Understanding the many benefits of cannabis in cancer treatment


Image: Understanding the many benefits of cannabis in cancer treatment

A cancer diagnosis is both devastating and terrifying. Patients are almost always directed towards conventional cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, and are made to feel that any other, more “natural” treatments are not only ineffective but dangerous.

The truth is, however, that mainstream cancer treatments wreak havoc on the body, leaving it defenseless against disease and breaking it down at the exact time when it needs to be as strong as possible. With its less than impressive success rate of between 2 and 4 percent, along with its devastating effects on the body, it is unsurprising that three out of every four doctors say they would refuse chemotherapy as a treatment option if they themselves became ill.

While doctors like to promote the idea that there are no treatments scientifically proven to work besides the usual surgery/chemotherapy/radiation regimen, the truth is there is a strong body of evidence that many natural, non-invasive treatments are effective in the fight against cancer. One of the most well-researched and solidly proven of all these natural medicines is cannabis.

The miraculous power of cannabinoids

As noted by Dr. Mark Sircus, writing for Green Med Info, there is no confusion about whether marijuana is an effective cancer treatment. Cannabis has been scientifically proven to kill cancer cells without the devastating and body weakening effects of conventional cancer treatments.

The marijuana plant contains about 113 powerful chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. The most well-known of these compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the chemical that induces marijuana’s “high” – and cannabidiol – a non-psychoactive compound which has been extensively studied as a cure for many diseases.

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These and other cannabinoids are what make marijuana such a potent anti-cancer treatment, as reported by Green Med Info:

Cannabinoids are found to exert their anti-cancer effects in a number of ways and in a variety of tissues.

  • Triggering cell death, through a mechanism called apoptosis
  • Stopping cells from dividing
  • Preventing new blood vessels from growing into tumors
  • Reducing the chances of cancer cells spreading through the body, by stopping cells from moving or invading neighboring tissue
  • Speeding up the cell’s internal ‘waste disposal machine’ – a process known as autophagy – which can lead to cell death

All these effects are thought to be caused by cannabinoids locking onto the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Almost daily we are seeing new or confirming evidence that Cannibinoids can be used to great benefit in cancer treatment of many types.

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What the science says

Scientific studies published in a host of peer-reviewed journals have confirmed marijuana’s powerful ability to fight breast, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and other cancers.

A meta-analysis of over 100 published studies, performed by researchers from Germany’s Rostock University Medical Centre, concluded that cannabis both boosts immunity and fights cancer.

The Daily Mail reported:

Scientists are calling for more studies to be done on humans after studying the cancer-fighting effects of chemicals in the drug.

Studies suggest chemicals called phytocannabinoids could stop cancer cells multiplying and spreading, block the blood supply to tumors, and reduce cancer’s ability to survive chemotherapy. …

The new research review admits cannabis has ‘anti-cancer effects’ and says more research needs to be done in real patients to confirm the findings.

It takes real courage to receive a cancer diagnosis and decide not to follow mainstream advice but seek alternative treatments. But even for those who choose to receive conventional cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, cannabis can still be an important part of their overall wellness plan. As Dr. Sircus admonishes, “Every cancer patient and every oncologist should put medical marijuana on their treatment maps.”

Revolutionary Cannabis Patch Successfully Treats Fibromyalgia and Nerve Pain (without getting you high!) 


In November 2016, Cannabis Science announced 2 new pharmaceutical developments in the form of cannabis skin patches for pain. Representatives claim the skin patch will be more effective than cannabis-based topical creams, pills, or injections due to its more accurate dosing (1).

Currently, the skin patches are not yet available and no official date has been given by Cannabis Science for clinical trials. Nevertheless, should research and development progress as expected, the cannabis skin patch could prove to be a much-needed new option for treating complicated chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy.

Does Cannabis Work for Treating Pain?

medical marijuana

The most common natural plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) are: THC, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN). While the majority of research and public attention has been directed at THC, the new skin patch development uses the CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol(1).

