Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Cannabis Taxonomy Debate: Where Do Indica and Sativa Classifications Come From?


Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Types?

Cannabis sativa, C. indica, C. ruderalis -- it’s possible that you’ve already heard these terms used to describe different species of cannabis. Sativa plants are known for their skinny leaflets, tall stature, long flowering times, and a stimulating, cerebral high. Indicas are thought to be short, bushy plants with wide leaflets, used for hashish production and possessing a powerful, sedating body high. Ruderalis is the feral, ancestral relative with its low THC content and auto-flowering characteristics. Recently, though, new research and technological advances have led to a greater understanding of the cannabis plant, which in turn has led to a new approach to the taxonomic classification of the cannabis family.

First, let's look at the etymology of the currently accepted taxonomy. Cannabis is an adaptation of an ancient word for the hemp plant and is the longstanding name of the genus that includes all hemp and drug varieties of the plant. Sativa is a Latin adjective meaning “cultivated,” indica is Latin for “of India,” and ruderalis is based on the Latin r┼źdera, the plural of a word meaning “rubble, lump, or rough piece of bronze.” Ruderal plant varieties are those that pop up first in an area that has been cleared of other vegetation or barriers to propagation (growing “out of the rubble,” if you will).
What is Cannabis Ruderalis?
At first glance, these seem like fairly accurate descriptions for three distinct species. What we consider to be sativa has long been cultivated by humans for its seed, fiber, and flowers.Cannabis indica may well have developed on the Indian subcontinent, and ruderalis is a feral, weedy plant that thrives in harsh conditions. However, new discoveries and DNA analyses have provided a much more likely picture of how these species developed and how they are related.
To date, the history of the cannabis plant is still a bit of a mystery. The evidence suggests that it originated in Central Asia. Sometime near the end of the Pleistocene epoch, it migrated to small geographic pockets in Western and Southern Asia, as well as what is now the Balkans and Caucasus Mountains. This represents the first major geographical split in the cannabis population, and is thought to be the main factor in producing two distinctly different species: plants bred and grown for oil seed and hemp fiber (Eastern Europe/Western Asia), and those selected for their psychoactive properties (South and East Asia). Geographical barriers like the Himalayan Mountains kept these two populations ostensibly separate for centuries, thus allowing natural and artificial selection to create two very different types of cannabis.
It's important to note that human selection is the most influential factor in the rise of these two different species. Ancient cultures in Eastern and Southern Asia had many available plants that provided fiber and food, so they selected cannabis plants for their psychoactive properties, probably as a spiritual aid. Conversely, Western/Northern cultures had fewer available sources of sustenance and cordage, so they selected cannabis plants for those properties.
Cannabis researchers are now starting to coalesce around a system of taxonomy proposed by Robert C. Clarke and Mark D. Merlin in their exhaustively researched book Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. Using historical and recent publications as a launch pad, Clarke and Merlin produced the most thorough examination of the cannabis plant to date, using archaeological findings, historical accounts, and DNA sequencing along with their own personal findings and observations to present a very compelling explanation for their proposed taxonomy.
Indica vs. Sativa: Myth or Fact?
The previously mentioned split between western hemp fiber cannabis and eastern drug cannabis proves to be the linchpin of this “rope vs. dope” system. Cannabis ruderalis is considered to be either the ancestor of both of these types, or, more likely, a hybrid of this ancestor and some newer, “escaped” cultivars. In their system, Cannabis sativa encompasses all narrow-leafleted, low THC plants cultivated for hemp fiber and seeds, grown all across Europe and in North America and parts of South America as well. Cannabis indica refers to all varieties cultivated for their drug content, whether it's the broad-leafleted plants we associate with Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush Mountains or the narrow-leafleted varieties cultivated in India, Southeast Asia, South America, Mexico, and Jamaica.
Decades of research by dedicated ethnobotanists and various methods of DNA analyses have helped to create what is probably the most accurate taxonomic structure to date. It may lead to a future change in vernacular used in the cannabis industry, but, for now, we’ll continue to refer to our bushy, broad-leafleted, sedating varieties as indicas, and our tall, narrow-leafleted, stimulating varieties as sativas. Using the new taxonomical nomenclature would surely present much confusion for retailers and consumers, so it’s unlikely that the current meanings will be abandoned any time soon.
The Cannabis Origin: What is a Landrace Strain?
References: Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany by Robert C. Clarke and Mark D. Merlin, copyright 2013, University of California Press

Could LEGO toys soon be made from hemp plastics?


