What’s Missing from Paris Climate Talks: Hemp

Charles, the Prince of Wales, has issued an urgent appeal for forests at the historic international climate change talks this week — and with good reason. Mismanagement of forest resources accounts for up to a quarter of all man-made climate change, and healthy forests will be an essential component of any sustainable global solution to the greatest challenge of our times — an urgency which only underlines the glaring omission of any talk of a healthy industrial hemp industry as a key component of any global solution.
In the United States, the construction and powering of buildings represents 39% of all of the country’s contribution to man-made climate change, due to the fact that the vast majority of new American construction is still stuck in the 20th century. The materials used to erect these edifices are a major source of the problem: steel and concrete both require the emission of vast tons of carbon dioxide, while the production of lumber decimates the forests the world ecosystem desperately needs to breathe. By contrast, a single 3’x3′ section of wall made from hemp building materials can sequester as much as 80 pounds of CO2. Switching over to an already proven building technology which has been in use since the time of the pharaohs could instantly turn one of the largest sources of carbon emissions into a carbon sink.
Yet the benefits of hemp construction do not end there. Researchers at the University of Bath are conducting promising research into the superior benefits of hemp materials for insulating buildings, so they are more resistant to moisture and need far less energy to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Professor Pete Walker, who heads the research project, has hypothesized that hemp houses could thus have a “better than zero” carbon footprint.
Imagine. The building you’re sitting in now could be actively reversing climate change. Instead of being part of the problem, it could be part of the solution. Yet, so far, hemp has not been part of the discussion.
NOTE: The World Hemp Quarter, a gathering of hemp industrialists, will meet in Paris on December 5-6 at the World Village of Alternatives.
Source : The Leaf

Hemp, the Biomass Power Plant

The wonders of hemp as an alternative crop for farmers continue to amaze the world. It’s a crop that’s easy to grow, is gentle on the soil and provides a way for farmers to grow another cash crop. Research indicates that hemp can become a bio-fuel of the future.

Recent Hemp Developments

Recent developments around world relating to the production of hemp show that hemp can be used as an additive to create cake mixes, milk, pasta and even bread. Hemp by-products are also an answer to providing alternative fuels in the energy sector. Scientists and researchers have used hemp to make biofuel and industrial oil.

According to Klara Marosszeky, an Australian hemp advocate, growing hemp is a sustainable alternative for small farmers. It’s also great for the environment. “The biomass it produces is the equivalent to a similar area of forest [per year], but it’s produced in a four month period of growth,” Marosszeky said. “It’s really an opportunity for farmers to earn a good income because they have the opportunity to value-add on farm.” The complete interview with Marosszeky can be read here.

Creating Fuel from Hemp

hemp-fiberThe process of creating useful products from hemp have been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada. The research shows hemp as a potent power plant. They have taken the waste from the hemp cannabis plant and transformed it into a carbon nanomaterial that can be used as a substitute for more expensive graphene. Graphene is a nanomaterial used in batteries and high-power super capacitors. Uses for super capacitors include fast-charging batteries used in laptops and smartphones and braking systems in vehicles, including buses and trucks.

Hemp as Fuel

pyrolytic-reactor-biomassHemp falls under a fuel classification known as biomass. Biomass simply describes matter that is produced biologically, such as through farming. This hemp biomass is then processed into fuel via chemical decomposition or biological digestion. A complete treatment of hemp for fuel and human consumption can be found here.

Pros and Cons of Hemp

Hemp is a plant that grows in nearly any type of soil. It needs little or no fertilizers or pesticides. It’s easy on the planet, creating no greenhouse gas. It’s acceptance, though, as a useful crop is still hindered by governments who see hemp as a drug.
crops are profitable?

