Sunday, November 23, 2014
By Phil James
"John Roulac is the founder and CEO of Nutiva, based in Richmond" (Photo Courtesy of: Nutiva)
"John Roulac is the founder and CEO of Nutiva, based in Richmond" (Photo Courtesy of: Nutiva)
The company, which is focused on research, development and production of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic products, has executed an option agreement for a land purchase of a 5,328m² industrial land.
Currently, the company also holds a design and feasibility services agreement with a Dutch commercial real-estate developer G&S Bouw.
The new office building will feature a clean laboratory zone, storage areas, office and technical rooms as well as manufacturing facility furnishings.
Project design and feasibility has already been initiated, while the construction is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
AXIM Biotechnologies chief executive officer Dr George Anastassov said: "Here at AXIM, we are delighted to initiate the acquisition of a land parcel at the city of Almere at The Netherlands.
"We are extremely thankful to the government of the province of Flevoland for their trust in AXIM Biotechnologies.
"The factory that we will build there is compliant with the highest European and International standards and will produce unique pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products from our extended proprietary portfolio."
According to the research, the industrial hemp plant can produce more than 25,000 products.
The new Almere facility will include raw material and finished product manufacturing in the following categories: functional foods, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and clean energy.
This facility will also serve as the company's global manufacturing hub, with both the capacity to manufacture the products and also to process hemp oil derivatives.
By Johnny Green
HempTrend.com launches new Hemptique line of 100% organic bath products. The new products are created with organic hemp fibers, a strong material that according to Hemp Trend will keep bath linens strong for a long time, even with constant use.
Hemp Trend, a provider of premium quality earth friendly products made of materials such as hemp, cotton, and bamboo, recently launched the Hemptique Organic Hemp Bath Collection, a variety of bath products made from 100% organic hemp.
“With its wonderful soft touch and durability, hemp is the perfect natural fiber for bath items,” said Bonna C., Marketing Director at Hemp Trend.“Plus, they’re super absorbent.”
As the country continues to shift towards a heavier use of organic, reusable and environmentally friendly products, Hemp Trend saw the opportunity to expand its bath line by offering a wider range of products.
“Hemp Trend is committed to selling products that are healthy for the environment, utilize sustainable resources and of superior quality,” said Bonna, “For example, hemp uses about half the land the half the water that would be used to produce comparable crop of cotton.”
Included in the new Hemptique line is a wide range of bath products. Some of the more popular products among consumers are the organic hemp bath towels, hand towels, wash clothes, and scrub mitts. The new Hemptique line even includes a soap holder.
All of the new products in the Hemptique line are created with organic hemp fibers, a strong material that according to Hemp Trend will keep bath linens strong for a long time, even with constant use.
“In addition, all these bath products are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and resistant to mold,” said Bonna.
Currently available on the hemptrend.com website, the new Hemptique bath products are expected to be a popular gift during the upcoming holiday season.
In addition to the new Hemptique line, Hemp Trend is continuing to expand its already vast collection of hemp, rope, twine, apparel, and more. The site also offers organic hemp bags and handmade hemp paper, a uniquely attractive writing surface.
To shop the Hemptique line, and other premium quality earth friendly products, visit hemptrend.com.
Name: Hemp Trend Sales
Organization: Hemp Trend
Name: Hemp Trend Sales
Organization: Hemp Trend
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
By Ed White
Could marijuana’s non-psychoactive counterpart be the next cash crop?
By Joey Peters
Fine inspects a 2014 hemp crop in Sterling, Colorado
By Joey Peters
Fine inspects a 2014 hemp crop in Sterling, Colorado
Doug Fine believes that hemp will save humanity.
The New Mexico-based journalist, conservationist and activist is probably best known for his 2012 book Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution, which took an in-depth look at how a growing legal cannabis industry is revitalizing the economy.
In his latest study, Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, Fine shifts his research to the potentials of marijuana’s non-psychoactive counterpart.
Hemp can be used for everything from sustainable, non-GMO food to a new major energy source, and Fine argues that maximizing the plant’s cultivation can solve several of society’s burning issues all the while giving a bright, lucrative future to farmers in New Mexico and across the world.
“Hemp is really as big as your college roommate with the lava lamp claimed it was going to be,” Fine says. “Or perhaps a little bit bigger.”
Hemp’s roots in the United States go all the way back to George Washington, who grew the plant himself in Mount Vernon. Still, its use is limited by government restrictions.
