Sunday, January 31, 2016

South Dakota thinks about giving industrial hemp a try


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Some South Dakota lawmakers are attempting to overcome perceptions about hemp's family ties to marijuana to explore the economic potential of the crop with a bill patterned after North Dakota's industrial hemp law.

Cultivation of the plant could be a force for economic development in South Dakota if misconceptions about hemp can be dispelled, said Republican Rep. Mike Verchio, the proposal's main House sponsor. It's scheduled to be heard in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee on Tuesday.
Verchio sees benefits from allowing cultivation beyond the producers who grow it. Hemp fields could feed manufacturing facilities to turn the plant into products ranging from mortar to fiberboard, he said.
"Industrial hemp is a farm crop, and it offers great benefits to industry," said North American Industrial Hemp Council Chairman Erwin Sholts, who has promoted hemp for more than two decades.
The bill would allow people to apply to the state Department of Agriculture for a license to grow industrial hemp if they pass background checks. Earlier this month in North Dakota, state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring chose three farming operations to test whether industrial hemp can be successfully grown in the state.
Hemp's comeback got a foothold in the 2014 federal farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states that have approved hemp growing. More than 20 states have removed barriers to its production, according to Vote Hemp, a group that advocates for the plant's legal cultivation.
But advocates in South Dakota acknowledge they have difficult ground to till. Police and prosecutors aren't expected to welcome the proposal, which Gov. Dennis Daugaard called "a distraction."
Verchio has a pitch ready for lawmakers meant to quell fears that an intoxicating crop could be hidden among acreage of its industrial cousin. The South Dakota bill restricts the allowable content of THC — a main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — for industrial hemp.
"It doesn't take a real genius to figure out the difference between those two plants," said Verchio, who plans to explain the distinctions to lawmakers.
"There could be nobody more against marijuana than me, but I'm thoroughly convinced that this is absolutely no threat as far as a psychotropic drug at all. It just isn't there," he added.
Attorney General Marty Jackley said he hasn't yet taken a position on the measure.
Daugaard is against industrial hemp, and said he doubts its cultivation would amount to much economic activity.
"I think that the opportunity for that niche to enable profitable growing of hemp is very slim," he said. "I think conversely the opportunity for dressing up recreational hemp as an industrial effort is much more likely."
The domestic market for hemp products is growing, according to a 2015 report from the Congressional Research Service. The report found that hemp could be an economically viable alternative crop for some growers based on the existence of "small scale, but profitable, niche markets."
Josh Hendrix is set to have 10 acres of industrial hemp this year on his family farm near Lexington, Kentucky. Right now, more research is necessary to figure out appropriate varieties of hemp to grow and to experiment with the best methods of cultivation, said Hendrix, who is president of the Kentucky Hemp Industry Association.
"We want to stumble, not fall," he said.

Cultivating hemp for fiber, food getting close to legal


Mature hemp plants with harvest-ready seeds are grown in Europe, seen in this photo from Germany's Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food, or BLE.
Mature hemp plants with harvest-ready seeds are grown in Europe, seen in this photo from Germany's Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food, or BLE.

