HEMP – A SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE

“Every generation faces a challenge. In the 1930s, it was the creation of Social Security. In the 1960s, it was putting a man on the moon. In the 1980s, it was ending the Cold War. Our generation’s challenge will be addressing global climate change while sustaining a growing global economy.” – Eileen Clausen, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Fossil fuel consumption, and our meat industry can be considered the most responsible for climate change. Around 80% of the CO2 being added to the atmosphere each year currently comes directly from the burning of natural gas, and coal and oil deposits. Agriculture is another significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock. One pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water for the growing of food and the rearing of the livestock.

While the nation states will be debating what can be done to control the situation, there is a simple solution that is being ignored and dismissed due to the politics behind it, and that is the awesome properties and power of the Cannabis plant.

“Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and prosperity of the nation” — Thomas Jefferson.

Super Crop

Hemp can be considered a ‘super-crop’ that has been grown worldwide for at least 12,000 years. It is one of the most prolific, versatile and powerful bio-tools available to humanity to meet the enormous challenges of sustainability, climate change, environmental degradation and the destruction of eco-systems.

There are more than 25,000 known uses for hemp. It produces food, fibre, fuel and has unique medicinal properties. One hectare of hemp can produce as much usable fibre as four hectares of trees, or two hectares of cotton. It is the world’s most versatile natural product, potentially replacing wood, cotton, and petroleum products, including plastics.

Hemp grows in a short, flexible, summer window of the annual crop cycle and grows in diverse climates and soil types. It does not require pesticides or herbicides, as it grows tightly spaced, out-growing and blocking out weeds. This leaves a weed-free field for follow on crops while simultaneously conditioning and securing topsoil.

The Billion Dollar Cropt

It was considered the ‘billion dollar crop’ by Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1937 before the USA began its campaign to suppress the hemp industry. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. In 1942 when US sources of “Manila hemp,” (a genus of the banana plant), were cut off by the Japanese in WWII, the US Army and US Department of Agriculture promoted the “Hemp for Victory” campaign to grow hemp in the US

Hemp As Bio-Fuel

According to the IPCC between ten and fifteen percent of total global cropland is available for biomass production specifically for energy and transport. The greatest advantage of hemp cultivation, as a method of climate change mitigation, is the comparative ease with which it could be integrated into the existing fossil fuel economy.

With the ability to be grown at all but the very coldest latitudes, hemp could form the basis of an internationally distributed yet locally produced fuel industry. Hemp-based ethanol would not only be a complementary product to the oil economy (combining ethanol with gasoline increases quality of gasoline and produces significant environmental benefits), but could also be used as a direct replacement because it can be used with existing technologies.

It is also the only biomass crop that can add to the food production of land rather than replacing food production, as other biofuel crops, such as corn, triggered global food riots.

Solution to Agro Forestry

Hemp cultivation is 400% more efficient at CO2 absorption than agro-forestry per land use. Its rapid growth rate means it can provide the industrial quantities of biomass required in our modern society. Hemp can be processed into multiple sustainable raw materials solutions to suit the needs of local communities wherever it is grown, and save and preserve remaining forest resources and biodiversity.

Hemp is far less vulnerable to changes in climate, compared to slow and medium growth forests. It also shares many of the biochemical characteristics of hardwood and several metric tons of wood can be produced in a hectare, annually or bi-annually in hotter climates.

Growing hemp on deforested hillsides prevents landslides, run-off, and also prepares land for future crops or tree planting. In addition, it requires low-intensive management and can effectively replace all the goods and services traditionally supplied by depleted forest resources including fuel and shelter.

Water Efficient

An industrial hemp crop (80ha), planted in Nicaragua primarily for seed, survived Hurricane Mitch more or less intact due to its long tap roots and intricate root structures that held the plants securely to each other and the land. Over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids collectively serve to repel insects, improve water use efficiency, prevent water loss and also protect the plant from excessive UV-B radiation.

