a very water intensive crop using on average 720 gallons of water to produce enough fiber for a shirt.

Hemp is naturally resistant to pests and requires no chemicals during cultivation. Hemp plants can also be used as “carbon sinks” due to the fact that a single acre sequesters 9.82 tons of C02 during its lifespan. Along with these natural advantages, hemp is extremely versatile allowing it to grow in almost any climate with very small amounts of water. Hemp plants use ½ the water of cotton to produce twice the amount of fiber.

2. Production: Hemp Requires Zero Fossil Fuel To Make

Synthetic fabrics make up 58% of the world’s textiles and they are created with the use of fossil fuels. Polyester alone burns through over 70,000,000 barrels of oil annually and that number is only increasing. Production of synthetic fibers is very energy intensive and also releases extremely dangerous greenhouse gasses such as N20 which is 300x more damaging to the environment as C02. While natural fibers do not require fossil fuels to produce, dying processes are the main form of water pollution IN THE WORLD and cause many local waterways and rivers to be poisoned when left untreated.

pollution from synthetics
While the production of hemp fibers does not greatly differ in energy use compared to cotton, the C02 sequestered during cultivation is nearly enough to offset the C02 emitted during production. Alongside this, our company ensures the use of natural dies that cause no water pollution whatsoever.

3. Use & Disposal: Hemp is Biodegradable & Longer Lasting

Synthetic materials will stay in landfills for around 300 years after being disposed of

Every time synthetic fabrics are washed, microfibers drain into the ocean damaging marine wildlife. On top of this, synthetic materials will stay in landfills for around 300 years when disposed of. With the average American throwing away around 65 pounds of clothing every year, this presents a large problem. Although cotton is a natural fiber that is biodegradable, the chemicals used throughout the production process can contaminate decompositions sites.

Americans throw out 65 tons of clothing per year
Being a natural fiber as well, hemp will decompose in a matter of months. Also, due to the chemical free nature of the plant and natural dyes, our clothing can even be composted in your backyard bin.

Along with its sustainable benefits and minimal ecological footprint, the hemp plant has extremely beneficial natural advantages that carry over to textile form. These advantages make hemp one of the most useful and durable fabrics for outdoor use.

hemp clothing is superior
Hemp fabric is extremely eco-friendly and useful yet it makes up less than 1% of our textiles. Despite the wide varieties of products that hemp can provide a sustainable alternative for, it remains illegal to grow industrially in the USA and many other countries due to its relation to marijuana. Another main priority of Bract Company is to increase demand for hemp products by showing its benefits and usefulness as a sustainable resource. We hope to be a contributing factor to the legalization of industrial hemp through our products and donations.

Help us, help you, help nature

Along with the legalization of hemp, Bract Company promotes giving back to the earth by planting two trees in a national forest for every product purchased from us. Our first collection is currently live on kickstarter until the end of the week and can be seen at: The Pioneer Collection

For every product bought from us, we will plant two trees in a US National Forest.

We strive to become a brand that you love by providing products and services that you love. We aim to spread information, awareness, and involvement on this issue of pollution in the clothing industry and how we can solve the problem. By funding this Kickstarter, YOU are helping us do that! By wearing and representing our hemp based clothing, you can help spread awareness and help us make a difference.

 

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Could CBD Oil Help You Sleep?

Natural oils are famous for the medicinal benefits they provide, and that too without side-effects in most of the cases. However, those like CBD have always been doubted regarding ‘mind-altering’…

cbd oil for sleep

Natural oils are famous for the medicinal benefits they provide, and that too without side-effects in most of the cases. However, those like CBD have always been doubted regarding ‘mind-altering’ effects, which have now been cleared anyway. CBD oil these days is being marketed by various re-known brands and is being frequently Googled as well, for the herbal oil is benefited with several attractive boons.

Insomnia is a great issue of the people of today. Not that it wasn’t ever present in the past, but the frequency of this matter in today’s era is many a times greater. Sleeping pills are a solution that come with a health-compromising cost. Hence, people are scooting towards alternative remedies that are natural and affordable.