Though industrial hemp only contains 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol—meaning it’s impossible to smoke and get high from—cultivating the plant is still illegal in 31 states, including New Mexico. But a recent provision of the latest federal farm bill allows states to cultivate the plant for research, as long as they pass their own hemp legislation.
New Mexico hasn’t created its own hemp laws yet, but Fine is banking that the state Legislature will do so this upcoming session, convinced that the issue is bipartisan and noncontroversial. Fine is so hopeful for this that he’ll be leading a full-day workshop in Santa Fe about the potential business opportunities local cultivators of the plant can expect to be a part of soon.
SFR caught up with Fine and discussed his two-year research that led to Hemp Bound, as well as the plant’s future in New Mexico.
SFR: The last book you wrote was mostly about psychoactive cannabis. How did you get into the subject of hemp?
DF: It was while I was researching Too High to Fail, which was about a local, sustainable effort to bring cannabis aboveground in northern California that was supported by local law enforcement. The farmers that were involved wanted to centralize the cannabis processing in their community and provide aboveground jobs, taxpaying jobs, quality control. But they didn’t know what to do with the stalks, the fiber—basically the unmarketable parts of the psychoactive cannabis plant. That started me off with the research that became Hemp Bound. While the energy component is probably the most important one to me, there’s so much more. Seed applications that are healthy for food, fiber applications that are going to make hemp fiber into next-generation battery technology. I had the very good fortune of the book coming out just as federal law changed with hemp for the first time in 77 years, allowing cultivation in states with their own hemp legislation, which is important for us in New Mexico to get this session.
Can you talk more about how hemp laws changed?
On Feb. 7, President Obama signed the federal farm bill. And in that farm bill was a provision that allows hemp cultivation for research purposes in any state that has its own state hemp legislation, provided that the projects are in some way connected with an institution of higher learning or with some branch of the state’s agriculture department. Now, until we see commercial hemp legalization on the federal level, which we very well may soon, it’s just the 19 states that have their own hemp cultivation laws. I’m working with some folks to get very easy wording about New Mexico being in sync with federal law, but I think we’ll see it this session in New Mexico, hopefully.
Even if New Mexico does sign its own hemp legislation, is hemp cultivation still going to be restricted in some ways before the federal government legalizes growing the plant?
Kentucky is probably leading the way in terms of state support for the industry, although Colorado is doing a good job as well. And Kentucky is interpreting the research provision very, very broadly. Farmers who grew this year were allowed to grow for any purposes and in any amount and sell their products. On the Colorado side, they actually are superseding federal law, and their state agriculture department issues whole commercial cultivation permits. Other states that are doing it right now, like Vermont, are taking it very, very warily. They’re certainly not hassling hemp farmers, but universities are watching with interest but not helping.
In the book you say that hemp isn’t going to be a slam-dunk in the marketplace before the plant’s economy of scale is reestablished. What needs to happen in order for the economy of scale to reestablish?
Entrepreneurialism of any kind is always risky. Most new businesses, most new industries fail. Yet, hemp, right now, is growing 24 percent per year in Canada. It’s going to cross the billion-dollar mark this year in Canada. There’s an established market already. In low water situations, our farmers here, especially in the eastern part of the state, are struggling. Hemp has been shown to use half the water of wheat. So it’s healing the soil, making your farmland better. The energy application that I’m really excited about is biomass gasification. Santa Fe has a plan for creating energy independence through biomass gasification that they already commissioned. So when we have a lot of hemp biomass produced for other applications, the waste material, the bargain and whatnot, can go to create energy independence for New Mexico.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about hemp?
I may be living in a bubble world or tunnel-vision world, but there aren’t too many left. I was at the University of Kentucky Lexington campus hemp harvest, and I was standing next to the fellow that runs the hemp program at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. These are not tie-dye wearing, lava lamp owners. And they aren’t even talking about just how excited they are about the economic potential of it. They’re talking about how the hemp crop and its potential is bringing Kentuckians together from all realms of the political spectrum, allowing people to converse who wouldn’t normally be talking to each other in the political arena. Because everyone loves hemp.