CARIBOU, Maine — Maine farmers who want to grow industrial hemp like their counterparts in Canada and Europe should start writing letters to their representatives in Congress, John Jemison suggests.
Jemison, an agricultural specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is among several researchers in New England investigating hemp as a crop that could be grown for everything from fishing ropes to insulation and seeds rich in nutrients and protein.
“It has the potential to be a really good rotation crop,” Jemison told farmers at the Maine Potato Conference held earlier this month at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center.
The trouble is, even though Americans can buy hemp jeans or hemp granola, the plant can’t legally be grown for commercial use in the U.S. and instead must be imported. As part of the prohibition on marijuana, the varieties of cannabis used as a recreational drug and medicine in some states, federal law still prevents cultivation of hemp. Hemp looks similar to marijuana but has different genetic and physical traits: thicker stalks, smaller flowers and virtually no tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is responsible for the high that marijuana users feel.
At least 27 states have passed legislation related to hemp, in an effort to allow commercial production, research or cultivation that would be contingent upon federal reform, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 2014 U.S. Farm Bill allowed hemp cultivation for research purposes, with a Drug Enforcement Agency permit, and small plots were planted last year in Kentuckyby farmers working in partnership with the state government.
2015 Maine law permitted a system for commercial cultivation, despite the federal prohibition, and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has released proposed regulations that outline a system for licensing, seed procurement and limitations on the quantity of THC, to less than 0.3 percent.
However, the proposed rules come with a disclaimer: “Persons growing industrial hemp may be subject to federal sanctions for what may otherwise be considered authorized conduct in the State of Maine and compliance with these rules does not exempt licensees from possible federal prosecution.”
A Maine hemp license would cost $500 and $50 per acre under the state Department of Agriculture’s proposed rules. That still carries the risk of liability for violating federal law, without getting a DEA research license, which Jemison would like to get if he can secure funding for research.
Hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis plant, which has “been domesticated about as long as we’ve had agriculture,” Jemison said. The plant is thought to have first been used medicinally in China “for pain relief, neuralgia and, interestingly enough, absent-mindedness. I’m not sure if they were trying to reduce that or increase that,” he joked.
Cannabis as hemp was grown in the United States as early as the 1600s to make everything from ship sails to paper, and then in the 1800s, newfound varieties of cannabis were used in various concoctions sold as a medicine, Jemison said.
Hemp and marijuana appear similar as they grow, with the characteristic slender leaves, but they have been bred for different things — marijuana for its seedless flowers full of THC and other compounds and hemp for its thick stalks and hearty seeds. (For those interested in cannabis’ natural history, Jemison recommended Michael Pollan’s book “The Botany of Desire,” which details how agronomists bred shorter, high-THC marijuana varieties to help illegal growers over the last 50 years.)
The hemp plant has a trifecta of product lines in fiber, “shivs” and seed, according to Michael Carus, director at the European Industrial Hemp Association, based in Huerth, Germany. Hemp fibers are used for papers, insulation and biocomposite materials, while the shivs, the silica-rich woody core of the stem, can be used for animal bedding and construction infill as“hempcrete.” The nutty hemp seeds have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and a range of beneficial nutrients for people and animals.
Canadian farmers have been growing hemp mostly for food products for more than a decade, after their prohibition was lifted in 1998. More than 84,000 acres are licensed from Health Canada for hemp cultivation across the provinces, and retail sales of Canadian hemp seed products range between $20 million and $40 million annually, according to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. Europe’sniche hemp industry relies on about 25,000 acres in production focused on fiber uses, including BMW hemp reinforced door panel and building insulation.
For Maine potato farmers, who have a range of rotational crops to choose from, hemp would pose benefits as well as drawbacks, Jemison said. It doesn’t require too much fertilizer or pest management, though it does use a lot of carbon from the soil and is rough on the machines that harvest them.
“That being said, if you have marginal land and you wanted to do some of this, there may be a place for that,” Jemison said.
Research in Quebec, which has a growing season similar to Aroostook County, has shown strong hemp yields, if less than those in western Canada. “It’s a decent crop,” Jemison said.
The markets for fiber are small, but hemp seed and hemp seed oil would be similar to growing other seed oils and with a premium price, Jemison said. “Back of the envelope,” he estimates Maine farmers could grow 35 to 50 gallons of hemp seed oil per acre, compared to 75 to 100 gallons of canola oil per acre, with hemp oil selling for about 20 times as much per ounce.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is holding a public hearing on its proposed rules Feb. 25 in Augusta and accepting comments through March 7.
Jemison is meeting a Vermont researcher who has secured a DEA license and will be at the February hearing. He said he thinks Maine’s hemp regulation could work like the state’s medical marijuana licensing program, but that it’s really going to take an act of Congress to allow the crop and new industries to grow.
For Congress to pass a law allowing hemp cultivation, which among other things could mean a new competitor to the cotton industry, lawmakers need to hear from their constituents, he said. “If you all push on it, I think we could get some progress on the national level,” Jemison said.
Hemp plants grown primarily for fiber are harvested in Europe, where the materials are used in BMW door panels, jeans and animal bedding.
Hemp plants grown primarily for fiber are harvested in Europe, where the materials are used in BMW door panels, jeans and animal bedding.