Cannabidiol and Sleep Disorders

Research works in this aspect are inclining in the favor of CBD for alleviation of insomnia. For example, a study carried out in the year 2006 revealed that cannabidiol (CBD), which is the second important constituent of cannabis, and is non-psychoactive in nature, may have an impact on the sleep mechanism of rats. It was shown to increase alertness with light, and had no particular impact on sleep with the lights off. This provides an insight that CBD could be brought into use for therapeutic relief of day-time somnolence, and hence, can this way improve night-time sleep.

Cannabidiol works with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for all the homeostatic functions of the body. Hence, in this manner, CBD also tends to regulate balance and homeostasis in the human body.
Yet another study revealed an interesting way by which CBD wanes-off insomnia. Being an anti-anxiolytic, CBD fights off anxiety, a common factor that is responsible to keep you up for long hours at night. This is the reason why CBD oil is also employed for anxiety treatment.

Best CBD for Sleep

With the re-introduction of CBD in the market, as well as its legalization in the United States and in several other countries across the globe, the production of CBD by various brands and its consumption for numerous conditions is rising. Looking for the best CBD tincture for sleep can be a task pretty time-consuming, and so, you need to hold on to patience. The easiest way to sort out your path towards a suitable CBD oil is by surfing through customer reviews about a particular product.

Where to buy CBD Oil?

If you are looking to buy CBD oil, there are many online website available where you can get quality CBD products. It is recommended to read online reviews before you place an order.

CBD oil dosage for sleep

Every person has their own tolerance and reactivity threshold. Hence, we would advise you to consult your doctor who can set the CBD dose you need to put you into sleep. However, the best way to calculate your customized dosage is by starting at a low amount and increasing it gradually thereon, until the desired effects are met. Be careful not to overdose.

CBD REM Sleep

cbd oil could help sleeping

REM stands for random eye movement. It is one of the phases of your sleeping process where eye movements become rapid, muscle tone reduces, and you are able to dream. The REM sleep seems to play an important role in keeping up one’s physical health, for it is during this period that the blood flow diverts towards the muscles, which gives time and space to your brain to take a break. Having troubles attaining REM phase of the sleep can certainly produce negative impact on your health, since if this is the case, your brain remains devoid of rest.

Research works have been pretty favorable in describing the role of CBD in improvisation of REM sleep phase. For example, in a study, it has been found that CBD is effective in regulating REM sleep alteration that is induced by anxiety in rats. It is important to mention here that anxiety is an important risk factor of insomnia. Moreover, CBD is also employed for fighting off with anxiety.

Conclusion (& Advice)

CBD can fight insomnia without making you get high. On the other hand, certain CBD oil formulations that contain low amounts of THC may also be employed for treatment of this condition. This is why it is very important that your doctor approves of your decision about taking CBD oil or edibles for sleeping disorders. Make sure that you are not self-administering yourself with any online treatment.

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How Hemp Can Relieve Stress in the Elderly

The modern age might bring numerous benefits to individuals and our collective society, but there is no doubt that we live in more complex and stressful times than previous generations….

hemp for stress

The modern age might bring numerous benefits to individuals and our collective society, but there is no doubt that we live in more complex and stressful times than previous generations. Unfortunately, that also applies to the more senior members of the community. While retirement might be an idealized time of rest and relaxation, the reality is that health concerns, money worries and fragmented families, lead to an increase in stress.

In this article, we will examine exactly why a stressful life can be even more damaging for seniors than for the rest of us, and how hemp seeds and hemp oil can help to relieve stress and anxiety in those who need calmness, tranquillity and a worry-free life more than most.

What are the signs of stress

If you have elderly family or neighbors, you probably think you know them well and would spot it if anything was wrong. But the fact is, most seniors hate to bother people and are constantly concerned about being a burden on others (sadly, another source of stress). Look out for some of the common indicators of stress, such as an unwillingness to socialize, mood swings, changes in eating habits, memory problems, poor decision-making and sleeping problems. Recognizing the signs gives family and carers an opportunity to take action before serious consequences arise.

Recognizing the signs gives family and carers an opportunity to take action before serious consequences arise.