By Robby Gardner
In the United States, hemp is often confused with marijuana. It’s a consumer misconception that has, for decades, slowed the market potential for hemp in the food, dietary supplement, textile, and even lumber industries. The dietary supplement industry, in particular, has a lot to gain from hemp, and not just with hemp oil and hemp protein. A substance called cannabidiol (CBD) has shown nutritional potential for years, yet the taboo around Cannabis has kept CBD off the radar. Now, with hemp gaining a better reputation, it looks as though its little compound is finally poised for big market growth. And much of that growth could be in stress and anxiety formulas.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a phytocannabinoid that is found in industrial hemp and marijuana, which are two different varieties of theCannabis sativa plant. The current market for CBD as a dietary supplement is based on industrial hemp, not marijuana, because marijuana also contains significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a phytocannabinoid that is psychoactive and, thus, capable of making a person high. Industrial hemp contains only negligible amounts of THC—no more than, say, poppy seeds contain opiates—and so it will not get you high. The plant is, thus, safe for human consumption and useful for components including CBD.
While CBD is not psychoactive like THC, it can still have a profound influence on the human brain, but first—is CBD legal?
Legal Status of CBD
In order to understand if CBD is legal for sale and consumption, one must look at the legality of hemp oil, which can be tailor-made for high concentrations of CBD.
Hemp oil is listed on the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (with no restrictions on CBD content) meaning that hemp oil is a legal U.S. import. This is important because federal law prohibits the farming of hemp in the United States. Hemp can only be purchased as an import. Some state laws override this federal law, but most of these, for now, just legalize hemp farming. At the time of this writing, Colorado and Kentucky are the only states that have laws permitting the farming and sale of hemp, and these are both very recent laws. The market for U.S.-grown hemp, thus, relies almost entirely on legal imports from established markets. Canada, Europe, and China are some of the world’s biggest hemp producers, so they control the U.S. market supply and will for at least a while longer.
As long as CBD-rich oils are imported, or farmed in states where cultivation and production is permitted by state law, CBD-rich hemp oils are legal. But they are not legal if their THC content is above 0.3%.1 This threshold keeps the distinction between hemp and marijuana in place.
Scientific Studies on CBD
As for how CBD works, CBD and other phytocannabinoids influence the brain by interacting with the brain’s very own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids.
“Generally, phytocannabinoids like CBD can help to restore a more balanced ‘tone’ within the endocannabinoid system,” says Stuart Tomc, vice president of human nutrition for CBD oil supplier CannaVest Corp. (San Diego). “As such, CBD may positively, broadly affect various processes that control brain signaling, via neurotransmitter function, ion channel and membrane dynamics, inflammatory responses, and even gene expression.” It’s worth noting thatCannabis compounds aren’t the only ones capable of interacting with the brain’s endocannabinoid system. Compounds from flax and Brassica species, for instance, have shown potential to interact with the endocannabinoid system, too.2–3 With that said, why is this brain system so important?
The endocannabinoid system has broad influence over areas of the brain involved in sensations such as pain perception, movement, emotion, cognition, and sleep. For this reason, the endocannabinoid system likely has big sway over some brain health conditions. A blockage of cannabinoid receptors called CB1 receptors has been linked to behavioral effects consistent with antidepressant activity.4 Enhancement of anandamide, the first discovered endocannabinoid, may relieve chronic pain associated with neuropsychiatric disorders.5 Post-traumatic stress disorder appears to involve cannabinoid pathways, too.6
For all of the ways the endocannabinoid system can influence brain health, CBD’s own interaction with the endocannabinoid system could translate into some very significant health effects, and previously published studies so far offer positive indications. For extensive reading, a 2012 review of CBD studies provides a thorough overview of most of the existing human clinical trials (34 in total) on CBD for healthy and/or clinical patients.7 Here are some of the trials that stand out.