Cannabis from Brigid Farms was shown at the Home Grown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show at the Spectacular Events Center in Bangor, April 19, 2014. The conference was designed to teach individuals how to grow medical marijuana.
Cannabis from Brigid Farms was shown at the Home Grown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show at the Spectacular Events Center in Bangor, April 19, 2014. The conference was designed to teach individuals how to grow medical marijuana.

10 things Italians should know about cannabis

By Robert Lunghini

10 things Italians should know about cannabis

1. Growing cannabis sativa in Italy is completely legal;
2. Almost 1,500 hectares are cultivated in Italy;
3. France is the undisputed leader in Europe, with 11,000 hectares of the 20,000 in the whole of Europe;
4. Cannabis sativa is an annual, wild plant that adapts to almost any type of soil;
5. Hemp is environmentally friendly: it’s perfect for growing with natural methods;
6. Hemp seeds are one of the most valuable foods for the body;
7. One of the most recent uses is as a green building material;
8. Therapeutic cannabis has an analgesic effect for neurological chronic pain or pain linked to diseases such as multiple sclerosis;
9. Uruguay, led by José “Pepe” Mujica (president until March 2015), is the first country in the world to approve the total legalisation of the production, sale and use of cannabis;
10. Since 2007, medical marijuana has been legal throughout Italy.
These are just some of the curious facts you can discover reading ‘Il filo di canapa‘, the most complete and updated handbook that offers “instructions for use” for this plant: from cooking it to using it in textiles, from building materials to green cosmetics. It also shines light on the current laws and those being discussed, including the proposals to legalise the drug, considering that about one-third of Italian inmates are detained for drug-related offences, 50% of which are related to cannabis.

Industrial Hemp event in Otis, Monday

By Tony Rayl

An informational meeting on industrial hemp will be held in Otis on Monday, February 1.
    It will be in the Otis School Cafetorium beginning at 6 p.m.

    An industrial hemp event, sponsored by Progressive 15, recently was held in Akron, followed by another one in Otis on January 6. 

    Monday's meeting is organized by Lana Rogers, in conjunction with the Town of Otis. The purpose of the Hemp Roadshow is to provide an opportunities for locals to learn how this versatile crop could be an economic driver for the local economies.

    Hear from experienced industrial hemp farmers about the planting, production and harvest of industrial hemp. Learn about the High Plains Hemp Co-op’s special price on viable seed, how to get registered with the State of Colorado, and what value-added products industrial hemp can be made into and it’s potential to bolster rural America’s economy. For more information visit 

    Ashley Weber, president of the High Plains Hemp Co-op, will be the first presenter. Hemp Co-op board members include Bethleen McCall of Yuma. 

    Hemp farmer Leonard Roskop will make a presentation following Weber. Matt Silz, a hemp farmer from the Fort Morgan area will show footage over a hemp field videotaped from a drone later in the meeting.

    Casey Ives of Pure Vision Technology will have a presentation on industrial hemp processing. Grant Orvis, PhD, will have a talk on genetics, seeds, pollination, and the difference between hemp and marijuana.
    Lawyer David Bush will make a presentation about the legalities of hemp in Colorado.
    Industrial hemp was legalized a few years with the passage of Amendment 64, which also legalized possession of one ounce or less of marijuana by those 21 years or older.

    Hemp was a commonly-grown crop throughout the United States, including this area, decades ago before the federal government made it illegal.

    Hemp still is imported into the United States, where it still is legal to use it to make products. It just illegal at the federal level to actually grow it in the U.S. 

Colorado's law dictates hemp's THC level (the psychoactive ingredient that causes the “high” in marijuana) at 0.3 percent or lower.

    Hemp can be used for the manufacturing of many products. It can be used for construction, insulation, carpets, paper, rope, canvas, stucco and many more. Its seed can be used to make foods, cosmetics, fuel, paints, lubricants, and the seed cake can be used for animal feed, protein powders, gluten-free flour and beer making.

    Those who attend the hemp event on Monday can visit one-on-one with experts, ask questions and learn from exhibits, as well as the speakers. 