The potential consequences of a high stress lifestyle

Stress is not good for anyone’s health, whatever their age. However, as we get older we are naturally more prone to other health issues, and these can be greatly exacerbated by stress. It is more important than ever to remain physically fit and healthy in later years through a sensible diet and exercise regime, and stress is hugely counterproductive in keeping these going.

signs of stress for elders

The negative implications for mental health are just as severe. A certain degree of forgetfulness and memory problems can be a natural part of getting older. However, while a relaxed person can laugh it off and focus on keeping their brain active and healthy, it can be a different story if the individual is suffering from stress, turning the smallest problem into a debilitating condition.

A stress-relieving, nutritious diet based around hemp

Once you have got past the most important step of identifying stress as a problem, the next challenge is doing something about it. A balanced and nutritious diet that maintains a healthy blood sugar level is absolutely vital. Hemp-based food products tick all the boxes, being high in nutrients and proven to relieve stress and anxiety.

hemp based diet

How does it do this? It all comes down to Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and phytocannabinoids (more commonly known as CBD). Hemp seeds have the best ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids of any food source known to man, hence considered a superfood. This means that hemp is particularly powerful in keeping the brain healthy, by providing the EFAs it needs to function properly. It can not only reduce anxiety, but can even reduce or delay the neurological effects of depression and other mental conditions.

Hemp oil, also commonly known as CBD oil, is a rich source of phytocannabinoids, which could also provide a wide array of benefits for elders suffering from mental and physical pain. Early research has shown that CBD could help with anxiety, chronic pain, and even joint pains derived from arthritis.

Encourage your elderly family and friends to give hemp oil or seeds a try in their daily diet, and help them take an important step towards a happier, healthier stress-free retirement.

 

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How Hemp Can Heal Our Soil & Why It Matters To Consumers

Add this to the many uses for our favorite plant: Industrial hemp can actually remove toxins from the soil. Not only can you use hemp to make dozens of sustainable…

hemp soil remediation

Add this to the many uses for our favorite plant: Industrial hemp can actually remove toxins from the soil.

Not only can you use hemp to make dozens of sustainable products, from clothing, skateboards to medicine, but it can also help heal the earth.

As the human population grows, so do our need for more land to grow the crops that keep us fed. But our dependence on fossil fuels and dirty industrial processes have left a lot of land too toxic to sustain life. That’s where the rapidly growing field of “bioremediation” can be vital. Bioremediation essentially means using living things to heal the soil, allowing us to clean and reclaim some of these polluted lands. While bacteria and other microorganisms can be used, phytoremediation, from the Greek word for plant, relies on crops like hemp.

Below, we’ll take a look at the reasons why hemp is such a promising plant for bioremediation. At the same time, we’ll also touch on the risks posed by heavy metals and toxins, which can inadvertently end up in hemp-based consumer products.

Hemp Soil Remediation VS The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

One of the most dramatic demonstrations of industrial hemp‘s potential was in Chernobyl, in the aftermath of the historic 1986 nuclear disaster which spewed radioactive waste across Eastern Europe. Over 100,000 square kilometers of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus were inundated with radiation, rendering much of them unusable.

In the late 90s, a company called Phytotech began experimenting with industrial hemp in some polluted Ukrainian regions. The results were extremely promising.

“Phytoremediation can be used to remove radioactive elements from soil and water at former weapons producing facilities,” explained Elaine Charkowski for Central Oregon Green Pages in winter of 1998. “It can also be used to clean up metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and toxins leaching from landfills.”

“Hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants we have been able to find,” Slavik Dushenkov, a research scientist with Phytotech, told Charkowski.

Harvested Hemp Could Be Used As Biofuel

While hemp that’s been planted near Chernobyl obviously can’t be made into food or medicine, it can still be safely distilled into ethanol for use as a biofuel.

Belarus also conducted successful experiments in growing hemp on contaminated soil for later use as fuel. “By using hemp to create biofuels (namely ethanol), scientists believe they can take advantage of the large amounts of contaminants hemp removes from soil as a byproduct of growing, trapping them in the plants, which are then removed entirely once the crop cycle completes,” reported CannaZine Hemp News in July 2009.

“The Government of Belarus has declared ethanol a priority topic for energy development. So we are very happy today to see the first steps being taken, in what we are sure will be a successful and large-scale development of ethanol production,” declared Sergei Martynov, former foreign minister of Belarus.