Research shows that CBD has several beneficial properties, including (5):

  • anti-inflammatory
  • analgesic (pain relief)
  • greater antioxidant activity than vitamins C or E
  • neuroprotective

CBD is a non-euphoriant, and some research actually suggests that this particular cannabinoid reduces the effect of the other euphoriant cannabinoids, lessening their psychoactive effects including panic, anxiety, intoxication, and heart palpitations. In short, taking isolated CBD will not alter your state of mind like smoking or consuming marijuana would.

Cannabis Science CEO, Raymond Dabney states, “As more states nationwide legislate for the legalization of Cannabis and Cannabis derived medications, we here at Cannabis Science are focused on developing pharmaceutical formulations and applications to supply the huge growing demand expected over the coming few years.”

medical uses for cannabis

Thanks to a growing body of research exploring the medical uses of cannabis, and a cultural openness to medical marijuana use, the cannabis skin patch may soon be a real option available to those suffering from painful conditions like diabetic nerve damage and fibromyalgia.

Diabetic Neuropathy and Cannabis

Diabetic neuropathy is a group of nerve disorders associated with diabetes. While nerve damage can start at any point for those with diabetes, people who have had diabetes for 25 years or more or who have difficulty managing their blood sugar or blood pressure levels, have the highest risk (2).

Since nerve damage can occur in every organ system, symptoms can be varied. Some people with nerve damage won’t experience any noticeable symptoms at all. The 4 main types of diabetic nerve damage come with their own unique set of symptoms:

Diabetic Nerve Damage Symptoms

1. Peripheral Neuropathy: The most common type of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, which usually manifests in hands and feet as (2):

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • sharp pain
  • sensitivity to touch and temperature

2. Autonomic Neuropathy: This type of nerve damage affects the cardiovascular system, eyes, digestive tract, sex organs, urinary tract, and sweat glands. Symptoms include (2):

  • noticeable changes in digestion and bladder function
  • sexual dysfunction in both men and women
  • inability to manifest usual warning signs of low blood sugar
  • trouble seeing at night
  • profuse sweating

3. Proximal Neuropathy: Proximal neuropathy is localized in the legs. It’s associated with (2):

  • pain in legs, hips, thighs or bottom
  • noticeable weakness in leg muscles

4. Focal Neuropathy: This form of nerve damage can affect any nerve in the body (but most often in the head and arms), causing weakness and pain. Other symptoms include (2):

  • vision problems, aching around eyes
  • facial paralysis
  • acute pain in chest, stomach or abdominals

How Is Diabetic Nerve Damage Treated?

Conventionally, doctors will prescribe patients with diabetic nerve damage painkillers, anticonvulsants or antidepressants such as oxycodone, Ultram, amitriptyline, Cymbalta, or Lyrica. Additionally, they will work with the patient to help keep blood sugar levels balanced.

Should Cannabis Science’s skin patch go through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA, it would provide a more natural and effective way to manage pain from diabetic nerve damage without risk of addiction (a massive problem with opioid prescriptions).

Fibromyalgia and Cannabis

cannabis patch to treat fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic condition often grouped together with arthritis, although it is not an arthritic condition. Fibromyalgia affects mostly women. A 2008 report estimated that about 5 million adult Americans suffer from fibromyalgia (4). Sufferers of fibromyalgia experience chronic non-localized pain, tenderness, and intense fatigue. Sometimes, fibromyalgia is accompanied by other symptoms including (3):

  • brain fog
  • headaches
  • morning stiffness
  • restless leg syndrome
  • painful menstrual cramps
  • irritable bowel syndrome

How is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia can be tricky to treat; this is complicated by the fact that many medical providers are not familiar with fibromyalgia or its various treatments. The FDA has currently approved 3 drugs for fibromyalgia treatment: Duloxetine, Milnacipran, and Pregabalin.

The Cannabis Science skin patch might be a promising treatment option for many fibromyalgia patients, especially those for whom the 3 current drugs don’t have an effect. It would also provide a less risky solution than the current drugs, which come with their own long lists of side effects and long-term risks.

Help us spread awareness of this potential new treatment by sharing this article with your friends and family. We will continue to follow the development of the Cannabis Science skin patch and provide updates as new studies and trial information becomes available.

