Switzerland considers making cannabis legal and approves pilot programs

Cannabis could soon be legal in Switzerland. The Swiss Council of States, Switzerland’s smaller chamber of parliament, unanimously approved a bill allowing studies and pilot programs in the landlocked Alpine nation. The Council called for an experimental article in the Swiss Federation’s Narcotics Act that would allow for scientific research projects including trials of a “coffee shop” system of cannabis distribution similar to that of Amsterdam. Five Swiss cities have already called for such coffeeshop pilot programs.

The Ministry of Health rejected requests until now, maintaining there’s no legal basis for carving such exceptions out of the Narcotics Act. After rejecting the idea in November 2017, the Ministry pointed out that the Narcotics Act must be amended by an “experiment paragraph.” This would provide for the City of Bern to review future applications.

“There was a need for scientifically based decision-making principles for the future regulation of cannabis,” according to MP Roberto Zanetti, representing the Social Democrats. The City of Bern had previously requested a cannabis pilot project several times. Under the proposed trial, 1,000 people who already use cannabis would be allowed to purchase it legally.The pilot project, which would allow cannabis purchases in pharmacies, would be scientifically evaluated and serve as a basis for future cannabis policies.

The bill now goes to the larger chamber of parliament, the National Council, where its fate rests. The Council of States has 46 members representing the Swiss cantons (federal states). It is the lesser chamber of parliament, analogous to the U.S. House of Representatives. The National Council has 200 members. Together, the two chambers make up the Swiss Federal Assembly, which meets in Bern.

Cannabis is already widely tolerated in Switzerland.

Possession of 10 grams or less of cannabis has been decriminalized. Between 200,000 and 300,000 Swiss use cannabis on a regular basis, according to government estimates. Possession of up to 10 grams isn’t punished in most cantons. Public consumption will get you a minor fine, 100 Swiss francs.

Numerous coffee shops are already open, legally selling CBD-dominant cannabis flowers with THC content of less than 1 percent. With the first CBD bars opening, cannabis has become hot news in Switzerland and is becoming part of the streetscape and culture.

CBD use is so widespread, the police in Zurich have started using a rapid test device to test for CBD to distinguish between low-THC legal cannabis and the high-THC illegal flower.

Switzerland’s 1 percent limit on THC means it has a higher threshold than the rest of Europe, Canada, and the United States. Anything up to 1 percent THC is defined as legal fiber hemp under Swiss Federation law. Because Switzerland isn’t a member of the European Union, it is free to set its own marijuana policies.

Switzerland almost legalized cannabis 20 years ago.

Back in the late 1990s, cannabis activists in Switzerland discovered a loophole in the Narcotics Act. The legal gap made it possible to grow and sell marijuana, both for personal use and on a larger scale. That’s because the law didn’t yet distinguish between cannabis and hemp on the basis of THC content. As long as the products were grown and sold for the stated use of “aromatherapy,” that made them legal.

A network of “Hanflädelis” (Hemp shops) rapidly sprang up where flowers and hash could be bought at reasonable prices. The shops first appeared in Zurich, and later throughout the country.

The Council of States even approved a legalization law in 2001. The National Council was expected to follow. But Switzerland, despite its famed neutrality (and, at the time, non-membership), came under heavy pressure from the United Nations. The U.N. was still unfortunately locked in is quixotic Drug War mindset. It demanded that Switzerland stick to its commitment to the 1961 Single Convention. That international agreement, seen through by the infamous American drug warrior Harry J. Anslinger, basically forced every country on earth to promise to keep cannabis illegal forever.

It didn’t help that neighbors France and Germany had started to loudly complain about the increasing amounts of cannabis coming across their borders. The weed was coming from, you guessed it, Switzerland.

In September 2002, Switzerland joined the United Nations. In short order, the National Council buckled to international pressure. They rejected the law that had been approved by the lower chamber of parliament the year before. Faced with the stark choice of legal cannabis or membership in the U.N., Swiss politicians chose the latter. So now it’s up to the National Council again.

A national referendum on cannabis legalization failed at the polls in 2008. In the decade since, the Swiss cities of Bern, Geneva, Basel, and Zurich have all repeatedly asked for regulated marijuana sales, starting with pilot projects. Many smaller towns also want to take part in such trials.

So in a replay of what happened in 2002 the final decision on cannabis legalization once again is up to the National Council. This time, the Grand Chamber of parliament is expected to at least partially go along with the Council of States. The vote, however, is expected to be a close one.