Compared to cotton that requires about 1400 gallons of water for every pound of produce, hemp requires half that or even less and produces 200-250% more fibre on the same amount of land. The Aral Sea in Russia, once the world’s fourth largest inland lake with a thriving healthy ecosystem is now only 15% of it’s original size due to the cotton industry and the heavy use of pesticides and herbicides. Hemp in comparison, aerates the land, rejuvenates soil, needs no herbicides or pesticides, and creates a thriving ecosystem.

Hemp as Food

Hemp protein contains all twenty-one known amino acids, including the eight essential ones adult bodies cannot produce. Proteins are considered complete when they contain all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and ratios to meet the body’s needs.

It can supply any diet with a vegetarian source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, chlorophyll, and a complete, balanced gluten-free source of the essential amino acids.

Versatile

Hemp is so versatile because, it is seasonal, it increases the nutritional output of the land, it increases yields from other crops in the rotation cycle, and bio-remediates and protects soil, while providing highly useful, versatile biomass and sustainable, biodegradable end products.

The Cannabis plant has been suppressed by the dominating industries that see it as a threat to their monopoly, such steel, pharmaceuticals, cotton, petroleum, plastics and construction. However, it can no longer be ignored as the global environmental crisis we are facing is much greater than the need to profit these unsustainable and destructive industries.

How much longer are we going to sit back and watch our planet go up in smoke while one of the major solutions, Cannabis remains relegated to the sidelines…? it’s time for a Hemp Revolution…

Source: Rebekah Shaman

Cannabis for Diabetes

More than a million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in the US every year. One in every 10 adults who are 20 years or older has diabetes.

Diabetes can be a debilitating and life-threatening disease that can drastically lower one’s quality of life and require large amounts of time and money to combat.

Diabetics actually have to contend with group of diseases which result from too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose). Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. There’s also a stage called prediabetes in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes.

There is no cure for diabetes. Treatments aim at maintaining normal blood sugar levels through regular monitoring, insulin therapy, diet, and exercise.

Progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes isn’t inevitable. With lifestyle changes, weight loss, and medications, it’s possible to bring a blood sugar level back to normal.

What are Cannabinoids?

The human body has a vast endocannabinoid system which responds to changes in the body, produces chemicals called endocannabinoids which fit into receptors in cells throughout the body, especially the major organs. This system helps regulate a number of processes including appetite, memory, mood, pain, metabolism, blood flow, and immune response.

Cannabis contains a group of compounds called phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids made by plants). These phytocannabinoids mimic the actions of our own natural cannabinoids.

Cannabis contains around 80 different cannabinoids, most of which have not been widely researched as yet. The most well-known cannabinoids contained in cannabis are THC and CBD. THC is the cannabinoid that is responsible for the high that marijuana users experience. CBD has very similar effects without the high. Both have profound effects on the human body. So profound that 29 states have now passed laws allowing its use in medicine.

Cannabis for Diabetes

Several studies have shown that cannabis improves blood sugar control and helps with weight loss. It also appears to improve carbohydrate metabolism in users.

In July 2013, the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Medicine, Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., made this statement when releasing his team’s study called “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults,” in the American Journal of Medicine:

“I would like to call on the NIH and the DEA to collaborate in developing policies to implement solid scientific investigations that would lead to information assisting physicians in the proper use and prescription of THC in its synthetic or herbal form.”

“Of the participants in our study sample, 579 were current marijuana users and 1975 were past users. In multivariable adjusted models, current marijuana use was associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels and 17% lower HOMA-IR (insulin resistance). We found significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences.”

One of the symptoms of diabetes is called neuropathic pain. There is ample evidence that cannabis increases nerve growth factor and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve pain.

Type 2 diabetics also have a higher risk of depression. There’s a sea of anecdotal evidence that cannabis improves mood and reduces anxiety, plenty of research to back that up.

Senior researcher Samir Haj-Dahmane said: “Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression. Using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilise moods and ease depression.”