Source:http://theheartysoul.com

Lawsuit Alleges That NFL Teams Distributed Painkillers Recklessly


The National Football League (NFL) has been buffeted by the health controversies for the last few years. In 2014, the horrors of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) were first brought to the public’s attention in the form of a Boston University study. That athletes who suffered multiple concussions were at increased risk of cognitive impairment was known before this study, but the extent and pervasiveness of the problem was underestimated.

CNN reports that the NFL is now the focus of a lawsuit concerning their “reckless” use of opioid painkillers. These prescription drugs are extremely addictive and are a scourge that is killing thousands annually. The NFL lawsuit centers on informed consent and whether the players were cautioned about the dangers posed by these powerful pharmaceuticals.

The lawsuit against the NFL alleges incidents where unlabeled pills, Percocet and Motrin, were distributed to players in unmarked envelopes. The physical toll inflicted on footballs players and the influential role that team doctors play in their lives may make them uniquely susceptible to the dangers of opioids, but statistically they represent just the tip of the addiction iceberg.

It is not just NFL doctors passing out these pills like candy to injured players. In Alabama, which has the highest opioid prescription rate in the U.S., there are 143 prescriptions for every 100 people. Clearly, doctors bear a significant responsibility for creating this situation.

The extent of the addiction crisis is staggering. In 2015, there were more opioid users than smokers in America, a total of 27 million. Native Americans and Caucasians have the highest rate of death from opioids: 8.4 and 7.9 per 100,000 people. African Americans and Latinos have a death rate of 3.3 and 2.2 per 100,000. Addiction to opioids and heroin is costing the U.S. more than $193 billion each year.

It is inevitable that there is blowback for the overuse of opioid painkillers and it is no longer possible to ignore a calamity that has ruined and ended so many lives. Studies show that addiction ends up affecting over a quarter of those who use opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. Worse, 1 in 550 patients on opioid therapy dies from opioid-related causes within 2.5 years of their first prescription.

Perhaps this NFL lawsuit will help shed additional light on the dangers of powerful painkillers and the potential alternatives to these extremely dangerous drugs. That there is a huge problem has been acknowledged but to date the response has not been commensurate with the scope of the catastrophe. We need big pharma to acknowledge how dangerous their products are and make a point of minimizing their use. Natural and safer alternatives need to be promoted.

The most controversial and promising of these is medical cannabis. Medical marijuana has a long history as a natural analgesic. Its medicinal qualities are due to high amounts of cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal terpenes and flavonoids. Varieties of cannabis exist that are very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes you feel “stoned” — and high in medicinal CBD.

THC makes rats lazy, less willing to try cognitively demanding tasks: study


effects of THC

New research from the University of British Columbia (UBC) suggests there may be some truth to the belief that marijuana use causes laziness—at least in rats.

The study, published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, makes rats less willing to try a cognitively demanding task.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that when we gave THC to these rats, they basically became cognitively lazy,” said Mason Silveira, the study’s lead author and a PhD candidate in UBC’s department of psychology. “What’s interesting, however, is that their ability to do the difficult challenge was unaffected by THC. The rats could still do the task—they just didn’t want to.”

For the study, researchers looked at the effects of both THC and cannabidiol (CBD) on rats’ willingness to exert cognitive effort.

They trained 29 rats to perform a behavioural experiment in which the animals had to choose whether they wanted an easy or difficult challenge to earn sugary treats.

Under normal circumstances, most rats preferred the harder challenge to earn a bigger reward. But when the rats were given THC, the animals switched to the easier option, despite earning a smaller reward.

When they looked at the effect of CBD, an ingredient in marijuana that does not result in a high, researchers found the chemical did not have any effect on rats’ decision-making or attention. CBD, which is believed to be beneficial in treating pain, epilepsy and even cancer, also didn’t block the negative effects of THC.

“This was surprising, as it had been suggested that high concentrations of CBD could modulate or reduce the negative effects of THC,” said Catharine Winstanley, senior author of the study and an associate professor in UBC’s department of psychology. “Unfortunately, that did not appear to be the case.”