    Refreshments will be served. There is no need to make reservations, and no charge to attend.

Here's how we can glean prosperity from hemp production


Thank you for the editorial titled “Prosperity from hemp.” The phobias about marijuana should be put aside once people realize that hemp (aka, industrial hemp) is not a drug-related crop. The hemp plant has an astonishing number of uses, but giving pot smokers a buzz isn’t one of them. Hemp offers enormous economic potential for Kansas, particularly for our farm families and rural communities.
Hemp is a poor cousin to marijuana. The leaves of hemp and marijuana look alike, but the plants are different. Marijuana plants are short and bushy. Hemp is tall and fibrous. Marijuana contains enough of the psychoactive agent THC to give pot smokers a buzz. Hemp does not. Henry Ford probably never smoked pot, but in 1941 (after 12 years of research), Ford produced a strong and lightweight car body made only of hemp fibers and other natural materials.
Hemp is used in thousands of products, many of which you can buy on eBay, and increasingly in local stores. Hemp is an alternative to cotton and synthetic fibers for clothes and trees for paper. It grows fast and crowds out weeds. Unlike cotton, it does not need large doses of pesticides and herbicides.
It can grow on marginal land and needs little if any fertilizer. Trees must grow for years before being harvested for paper, but hemp can be harvested in a few months and make four times as much paper over a few decades. Much less chemicals are needed to make paper from hemp than from trees.
Why has our federal government lumped hemp in with marijuana? In the 1985 book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” author Jack Herer states that DuPont played a key role in the criminalization of hemp. By stopping the growth of hemp, DuPont would have a monopoly on producing plastic and paper under its recently patented processes that used coal, oil and wood pulp. You can figure that other petrochemical, wood and paper product companies such as Koch Industries (based in Wichita and owner of Georgia Pacific) also would like for the growing of hemp to remain illegal.
The U.S. is the only developed country where it is illegal to grow hemp. Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, Canada, Australia, Austria, Spain, India and at least 20 other countries all grow hemp. Some states have laws allowing restricted growth of hemp (mostly for research) but must receive permission from the DEA to do so. Kansas is not one of those states.
For more than 100 years, my family has owned a quarter-section of land in Ellsworth County — pastureland with a winding creek. For as long as I can remember, hemp has been the most successful “weed” to grow there.
Back when I lived in Salina, the author of a book that promoted legalizing the growing of hemp spoke at an event in Lindsborg.
Soon afterward, I arranged for this author to meet with Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski, a representative from the Salina Police Deptment and a Saline County commissioner. As I recall, the sheriff thought the author’s proposition was technically strong but politically impossible. I had to agree.
That was almost 20 years ago. Attitudes and ideas are changing, and so is Kansas. I believe the federal government will legalize the growing of hemp in the not-too-distant future, and the effect will be huge. Kansas should be preparing for this to happen and working to make it happen.
Our state Legislature could work as other states have done to open doors for industrial hemp. This would be good for our state, our farmers and rural communities. Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and Rep. Tim Huelskamp could, I hope, lend their support.
See the YouTube video, “Why Kentucky farmers are quitting tobacco and turning to hemp.”
— David Criswell, of Wilson, served as the Saline County administrator from 1994 to 2001.

Major Industrial Hemp Legislation to be Introduced


Rep. Kaniela Ing Rep. Cynthia Thielen.
Rep. Kaniela Ing Rep. Cynthia Thielen

Representative Kaniela Ing (Kihei, Wailea, Makena) of Maui joins Representative Cynthia Thielen (Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) of Oʻahu today in introducing a bill to expand industrial hemp research, growth, cultivation and marketing activities in Hawaiʻi.

The bill follows the model used in other states like Kentucky and Colorado, by supporting partnerships with the private sector to further explore industrial hemp’s potential contribution to the state’s economy.