Source : Electricity Policy Org UK

Environmental Benefits of Hemp

The industrial, medicinal and commercial properties of hemp have been known to mankind for a very long time, but its benefits to the environment have just been realized in recent years. Many industries looking for sustainable and eco-friendly processes are turning to hemp for the answer. Its cultivation does not need any particular climate or soil, and is thus found in all parts of the world. Hemp provides an alternative and more efficient source of energy mainly in 3 sectors:
Fuel
The woody hemp plant is low in moisture; it dries quickly and is an efficient biomass source of methanol. The waste products produced by using hemp oil are a good source of ethanol. Both methanol and ethanol are produced from hemp through the efficient and economical process of thermo-chemical conversion. One acre of hemp yields 1,000 gallons or 3,785 liters of fuel. Hemp allows a lesser reliance on fossil fuels, which are non-renewable sources of energy and will not be able to meet the increasing global demands for long.
Paper
Paper can be manufactured from hemp. Since hemp has a low lignin content compared to wood, it can be turned to pulp faster and easier; this naturally bright pulp does not need chlorine bleaching, which is used in traditional paper mills and releases a toxic substance called dioxin into the environment. Hemp is also compatible with the new soy-based binders rather than the harsh binders that give off formaldehyde. This reduces air pollution and health hazards to human and animal life. The quality of paper obtained from hemp is more durable and does not lose its color even after many years. Much more can be got out of each hemp plant since its paper can be recycled 7 or 8 times, as compared to only 3 for tree-based paper.
Construction
The uses of hemp also extend into construction. Fiberboards made from a hemp-based composite are stronger yet lighter than those made from wood. The combination of hemp fiber and lime results in a sound-proofing and insulating material that is stronger and lighter than concrete. By replacing wood and concrete, the amount of waste matter at a construction site is reduced. Since homes built using hemp products have better thermal insulation, less fuel will be consumed for heating their interiors. Bio-based plastics can be made from the long hemp fibers, and these are almost as strong as fiberglass. Hemp is an economical construction material that is recyclable, cheaper than glass and safe for the workers.
Hemp is so Much Better for the Environment:
It replaces trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper, thereby conserving forests. Trees take years to grow, while a crop of hemp can be grown in a few months. Only one acre of hemp can produce as much paper annually as 4 acres of trees.
When burning hemp as a fuel, carbon dioxide is released into the air, but this is absorbed by the next crop, which can be harvested 120 days after planting. This quick growth avoids the build-up of carbon dioxide. Also, hemp is a very leafy plant and thus contributes a high level of oxygen to the atmosphere during its growth; between 20 and 40%. This makes up for the loss of oxygen when it is burnt as a fuel, which in turn, reduces unwanted effects of global warming, acid rain and the depletion in the ozone layer on the environment.
Air pollution is reduced since hemp is naturally resistant to pests and does not need pesticides and herbicides to be sprayed. Very little fertilizers are required, since it’s abundant leaves fall into the soil and release the required nutrients and minerals, thereby creating better soil tilth. Cotton and flax are known to consume 50% of all pesticides; hemp replaces cotton as a raw material in the manufacturing of paper and cloth, and flax fiber or seed for animal feed, animal bedding and paper.
Soil enrichment: The hemp crop grows dense and vigorously. Sunlight cannot penetrate the plants to reach the ground, and this means the crop is normally free of weeds. Its deep roots use ground water and reduce its salinity. Also, erosion of topsoil is limited, thereby reducing water pollution. The roots give nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. After the harvest, this soil makes excellent compost amendments for other plants, and hemp cultivation can follow the rotation of agriculture with wheat or soybean. In fact, the same soil can be used to grow hemp for many years, without losing its high quality. The hemp plant absorbs toxic metals emitted by nuclear plants into the soil, such as copper, cadmium, lead and mercury.
Fabrics made of hemp do not have any chemical residue, and is therefore safer for consumers. Even if the fabric contains only 50% hemp, it can keep the UV rays of the sun from harming the skin underneath.
Hemp products can be recycled, reused and are 100% biodegradable. The growth speed of the plant is fast enough to meet the increasing industrial and commercial demand for these products. Switching to hemp products will help save the environment, leaving a cleaner and greener planet for the next generation.