To explore the impact of an ingredient on anxiety, scientists often first look at that ingredient’s impact on cortisol levels in the human blood after ingestion. Cortisol levels are heightened when animals are under extreme duress, and when Brazilian researchers investigated the effect of CBD doses on human cortisol levels in 11 volunteers in 1993, they found that CBD decreased cortisol levels significantly more than placebo. CBD subjects also reported a sedative effect from the treatment.8
Also in 1993, the same researchers compared the effects of CBD and two anxiety medications, ipsapirone and diazepam, on a group of 40 healthy individuals assigned to a simulated public speaking test. Using a Visual Analogue Mood Scale (VAMS) to assess personal anxiety before and after the public speaking test, the researchers determined that diazepam lowered anxiety before and after the test, while the ipsapirone and CBD only lowered anxiety after the test.9 Years later, in 2004, another team of Brazilian researchers analyzed CBD, but they upped the dosage by 100 mg (now 400 mg of CBD). Compared to placebo, subjects in this study reported significantly decreased anxiety and increased mental sedation. Brain imaging tests suggested that such effects were mediated in specific regions of the brain.10
Aside from a potential influence on healthy volunteers, CBD has shown some promise in subjects with established social anxiety disorders. Two studies in 2011 yielded favorable results for CBD supplementation in this type of population. In the first study, CBD use was associated with decreases in subjective anxiety and was accompanied by (presumably significant) changes in regional cerebral blood flow.11 The second study tied CBD to reduced anxiety and discomfort in response to a simulated public speaking test.12
Curiously, the presence of CBD alongside THC, in marijuana, has even shown potential to alleviate THC-induced anxiety and psychosis.13–14
Early research suggests that CBD consumption can also affect sleep in a positive way—in particular, it may block rapid eye movement (REM) sleep—but such an effect may be more related to CBD’s anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) properties than direct sleep regulation, per se.15 While the basis for this CBD-and-sleep theory is largely made in rodent studies, some research has been done on sleep-impaired but otherwise healthy humans.
In a 1981 Brazilian study, researchers at the Escola Paulista de Medicina in São Paulo assigned 15 insomniacs to a CBD dose (ranging between 40 mg and 160 mg), placebo, or nitrazepam, a hypnotic drug indicated for relief from anxiety and insomnia. With the highest CBD dose, sleep significantly increased, although dream recall was reduced, compared to placebo.16 The reduction of dream recall is presumably due to a reduction of REM sleep, wherein dreams are most active.
Also relating to sleep, somnolence, a state of feeling drowsy or sleepy, has been reported with CBD consumption. While the onset of somnolence may help humans sleep, such an effect should also be examined further for the sake of other CBD uses not related to sleep.
In light of the notion made earlier that CBD may attenuate the psychotic effect of THC, such anti-psychotic potential might conceivably help subjects with schizophrenia. This population can be burdened by acute psychosis, but also by anxiety.
Unfortunately, the outcomes from CBD studies on schizophrenia patients are a mixed bag. Where a 2009 German study found 600 mg of CBD to be as effective as amisulpride (an anti-psychotic drug) in reducing psychotic symptoms after four weeks,17 a Brazilian case series in 2006 found CBD well-tolerated but not necessarily effective for treatment-resistant schizophrenia.18 And of two studies conducted in 2010, one found CBD useful for managing schizophrenia, and the other did not.19–20
The ongoing CBD research discussed herein provides broad market potential for the CBD supplements already in trade today. While concerns such as stress and poor sleep may provide avenues for selling CBD oils to the general population, manufacturers can also capitalize on some much more particular health concerns. Epilepsy, a health condition not discussed in detail here, provides one of the biggest opportunities for CBD today. In fact, the state of Missouri passed a bill earlier this year that legalizes the sale of “hemp extracts” containing CBD as prescribable medicine, but only for children with a rare form of epilepsy called intractable epilepsy.
Creating demand for CBD oil shouldn’t prove difficult, but creating a pro-hemp industry around the world is still a challenge.
“There are many international markets that are well ahead of the game when it comes to CBD,” says Andrew Hard, public relations director for CBD oil supplier HempMeds (Poway, CA). “Unfortunately, the United States is a huge influence on drug policies internationally, which has probably kept these [other] markets from growing as much as they could. We’re hopeful that as the attitudes and laws towards Cannabis in the United States change, the world will adjust accordingly.”
Fortunately, the laws are already changing, and none have proved so significant for hemp as the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill. Signed by President Barack Obama at the beginning of the year, the Farm Bill contains a provision that legalizes hemp research pilot programs in states where cultivation is legal under state law. Through state and university agriculture departments, interested parties can now cultivate hemp and start to learn about its local harvest and local marketability. Since climate and soil conditions are far different in the United States than they are in, say, Canada, this research phase will help industry determine just what U.S.-grown hemp is made of. One thing about U.S. hemp is certain, though: it can be bred for high amounts of CBD.
Photo © iStockphoto.com/AlenaPaulus
1. Agricultural Act of 2014, HR 2642, 113th Cong., section 7606, part B, subsection 2.
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