Representative Ing said that while industrial hemp is not a “magic bullet” for Hawaiʻi’s agriculture, he said it deserves consideration, especially with the closing of sugar operations by Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company on Maui.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Growing industrial hemp on its way in region


It is no small thing that industrial hemp will be a new crop growing in this entire region soon.
North Dakota will start its pilot project this spring, but Montana is not far behind, and Minnesota is considering starting an industrial hemp project as well.
We owe the North Dakota Department of Agriculture a ‘shout-out’ because through different ag commissioners, it has stuck with industrial hemp.
Another shout-out should go to Burton Johnson at North Dakota State University for his extensive research and certainly, Bryan Hanson at NDSU’s Langdon Research Extension Center, for seeding industrial hemp plots, harvesting, and evaluating its yield potential and other research results for farmers.
To us, that means that keeping agriculture number one and supporting our producers with new ways to be profitable really is important – and that means a lot to all of us involved with agriculture.
A sign made in 2007, when the North Dakota Department of Agriculture was issuing its first state industrial hemp licenses, said, “Let U.S. farmers grow industrial hemp.”
At that time, there wasn’t any industrial hemp farming, in spite of the significant profit potential for the crop and the fact that the uses of industrial hemp were huge.
Now industrial hemp is catching on and growing by leaps and bounds across the U.S.
Four North Dakota farmers, under the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s pilot project, will start growing the seed this spring on their own farms, being the first to take the leap.
We don’t know if it was on purpose, but these four are situated in different regions of the state: southwestern; southeastern; and northeastern North Dakota.
Thanks to them, all the ‘kinks’ of growing industrial hemp can be worked out – or at least the problems of growing the crop can be exposed – so researchers can work on them.
While many say hemp doesn’t need pesticide or fungicide, even herbicide, these four farmers will find out for sure for the rest of us.
One person said on Farm & Ranch Guide’s Facebook page, “What is the big deal? Hemp was grown here during WWII.”
We would argue it is a big deal.
It is a big deal to producers who have needed another good rotational crop and to producers who saw low commodity prices last year.
A new crop like industrial hemp has all kinds of economic possibilities and that’s not a fairy tale.
Canadian farmers have sold the product all over the world for use as both grain and fiber, and Canada’s number one consumer of its industrial hemp products? – the U.S.
Now, we can start to be our own domestic provider of industrial hemp.
The oil extracted from industrial hemp seed has all kinds of uses in health products, and almost every part of the plant can be used.
There is hempcrete, an amazing insulation, among other products made from it. The strong fiber makes strong rope, clothing, twine, even plain old paper that can be recycled, and of course, is a biofuel.
Let’s hope the price for industrial hemp seed remains reasonable, and let’s hope elevators and processors will work with producers so there really will be a profit made.
Thanks to North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring for working with industrial hemp processors on behalf of our producers.
Thanks to the producers who stepped forward to be part of the pilot project, and thanks to Rachel Seifert-Spilde, at the North Dakota Department of Ag, for all her research and work.
Industrial hemp is destined to be a really good rotational crop that fits with other crops, whether producers are wheat and barley growers or soybean and corn producers.
Yes. Let’s let farmers grow industrial hemp.