LEGO is looking for a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastic. Hemp might be the answer.

LEGO wants to switch the material it uses to make its trademark toy bricks beloved by children around the world. The company currently uses plastic resin (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), but by 2030 it wants to be using a more environmentally conscious and cost-effective material, according to a Plastics News report.

LEGO senior project manager Allan Rasmussen told Plastics News that the new material must be able to form bricks that are indistinguishable from current plastic-made bricks.

“I need to find a material that is just as good as this one,” Rasmussen said. “I need to find a material that will be just as good in 50 years, because these are passed down from generation to generation.”

Enter hemp plastics

Hemp is a cannabis plant, a cousin to marijuana, that’s grown with very low THC levels and used primarily for its fiber and seeds. Hemp can be also be processed into a biodegradable plastic material that’s stronger than fiberglass.

Henry Ford himself used hemp plastics to construct car doors and fenders in 1941. Ford is recorded on video using a sledgehammer to demonstrate the superior strength of his hemp-made cars to steel-bodied cars, as reported by

Making plastic with hemp

Petroleum cellulose acts as the basic building block for the majority of plastics used around the world today. But plastics can actually be made from the cellulose of numerous organic compounds, including plants like hemp.

Hemp actually makes an ideal base material for manufacturing plastic because of its high cellulose content, which ranges between 70-85 percent, according to Hemp Plastics.

Hemp offers a cost-efficient and biodegradable plastic material, not like petroleum-based plastics. A standard petroleum-plastic water bottle is estimated to take 450-1000 years to biodegrade.

Hemp plastic innovations

Cannabis prohibition more or less erased hemp’s industrial potential for generations, but policy reforms across the world are slowly starting to change that.

An Australian company named Zeoform has been working to advance biodegradable hemp technologies in recent years, and now the company boasts a new type of super-sturdy plastic made entirely from hemp, as reported by Leaf Science.

The material can be injection or blown-molded into countless products ranging from buttons to drinking straws, home furniture, frisbees, even toy building blocks.

The possibilities are endless with hemp plastics and resins, and bio-composites. Virtually any shape and purpose can be fulfilled by bio-composite plastics. Hemp plastics are already on the rise, it is only a matter of time before we will see the need to grow hemp in the United States to meet our demands.

Back to LEGO

LEGO uses more than 6,000 tons of petroleum plastic to make its bricks every year; and it’s been making them since 1960, according to Plastics News. That’s a lot of toxic, nonbiodegradable material.

Hemp might just be the cost effective, environmentally sustainable alternative material that LEGO is looking for.

And because hemp is not a primary food crop, LEGO wouldn’t be criticized of using food to make toys, which has been a concern.

Hemp at the heart of Western Australia's first eco-village

By Anthony Pancia

A home in France build with lime-hemp concrete.
PHOTO: A home in France built with rendered with lime-hemp concrete. (Supplied: Paul Llewellyn)

The project manager of Western Australia's first eco-village, partly built with hemp, believes the finished product will add weight to the growing push for it to be widely used in the construction industry.
Tendering contracts are out for the construction of 12 dwellings, due to be built in the WA south coast town of Denmark, about four and half hours from Perth.
Project manager Paul Llewellyn said a key feature would be the combination of hemp hurd, the innards of the plant's stem, and lime, which is used to render the traditional timber frames.
"The two combine to form a lightweight masonry product, which is very thermally efficient, breathes and has lots of acoustic properties," Mr Llewellyn said.
"It provides a wall — which is much more thermally efficient than a double brick wall and is equal in effect to the thermal efficiency of a very well insulated timber wall — but this wall breathes, which regulates the humidity in the house."
Mr Llewellyn said though similar houses had been built in other parts of Australia, the Denmark project was the first of its kind for WA.
"The houses themselves will be small, but the common space around the community will be large," he said.
"Our primary drive has been to create houses that are comfy, easy to live in and cost little to run because they are energy efficient."

