How To Build a Hemp House

Hemp All over the world, people are turning to “Eco Houses” in a desperate effort to live more sustainably. Hemp is already an important building material in the Eco House construction industry, and could prove crucial to building a more sustainable future. So how can we make the best and most cost-effective use of this precious, renewable resource?

Across the world, conventional building practices are becoming ever more unsustainable. The need to house expanding populations adds to the ever-increasing pressure we are putting on our ecosystems, as we exploit natural resources with seemingly unstoppable haste.

We are packing more and more people into cities each year, and ravaging our environment in a desperate effort to sustain this inherently unsustainable lifestyle.

Why We Need to Rethink Urbanization

Due to this, many people are beginning to yearn for an alternative. Of course, it’s not just the unsustainability factor that really speaks to people – it’s the unnatural loss of community, the dislocation from our roots, the exposure to dangerous air pollution, the lack of sunlight and green spaces for kids to thrive and grow.

There are countless reasons that humans are better off living in smaller, greener communities, and slowly but surely, we’re starting to see recognition of this fact growing in the places it matters most – in the media, in the hearts and minds of the public, and in certain forward-thinking areas of government in various countries worldwide.

Another fundamentally important point is that housing in major, desirable cities is becoming insanely unaffordable throughout the world. For many, the idea of turning one’s back on “mainstream” society and heading for the hills is becoming too much to resist – and for some, it’s rapidly becoming one of the only choices left.

Eco-Houses May Be Part of the Solution

So, you may be among the thousands of people currently weighing up your home-owning options, and you may have hit upon the idea of finding the right location to build your own sustainable eco-house.

Hemp is an increasingly popular choice of eco-friendly construction material. It has many advantages, including excellent moisture and temperature regulating properties, light, flexible yet extremely durable physical characteristics, and remarkable resistance to fire, rot and animal/insect infestations.

It is quick-growing, requires few pesticides or fertilisers, and the process of turning the harvested hemp into building materials is simple and non-environmentally impacting. Thus, we will focus on hemp as the primary constituent of our hypothetical eco-house – and to read more about its advantages and disadvantages compared with other eco-materials, check out this informative resource.

So how should we be going about turning plans into reality?

The concept of buying a ready-built house is scary enough, and adding the responsibility of actually building it may be simply impossible for many. But if the circumstances are right, it could save a great deal of money, and it’s the ideal way to ensure that your home is just how you want it.

Here, we are not aiming to provide all the answers on how to build a hemp eco-house, but rather to provide readers with a general guide to the basic considerations and process needed to get started.

Planning & Budgeting for Your Hemp House

Of course, the first major consideration is budget. Unless you have previous house-building skills (or are lucky enough to have a friend or relative with a construction company!) you will probably need to shell out money for an architect – so figure that into your expenditures right away.

Typically, architectural fees end up around 10-15% of the total construction cost, but this may vary depending on your specific location and plan. Here’s a UK-based architect specialising in hemp; you may find similar specialists in your area.

An architect will take care of creating your house plan, according to the number of rooms and levels you require. Generally, smaller is better in sustainability terms – it reduces the literal footprint on the land, it reduces the cost of building materials, and it reduces the long-terms cost of heating and maintaining the property. In fact, so-called “tiny houses” are rapidly growing in popularity, so if you can make it fit, do it!

Take a look at the International Hemp Building Association’s list of partners for some initial ideas and options, and if you know of a reliable specialist local to you, why not let us know in the comments – you may end up helping out like-minded people in your area.

Having a basic plan before you buy land is a good idea – the plan can always be adapted as needed to fit the spot you eventually decide on. But with even a basic plan, you can calculate costs and budget far more effectively going
Finding the Right Place to Build Your Hemp House

Then, the next major step is finding the right place to build your hemp home. This will depend greatly on local laws, regulations, prices and availability. Consider your site carefully. There may be online resources that will help you locate a plot of land – for example, this guide outlines how residents of the UK can find and obtain land to build on.

A site that has previously been built on may be the best option – an old, tumbledown cottage could be torn down and replaced with something far more durable and sustainable, for example.

In some European countries such as Spain and Italy, entire villages and small towns have been abandoned, partly due to the difficulty of hooking them up to the grid – but if they can be repurposed for off-grid communities, they could solve numerous problems at once.

Generally, this approach is preferable to building on wild land – it’s hardly an eco-house if the habitats of countless birds and insects have been destroyed to create it!