Given how essential willingness to exert cognitive effort is for people to achieve success, Winstanley said the findings underscore the importance of realizing the possible effect of cannabis use on impairing willingness to engage in harder tasks.

While some people view marijuana as a panacea that can cure all ailments, the findings also highlight a need for more research to determine what THC does to the human brain to alter decision-making. That could eventually allow scientists to block these effects of THC, allowing those who use medical marijuana to enjoy the possible benefits of cannabis without the less desirable cognitive effects.

Method

At the beginning of each behavioural experiment, rats chose between two levers to signal whether they wanted an easy or hard challenge.

Choosing the easy challenge resulted in a light turning on for one second, which the rats could easily detect and respond to by poking it with their nose, receiving one sugar pellet as a reward. In the more difficult challenge, the light turned on for only 0.2 seconds, rewarding the rat with two sugar pellets if they responded with a nose poke.

Cannabis as Medicine: How CBD (Cannabidiol) Benefits the Brain and Nervous System


Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active cannabinoid found in cannabis which, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), does not produce a psychoactive effect in the brain. For this reason, CBD has become a primary focus of medicinal cannabis studies.

CBD has been found to have a wide range of benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels, promoting bone growth, and importantly, protecting the human brain and nervous system from degeneration.

How CBD Protects the Nervous System.

The nervous system is comprised of two main parts: the peripheral nervous system, which includes the nerves and ganglia on the outside of the brain and spinal cord, and the central nervous system, which includes the brain, cranial nerves, spiral cord, etc. CBD prevents the degeneration of the nervous system in several ways.

The human body has a fatty acid called amide hydroxylase (FAAH), an enzyme which and breaks down the neurotransmitter, anandamide, which is associated with the neural generation of motivation and pleasure, as well as neural development in early stage embryos. CBD suppresses the effect of FAAH in the body, creating higher levels of anandamide, which in turn naturally binds to Cannabinoid type 1 receptors (known as CB1), which are concentrated in our central nervous systems.

Additionally, CBD successfully stimulates the release of 2-AG, an endocannabinoid that stimulates both CB1 and Cannabinoid receptor type 2 (known as CB2). These receptors play a key role in regulating mood, memory, appetite, sleep, and reduction of inflammation within the human body. For this reason, topical treatments of CBD can help reduce brain inflammation associated with autoimmune disorders, and which may lead to damage of the neurons’ fatty covering. Reducing inflammation in the brain may also be used to treat neuropathic pain, which is caused by damage to the somatosensory nervous system.

A dosage of 20-40 mg of CBD has also been used to successfully treat high eye pressure, a painful condition caused by elevated levels of fluid in the eye. For this reason, CBD may benefit individuals who are affected by Glaucoma due to intraocular hypertension (high eye pressure), thereby preventing optic nerve damage.

Additional CBD Benefits

CBD has been shown to benefit diabetes patients by naturally lowering the body’s blood sugar level as well as chronic inflammation which increases the development of insulin resistance within the body and type 2 diabetes. In parallel, CBD may lower blood pressure, indirectly assist in the development of bone tissue, and act as a natural antibacterial. CBD has also been show to protect against cancerous cells and tumors. Consequently, CBD is of high interest and is researched for the future treatment of cancer.

How CBD Benefits the Human Brain and Nervous System

CBD Production Challenges and Current Legal Status

Discovered in the 1940s, CBD is a prominent active compound in cannabis. Although CBD’s medicinal benefits have been well studied and documented, nearly 8 decades later this essential ingredient’s full value is still relatively untapped and unrecognized by mainstream medicine.

Despite centuries of use in ancient cultures, there is today a negative connotation around the medical use of cannabis, particularly as the recreational use of cannabis is illegal in many parts of the United States. Still considered a Schedule I drug with “no medicinal value”, it is a controlled substance that is legal in only a hand-full of States such as Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. However, it is important to note that CBD provides zero psychoactive properties, does not get you “high”, and is not addictive.

Interestingly, CBD (usually found in oil form) is legal in all 50 states as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, but it is not readily available as the CBD compound needs to be extracted from a plant that is currently prohibited from commercial growth in the United States. However, with a wealth of scientific support for the health benefits of cannabis, and a ground-swell of public pressure to legalize the possession and use of this plant, the U.S. Congress may soon exempt CBD from the definition of cannabis, or decriminalize cannabis entirely.