From kitty litter to the job site

Mr Llewellyn also said hemp hurd had a high silica content, which repelled white ants, and when combined with lime the product was extremely fire proof.
"You could put a blow torch on it and it simply will not burn," Mr Llewellyn said.
"In that way, it could be viewed as a breakthrough in building construction in our fire-prone areas."
Commercially referred to as hempcrete the product is commonly used throughout Europe and was the result of hemp manufactures looking to find a use for the "mountains" of hemp hurd leftovers.
"It actually makes a fantastic kitty litter, but there is only so much use for kitty litter," Mr Llewellyn said.
"So it was eventually combined with lime to make this amazing technology."

Preconceived ideas slowly being put to bed

A thesis of the utilisation of hemp in the construction industry conducted by University of Western Australia student, Gareth Robert Shun'an Jones, concluded lime-hemp concrete (LHC) met sustainability and environmental concerns while also "exceeding in many areas of building performance".
The author surmised LHC "provides a superior overall performance in terms of sustainability and comfort levels than comparative 'green' building materials, including autoclaved aerated concrete, rammed earth and straw bales".
However, the thesis concluded LHC was not being widely used due to research and information still disseminating throughout the scientific and public community.
"Combined with the [incorrect association] of hemp with marijuana, has resulted in public perception generally being distrusting of a building material, which is mainly formed from cannabis," the thesis stated.
Mr Llewellyn agreed the tide was beginning to turn for proponents of hemp.
"There are about 200 varieties of hemp and they are about as different as a chihuahua and a great dane," he said.
"The industrial hemp, for example, has very few traces of the psychoactive component, but it has all the products you can make.
"Here we have a building technology that will solve a lot of environmental issues."

Healing with hemp: Local 10 investigates alternative medical trend

By Michael Seiden

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - A new type of holistic healing is blooming in South Florida and causing people to put down down their pill bottles and opt for a more natural solution called CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabis compound proponents say has all the medical benefits of marijuana but won't get users stoned.
This is because CBD comes from hemp, which is a cannabis plant like marijuana, but unlike marijuana, hemp contains CBD and not THC.
CBD is used to treat everything from chronic pain to migraines, and users say the effects of CBD usually kick in within 45 minutes.
Some South Florida mothers swear by it.
"My son Ravi is 11, and he was born without the center of his brain," said Jennifer Nayak. "It allows him to function in a more calm way."
No prescription is necessary to buy products containing CBD, as they can be purchased online and in stores.
Prices range from about $15 to $175, and CBD is so versatile that it can be eaten, drunk and even worn.
"CBD coming from hemp is benefiting people," said Alex Ordonez, who owns Holistic Hope in Fort Lauderdale. "From grandparents to little kids, even dogs are using it."
Wendy Potler worked as a hair stylist for decades until her chronic pain forced her to retire.
"I started taking it and my pain has gone down," said Potler. "It allows me to sleep at night."
So how is this stuff legal?
In a statement, the Drug Enforcement Agency told Local 10 News that products containing CBD are technically violating federal laws.  
"At present, this material is being illegally produced and marketed in the U.S. in violation of two federal laws," the DEA's statement said, in part.
However, legal analysts contend there's a loophole in the law "because it comes from agricultural hemp," said Mark Eiglarsh, a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.
"They're selling it as a supplement, not a drug," Eiglarsh said.
"People are putting down the pills because they don't want to be medicated," said Lia Pachi, who is co-owner of City Wide Vape in Hollywood. "We have a ton of people buying it, and it helps."
Business owners who sell CBD products said it's important to do your homework before purchasing it and to make sure that the product is being bought from reputable companies.
"Most people don't know what they're getting, so you must shop at reputable places and demand to see lab results," added Eiglarsh.
In 2015, five smoke shops in the Orlando-area were busted for selling products labeled "CBD," even though they really contained THC.
"We've had times where we've conducted our own tests and our results don't match up with the company we buy from," said Ordonez. "That's concerning, and we made sure those products never hit our shelves."
There are currently several bills being considered by legislative committees in Tallahassee that would remove cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances and allow certain universities to study hemp production.
Below is a full statement from the DEA on CBD, Hemp and "Farm Bill:"
"Media attention has focused on a derivate of marijuana that many refer to as 'Charlotte's Web' or 'CBD oil.' At present, this material is being illegally produced and marketed in the United States in violation of two federal laws: The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Because it is illicitly produced by clandestine manufacturers, its actual content is uncertain and will vary depending on the source of the material. However, it is generally believed that the material is an extract of a variety of the marijuana plant that has a very high ratio of cannabidiol(CBD) to tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). Because this extract is a derivative of marijuana, it falls within the definition of marijuana under federal law. Accordingly, it is a Schedule I controlled substance under the CSA.  
"As with all controlled substances, it is illegal under the CSA to produce or distribute 'Charlotte's Web'/CBD oil (or any other marijuana derivative) except by persons who are registered with DEA to do so. Because 'Charlotte's Web'/CBD oil is not an FDA-approved drug:
• It is a schedule I controlled substance under the CSA;
• It is unlawful under the FDCA for any practitioner to provide the material to human beings under the guise of 'research' without first submitting an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA;  
• The CSA requires that any person seeking to conduct research with the material obtain a registration with DEA authorizing such research;
• The CSA further requires that the researcher obtain the schedule I material from a legally authorized producer.  
"All of these requirements (submission of the IND to FDA, obtaining a DEA research registration, and obtaining the material from a lawful source) are essential to protecting human research subjects from the potential dangers of using an experimental drug and are essential to the scientific integrity of the research.  Because 'Charlotte's Web' is reportedly being administered to pediatric research subjects, the potential dangers are even more pronounced, making compliance with the FDA IND requirement even more crucial.
"It is important to correct a misconception that some have about the effect of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (which some refer to as the 'farm bill') on the legal status of 'Charlotte's Web'/CBD oil. Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 authorizes institutions of higher education (e.g., universities) and state Departments of Agriculture to grow and cultivate 'industrial hemp' (defined under the Act as marijuana with a THC content of 0.3 percent or less) for agricultural research purposes where permitted under state law. However, the Agricultural Act of 2014 does not permit such entities, or anyone else, to produce non-FDA-approved drug products made from cannabis. Thus, the CSA and FDCA restrictions mentioned above remain in effect with respect to the production of 'Charlotte's Web'/CBD oil for human consumption."