Brownfield sites may also be worth considering (anything that makes “greener” use of urban land is worth considering at this stage), but as these are often contaminated with industrial waste, they may be a better option for long-term projects that involve hemp phytoremediation of soil for several years prior to actually building. Many people wish to grow their own food right next to their eco-house, so ensuring that soil is clean and healthy is essential in these cases!

While you are in the process of obtaining land (make sure you have planning permission from your local authority BEFORE investing in land), adapt and refine your strategy as needed to stay within budget and make the most effective possible use of available resources.

You may be planning to receive your utilities from the grid (now that renewable providers are becoming more widespread), but for many people interested in building an eco-home, energy self-sufficiency is a big factor. Therefore, you should be considering and costing your options here – solar panels, passive solar heating, waste-water recycling systems, rainwater collection, wind turbines, and even micro-hydroelectric.

Take a look at the Tiny House Blog’s tips for generating clean energy, and check out this Makeuseof post for an in-depth exploration of several options.

The cost of installing these technologies is rapidly falling, and providing a small home with 100% renewable, clean energy may be easier than you think!

Which Materials Do You Need? Where Will You Source It?

Sourcing and obtaining your materials is the next major consideration. Typically, you’ll be using Hempcrete over a timber frame, although steel or concrete frames may also be used. One major disadvantage of Hempcrete is that it is not sufficiently load-bearing to support roofs or multiple stories without a frame. You’ll also typically be working on concrete foundations, as Hempcrete is not suitable for foundations.

So what is Hempcrete? It’s a simple mix of hemp hurds, also known as “shivs” or “cores” – the woody inner part of the hemp stem that’s left over after all the fibres are removed – with lime and water. In building, “lime” refers to calcium oxide and calcium hydroxide derived from limestone and chalk. Mixtures of water, natural fibres and lime, which binds the fibres together, have been used in sustainable house-building for thousands of years.

So how can you obtain Hempcrete? If you have opted to work with a company specializing in hemp construction, they should have all the materials you need, and may have ready-made blocks and panels available. For example, the Netherlands-based hemp producer Hempflax offers a range of ready-produced hemp blocks and panels, as well as step-by-step consultancy services on how to use them.

If not, you can look for suppliers of hemp hurds and buy it in by the pallet or truckload to mix yourself – a process that is relatively simple, but requires the use of a large “forced action pan mixer” (in preference to a conventional drum mixer, which may not ensure the most even mix).

If you opt to mix your Hempcrete yourself, the cost will vary greatly according to local availability and laws. 1000kg (2200 lb) unprocessed hemp hurds works out at around $1100 in the US (€980), where cultivation of hemp is still not fully legal, and just €340 in Italy ($380), where hemp has been legal for decades.

Here is an excellent guide on mixing Hempcrete yourself, as well as advice on hemp-lime-water ratios (which are of the utmost importance for ensuring waterproofing and durability), and tips on how to build with it (even down to the number of hours/labourers needed per project).

Could You Live in a Hemp-Based Eco Community?

If you are considering building a hemp house, you may find that there are others in your local community that have similar ideas. If so, you may be able to cooperate to buy in the materials needed in bulk at more competitive prices, and exchange relevant local and hemp-specific knowledge.

There may already be local groups or communities that you can join, or you may be able to form a new organization of like-minded people, to work together on building eco-homes, or even to start whole new off-grid communities! Hemp could be the ideal basis for long-term, off-grid sustainable communities, as just one hectare can yield enough hurds for a 135 m2 (1,450 sq ft) house. It can also be grown at or near the construction site to save even more on transportation costs!

Precedents are being set for this in many countries worldwide. In the small Scottish settlement of Achabeag, Hempcrete will be the basis for the twenty eco-houses they plan to build; the first two prototypes have already been completed. The planners hope that Achabeag will “form a blueprint for new, sustainable communities across the north and west of Scotland”.

Hempcrete was developed in France in the 1980s, based on a rediscovered historic recipe that had been in widespread use centuries ago. Since the modern form was developed by French company Isochanvre, it has been the basis for more than 250 homes in various locations across France.

Hemp houses have now been built in the UK, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and many other countries worldwide. Currently, the UK’s University of Bath is undertaking a three-year study to develop prefabricated Hempcrete panels, which could make building with hemp even easier in future!

Right now, hemp is comparable in cost to conventional building materials, and has so many green credentials that it’s already worth serious consideration. Furthermore, as the industry expands and hemp increases in popularity, costs are likely to come down and building with hemp will become even more affordable!