There is still a lot to be learned about the effects cannabinoids have on diabetes, however many patients who use cannabis as a supplement to their usual treatment are reporting improvements in their symptoms.

Below is a list of research reports which look at studies on cannabinoids’ effects on diabetes and blood sugar levels.

The impact of marijuana use on glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance among US adults
CBD attenuates cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in diabetic cardiomyopathy
CBD lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice
Neuroprotective and blood-retinal barrier-preserving effects of CBD in experimental diabetes
Cannabidiol arrests onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice
Diabetic retinopathy: Role of inflammation and potential therapies for anti-inflammation
Cannabinoids alter endothelial function in the Zucker rat model of type 2 diabetes
The endocannabinoid system in obesity and type 2 diabetes
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in metabolic disorders with focus on diabetes
The endocannabinoid system and plant-derived cannabinoids in diabetes and diabetic complications
Cannabinoid-mediated modulation of neuropathic pain and microglial accumulation in a model of murine type I diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain
Biochemical and immunohistochemical changes in delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-treated type 2 diabetic rats
Efficacy and Safety of CBD and THC-V on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

Source : Compfassionate Certification Centers

Cannabis & Alzheimer’s

According to brain experts, cannabis has shown considerable promise for treating the cause of dementia and Alzheimer’s, but federal regulators keep blocking their path toward a cure.

Despite evidence suggesting that chemicals found in cannabis can helpfully clear the brain of buildup that leads to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, ongoing federal opposition to the drug makes the road to finding a cure a long and difficult one, according to researchers. As the Independent reports, scientists at California’s renowned Salk Institute are expressing concern over the fairly unfounded legal hurdles that keep slowing down their work toward an effective treatment for these fatal diseases, which afflict millions of Americans each year.

Last year, the team published study resultsindicating that the active chemicals or cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can effectively relieve the amyloid protein buildup and cell damage related to dementia using some of the brain’s own protective measures. Unlike methods which seek to remove amyloid buildup from the outside of brain cells, CNBC explained, those explored by Salk researchers work with the brain’s natural endocannabanoids, which prevent cell death, to fight buildup inside cells and resulting inflammation at an earlier stage in the disease.

Given the current lack of safe, effective treatments and the overall low cost and often minimal side-effects of in medicinal cannabis, the studies should be cause for celebration among advocates and caregivers for the millions of Americans who suffer from dementia, and for the over five million whose condition developed into Alzheimer’s disease, the most common kind of dementia, and for which fatality rates have risen by over 70% since 2000, CNBC noted.

According to lead author Professor David Schubert, however, these innovative results would seem a lot more promising if researchers’ next steps weren’t already bound up by federal regulation and red tape. “It’s a totally unexplored area, because researchers have been stopped by the DEA, due to the way the agency classifies marijuana,” Schubert told CNBC. “The result is that basically no clinical trials have been held to test the use of marijuana-based drugs in the treatment of Alzheimer’s or any other neurodegenerative disease. It’s not right that they have that type of say over something that could be very useful.” He continued,People are dying of this disease, and there is nothing out there for them… Marijuana is not physically addictive, although it can be psychologically addictive like, sugar, salt and fat, none of which are classified as Schedule I drugs. It’s ridiculous when in California anyone can legally go down to the corner store and just buy marijuana.

Schubert pointed out to CNBC that the pharmaceutical industry, with its extremely healthy lobbying power in D.C., is likely a major force in creating legal hurdles for researchers. “The pharmaceutical companies want to stop the use of cannabis in the research community because it’s a natural product, so it can’t be patented,” he said. “They can’t make money on it, so they are against it.”

CNBC also noted that, while an estimated one in three seniors will die fighting dementia and a new Alzheimer’s diagnosis is delivered every 66 seconds, the costs of holding back effective treatment don’t just involve human life. The site points to a 2015 study by the National Institutes of Health which found that the overall price of late-stage dementia exceeds that of any other disease, and to recent estimates that the economic cost of caring for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients totalled a whopping $236 billion last year. During a dementia-sufferer’s final five years of life, that could easily amount to upwards of $287,000 annually per person.