Hemp Legislation - It's Time



Hemp sails brought Europeans to the new world. The Puritans grew it. George Washington grew it. Thomas Jefferson grew it. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on it. Covered wagons were made of it. U.S. currency was printed on it. During World War II, the U.S. government even launched a "Hemp for Victory" campaign. So what in the world happened that made hemp an outlaw crop in the U.S.?
Hemp is classified as marijuana under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act that made it illegal, even though it is not a recreational drug. The difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp has a THC potency of less than one percent and is not psycho-active.
Hemp has broad industrial applications and can be used as a textile, bio-fuel, medicine, building material or food. Hemp seeds contain high levels of protein that can be used to make everything from flour to milk to veggie burgers. The U.S. hemp market reached $620 million in 2014, according to the non-profit Hemp Industries Association, using data compiled from conventional retailers such as Costco. Presumably, most of that hemp was imported from other countries since hemp cultivation is still illegal in the U.S. under federal law.
Oregon was one of the first states to see the bizarre nature of making hemp illegal to cultivate, yet legal to import, use and sell. Hemp farming became legal in Oregon in 2009, but barriers to cultivation and research slowed progress due to the federal ban and interpretation of the state law by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
The Oregon Farm Bureau supports HB 4060 in the Oregon Legislature and the bill has passed the House and moved to the Senate. One of the key areas of interest to growers is in section 5 of the bill: A grower registered under ORS 571.305 may use any propagation method, including planting seeds or starts or the use of clones or cuttings, to produce industrial hemp. The bill would also make it legal to grow hemp in greenhouses.
On Feb. 2, an "Industrial Hemp Expo and Conversation" was held on Capitol Hill, sponsored by Oregon's Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer. "If it's legal to buy hemp products in Oregon, it ought to be legal for farmers to grow hemp in Oregon," Wyden said. "Today's 'Hemp on the Hill' Expo showed just some of the vast potential of the hemp industry, and I'm going to be working to build on the increasing momentum to pass the bipartisan Industrial Hemp Farming Act and lift the ban on industrial hemp farming in our country," Wyden said.
The Source asks Oregon senators to cast their aye votes for HB 4060 in the 2016 Oregon Legislature.