Source : Herb

Cannabis Oil Capsules May Be Best Treatment For Fibromyalgia

Treatment For Fibromyalgia much like treatments for any and all disease., often starts with the management of symptoms. With this disorder, the symptoms create a string of tender points along the body. Coupling this with extreme fatigue and an inability to sleep and you have a concoction for a drastically poor quality of life riddled with pain and discomfort.

Medical Cannabis Treatment for Fibromyalgia

The prevalence of Treatment For Fibromyalgia goes up as a person ages, yet 80-90% of all cases are women. The symptoms are known to worsen with persistence as it progresses and it is worsened by the weather, illness and stress. One cannabinoid profile that is well suited for this disorder patients has been identified as CBD. It is suggested patients obtain CBD rich medicine. Synergistically coupling a cbd rich oil with one that contains Low THC, there is additional relief provided to patients.

According to a report conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report, medical cannabis has been rated as one of the most effective treatment in reducing pain from Fibromyalgia.Many of the 1,300 fibromyalgia patients who responded to the survey said they had tried all 3 of the FDA approved drugs. One patient explained there were far more negative side effects to the FDA approved drugs than there were positive attributes.

When asked about the effectiveness of Cymbalta (Duloxetine), 60% of those who tried the medication stated that it did not work for them, whilst 8% reported it to be very effective. 32% reported Cymbalta helped slightly.Of those in the study who tried Pfizer’s Lyrica (Pregabalin) a whopping 61% reported that there was no relief. 10% reported Lyrica to be very effective whilst 29% said it helped slightly.

Rating Forest Laboratories’ Savella (Milnacipran), 68% of those trailing the drug stated that it didn’t work. 10% reported that it was very effective and 22% reported slight relief.

Comparing the study findings against those who had tried medical cannabis for their this disorder symptoms 62% said it was very effective. Another 33% said it helped slightly whilst only 5% reported no relief.

Source : Women With Fibromyalgia

 

Economic benefits of Hemp

Hemp is the same plant as marijuana, its scientific name is “cannabis sativa.” For thousands of years hemp was used to make dozens of commercial products like paper, rope, canvas, and textiles. In fact, the very name “canvas” comes from the Dutch word meaning cannabis, which is marijuana. That’s correct, real canvas is made from marijuana!

Many years ago hemp/marijuana was unjustly banned. However, hemp has recently been rediscoverd as a plant that has enormous environmental, economic, and commercial potential. What follows are some fascinating facts about hemp/marijuana – facts that will shock most people:

The potential of hemp for paper production is enormous. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, one acre of hemp can produce 4 times more paper than one acre of trees! All types of paper products can be produced from hemp: newsprint, computer paper, stationary, cardboard, envelopes, toilet paper, even tampons.
Paper production from hemp would eliminate the need to chop down BILLIONS of trees! MILLIONS of acres of forests and huge areas of wildlife habitat could be preserved.

Trees must grow for 20 to 50 years after planting before they can be harvested for commercial use. Within 4 months after it is planted, hemp grows 10 to 20 feet tall and it is ready for harvesting! Hemp can be grown on most farmland throughout where forests require large tracts of land available in few locations. Substituting hemp for trees would save forests and wildlife habitats and would eliminate erosion of topsoil due to logging. Reduction of topsoil erosion would also reduce pollution of lakes/rivers/streams.
Fewer caustic and toxic chemicals are used to make paper from hemp than are used to make paper from trees – LESS POLLUTION!

Hemp can also be substituted for cotton to make textiles. Hemp fiber is 10 times stronger than cotton and can be used to make all types of clothing. Cotton grows only in warm climates and requires enormous amounts of water. Hemp requires little water and grows in all 50 states! There are now many stores in the U.S. that sell hemp-derived products such as clothing, paper, cheese, soap, ice cream, cosmetics, and hemp oil. Demand for these products – not even in existence in 1992 – is growing rapidly.

Hemp naturally repels weed growth and hemp has few insect enemies. Few insect enemies and no weed problems means hemp requires NO HERBICIDES and FEW or NO PESTICIDES!

Cotton requires enormous pesticide use. 50% of all pesticides used in the U.S. are used on cotton. Substituting hemp for cotton would drastically reduce pesticide usage!

Hemp produces twice as much fiber per acre as cotton! An area of land only 25 miles by 25 miles square (the size of a typical U.S. county) planted with hemp can produce enough fiber in one year to make 100 MILLION pair of denim jeans! A wide variety of clothing made from 100% hemp (pants, denim jeans, jackets, shoes, dresses, shorts, hats) is now available.