Drug companies are still pouring time and research dollars into potential treatments for the diseases, of course, but even mainstream, pot-free methods have found little success and been slow in coming. According to Schubert, that’s because pharmaceutical companies are not just trying to prevent cannabis cures, but also on the wrong track for finding their own. “They are trying to use antibodies to get rid of plaque that is outside the cell, but that is too late in the disease,” Schubert said.

However, while our big, highly evolved brains still have ample ways of holding us back, it is thankfully never too late to change the way we offer support to others, be it from research labs or the very law of the land.

Source : The Independent

CBD Oil for Pain

CBD oil is quickly becoming a mainstream product for chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and other ailments. The cannabis-derived chemical contains safe and natural medicinal benefits without the side effects of NSAIDs, analgesics, or opioids. In fact, many patients who previously relied on Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or Vicodin to control pain found CBD to help cut down on the number of pills needed to function each day. CBD oil is worth a try for anyone looking to relieve chronic pain.

Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Simply put, chronic pain is just pain that never really goes away. Sometimes it’s associated with a larger problem such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or multiple sclerosis. It can come on in any form of pain sensation whether it be dull, aching, pins and needles, or sensitivity. Nerve dysfunction and inflammation are two causes of chronic pain, which can be genetic or brought on diet and lifestyle habits. In 2015, about 25 million adults were reported as having some form of chronic pain.

How CBD Relieves Pain
CBD oil helps relieve pain through the endocannabinoid system, a complex system that controls a range of metabolic functions. There are many different receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system, but CBD primarily works with CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors exist throughout the brain and central nervous system, controlling essential processes like sleep, appetite, mood, smell, and motor control. CB2 receptors are located in the immune system, peripheral nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and brain.

CBD works by triggering CB1 and CB2 receptors through various molecular pathways. This produces analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, neuroprotective, and even antidepressive effects that help patients suffering from chronic pain. Since these receptors exist all throughout the body, the result is a systemic relief.

How to Consume CBD Oil for Treatment
CBD is most commonly consumed in the form of pure CBD crystals or pure CBD oil, which is usually made with a food-grade oil.

CBD crystals can be dissolved under the tongue, smoked through a vape pen, or smoked through a dab rig. They can even be sprinkled in a joint or on top of a bowl for an added smoke session boost, or into food or beverages.

Many dispensaries sell oil cartridges for vape pens that are free of THC and contain CBD only for immediate relief of pain and inflammation.

Which Conditions Can CBD Help?
CBD has shown positive results when put up against many chronic illnesses, particularly those throughout the immune or nervous system.

Cannabis is recommended for patients with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease with no known cure where the immune system attacks the nerves and spinal cord. One study showed CBD to inhibit the release of inflammatory compounds that cause painful flare-ups.

CBD is also recommended for patients with Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition caused by inflammation of digestive lining. Like MS, Crohn’s has no cure and CBD is recommended to calm pain during flare-ups.

There is a lot of research needed to evaluate how CBD can benefit cancer patients or inhibit tumor growth. However, what we do know is that cancer patients have used cannabis for pain relief, appetite stimulation, and also relief from chemo-induced nausea.

CBD oil is also highly recommended for patients with fibromyalgia, arthritis, and undiagnosed chronic pain.

Pharmaceuticals VS. CBD For Pain
One of the biggest benefits of CBD oil is the potential to reduce the number of pills needed for relief. Most of us can handle Tylenol, Advil, or opioids in moderation. However, these drugs can still lead to gastrointestinal damage, increased tolerance, dependency, addiction, and overdose.

CBD oil does not cause gastrointestinal damage and it is not known to be habit-forming. All it takes for a patient to become addicted to opioids is a 10-day prescription, which can be prescribed for anything from a pulled muscle to a kidney stone.

In states with legal marijuana, some rehab centers use cannabis as a tapering method for patients going through withdrawal.

Source : International Highlife