Oregon, Washington Trying Again On Hemp Legalization


File photo of hemp seeds.

Oregon and Washington state lawmakers are making another try at introducing a new crop to the Northwest: Industrial hemp, the non-drug cousin of marijuana.
For the fourth year in a row, the Washington Legislature is considering whether to legalize hemp farming. The initial, lopsided votes in favor suggest this might be the session it happens.
Hemp produces oil seed and fiber that processors turn into a wide range of goods from clothing and food to body care products and biofuels. Several hemp advocates testified Tuesday in separate public hearings in Salem and Olympia that the plant can even be used in building construction.
Elijah Eickmeyer, a fourth-grader from Chimacum, Washington, traveled to Olympia with his dad to lobby for passage.
"If the whole world used hemp, then that would replace plastic and other non-biodegradable products,” he said. “This would help my generation to have a healthy future."
Oregon lawmakers approved hemp farming in 2009, but it took until last year togrant the first grower and handler permits. Just nine hemp fields were planted in the inaugural growing season.
Now Oregon lawmakers are rewriting the strict rules to give potential hemp farmers more flexibility and to head off conflicts with marijuana growers.
Industrial hemp and marijuana belong to the same plant species. They can cross-pollinate if grown near each other, which can make the resulting crops unmarketable.
Hemp products are legal to sell in the U.S., but the plant itself has long been lumped together with marijuana as an illegal drug by the federal government. Lately, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has not interfered with commercial hemp cultivation in states such as Kentucky and Colorado that have reintroduced the crop under state oversight.

5 Ways to Use Hemp Oil in Your Beauty and Hygiene Routine

By Heather McClees

Hemp oil is a fantastic natural supplement to your beauty and hygiene routine. Like olive and avocado oil, it has a naturally green color due to its chlorophyll content, which makes it an excellent anti-inflammatory oil. Many people use hemp oil in the kitchen because of its nutty, earthy flavor, but hemp oil is also a fantastic beauty product. If you enjoy using it in your cooking, try some new ways to use hemp oil outside the kitchen!

Why not just use hemp oil in the kitchen, you ask? 
Related:  Do This to FLUSH out Harmful Toxins (3 simple steps)
Applying natural treatments to the skin topically allows for maximum absorption and benefits, since the skin is the largest organ we have. This is just one reason it’s important to avoid chemical treatments and commercial beauty products. What we put on our skin goes into our bloodstream and organs. Therefore, what is good for your body internally is the best for it externally, too.