Beyond Radiation: From Cadmium to Oil Spills

In a paper published in September 2012 in Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, a team of five researchers in China reported on their successful experiments with hemp to absorb cadmium from the soil. Left untreated, cadmium in soil can enter the food chain, and consumption can cause severe joint and spinal pain. Too much exposure is known to even affect the kidneys and link to cancer.

The scientists experimented with 18 different varieties of hemp that are native to China. They identified 7 varieties which exhibited the highest concentrations of Cadmium (Cd) when grown in polluted soil.

“These cultivars, therefore, are good candidates for the implementation of the new strategy of cultivating biodiesel crops for phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soils,” they wrote.

 

hemp cleans up oil spill

Phytoremediation could also provide an alternative to harmful chemicals like Corexit, which are currently used to clean up oil spills. In 1999, the U.S. Navy experimented with using kenaf, a member of the hibiscus family which produces a fiber that’s similar to jute. The Navy found that kenaf could successfully absorb oil spills, thanks to its absorbent, fibrous core.

“A uniquely similar core fiber is also found in hemp,” wrote “Johnny Green,” a hemp activist, in a September 2016 report from Green Flower, a site dedicated to cannabis and hemp education.

Unfortunately, the use of hemp for bioremediation is limited by the war on drugs in the U.S., which drives up the price of hemp and limits who can grow hemp or conduct research.

“It is more expensive to produce the hemp than the chemical agents,” Green wrote. “Essentially, it would take a tremendous amount of core fibers from hemp to be able to clean up some of these larger oil spills.”

Toxins Absorbed By Hemp Can Also End Up In Consumer Products

Hemp’s potential for environmental cleanup also poses a risk to consumers when everyday agricultural hemp is grown under less than exacting conditions.

Even though some CBD extracts and other hemp products are now produced in the United States, thanks in large part to the 2014 Farm Bill, the vast majority are still imported from overseas.

As we reported in our post, Be Careful When You Buy Your Next CBD Oil last year,

The main problem for end consumers is the lack of transparency when it comes to the CBD’s origin. There are basically no data behind the volume and quality control behind these CBD oil imports.

The main reason why hemp’s cultivation environment is so important is because of hemp’s properties of absorbing contaminants from the soil while it grows. So if the soil it was grown on is not good, clean soil, then that plant might contain high levels of lead or mercury.

The risks aren’t limited just to hemp products either. An investigation by NBC Los Angeles in February 2017 found potentially dangerous levels of pesticides in multiple products sold in medical cannabis dispensaries, forcing state officials to pull the products from the shelves. A 2015 investigation by Smithsonian found legal cannabis was often laced with fungus or heavy metals. While most states are implementing more stringent safety precautions as a result of these risks, it’s another sign that source and quality matter when it comes to both cannabis and hemp.

Hemp Provides Hope For Reclaiming The Earth From Pollution

hemp can heal the soil

For centuries, Taranto, in the Puglia region of Italy, was known for its fine traditional cheese, drawing tourists from around the world. But by 2008, a nearby steel mill had rendered the cheese unfit for human consumption, forcing the government to cull farmers’ animals.

Once a thriving agricultural center, the Ilva steel plant, the largest in Europe, turned “Taranto into a grimy industrial city,” reported Sara Manisera in July 2016 for Slate. All the local livestock were “contaminated with a dangerous cocktail of nickel, lead” from eating grass grown in toxic soil. Residents suffer from a high frequency of cancer and kidney diseases.

Now farmers are turning to hemp to reclaim their soil. In just five years, Taranto’s experiment with hemp grew to almost 100 farmers, who have collectively planted about 300 hectares of hemp. While the farmers can only sell the fibers now, since the edible parts could be toxic, each crop makes the soil a little cleaner.

Vincenzo Fornaro, who owned what had been one of the most popular dairy farms, told Manisera that hemp had brought him a new outlook:

“We have to start giving back what we took from the environment and provide an alternative employment to our children. For now we use hemp only for industrial processing. I hope in the future we can use it also for nourishment. But what is certain is that we will surround the Ilva plant with hemp.”