Source : Sensiseeds

7 facts that prove alcohol is way more dangerous than Cannabis

No substantial evidence links marijuana to traffic accidents, domestic violence or cancer, yet pot is illegal and listed as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Meanwhile, alcohol remains legal despite the fact that it has been proven to contribute to many societal ills, including domestic violence and auto accidents.

In 2011 alone, an individual in the U.S. was arrested for marijuana use, sale or possession every 42 seconds, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Those numbers have been climbing.

Some of the obvious hypocrisy inherent to marijuana prohibition is highlighted in a commercial (see below) that ran a brief stint before NASCAR audiences last month, until it was removed to preserve the “family atmosphere” of the event, according to race organizers. The ad space for the commercial was purchased by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the largest marijuana legalization advocacy group in the states, and the creators of the commercial.

The Huffington Post reported that MPP celebrated the commercial as:

“… the first time a pro-pot campaign would be seen at a major sporting event. Organizers for the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway disputed that claim, noting that the boards set to display the commercial were not technically on stadium grounds. When officials with the company that had allowed MPP to purchase air time caught wind of its pro-marijuana message, they scrambled to take it down.”
In 31 seconds, the ad points to a series of clear-cut ways pot is statistically less harmful than alcohol. The commercial has received more than 944,500 YouTube hits and made the rounds on Facebook.

It begins with the line: “If you’re an adult who enjoys a good beer, there’s a similar product you might want to know about—one without all the calories or serious health problems, less toxic so it doesn’t cause hangovers or overdose deaths, and it’s not linked to violence or reckless behavior.”

That product, of course, is marijuana. MPP created the commercial in an effort to clarify some of the myths and misconceptions that taint marijuana’s reputation—misconceptions MPP says are perpetuated by the U.S. government.

On its site, MPP states,

“If you’re like most Americans, you have been led to believe that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug that has destroyed the lives of millions of teens and adults. You have been encouraged to believe that marijuana causes lung cancer and is a ‘gateway’ to harder drugs. The government has even tried to convince you that most people who use marijuana are losers who sit around on couches all day doing nothing.”

MPP says its goal is to “wipe the slate clean” and replace fiction with facts about marijuana use. “We simply hope you will come to understand that it is far, far less harmful than what your government has told you,” the text states. The MPP website goes on to describes the common recreational uses of marijuana, which are similar to alcohol consumption patterns:

“None of this is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘immoral.’ It is simply something that these responsible adults choose to do. And frequently, it is something they choose to do specifically instead of alcohol. And for good reason! Alcohol is more toxic, more addictive, more harmful to the body, more likely to result in injuries, and more likely to lead to interpersonal violence than marijuana.”

The page also includes the following bulleted list comparing alcohol to marijuana:

1. Many people die from alcohol use. Nobody dies from marijuana use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 37,000 annual U.S. deaths are attributed to alcohol use alone (this figure does not include accidental deaths). On the other hand, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of marijuana.

2. People die from alcohol overdoses. There has never been a fatal marijuana overdose. The official publication of the Scientific Research Society, American Scientist, reported that alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs and using just 10 times what one would use to get the desired effect could lead to death. Marijuana is one of – if not the – least toxic drugs, requiring thousands of times the dose one would use to get the desired effect to lead to death. This “thousands of times” is actually theoretical, since there has never been a case of an individual dying from a marijuana overdose. Meanwhile, according to the CDC, hundreds of alcohol overdose deaths occur in the United States each year.

3. The health-related costs associated with alcohol use far exceed those for marijuana use. Health-related costs for alcohol consumers are eight times greater than those for marijuana consumers, according to an assessment recently published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal. More specifically, the annual health-related cost of alcohol consumption is $165 per user, compared to just $20 per user for marijuana. This should not come as a surprise given the vast amount of research that shows alcohol poses far more – and more significant – health problems than marijuana.

4. Alcohol use damages the brain. Marijuana use does not. Despite the myths we’ve heard throughout our lives about marijuana killing brain cells, it turns out that a growing number of studies seem to indicate that marijuana actually has neuroprotective properties. This means that it works to protect brain cells from harm. For example, one recent study found that teens who used marijuana as well as alcohol suffered significantly less damage to the white matter in their brains. Of course, what is beyond question is that alcohol damages brain cells.