So let’s take a look at why hemp oil is one of the best natural beauty aids of all time and the most beneficial ways to use it, shall we?
Hemp oil: benefits and uses
Essential fatty acids: the perfect ratio of omega 3, 6 and 9 for your hair and skin
Hemp oil is rich in specific fats that make it especially nourishing to the brain — and also to the body. These beneficial fats include omega 3, 6 and 9, which are all vital for obtaining a well-rounded essential fatty acid profile.
You may have heard that omega-6 fats can have an inflammatory effect on the body. This generally refers to sources from processed foods that contain very refined vegetable oils, or fats from conventionally-farmed animals that are fed a diet full of GMO grain, corn and soy.
However, hemp oil is different; it contains a specific type of omega-6 fat known as GLA, which stands for gamma linolenic acid. This type of fat is actually fantastic for metabolism and maintaininghormonal balance. It’s also very healing to the skin and promotes a youthful glow. 
Magnesium: muscle relaxant and sleep aid
Hemp oil is a great source of magnesium, which relaxes muscles, cools inflammation and prepares the body for rest and rejuvenation. Magnesium also helps relieve cramps or muscle aches, which is great if you exercise on a regular basis. Hemp seeds are one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, and though the oil is not quite as high, it still retains much of the nutrition found in the seed because the oil is cold-pressed, leaving all the nutrients intact. 
Magnesium is also an important mineral to nourish the nervous system, promote a healthy digestive system, and promote relaxation to help you sleep. One way to maximize the benefits of using hemp oil for this purpose is to first take a warm bath in Epsom salts, which are pure magnesium salts. Then dry off and moisturize your body with hemp oil. This is such a relaxing way to wind down before bed, and it makes your skin look amazing too. You’ll sleep better than ever!
Because hemp oil is very soothing to the skin and very cooling, it can also help relieve dermatitis and eczema.
Vitamin E: hair treatment and wrinkle cream
Many women and men take vitamin E to promote healthy hair growth or silky hair. A better option than buying pricey vitamin E capsules at the store is to simply rub hemp oil all through your hair a few minutes before you shower and wash your hair. Around a tablespoon of the oil is all it takes — you want to coat your hair but not saturate it. Using hemp oil on your hair will help make it silky, strong and will even help it grow! 
Hemp oil is also excellent as a beauty treatment due to its high vitamin E content. Use just a tiny bit under your eyes and eyelids instead of harsh wrinkle cream. Hemp oil’s anti-inflammatory properties combined with vitamin E will help promote healthy, youthful skin and reduce wrinkles.
Moisturizing and cleansing: perfect as a makeup remover
Hemp oil is also very moisturizing to the skin and absorbs better than olive or avocado oil. For this reason, it makes an excellent makeup remover and face cleanser. If you’re prone to acne, you’ll want to use hemp oil only for removing makeup, and then finish with an apple cider vinegar/lemon juice toner, which will help cleanse the skin of excess oil and bacteria but won’t promote dryness.
Hemp oil is better to use than makeup removers because it’s very nourishing to the skin and won’t strip away good oils the skin needs to actually fight bacteria. When the skin becomes too dry and undernourished, harmful bacteria can make their way into the pores. Dead skin from dryness can cause bacteria to fester, which in turn can lead to acne. Using harsh creams can create a vicious cycle that further dries the skin and makes things worse. Hemp oil is a better alternative and is also very alkaline — it’s naturally cleansing and will remove impurities while still being gentle. 
To use as a makeup remover, apply a teaspoon of hemp oil to a cloth and pat around your eyes first to gently rub away your eye makeup. Then, rinse the cloth a few times and apply another half a teaspoon of oil to the cloth, rubbing together and squeezing out the excess water. Wash the rest of your face removing your makeup as normal. Rinse and use a toner, such as apple cider vinegar, as needed. Pat dry.
Natural scent: a refreshing alternative to chemical-based body lotions
One of the best things about hemp oil is that it’s easy to apply. It also has an amazing scent that’s so much better for you than toxic, chemical-based perfumes. The smell is somewhat earthy and nutty — it’s extremely refreshing after a bath or shower. Hemp’s scent also has a naturally calming effect, much like eucalyptus and rosemary.
More uses for hemp oil:
  • As a shaving cream
  • As an overnight hair mask (wrap hair in a towel)
  • To relieve vaginal dryness
  • Removes any debris stuck on the skin (glue, sticker residue, etc.)
  • Enhances the skin when taken internally (one tablespoon daily) due to it’s essential fatty acid content
How to choose the best hemp oil:
Flour hemp in bowl with grain and oil on boardThere are a few major brands of hemp oil on the market, most of which are a high quality, but you’ll still want to be careful. Avoid flavored hemp oils if you happen to come across any, and also those that contain preservatives or additives. You’ll want to look for raw, cold-pressed hemp seed oil that’s organic and non-GMO. You can find these online or at health-food stores. An eight-ounce bottle of hemp oil will last around one to two months, depending on how much you use it each day.
Storage tips:
Hemp oil that is consumed internally should be kept in the fridge because the oil has the potential to go rancid in a hot kitchen. If you use it in the bathroom, it should not go rancid as long as it’s kept in a cool closet or drawer. However, if your storage space is directly beside your shower, consider keeping your oil in a drawer or closet away from heat and steam.
Using natural oils on the skin is a great way to promote natural beauty. Nature’s most amazing foods have the potential and power to keep us healthy, youthful and radiant.
Which natural oils do you use in your beauty routine?