CONSTRUCTION CORNER: Biomaterials for better building

By Korky Koroluk

By mixing old-fashioned building materials — straw, clay, wheat, grasses and the like — with innovative binders, researchers in Europe are hoping to develop materials with lower embodied energy and improved energy efficiency.
CONSTRUCTION CORNER: Biomaterials for better building
They hope, too, that these materials will mean greater comfort for building occupants than is sometimes the case with conventional building materials.
A long-term research project dealing with biomaterials has just been launched with funding from the European Union. Dubbed ISOBIO, it's one of many aimed at providing the architecture-engineering-construction sector with tools better suited for meeting today's imperative of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in the hope of limiting global warming.
But the researchers are well aware that any innovative materials must meet a number of criteria.
"We hope to develop materials that are competitive in every sense," says Alan Taylor, project co-ordinator of the new program. "We want to solve the 'trilemma' of guaranteeing the security of supply of materials, producing materials that have a genuine competitive edge and reducing emissions."
Taylor is with TWI Ltd., a British-based engineering consultancy.
The new program has begun by identifying promising organic materials that could be used as insulation, many presently classified as waste. Finely chopped bio-materials such as hemp and straw are being treated with special resins and nanoparticle gels so that they become robust, resistant to moisture and fire retardant.
Researchers are looking at combining organic and inorganic materials. The inorganic materials might have excellent insulating properties, for example, while combining them with inorganic material could make the end product more robust.
It's not as easy as it sounds. Consider hemp. When it is combined with a lime mortar, there is a chemical incompatibility which may result in a reduction in the strength of the composite material. It's in cases like that where nanotechnology comes into play.
Nanotechnology can best be described as the science of the extremely small. Scientists have discovered that engineering materials at the atomic or molecular scale can result in surprising — and very useful — results. So when we're talking about nanometres, we're talking a billionth of a metre. An average human hair, for example, is about 80,000 to 100,000 nanometres across.
Because of the nano-engineering involved, it may turn out to be possible to add hemp to mortar. So the new bio-aggregates can not only improve the performance of conventional materials, they can also offer new features.
Speaking of hemp, the shiv, which is the core of the hemp stalk, has a porous structure that provides moisture buffering, which helps maintain humidity inside a building at a more constant level. But to achieve that property, the shiv must be treated with hydrophobic resins. The result is that water vapour can travel in and out of the material, but liquid water can't penetrate it.
"We're striving to find the delicate balance between applying the right level of coating on the hemp shiv and preserving...its inherent properties, such as porosity," Taylor says.
He adds that any new biomaterials developed must not only be technically feasible but commercially viable as well. So the key question becomes:
"How do we adapt the materials to the existing manufacturing processes for conventional materials?"
So ISOBIO, during a later phase of the project, will be manufacturing biomaterials and conducting tests on a series of industrial-scale demonstration prototypes.
ISOBIO is also doing Life-Cycle Assessments of a wide range of materials both old and new. Such assessments are often referred to cradle-to-cradle analyses, and have become essential for making "green" decisions. They aren't really about distinguishing good products from bad products; they are mostly about informed decision-making.
"A purchasing manager may not consider operating cost, ignore the thermal performance of a building or the embodied energy used to construct it," Taylor says.
"We need to move away from 'this is the cheapest' to consider whole-life cost."
Korky Koroluk is an Ottawa-based freelance writer. Send comments to

These Hemp Milk Benefits For Skin Will Make It Your New Favorite Natural Beauty Product

By Kristin Collins Jackson

I've been a fan of hemp since my Sublime-is-the-only-band-that-matters phase in 1997. While I may not be making hemp necklaces for everyone I know anymore, I'm definitely embracing the skin benefits of hemp milk like it's the late '90s and it may go out of style. I'm all about milk alternatives in natural beauty recipes, but only if they can provide the same level of effectiveness that their cow counterparts can. According to sources at Care2 Living, the Omega-6 fatty acids in hemp promote hair growth and new skin cell growth. Hemp is also known for providing your skin with a healthy dose of vitamins like A, B12, D, and E. Basically, if you apply hemp milk topically, you can expect a healing marathon.
According to sources at Zliving, hemp milk has some amaze moisturizing properties that can provide hydration to dull skin. Which is great, because there are some mornings I wake up and worry that I'll fall asleep on the train and people will assume I'm dead because my skin is so gray and dehydrated. Those winter skin blues are nothing to worry about as long as you keep your skin freshly hydrated and nourished and hemp milk does just that.
If you're looking for a natural ingredient that is affordable, easy to find, and effective, hemp milk is great for all skin types. The moisturizing properties and antiseptic qualities are going to give your skin the gentle cleansing experience that you've been dreaming about. Here are three of my favorite recipes to get your started.

1. Natural Microdermabrasion Face Scrub

This is one of my fave ways to get a nice gentle exfoliate without irritating my skin, especially if I'm in the middle of a break out. Mix together one cup of hemp milk, one teaspoon of nutmeg, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon, then massage gently on your face and neck for several minutes. If you've found cinnamon too drying in the past, skip it and use a little more nutmeg insteam. You're face will be clean and super smooth when you rinse it off with lukewarm water.

2. Hemp Milk Hair Rinse

I'm always looking for a quick rinse for my hair when I'm feeling equally pressured by time and dirty strands. Hemp oil has long been a staple in products that promote hair growth and healthy hair; hemp milk can nourish your hair and cleanse your scalp. A simple rinse with hemp milk before you condition is a great for anyone whose tresses are on the no poo diet, since you won't strip your hair of its natural oils.