As more and more people realize hemp’s promise, and fewer laws restrict its use, we believe millions more people will experience that same sense of hope, too.

 

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Science Explains How CBD Oil Could Help Ease Your Anxiety

As millions of Americans struggle with increasingly stressful lives, some of them are turning to cannabis, specifically CBD, to ease their anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health,…

cbd oil for anxiety

As millions of Americans struggle with increasingly stressful lives, some of them are turning to cannabis, specifically CBD, to ease their anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 18 percent of Americans experienced the symptoms of an anxiety disorder at some point over the past 12 months, making it the most common form of mental illness in the United States. Even for the rest of us, our chaotic world can still often leave us feeling overwhelmed.

Regular users of psychoactive cannabis, also commonly known as marijuana, frequently report using the substance to relax after a hard day. For many people, hemp-based CBD oil can offer similar benefits, but with few side effects and without making them feel “high”.

Just as with our recent article on using CBD for pain relief, we’ve examined both the scientific evidence and anecdotal reports from regular CBD consumers online. Though there is still a lot of research to be done into CBD and anxiety, the preliminary results looks extremely promising.

The link between cannabis, CBD, and anxiety

Paradoxically, while many people look forward to that afterwork toke, other people report struggling with paranoia when they ingest psychoactive cannabis. This seems to happen often when they take more than they’re used to. Science suggests that CBD plays a key role in this seemingly paradoxical set of responses to the same substance.

Bailey Rahn, a writer at the cannabis information site Leafly, reported that some cannabis users have successfully counteracted these feelings of paranoia by taking additional CBD oil. High CBD strains also seem to generally be less likely to induce paranoia, and are often sought out by anxiety sufferers in states with legal recreational or medicinal cannabis.

“Cannabidiol balances the buzz and softens the euphoria — or, in some cases, the dysphoria — induced by THC, which, in concentrated form, can make people feel very loopy and weird,” wrote cannabis expert Martin A. Lee in his book “Smoke Signals,” in a passage quoted by Rahn.

Science supports CBD’s ‘Considerable Potential’ as anxiety treatment

Like all extracts of hemp or cannabis, CBD oil is known to work primarily through its effects on the endocannabinoid system, where it mimics chemicals similar to cannabis that are naturally occurring in all humans. Some research has even seems to link Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety-linked conditions to lower than normal levels of these natural occurring compounds.

Currently, however, more research has been done into the effects of CBD on serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the human brain and nervous system that plays a crucial role in mood (including depression and anxiety), sleep and other key biological processes.

“Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.”

Most scientific research of CBD for anxiety is “preclinical,” meaning animal research rather than on humans, but these studies have found that CBD seems to function similarly to commonly prescribed SSRI class of pharmaceutical drugs by encouraging the action of serotonin receptors in the brain. Both SSRIs and CBD seem to promote regeneration of the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a role in both depression and anxiety.

In a survey of 34 studies which did include human subjects, published in May 2012 in Pharmaceuticals (Basel), Simon Zhornitsky and Stéphane Potvin found that CBD showed promise in numerous conditions from bipolar disorder to social anxiety.

“[P]reliminary clinical trials suggest that high-dose oral CBD (150–600 mg/d) may exert a therapeutic effect for social anxiety disorder, insomnia and epilepsy,” they wrote, but warned that high doses of CBD can “also … cause mental sedation.”

In a similar September 2015 survey, published in Neurotherapeutics, a team of 4 researchers looked at the results of both human and animal studies of CBD.

“Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders,” the team wrote, though they emphasized that further study is needed.

CBD users find lower doses can also be effective

Scientific research into CBD seems to mostly focus on its positive effect on overall anxiety levels, and anecdotal reports we read from CBD consumers suggests it may be more effective when taken regularly rather than a treatment for specific flare-ups of “acute” anxiety.

state of anxiety

“For me, it’s good for quelling the low level, day-to-day anxiety that buzzes in the background, but it isn’t strong enough to stop a panic attack the way xanax can,” wrote redditor WilliamMelvinHicks in a December discussion on Reddit.

Other redditors reported that too high of a dose of CBD can sometimes exacerbate anxiety. “That’s why [it’s] always good to start small and work yourself up,” wrote kiiinglouie, another redditor.