Europe interested in buying Ukrainian hemp


Over 100 European companies are interested in purchasing Ukrainian organic hemp.
Deputy Director of Ukrainian Granit-Agro Private Company Yevhen Komarov said this at a press conference entitled “European Future of the Ukrainian Organic Market,” which has been held at Ukrinform on Tuesday.
“As to the future harvest, we have already received a huge number of offers, which significantly exceeds our growth potential today. That’s why we consider this product to be very promising. We see its extensive processing in future,” he said.
Komarov also noted that Granit-Agro plans to hold meetings and sign contracts with 40 out of 100 companies that have become interested in Poltava organic hemp. According to Komarov, these are companies mostly from the Baltic States, Italy and Germany.

Seed bill inches (Indiana) state closer to hemp production

By Maureen Hayden

Seed bill inches state closer to hemp production

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marijuana’s high-less cousin is a step closer to returning to Indiana.
Lawmakers have allowed the state seed commissioner to license farmers to grow industrial hemp - if and when the federal government stops treating it like a Schedule I drug.
A measure authored by Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, was requested by Purdue University researchers who last summer planted the state’s first legal hemp crop in decades.
Purdue researchers foresee Congress ending a federal ban on hemp production in the United States within the next year.
“When that happens, we could be ready to open this up to anybody who want to grow it,” said Purdue agronomist Ron Turco, who’s oversees the university's hemp fields.
The hemp seed bill, passed by the House and Senate earlier this month, is narrowly tailored to give legal cover to those who sell industrial hemp seed.
It will allow seed to be sold in Indiana to farmers ready to grow it as cash or cover crop. As with corn and soybean seeds sold for commercial use, farmers won't be allowed to harvest the hemp seed from a crop for sale or reuse.
Still, Indiana's soil isn't quite ready for hemp.
Seed Commissioner Robert Waltz, on staff at Purdue, has sole authority to regulate hemp in the state. But he’s issued no permits to grow it, since state law still bars him from doing so.
The only reason why Purdue can grow it is a provision tucked into the 2013 federal farm bill that allows states and universities to grow hemp for agricultural research. Industrial hemp-growing was legalized in Indiana the following year, when Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law.
Hemp supporters see a future in the crop as an eco-friendly source of fiber, food and other products.
But the plant from which it comes, cannabis sativa, is technically a Schedule 1 narcotic, illegal to grow and possess, under federal law.
Leising said the link between pot and hemp makes lawmakers wary.
She intentionally separated the hemp seed proposal from another measure encouraging the state's universities to research medicinal oil extracted from the cannabis plant.
“If people perceive it as a tie to medical marijuana, it would kill the bill,” she said.
Hemp supporters say the fears are unfounded. Under Indiana law, hemp growers would be subject to random tests of their crops to ensure they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
“It’s going come down to education,” said Justin Swanson, a board member of Indiana Industrial Hemp Association. “We have to separate hemp from marijuana in people’s minds.”
The association advocated for more aggressive legislation to give the state seed commissioner leeway to issue hemp-production permits, even before the federal issue is resolved.
At least 26 states have removed barriers to hemp production, with some liberalizing their laws more than others.
Vermont, for example, allows farmers to grow hemp but only after signing a registry in which they acknowledge that they may lose their federal subsidies and risk having their farm equipment seized by drug agents.
Purdue researchers weren’t willing to support such a step.
“We’re being cautious and deliberate about what we’re doing,” Turco said. “So anybody who wants to grow it won’t end up in trouble.”
Instead they're awaiting passage of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, introduced in Congress last year, which excludes industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana and allows farmers in any state to grow it.
Co-sponsors include U.S. Rep. Tom Massie and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both Republicans from Kentucky, a state that was once a leading producer of hemp. The plant was made illegal to grow without a permit under the federal Controlled Substances Act, passed in 1970 because its relation to marijuana
Massie has hopes the bill could land on President Obama’s desk this year, given its bipartisan support.
Even with a change in federal law, Purdue researchers say other challenges remain. For one, there’s no place in Indiana to process the plants into usable products.
“We’re trying to get these things worked out now,” Turco said. “So you don't plant it and get stuck with a field you can’t do anything with.”
Maureen Hayden covers the Indiana Statehouse for CNHI's newspapers and websites. Reach her Follow her on Twitter @MaureenHayden