How Hemp Can Clean Up Radiation

How Hemp Can Clean Up Radiation From Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
shown to be effective in cleaning the soil around the site of Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster and were even considered for use near Fukushima.

The cannabis plant has myriad uses, from paper, fabric and even fuel that can be created from industrial hemp, to the many health conditions which benefit from medical marijuana. Here’s one more benefit to add to the list: removing toxic metals and even radiation from soil.

The process of using plants to clean polluted soil is called phytoremediation. According to a 2014 report from Nation of Change’s Christina Sarich, two members of the mustard family are more frequently used in phytoremediation, but cannabis has shown some promise because of its hardiness to toxins and quick growth rates. Some have even considered using it near Fukushima.

A group of representatives of Consolidated Growers and Processors, PHYTOTECH, and Ukraine’s Institute of Bast Crops experimented in the late 1990s with using industrial hemp, a form of the plant that’s high in fiber but low in psychoactive or medical benefits, near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, where a great deal of agricultural land is still unusable because of the presence of radiation and heavy metals still lingering from the 1986 meltdown.

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

In 2009, scientists from Belarus also experimented with hemp in areas polluted by Chernobyl. The disaster contaminated nearly 20 miles around the site.

The Belarusian scientists noted that one added benefit of industrial hemp over other phytoremediation plants is that it can also be used to produce biofuel, potentially adding a second use for the crop after it removes toxins from the soil.

SOURCE: MintPress News Desk

The New Green Building Trend is Bricks of Cannabis. Really.

Builders are using cannabis “not in joints but between joists.”
The jokes about homes “going up in smoke” are inevitable.

But the truth is that one of the reasons the cannabis-based building material called hempcrete is gaining acceptance in home construction is that it’s entirely fireproof. As a recent New York Times story reported, hempcrete has been used as a building material in Europe for decades, and lately it’s been incorporated in more homes and offices in the U.S. A small group of hemp entrepreneurs envisions a time very soon when hempcrete will be totally mainstream.

Hempcrete is made with the wood-like interior part of a Cannabis plant, which resemble the look and feel of balsa chips. They’re combined with lime and water, and the resulting material is a block that provides terrific natural insulation, while still being flexible, breathable, and, as mentioned already, fireproof.

And there’s no need to worry about teenage hooligans ripping out your insulation to smoke it. Hempcrete contains an almost imperceptible amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high.

What is Kief ?