Though much is still waiting to be learned about CBD and anxiety, since CBD oil is legally available to consumers and has few side effects for most, it’s worth experimenting with hemp extracts to see if they can help you destress, too.

Let us know how you’re using CBD too, we’d love to hear your stories. Reach us at [email protected].

 

* This article is part 2 of our series of exploring the potential benefits of CBD oil. Read our other posts:

 

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Affordable Hemp Water Filters Hope To Change The World

Clean, healthy water is the essence of prosperity in every society. Yet, as we’ve seen from recent crises such as the one in Flint, Michigan, access to clean water continues…

clean water

Clean, healthy water is the essence of prosperity in every society.

Yet, as we’ve seen from recent crises such as the one in Flint, Michigan, access to clean water continues to be a challenge even in a developed country like the United States. But what if there was a low-cost, quick-fix solution for the nation’s aging water systems that filters and purifies water at the tap without the need for harmful chemicals or costly systems?

Using hemp as a water filter seems to be a viable answer.

Foundation for Industrial Hemp Production & Research (FIHPR), a non-profit organization, has developed a hemp microfiber water filter after 2+ years of research and development. The new filter addresses many noticeable and unnoticeable problems, such as actively reducing rust, chlorine and E.Coli. It contains all-natural filter media: scientifically proven anti-bacterial/-microbial hemp fiber as well as activated coconut shell carbon, achieving a more thorough purification than most standard pitcher and faucet filters.

hemp water filter

Hemp Microfiber Water Filter

“We have one, and it works so well! Our water is terrible fairly certain our pipes are rusted and a landlord who has no concern,” remarked one anonymous tester. “Since we got a HMF filter there has been no brassy residue and I feel confident it has improved our water quality significantly!”

Why use hemp for filtration

Michael Crippen, the founder of FIHPR, started researching water purification with the use of hemp micro-fibers at the request of an ex-navy entrepreneur about 2 years ago. Originally starting on a project on hemp biodiesel, he discovered the antibacterial nature of hemp fibers that could be utilized in the consumer market.
Ever since this discovery, Michael has spent the past two years on research and prototyping. As a student at University of South Florida majoring in chemical engineering, Michael has dedicated most of his research and free time on developing the hemp filter.
Michael bemoans the use of toxic chemicals and non-organic materials, as these methods may persist into the consumer’s’ drinking water and cause illness. Instead, his organization seeks to make available a healthier alternative that helps to reduce harmful components of municipal filtration. None of the filters contain any harmful materials.

The advantages of a hemp water filter

using hemp filter to purify water

According to FIHPR, there are numerous upsides to the use of the hemp microfiber water filter. This includes a near endless resistance to mildew and mold, along with all the capabilities of standard filters. The vision behind the filters is to assist households around America and the world with an easy-to-use, effective in all environments filtration solution.
Currently, the only purification method to achieve anti-bacterial/microbial results are solutions such as UV-radiation and chlorine. The former option in incredibly expensive and bulky, while the latter is incredibly toxic. Hemp as an alternative is truly an attractive option that makes purification affordable and non-toxic.
The hemp water filter is more than just a filter. It’s a softener and purifier that cleans drinking and cooking water for the whole family. The hemp microfibers captures and kills 95% of bacteria and microbes without leaving toxic residue. It also effectively reduces natural gas, dyes, and tannins.

How the hemp filter could be a real gamechanger

water quality is a major issue around the world

Water quality infographic by UN Water

According to the UN-Water, “783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. ” This figure, along with the National Resource Defense Council’s study on copper and lead violations, provide a good view of the global water situation.

With the adoption of hemp filters as a viable purification solution, we can hope to positively contribute to solving this crisis. As a non-profit, FIHPR’s goal is to provide filters at no-cost to in-need communities and to help modernize aging and developing infrastructure around the world.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan was a critical reminder of the importance of the quality of drinking water in society. With contamination and water scarcity becoming an increasingly bigger issue around the world, an eco-friendly and affordable solution such as hemp filter should be seriously considered.