Building materials that substitute for wood can be made from hemp. These wood-like building materials are stronger than wood and can be manufactured cheaper than wood from trees. Using these hemp- derived building materials would reduce building costs and save even more trees!

Hemp seeds are a source of nutritious high-protien oil that can be used for human and animal consumption. Hemp oil is NOT intoxicating. Extracting protein from hemp is less expensive than extracting protein from soybeans. Hemp protein can be processed and flavored in any way soybean protein can. Hemp oil can also be used to make highly nutritious tofu, butter, cheese, salad oils, and other foods. Hemp oil can also be used to produce paint, varnish, ink, lubricating oils, and plastic susbstitues. Because 50% of the weight of a mature hemp plant is seeds, hemp could become a significant source for these products.

Most hemp-derived products are NONTOXIC, BIODEGRADABLE, and RENEWABLE!

Unlike virtually all hemp substitutes, growing hemp requires very little effort and very few resources. Most substitutes for hemp (sisal, kenaf, sugar cane) grow in limited geographical areas and none have the paper/fiber potential of hemp. Hemp can be grown in all 50 states!

Unlike many crops, hemp puts little strain on the soil and requires only moderate amounts of fertilizer. Less fertilizer use results in less runoff into waterways and groundwater; therefore, less water pollution.

Hemp produces more biomass than any plant that can be grown .This biomass can be converted to fuel in the form of clean-burning alcohol, or no-sulphur man-made coal. Hemp has more potential as a clean and renewable energy source than any crop on earth! It is estimated that if hemp was widely grown in the U.S. for fuel/energy, it could supply 100% of all U.S. energy needs!

Marijuana has dozens of proven medicinal uses. Marijuana is more effective, less toxic, and less expensive than alternative synthetic medicines currently used. A recent poll revealed that over 50% of U.S. physicians would prescribe marijuana to their patients if it was legally available. People who suffer from arthritis, AIDS, rheumatism, leukimia, multiple sclerosis, cancer, glauocoma, and other ailments can benefit from marijuana as medicine. But because of our insane marijuana laws, people in need of this medicine are denied it.