What is Kief?
When a cannabis plant reaches maturity, trichomes holding a majority of the cannabinoids are formed on its leaves and buds. The accumulation of these trichomes (or resin glands) creates a fine, powdery substance referred to as kief (also written as keef or kif).
“Kief tends to measure between 75 and 125 microns.”
Kief on its own is more potent than traditional flower, but less potent than most extracted concentrates like shatter, budder, wax, and oil. The quality of the kief you are collecting will depend directly on the quality of the plant it comes from. Kief fairly green in color usually indicates that there is a lot of plant matter mixed in, a clear indicator of low-quality kief that should be further refined. Kief that presents very light tan or blonde with an attractive aroma is usually more pure and of high-quality.
How to Collect and Store Kief
kief boxThere are many methods of collecting kief, some of which can get sophisticated. The easiest way to collect kief is by using a 3-piece herb grinder. The chamber construction of the grinder allows the ground herb to be caught in the middle chamber as the trichomes continue to fall through a screen, collecting in the bottom of the grinder.
To collect larger amounts of kief, many people create makeshift sifters using layered screens similar to the ones pictured here. Using a sifter box and a coin, you can expedite the kief collection process by disturbing the trichomes enough to make many fall off. Be sure to wash your hands and the coins first. Handle both the bud and coin as little as possible to minimize the amount of dirt and oils that get into the kief. Place a couple of quarters on the tray along with your dry herb and begin to shake the box hard for 30-60 seconds. After you are done shaking, open the box and inspect how much kief has been collected. Repeat the process until you have a satisfactory amount of kief.
On average, kief tends to measure between 75 and 125 microns, so it can be difficult to separate all of the resin from the plant materials. To make sure you’re collecting the purest kief without unwanted green plant matter, it is recommended that you stack three to four layers of fine mesh screen (each finer than the last) one on top of another.
When a large amount of kief is collected (more than a few grams), it is important to keep the kief in a cool, dark and dry space. For maximum quality, you’ll want to continually stir & mix the kief every few days using a comb to keep the kief from bunching up / sticking together.
Top 5 Uses for Kief
There are many uses for kief. Here are the top 5 most common uses:
1. Top off your flowers with kief
This is the easiest way to put your kief to use. Simply sprinkle a tiny bit of kief over the cannabis flowers in your bowl, joint, glass, etc. Kief, when heated, tends to burn quickly and will continue to burn until it is gone. To avoid wasting product while you catch your breathe between bowl hits, it is recommended that you space the kief out by lining the outside of a bowl (as opposed to covering the entire top layer).
2. Add kief to your morning cup of coffee
One of the most popular ways of consuming kief is by putting it in your morning cup of joe. The heat of the coffee or cappuccino will activate the kief’s cannabinoids, making them more available for consumption. Ingesting kief this way will produce a strong, long-lasting effect after just 15-30 minutes, much like eating an infused edible.
3. Whip up some kief butter
Just like you can make infused butter with cannabis flower or hash oil, you can also use kief to produce a stronger end-product. Simply place butter (not margarine) into a crock pot on medium heat until melted completely. Then add your kief and stir every 10 to 15 minutes for 5 hours. Remove the kief butter from the heat and place in a heat-proof container (a bowl). After it cools completely place a lid on the container and put it in the refrigerator to harden.
4. Brew kief tea
Much like you can put kief into your coffee, you can also add it to your favorite cup of hot tea. It only takes a pinch of kief (1 gram will be plenty for 4 6oz drinks) to create a powerful drink.
5. Turn kief into hash
Hash is basically just heated and pressurized kief. Applying heat and pressure to kief alters its composition by rupturing the resin glands, changing its taste, consistency, and look. The color of kief typically darkens the more it is pressurized. Just as there are many ways you can collect kief, there are many ways to make your own hash. Here is a simple DIY method that involves parchment paper (not wax paper), an iron, and a buffer (such as a t-shirt, thin towel or even damp newspaper):
Heat iron to lowest setting – no steam
Take the parchment (adjust to amount to be pressed – typically about a foot), fold in half and place on an iron-ready surface (preferably an ironing board)
Place a light layer of kief on the bottom half of the parchment paper (not too thick – about a ¼ inch) and fold the top half over, keeping the kief toward the fold
Put the buffer over the parchment paper
Apply pressure with the iron for no more than 3 or 4 seconds at a time, for about 20 swipes, flipping the paper’s side every few swipes
Check your progress and adjust heat or force of swipes if too loose or sticky
Don’t forget to turn off the iron
So there you have it; a simple and concise guide to understanding, collecting, and using kief. For more information on different forms of cannabis extractions, check out Medical Jane’s cannabis classroom.

GLOBAL WARMING AND CANNABIS HEMP

Global warming is not a myth. Many people see Global Warming as the most threatening force of destruction on our planet. Global Warming is linked to a number of other environmental problems affecting the earth Millions of people would die as a result of global warming if no changes were made.

Briefly summarized, global warming is the increasing buildup of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide is released when fossil fuels, such as coal or petroleum, are burned for energy. In the last 100 years alone we have increased our CO2 levels by 30%, with a noticeable effect on the environment. Our sea levels are rising, the global temperature is increasing, our glaciers are melting, and scientists predict further and more massive levels of destruction in the coming years. The dependence on petroleum products and fossil fuels could potentially ruin the earth, making it possibly uninhabitable in the coming centuries.