5. Alcohol use is linked to cancer. Marijuana use is not. Alcohol use is associated with a wide variety of cancers, including cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lungs, pancreas, liver, and prostate. Marijuana use has not been conclusively associated with any form of cancer. In fact, one study recently contradicted the long-time government claim that marijuana use is associated with head and neck cancers. It found that marijuana use actually reduced the likelihood of head and neck cancers. If you are concerned about marijuana being associated with lung cancer, you may be interested in the results of the largest case-controlled study ever conducted to investigate the respiratory effects of marijuana smoking and cigarette smoking. Released in 2006, the study, conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin at the University of California at Los Angeles, found that marijuana smoking was not associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Surprisingly, the researchers found that people who smoked marijuana actually had lower incidences of cancer compared to non-users of the drug.

6. Alcohol is more addictive than marijuana. Addiction researchers have consistently reported that marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol based on a number of factors. In particular, alcohol use can result in significant and potentially fatal physical withdrawal, whereas marijuana has not been found to produce any symptoms of physical withdrawal. Those who use alcohol are also much more likely to develop dependence and build tolerance.

7. Alcohol use increases the risk of injury to the consumer. Marijuana use does not. Many people who have consumed alcohol, or know others who have consumed alcohol, would not be surprised to hear that it greatly increases the risk of serious injury. Research published in 2011 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that 36% of hospitalized assaults and 21% of all injuries are attributable to alcohol use by the injured person. Meanwhile, the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that lifetime use of marijuana is rarely associated with emergency room visits. According to the British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, this is because: “Cannabis differs from alcohol … in one major respect. It does not seem to increase risk-taking behavior. This means that cannabis rarely contributes to violence either to others or to oneself, whereas alcohol use is a major factor in deliberate self-harm, domestic accidents and violence.” Interestingly enough, some research has even shown that marijuana use has been associated with a decreased risk of injury.

Source: Salon Media

10 Basic Facts about Cannabis

Marijuana, cannabis and hemp are all names that refer to this unique plant.

The marijuana symbol is seen everywhere these days — on clothing, jewelry, keychains and stickers. It’s no surprise that cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. and worldwide.

The growing popularity of marijuana is evident, but many people lack a standard knowledge about the plant. Here are 10 facts about cannabis that you should know:

1. Marijuana is derived from the Cannabis plant

The cannabis plant (also known as hemp) usually grows about 8 to 12 feet high and can be grown outdoors or indoors.

The main active ingredient in cannabis — the part that gives the “high” feeling — is called THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC acts on specific molecules in the body known as cannabinoid receptors, which are mostly found in the brain. Different cannabis products have different levels of THC.

The term “cannabis” can also refer to any drug that is derived from the plant, including the three major types: Marijuana, hashish and hash oil.

Marijuana is made from a mixture of dried and shredded flowers of the plant and is greenish-gray in appearance. Hashish is made from the resins of the plant and hash oil is a sticky, black liquid.

2. Marijuana has different strains

Marijuana strains can be pure or hybrid varieties, usually derived from the two major species of cannabis: indica and sativa. Different strains have been bredto intensify certain characteristics of cannabis.

One of the most popular strains is OG Kush. It has the highest THC content of all Kush strains and is recognized as one of the strongest cannabis strains.

Sour Diesel is another well-known strain, which has a strong odor and mood-enhancing effects.

3. Marijuana can be consumed in a number of ways

Marijuana can be rolled into a joint using rolling paper. When tobacco is mixed in — to add flavor and to make it burn slower — it’s called a spliff. Marijuana can also be smoked in a cigar shell, which is referred to as a blunt.

Another common method of smoking marijuana is with a pipe. A bong is a special type of pipe that passes smoke through water and is regarded by some as an effective way to reduce exposure to carcinogens in smoke.

Another method of consuming cannabis is by eating it in the form of edibles. Steeping it as a tea is also an option.

Out of all these methods, researchers and doctors agree that using a vaporizeris the safest way to consume marijuana. Vaporizers heat the cannabis to a point that vaporizes the active ingredients without burning it, thus eliminating the harmful effects of smoking.

4. Marijuana has physical and psychological effects

The effects of marijuana begin within a few minutes after inhalation and can last a few hours. THC is absorbed more slowly when it’s taken as a food or liquid and the effects take longer to be felt.

The marijuana high can affect a user physically in a number of ways, including an increased heart rate, dry mouth, bloodshot/glazed eyes and an increase in appetite (often referred to as the “munchies”).