Study Shows Cannabis Protects the Liver From Alcohol Damage

We hear a lot about the effects of cannabis on the brain and body, but rarely do we consider its effects when used in combination with other drugs, like alcohol. Studying the health impacts of both alcohol and cannabis on their own is valuable, but it doesn’t always reflect the public’s use patterns. Therefore, it’s important to understand the impact that the combination of alcohol and cannabis has on health outcomes. A recent study took up this challenge by investigating the effect of cannabis consumption on alcoholic liver disease.
What Is Alcoholic Liver Disease?
Drinking a lot of alcohol over many years causes liver disease by consistently elevating levels of inflammation. Alcohol directly damages liver cells and causes an inflammatory response. Additionally, alcohol disturbs the walls of the intestine, leading to a recruitment of inflammatory cells to repair the damage. These inflammatory cells make their way through the intestine to the liver where they contribute to liver inflammation. Alcohol also disrupts the microbes in the gut, causing them to release toxins into the blood stream that the liver tries to break down and becomes inflamed in the process.
These processes lead to the onset and progression of alcoholic liver disease:
The progression of alcoholic liver disease often brings a disruption of normal gut function, leading to an excess of fat deposits in the liver. This creates a condition known as “steatosis,” or “fatty liver.”
The increase in the cellular stress by the excess of fat cells in the liver leads to a state of constant inflammation of the liver, even in the absence of alcohol. This state is called “alcoholic hepatitis.”
Eventually, this inflammation leads to irreversible liver cell damage. The damage reaches a point where few healthy cells remain and the liver becomes scarred with non-functioning tissue. This stage is called “cirrhosis,” and liver function is severely compromised.
Lastly, the ongoing inflammation for years, if not decades, also increases risk for liver cancer, called “hepatocellular carcinoma.”
These four manifestations characterize the devastating alcoholic liver disease, which turns out to be quite common. Nearly 29% of individuals have had an alcohol use disorder in their lifetime, and among them, 20% develop liver disease. And it can kill you. In fact, those with an alcohol use disorder are 23 times more likely to die from a liver disease. What if there was a way to reduce the risk of alcoholic liver disease in those with an alcohol use disorder?
Indeed there may be, and cannabis may hold the key.
Ten percent of individuals with an alcohol use disorder also have a cannabis use disorder, while even more use cannabis but aren’t classified as dependent consumers. Could cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties protect against the development of alcoholic liver disease?
Study Findings: The Effects of Cannabis on Alcoholic Liver Disease
In a massive study that included 320,000 individuals with an alcohol use disorder* (of which over 26,000 were non-dependent cannabis users and 4,300 were dependent cannabis users), the scientists revealed that cannabis use protected against developing alcoholic liver disease. The scientists found that regardless of whether people were frequent or infrequent cannabis consumers, cannabis protected against developing each of the four stages of liver disease. Notably, the heaviest cannabis consumers had the greatest protection against alcoholic liver disease.
Specifically, cannabis use was associated with (note: percentages are for combined dependent and non-dependent cannabis consumers):
45% reduction in alcoholic steatosis (fatty liver)
40% reduction in alcoholic hepatitis (inflamed liver)
55% reduction in alcoholic cirrhosis (scarred liver)
75% reduction in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
It must be noted that cannabis was most protective in individuals who met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse. Cannabis had less of a protective effect in those who presumably consumed more alcohol and met the criteria for alcohol dependence. Broadly speaking, alcohol abuse is drinking too much too often, while dependence is the inability to quit. In most cases, those who are dependent end up consuming more alcohol throughout their lives. So it appears that cannabis is only protective against alcoholic liver disease to a point; the more you drink, the less cannabis can help.
Cannabis Protects Against Liver Cancer by Reducing Inflammation
Despite the growing excitement of certain cannabinoids in cancer treatment, the scientists concluded that cannabis’ protection against liver cancer mostly came from its ability to prevent cirrhosis. This is therefore a different protective mechanism than halting or killing the cancer directly. Since 90% of hepatocellular carcinoma stems from cirrhosis, cannabis’ block of this critical step illustrates its substantial therapeutic potential to prevent the onset of these life-threatening conditions.
But their results still leave open the possibility for cannabis’ direct anti-cancer effects. The scientists report that cannabis use was associated with a similar reduction in liver cancer in both alcohol abusers and those who were dependent. Since cannabis was less effective at preventing cirrhosis in those with alcohol dependence, it leaves open the possibility that cannabis directly blocked the development of liver cancer independent of its effects on cirrhosis. Additional studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of cannabis’ anti-cancer properties in the liver.
Alcohol Increases Inflammation
Alcohol damages the brain and body by increasing inflammation, and this inflammation contributes to liver disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of the primary cannabinoids, THC and cannabidiol (CBD), lead one to predict that cannabis consumption could reduce inflammation caused by alcohol, and therefore help prevent the development of liver disease.
However, cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects are not so straight forward in the liver. THC activates cannabinoid type I and type II receptors (CB1 and CB2), while CBD blocks THC’s actions at CB1 receptors and activates CB2 receptors. This distinction is important considering that activating CB1 receptors has pro-inflammatory effects in the liver and leads to liver disease, while CB2 activation has anti-inflammatory effects and protects against liver disease. These effects have been identified in laboratory models of liver disease, but cannabis’ effect on alcoholic liver disease in humans had not yet been assessed.
Cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties are already being utilized for pain relief as well as treatment for colitis (inflammation of the colon), multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. Balanced THC/CBD strains or CBD-dominant strains may provide even greater anti-inflammatory effects, and hopefully better prevent alcoholic liver disease.

Source : Leafly

 

2,500-year-old marijuana discovered in an ancient tomb

A 2,500-year-old stash of whole marijuana plants have been unearthed from an ancient tomb in northwest China. This discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that ancient people used marijuana for its psychoactive properties, and incorporated it into their rituals.A team of archaeologists, led by Hongen Jiang with the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, discovered 13 marijuana plants that were still largely intact, if yellowed and desiccated after millennia underground. In a first for funerary marijuana, the plants were found lying like a burial shroud atop the body of a man who had died in his mid-30s. Their roots lay below the man’s hips and the tips — which had been trimmed to remove the flowers — extended up around his face, according to the publication of the find in the journal Economic Botany.
This stash was found in one of 240 tombs that archaeologists had excavated in a desert region of the Turpan Basin in northwest China. The area had probably once been a stop along the Silk Road, and pastoral people called the Subeixi had lived and traded here, Kristin Romey for National Geographic reports. Three other tombs in this cemetery also contained marijuana fruits, leaves, stem fragments, and seeds. Scientists have wondered whether the marijuana plants came in via trade, or whether they had been farmed or grew wild in the region. Since the burial shroud marijuana plants were whole, uprooted plants, that suggests local growth.