It is possible to produce all of our energy with Cannabis Hemp. The unique growing properties of the plant make it the ideal crop for our energy needs. One acre of Cannabis Hemp can produce 1000 gallons of methanol in a single growing season. Any CO2 released from burning Cannabis Hemp would be the same CO2 the plant had already taken from the environment, creating what is called a closed carbon cycle. A closed carbon cycle system of energy production would slow down the effects of global warming, and with well-implemented plant growth could possibly stop global warming entirely. No other plant on earth could meet the needs of global energy consumption, but Cannabis Hemp could.
Our automobiles account for much of the CO2 released into the ecosystem. Already electric cars are available to the public to promote reduced gasoline consumption. But electric cars are inefficient, and the support structure for this type of automobile is not in place. In 1998 transportation fuels accounted for almost 500 million tons of CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, our gas prices are skyrocketing, taking money directly from our pockets.

Cannabis Hemp can produce a clean-burning, energy efficient form of gasoline, with less cost to the consumer. Already, ethanol is added to gasoline to increase octane levels and efficiency. Henry Ford of Ford motors believed that eventually all cars would run entirely on ethanol. Cannabis Hemp can easily be fermented into alcohol in the form of ethanol. Small ethanol production stills from corn and other crops already exist in the United States. Making ethanol and gasoline from Cannabis Hemp would further reduce CO2 emissions and help regenerate our suffering planet. The National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy have all stated that to help the environment, we must produce bio diesel and bio ethanol.

If ethanol production proves too daunting, and more immediate solutions are warranted, cannabis hemp can also be converted into fuel oils to produce gasoline directly. Cannabis gasoline would not contain other harmful emissions associated with automobiles (such as sulfur), but it would release carbon dioxide. Still, as mentioned earlier, this CO2 would be the same CO2 the cannabis plant had already absorbed, and so there would be no net increase.

DEFORESTATION AND CANNABIS HEMP

The timber industry has long been essential to produce jobs and manufacture products in our country. This has been, alas, at great expense to our environment. Logging destroys forests, hurts streams, kills animals and plants, wipes out species, and pollutes our environment, to name just a few of its problems. Still, the resource has been essential through modern day and so we keep cutting down trees. Now it is time to stop, before we lose more of our precious heritage.

Today we make 93% of our paper from trees, including cardboard, printing paper, newspaper, etc. We use almost 40% of our forests for timber. This fills our water with nitrates, and that has terrible effects on the ecosystem. One quarter of our forests are critically imperiled, meaning they are vulnerable or unique. Many of these critically imperiled forests are not currently protected and could be destroyed any time. This problem even reaches into our wallets. We gave the Forest Service two billion dollars in subsidies from 1992-1997. This means we are actually paying taxes to destroy our own trees and heritage.

Cannabis Hemp can replace any of the products made from timber. No more forests would be needlessly wasted. This would save precious resources and renew the ecosystems. More importantly, it would mean more beautiful heritage to grow for our children.

All the paper we make from trees could be made better by using Cannabis Hemp. We would make more paper per acre. Each Cannabis plant grown saves 12 trees. Cannabis Hemp uses about 1/7 the chemicals in paper manufacture. Right now we cut down about 500 million cubic meters of forest every year.

Cannabis could be used for particleboards of any size, as well as insulation, drywall, cabinets, and furniture. We could build a house from Cannabis Hemp materials without excess pollution, and without cutting down a single tree.

Logging our trees is without cause. There is no more need to waste our land when Cannabis Hemp could easily replace our timber. This destruction reaches into the homes and pockets of every taxpayer, and meanwhile our children cannot play in the streams and the logging industry gets another needless government refund. Now it is time to turn to the future. Hemp is our solution.