How you can help

Unfortunately, most consumers end up purchasing filters based on what’s immediately available in supermarkets and don’t know if it’s actually improving their tap water.
Michael asks that any customers with questions or concerns contact their direct line +1(727)271-9916 for immediate assistance.Each filter costs $29.99 and the refills come in packs of 4 for $64.99. FIHPR intends to take the proceeds and start a non-profit that will help to provide adequate filtration to in-need houses at no cost, while expanding the type of filters and available services.

 

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The Top 6 Hemp Food Products & Their Health Benefits

Among the numerous uses of hemp, one of its most popular application is as a food source. In grocery stores, you can now find hemp food products such as hemp…

Among the numerous uses of hemp, one of its most popular application is as a food source. In grocery stores, you can now find hemp food products such as hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, hemp milk, hemp tea, and even hemp infusion drinks. These hemp (or cannabis) products bring together the nutritional and medical benefits, along with hemp’s unique nutty taste to a variety of different consumer products.

Top Hemp Food Products

In this article, we’ll break down the top hemp food products that you can buy online or at your local grocery store.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is made by cold pressing of hemp seeds and is not suitable for frying because of its low smoke point (160 C/320 F). One of the main health benefit of hemp seed oil is that it offers a very balanced EFA (essential fatty acids) distributions in your body, unlike flaxseed oil. Hemp seed oil consists of:

  • 55% linoleic acid (LA/omega-6)
  • 22% alpha-linoleic acid  (ALA/omega-3)
  • 1%-4% gamma-linoleic acid (GLA)
  • 1%-2% stearidonic acid (SDA/omega-3)

Hemp Oil

Often confused with hemp seed oil, another beneficial variation of hemp oil is hemp extract oils with phytocannabinoids. One of the most clinically studied cannabinoids is CBD (cannabidiol). which is known to have numerous benefits. Among many other things, it’s known to have the potential to treat neuroinflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), HIV/AIDS and even cancer. The higher CBD content, the more potent medicinal effect observed.

Therefore, some experts recommend not only to take hemp oil as a supplement, but also apply it directly to your skin. There are plenty of skin care products, such as balms and shampoos, infused with hemp oil that are loved by consumers for its properties. They not only are excellent moisturizers, but they also help reduce dandruff, seborrhea, and itchy scalps.

Hemp Seeds

Probably the most yummy product that is derived from cannabis is hemp heart seeds. You can easily add these to almost any salads. Hemp hearts are rich in fiber, full of complete proteins, and contains well-balanced fats. Among the health benefits of the hemp hearts, many studies support the ideas that it could promote digestion, reduce bowel syndrome, and normalize gastrointestinal tracts. It’s also shown to reduce PMS and menopause symptoms. More critically, hemp seeds have shown to be beneficial to cardiovascular health, as it may reduce blood pressure and decrease risks of a heart attack.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk, is another popular product made from hemp seeds, often additionally flavored with vanilla or chocolates. Overall, it is a great alternative to soy, nuts milk or traditional milk as it contains no dairy. Hemp seeds are also known to not cause any allergic reactions. Majority of hemp milk’s benefits come from the hemp seeds, which provides rich omega fatty acids, calcium, iron, niacin, and zinc.

Hemp Tea

Hemp tea, which consists of dry hemp leaves or toasted hemp seeds, contains trace amount of many useful cannabinoids (like CBD) that may substantially vary depending on the plant species. However, majority of cannabinoids are not water soluble. Therefore, in order to maximize the health benefits of hemp tea, we recommend adding the dry hemp with a few spoons of oil, butter, or some alcohol. This will help cannabinoids to dissolve faster and more effectively. Hemp tea lovers claim multiple health benefits of hemp tea, such as:

  • Helps with insomnia, reduce anxiety, stress and depressions
  • Illuminates nausea and irritable bowel syndrome that are frequently happening to chemotherapy patients
  • Reduces chronic pain, sometimes reduce allergy, reduce inflammations. This makes it popular among rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients

Hemp Infusion Drinks

Cannabis Infusion Drink

Hemp infusion drinks, like Hempfy, is a great example of how hemp is  utilized to make healthy and tasty drinks. They can be consumed solo or even added to cocktail mixes.

Whatever cannabis products you choose to try, we hope you’ll come to love cannabis as much as we do 😉

Hempfy

 

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