ANCIENT PEOPLE USED MARIJUANA FOR ITS PSYCHOACTIVE PROPERTIES

Ancient people in Siberia and northwestern China have been putting pot in tombs since at least the first millennia BCE. An open question has been whether these plants were used for fruit, for their hemp fibers to make rope and clothing, or for what we use them for today: to get high, or to cut pain. So far, archaeologists have found 6,000 to 7,000-year-old hemp fabrics in Northern China, but haven’t unearthed any evidence of hemp clothing near the Turpan Basin before 2,000 years ago. While it’s possible that the clothes may simply have rotted over time, it’s also possible that the main purpose of marijuana wasn’t fiber.

In 2006, archaeologists found a large cache of marijuana fragments in a grave from around the same time period, at a nearby settlement. When scientists later analyzed the plants, they detected compounds that form when the main source of marijuana’s high — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — breaks down. That means these plants were probably prized for their psychoactive properties. This latest discovery of marijuana plants used as a burial shroud as well as the many previous findings of marijuana in the region’s tombs suggests that marijuana was used either medicinally or ritually, the authors write.

VIA: National Geographic
SOURCE: Economic Botany, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, and Journal of Experimental Botany

The future is Hemp

There are certain global changes, which we do not welcome. Deforestation, global warming, over population, loss of diversity, and the poisoning of seemingly every ecosystem alive.
We need to act now! Analyzing these problems and creating solutions should be our PRIORITY. Alternative crops such as hemp offer a wide range of benefits, not only to the environment but to local and world economies alike. Hemp is as valuable to the small farm communities as it is to the big industry (a balance not often found these days). The overall benefits include: bio-safe alternatives to the products depended upon now, and a sustainable fiber source to meet the worlds extreme demand. The benefits to the world would be phenomenal. Farmers worldwide could utilize this amazing universal plant. The key word here is adaptability. Hemp can thrive virtually anywhere in the world, due to the fact that it is essentially a weed.

Agriculturally, hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a superb rotational crop. It also has the ability to resist drought as well as insects and fungus. Requiring little to no fertilizer it would greatly improve water quality by potentially reducing cancer causing agents in well water and runoff into rivers, lakes, and streams.

Economically, opportunity is knocking! The amount of jobs that would be created by the major upsurge in hemp production, would be a welcome blessing to small rural communities where jobs are scarce. Why are we sending millions of dollars each year to foreign economies when there are plenty of farmers as well as manufacturers and consumers right here in America? Prior to 1890 the world depended on hemp fiber so much it was the universal standard. In colonial times it was required by law to grow the hemp plant, for the survival of the colonies. You could pay your taxes with hemp. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew, and strongly advocated the hemp plant to stabilize our new country. Washington himself once said, “Make the most of the hemp plant – sow it everywhere.”

The pros most definitely outweigh the cons (if there are any). Hemp is not in production today because of laws written in 1937 by politicians involved in big industry. Cultivation of hemp posed a direct threat to the petrochemical industry, as well as cotton growers, and paper producers with large timber holdings. Therefore laws were designed to create so much red tape it would hinder and eventually stop production of the plant. Big industry does not want hemp relegalized, and they are the ones with the money and the lobbying power to maintain this red tape. By avoiding natural solutions, Industry continues to deplete our earth’s resources.

Propaganda was published nationwide in the Hearst Newspaper, the largest paper in the country, during the 1930’s. Enough people read or heard these lies that it has become incorporated into our culture to think of hemp as marijuana the “killer weed”. This is entirely untrue, and only through proper education can we counteract the effects of the “campaign of lies”.

Cannabis sativa L., otherwise known as hemp, contains less than one- percent (.2%) tetrahydracannabinol (THC), the active ingredient, which causes the “high” effect when smoking pot. This TRACE of THC would only be present in the leaves, and would be of no pharmaceutical value. Even if one were to try to smoke hemp they would only get a headache or become nauseous. You CANNOT get high on hemp! Hemp products DO NOT contain THC. It is perfectly legal to possess hemp products as well as sterilized seeds. You cannot cultivate it because law enforcement officials claim they could not distinguish between hemp and marijuana. This is also untrue. The two varieties of cannabis grow completely different. A field of hemp is planted in rows four inches apart, and is grown for its fibrous stalks. Hemp grows to a mature height of 10 to 12 feet; marijuana is a short, bushy plant, which grows to an average height of four to six feet. Additionally, smoking grade marijuana is planted two feet apart and grown for its potent flowers.

By using hemp products you are saying, “It’s time to make a change.” Bio-safe products need to become an everyday thing, not a trend. The earth is our life support system, and the only one we have. Let’s fix what has already been done. Please support Industrial Hemp, and pass on the truth to anyone who laughs, jokes, or just doesn’t know.

Written by: Travis Elble

 

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