3. Hemp Milk Face Mask

To relieve blemishes without drying out your skin, add some more food to your hemp milk. I used half a banana and one tablespoon of hemp milk. This delicious two ingredient mask can be used daily because it's balancing, cleansing, and super hydrating while combating current and future outbreaks. Try to leave your mask on for at least five minutes before rinsing completely off.

A Brief History Of Medical Cannabis: From Ancient Anesthesia To The Modern Dispensary

By Lecia Bushak

Cannabis flowers
Cannabis flowers, seeds, buds, and roots have been used in the form of powder, oil, paste, drinks, edibles, and drugs to treat ailments for thousands of years. Wikimedia

For many decades in the U.S., marijuana has been painted as the psychedelic drug of hippies and stoners who lay around smoking dope to the detriment of their cognitive function. This image of marijuana use can certainly be attributed to one aspect of its culture, but Cannabis — a category of plants that include three species and seven sub-species — have been used in medicine for thousands of years.
Ancient and medieval physicians mixed the plant into medicines or teas to treat pain and other ailments; back then, it wasn’t a highly controlled substance the way it is today, where in the U.S. it’s listed as a Schedule I drug along with LSD and heroin. Here’s a brief history of medical cannabis to better understand the level of its efficacy in treatments and therapies.


hemp seeds
hemp seedsHemp seeds, which were used for food in the ancient world. CC BY-SA 3.0
In the ancient world, hemp was a common agricultural crop — harvested for its high-protein seeds, oil, and fiber used for rope and clothes. Hemp is one variety of the Cannabis plant, but it doesn’t have the same mind-altering effects as marijuana.
In ancient China and elsewhere in the world, however, hemp was grown for food and had hundreds of other uses — so it was only natural for people to discover that other types of the Cannabis plant could be used medicinally. The spread of medicinal cannabis first started in China, then traveled throughout Asia into the Middle East and Africa. In ancient times, cannabis was used to alleviate pain and treat various conditions. But doctors also warned against using it too much, as they believed it could cause people to “see demons.”
2737 B.C. According to Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Neng was one of the first major leaders in the ancient world to officially prescribe marijuana tea to treat various illnesses — including gout, rheumatism, malaria, and poor memory, according to Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence.
2000-1400 B.C. Compared to the Western world and even other parts of Asia like China and Japan, India had always remained closely tied to cannabis use — medicinally, religiously, recreationally, and spiritually. Cannabis was and continues to be mixed into special drinks that are used for simple enjoyment but also for medical reasons. One of the most popular of these drinks is bhang — a mix of cannabis paste (made from the buds and leaves), milk, ghee, and spices.
In the fourth book of the Vedas, known as the Atharvaveda which means “Science of Charms,” ancient Indian writers refer to bhang as one of the “five kingdoms of herbs… which release us from anxiety.” Later, as the drink became more popular, it was defined as having the ability to make people happy, warm, and improve “mental powers,” as well as “remove wind and phlegm.”
BhangTraditional bhang being made as a paste with cannabis powder, milk, and spices. CC BY-SA 4.0
Later, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission described the history and culture of cannabis in India: “To the Hindu the hemp plant is holy. A guardian lives in the bhang leaf… To see in a dream the leaves, plant, or water of bhang is lucky… No good thing can come to the man who treads underfoot the holy bhang leaf. A longing for bhang foretells happiness.
Besides as a cure for fever, bhang has many medicinal virtues… It cures dysentery and sunstroke, clears phlegm, quickens digestion, sharpens appetite, makes the tongue of the lisper plain, freshens the intellect, and gives alertness to the body and gaiety to the mind.” While at the time there was probably little scientific evidence behind the medical usefulness of weed, it proves that the drug had been largely incorporated in medical life in India for thousands of years.
Ebers Papyrus
Ebers PapyrusIn ancient Egypt, the Ebers Papyrus mentions cannabis as having medical benefits. CC BY-SA 3.0]
1550 B.C. Ancient Egypt’s Ebers Papyrus makes note of medical cannabis as a way to treat inflammation.
100 A.D. In ancient China, the Shennong Bencaojing, a medical book, refers to cannabis as dama(da meaning great and ma meaning cannabis) and notes that the flowers, the seeds, and the leaves of the plant can be useful in medicine.
200 A.D. Hua Tuo, a Chinese surgeon, is the first recorded physician to use cannabis as an anesthetic during surgery. Hua Tuo ground the plant into powder, then mixed it with wine for a patient to drink before surgery. Interestingly, the word for anesthesia in Chinese, mázui, literally means “cannabis intoxication.” During this time, Chinese physicians also used the root, leaves, and oil of cannabis to treat blood clots, tapeworms, constipation, and even hair loss.