When a user is high, they most commonly feel euphoria and a sedative tranquility. Effects may also include lowered inhibitions, drowsiness, and silliness/giddiness. Some users also report anxiety and paranoia.

People who smoke marijuana may experience long-term effects, similar to that of a cigarette smoker, such as a cough, frequent chest colds and chronic bronchitis. Using a vaporizer has been shown to prevent these effects.

5. Marijuana has many street names

Street names for cannabis vary by region and demographic. Older slang terms for cannabis include pot, herb, Mary Jane, grass, reefer, dope and weed. Ganja, bud, chronic and skunk are also commonly used.

Other slang terms related to marijuana include pothead, which refers to a heavy user; headshop, which is a store that sells paraphernalia; and 420, which can refer to the time for smoking marijuana (4:20) or the unofficial holiday(April 20th).

6. The legality of marijuana varies by country

Countries around the world have different laws about the use of cannabis recreationally and medicinally. There are also different regulations for possession and sale of the drug.

Possession of cannabis is legal in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Netherlands, North Korea, Uruguay and a number of states in the U.S.

Cannabis is decriminalized in many countries, meaning it’s prohibited but is not considered a criminal offence and would merit minor penalties.

Marijuana is legal in some U.S. states, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It is medically legal in 25 states and decriminalized in 20 states.

Although cannabis is widely used in Canada, it’s illegal in all provinces and territories without a doctor’s prescription. However, a newly elected government is currently drafting legislation that would legalize and regulate marijuana for all adults nationwide.

7. Marijuana is commonly used

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.2 million Americans used marijuana in the past year — a significant jump from previous years.

According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 44% of Americans have tried marijuana in their lifetime.

The percentage of Canadians who have tried the drug is also 44%, according to data from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. A 2012 survey found that 12.2% of Canadians used marijuana in the past year.

8. Marijuana is one of the world’s oldest crops

The cannabis plant is believed to be one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans. Records of its use date back over 6000 years. Early civilizations relied on hemp crops as a source of food, fibre, oil and paper.

A Chinese medical reference as old as 2700 BC is usually cited as the first mention of medical use of marijuana. The Ancient Chinese used cannabis to treat constipation, malaria, rheumatic pain and female disorders.

Consumption then spread to India and the Middle East, where Muslims used hashish. It eventually reached Europe around 500 BC.

9. Marijuana is safer than alcohol

According to a 2014 survey, seven out of ten Americans believe alcohol is more harmful than marijuana — and they’re right.

The most commonly cited reason for this belief is that cannabis has never directly caused a death, while alcohol claims many lives each year. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, there were 3.3 million deaths attributed to alcohol in 2012.

Of course, alcohol poisoning is responsible for some of these deaths. On the other hand, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose.

But the long-term effects of alcohol, such as chronic illnesses, cause the most deaths. Another argument is that marijuana has a number of proven medical uses, whereas no doctor would ever recommend alcohol to a sick patient.

10. Marijuana can be prescribed for many conditions

The use of medical marijuana has become more and more common in the U.S. and around the world. Patients that are approved to use medical marijuana usually buy the drug from a licensed supplier.

Medical marijuana can be smoked, vaporized, eaten or taken as a liquid.

Cannabis is most commonly prescribed for pain. This could include anything from migraine headaches to spinal injury. It can also be helpful for patients experiencing nausea and appetite loss, such as those undergoing chemotherapy.

Some doctors also prescribe marijuana for Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, depression and a variety of other conditions.

Source: Leaf Science

Apple & Hemp Almond Butter Cake


In mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar.
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar

In a separate bowl, mix hemp meal, flours, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
1/4 cup hemp seed meal
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda


Blend olive oil, zest, molasses and applesauce in a measuring cup.
2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

Alternately add dry, then liquid ingredients to the egg-sugar mix. Stir only until blended.
Pour batter into an 8-inch springform pan greased with a vegetable oil spray.
Top with sauteed apple-almond mix. (See below)

In a saucepan, melt buttery spread. Stir in sugar. Add apples and almond butter. Stir well. Saute for 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup almond butter (all almonds, with no added salt or sugar)
4 apples, peeled and diced (3 cups total cut fruit)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla


Pear Hemp Basil Smoothie


2 ripe pears
1 frozen banana
5-7 large basil leaves
1 tablespoon tahini, almond butter, or other nut butter
½ teaspoon. bee pollen
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
1 handful of greens (spinach and kale are good choices)
a tablespoon soaked nuts ( I used almonds)
water or milk of choice to thin, as needed

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.


Study: What Is The Best Cannabis Oil Extraction Method?

Cannabis extract medicine has been used for generations to help treat a variety of conditions, and its popularity has increased quite a bit in recent years. Much of this increased popularity can be traced to Rick Simpson‘s public campaign in favor of what he referred to as “hemp oil.”

Last year, a group of researchers from the University of Siena (Italy) and Leiden University (Netherlands) completed a study comparing some of the most commonly used extraction solvents. Their results were published in the journal Cannabinoids.
Cannabis Extraction Solvents Discussed By Caregivers, Researchers
cannabinoid medicinesAs previously reported, Rick advocated for the use of naphtha or petroleum ether – a fact for which he has taken criticism. The argument being made is not that these substances are ineffective as solvents, but that it creates an unnecessary danger for patients.
As noted by, Dr. Luigi L. Romano, lead author of the European study, naphtha and petroleum ether are mixtures of various hydrocarbons (benzene, hexane, etc.). He goes on to explain, “they are each considered cancer hazards according to their respective Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers.”
There are a number of alternative extraction methods that have gained popularity in recent years – some intended for inhalation (butane, CO2, propane, etc), and others geared toward oral ingestion (ethanol, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.). It should come as no surprise that each substance reacts differently when used as a solvent, and the final product can be greatly affected by the process used to extract the highly coveted cannabis oil.
Researchers Test Efficacy Of Various Cannabis Extract Solvents
With this in mind, the European research team investigated the effectiveness of four extraction solvents – naphtha, petroleum ether, ethanol and olive oil. They performed a total of five extractions, including two slightly different methods of olive oil extraction. Lab test results from each final product were then analyzed for their respective cannabinoid and terpene content.
“Ethanol and olive oil were determined to be the most effective, largely because of their ability to produce an extract with a high terpene content. Perhaps more importantly, both substances are safe for consumption.”
Of the solvents used, naphtha showed the most significant difference. Naphtha-based cannabis oil displayed a lower concentration of terpenes and a much higher percentage of decarboxylated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compared to the other extracts.
On the other hand, ethanol and olive oil were determined to be the most effective, largely because of their ability to produce an extract with a high terpene content. Perhaps more importantly, both substances are safe for consumption.
Many developments are being made in the realm of cannabis oil and a movement is underway to end the use of harmful solvents like naphtha in the case of medical marijuana patients. In fact, a Colorado-based concentrate company named OG recently released a line of capsules filled with solventless RSO and patients have reported broad spectrum benefits.

Source : Medical Jane

Hemp fuels- Environmentally friendly fuel sources

The basics: Hemp can provide two types of fuel.

1. Hemp biodiesel – made from the oil of the (pressed) hemp seed.
2. Hemp ethanol/methanol – made from the fermented stalk.

To clarify further, ethanol is made from such things as grains, sugars, starches, waste paper and forest products, and methanol is made from woody/pulp matter. Using processes such as gasification, acid hydrolysis and enzymes, hemp can be used to make both ethanol and methanol.

In this day of oil wars, peak oil (and the accompanying soaring prices), cllimate change and oil spills such as the one in the gulf by BP, it’s more important than ever to promote sustainable alternatives such as hemp ethanol. Hemp turns out to be the most cost-efficient and valuable of all the fuel crops we could grow on a scale that could fuel the world.

And as it turns out, the whole reason for hemp prohibition – and alcohol prohibition – may have been a fuel the realization that OIL production is threatened by any competing fuel source, especially one that requires no modifications to your car!

What is Hemp Biodiesel?
Hemp biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester based oxygenated fuels made from hemp oil. The concept of using vegetable oil as an engine fuel dates back to 1895 when Dr. Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Diesel demonstrated his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 using peanut oil as fuel. Hemp biodiesel come from the pressing of the hemp seeds to extract the oil. Through a process explained here , hemp biodiesel can be made.