Throughout the Middle Ages, cannabis was a widely popular drug in the Middle East. Because wine was forbidden in Islam, many Muslims turned to smoke hashish — the Arab word for marijuana — also known as “grass.” It was also used in traditional Arabic medicine.
Vienna Dioscurides
Vienna DioscuridesCannabis is listed in the Vienna Dioscurides, an illuminated manuscript in Greek that provides a scientific encyclopedia of animals and plants. Wikimedia
100-1000s A.D. During the Middle Ages in Europe, cannabis may not have been a religious or spiritual hallucinogen like it was in India, but it was still integrated in folk medicine. Cannabis was used to treat tumors, cough, and jaundice. Interestingly enough, medieval physicians and herbalists still warned of using cannabis excessively — believing that too much could cause sterility and other harmful conditions.


1500s. The Spanish brought cannabis to South America, but during the North American colonization, there was only hemp — used for practical purposes like clothes, bagging, paper, and ropes for the maritime industry. The hemp industry largely relied on slave labor, and cannabis wasn’t introduced to America as a psychoactive or medicinal drug until years later.
Late 1700s. At this point in time, some American medical journals were suggesting using hemp seeds and roots to treat various health problems, including skin inflammation and incontinence. William O’Shaughnessy was an Irish doctor in the British East India Company who touted medical marijuana’s benefits for rheumatism and nausea in England and America.
1906. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is created to prevent another morphine addiction crisis — as many people were becoming addicted to heroin, opium, and morphine, which weren’t properly regulated. The FDA mainly controlled opium and morphine during this time, and not so much marijuana, but its creation signaled a big shift in drug policy in America.
During this time, Mexican immigrants entering the U.S. introduced marijuana to the country (and the word "marijuana" itself likely originated in Mexico), popularizing the recreational use of the drug more. However, many Americans saw those who smoked weed as debaucherous and troublesome, associating cannabis with “lower class” criminality.
1914. Drug use, under the Harrison Act, is officially declared a crime.
1937. By now, 23 states have outlawed marijuana. The government also passes the Marihuana Tax Act, making the use of non-medical weed illegal. Cannabis was still used in various medical treatments, albeit in controlled forms.
1970. Marijuana was categorized as a Schedule I drug along with more dangerous ones, and was listed as having no accepted medical use. Despite the fact that some early American medical journals had begun listing the medical uses of cannabis, the government restricted any further research into it until more recently.
As of April 2015, 23 states in the U.S. have legalized medical cannabis, but only people with certain qualifications can obtain it. That will usually entail children with epileptic conditions, or sometimes cancer patients who use cannabis to ease the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation. Some states allow patients with HIV/AIDs, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or even Crohn’s disease to obtain medical cannabis.
While research into medical cannabis is still limited due to restrictions preventing scientists from obtaining the drug, recent studies have explored some therapeutic aspects of medical marijuana. For example, a 2015 study found that cannabis could be effective in treating schizophrenia. Research has also shown that it can help heal broken bonesstop severe seizures, and even cure migraines. And one 2014 study suggested that cannabis might be effective in targeting brain tumors, though far more research is needed to replicate those results.

In states where medical marijuana is legalized, there seems to be general consensus that it’s quite helpful in treating a variety of ailments. One 2014 study found that over 90 percent of people in California who were prescribed cannabis reported that it helped them treat a serious medical condition. And based on the history of medical cannabis, which has been circulating as some form of therapy for thousands of years all over the world, they’re probably right.