Hemp biodiesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed crops such as hemp. With over 30 million successful U.S. road miles hemp biodiesel could be the answer to our cry for renewable fuel sources. Learning more about renewable fuels does not mean we should not cut back on consumption but does help address the environmental affects of our choices. There is more to hemp as a renewable fuel source than you know

Why Hemp Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine.
It can be stored anywhere that petroleum diesel fuel is stored. Biodiesel is safe to handle and transport because it is as biodegradable as sugar, 10 times less toxic than table salt, and has a high flashpoint of about 300 F compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which has a flash point of 125 F.
Biodiesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed crops such as hemp.
Biodiesel is a proven fuel with over 30 million successful US road miles, and over 20 years of use in Europe.
When burned in a diesel engine, biodiesel replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with the pleasant smell of hemp, popcorn or french fries.
Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel in the US to complete EPA Tier I Health Effects Testing under section 211(b) of the Clean Air Act, which provide the most thorough inventory of environmental and human health effects attributes that current technology will allow.
Biodiesel is 11% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur.
The use of biodiesel can extend the life of diesel engines because it is more lubricating than petroleum diesel fuel, while fuel consumption, auto ignition, power output, and engine torque are relatively unaffected by biodiesel.
The Congressional Budget Office, Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, and others have determined that biodiesel is the low cost alternative fuel option for fleets to meet requirements of the Energy Policy Act.
Source :

Smoking cannabis may reduce chances of infection by intestinal worms

Washington State University researchers have found that the more hunter-gatherers smoke cannabis, the less they are infected by intestinal worms. The link suggests that they may unconsciously be, in effect, smoking medical marijuana.

Ed Hagen, a WSU Vancouver anthropologist, explored cannabis use among the Aka foragers to see if people away from the cultural and media influences of Western civilization might use plant toxins medicinally.

“In the same way we have a taste for salt, we might have a taste for psychoactive plant toxins, because these things kill parasites,” he said.

In an earlier study, Hagen found that the heavier tobacco smokers among the Aka also had fewer helminths, parasitic intestinal worms.

He cautions, however, that the studies have their limits. While nicotine has been seen killing worms in livestock, that hasn’t been directly demonstrated in humans. Cannabis kills worms in a petri dish, but researchers have not shown it killing worms in animals, Hagen said.

The Aka are a “pygmy” people of the Congo basin. As one of the world’s last groups of hunter-gatherers, they offer anthropologists a window into a way of life accounting for some 99 percent of human history. They might also offer an alternative hypothesis to explain human drug use.

The prevailing explanation is that recreational drugs “hijack the pleasure centers of the brain,” making people feel good. But they also trigger mechanisms that tell us we’re consuming something toxic, tasting bitter and making us feel sick.

“So we thought, ‘Why would so many people around the world be using plant toxins in this very ‘recreational’ way?” said Hagen. “If you look at non-human animals, they do the same thing, and what a lot of biologists think is they’re doing it to kill parasites.”

The issue is significant on at least two fronts, write Hagen and his colleagues, with substance abuse and intestinal helminth infection being “two of the developing world’s great health problems.” Their study appears in the American Journal of Human Biology.

Researchers are unsure when the Aka might have first smoked cannabis or when it arrived on the continent. It may have come with traders from the Indian subcontinent around the first century A.D., but Hagen and his colleagues say it might not have been smoked until European colonization in the 17th Century.

Hagen surveyed almost all of the nearly 400 adult Aka along the Lobaye River in the Central African Republic and found roughly 70 percent of the men and 6 percent of the women used cannabis. The polling was supported by bioassays of the men that found high enough levels of THCA, a metabolic byproduct of cannabis’s active ingredient, to indicate that 68 percent of them had recently smoked.

Stool samples collected from the men to gauge their worm burden found some 95 percent of them were infected with helminths. But those who consumed cannabis had a significantly lower rate of infection. A year after being treated with a commercial antihelmintic, the cannabis users were reinfected with fewer worms.

While the Aka deliberately consume a tea of a local plant, motunga, to fight parasitic infections, they do not think of cannabis or tobacco as medicine, Hagen said. This suggests they are unconsciously using cannabis to ward off parasites, he said.

Source :  Washington State University


Ingredients :

3 Tbsp Chia seeds
1 Cup Hemp milk
2 tsp Maple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground ginger
1/8 – 1/4 tsp Ground cardamon
1 tsp vanilla

pinch of ground cloves

Method :

Mix all ingredients together. Be sure to mix the chia into the milk thoroughly, otherwise you will end up with a chunky pudding. Let sit for 1 hour or in the refrigerator overnight.

After chia has sat and soaked up all the liquid, spoon 1/2 the mixture into a bowl. Layer 1/2 the pomegranate sauce (recipe below) over the chia pudding and top with the rest of the pudding mixture. Spoon the remaining sauce on top.