With so many proven health benefits, reconsideration of the legal status of cannabis and further study into the medicinal uses of CBD and how it protects the nervous system, are critical to the future of medicine.

POT FOR PARKINSON’S? THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE IS COMPELLING


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Could the very plant that for decades was accused of “frying” users’ brains be far superior to pharmaceuticals in treating the “incurable” neurodegenerative condition known as Parkinson’s disease?

Despite the political controversy surrounding medical marijuanause in the country, research has begun to emerge showing that a component of this plant known as cannabidiol (CBD), and which does not have the controversial psychoactive properties associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may have a wide range of therapeutic applications, including treating conditions that are refractory to conventional drug-based approaches.

One such condition is Parkinson’s disease, to which there is, at present, no effective conventional treatment. In fact, the primary treatment involves dopamine increasing drugs that also increase a neurotoxic metabolite known as with 6-hydroxy-dopamine, and which therefore can actually accelerate the progression of the disease. This is why natural alternatives that are safe, effective, and backed up by scientific evidence, are so needed today. Thankfully, preclinical research on cannabidiol has already revealed some promising results, including two studies in animal models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) assessing its neuroprotective properties:

“In the first one, Lastres-Becker et al. (2005) showed that the administration of CBD counteracted neurodegeneration caused by the injection of 6-hydroxy-dopamine in the medial prosencephalic bundle, an effect that could be related to the modulation of glial cells and to antioxidant effects (Lastres- Becker et al., 2005). In the next year, Garcia-Arencibia et al. (2007) tested many cannabinoid compounds following the lesion of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with 6-hydroxy-dopamine and found that the acute administration of CBD seemed to have a neuroprotective action; nonetheless, the administration of CBD one week after the lesion had no significant effects (Garcia-Arencibia et al., 2007). This study also pointed to a possible antioxidant effect with the upregulation of  mRNA of the enzyme Cu-Zn-superoxide dismutase following the administration of CBD.” [1]

In addition to these animal studies, the following three human clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate cannabidiol’s neuroprotective effects.

  • A 2006 study published in Biological Psychology titled, “Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex N-Acetylaspartate/Total Creatine (NAA/tCr) Loss in Male Recreational Cannabis Users,” investigated the N-acetylaspartate to creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the brain of regular cannabis users through magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H1-MRS) to assess the neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids present in the drug and found a strong positive correlation between CBD and NAA/Cr in the globus pallidus and putamen.[2] According to the study, “the globus pallidum is the region with the highest amount of CB1-receptors in the brain and the target of neurostimulation in patients with Parkinson’s disease, who developed a strong tremor. Our MRSI results support a positive effect of CBD on the putamen/globus pallidum region in cannabis use. Therefore, it may be promising to test a possible influence of the nonpsychotropic CBD in the onset of Parkinson’s disease.”
  • A 2009 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease,”[3] assessed the therapeutic use and neuroprotective effect of CBD in PD patients. The open label study was conducted with six patients with PD-related psychosis. They were administered CBD at doses ranging from 150 mg in the first week to 400 mg in the fourth and last week of treatment (doses were adjusted to optimize the clinical response). The study reported significant improvements in psychosis as well as in the total scores of a scale that measures general symptoms of PD (Unified Parkinson’s disease rating scale – UPDRS)
  • A 2014 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: an exploratory double-blind trial,” evaluated the effects of cannabidiol in Parkinson’s disease patients, dividing 21 patients into 3 groups of 7 receiving either placebo, cannabidiol (CBD) 75 mg/day or CBD 300 mg/day. Increases in well-being and quality of life were observed in the 300 mg/day groups versus the placebo groups. The researchers hypothesized that these improvements may have been due to cannabidiol’s “anxiolytic,” “antidepressant,” “anti-psychotic,” and “sedative” properties.

These results, taken together with the results from the animal models of PD, indicate that CBD may provide a drug alternative in PD patients. Additionally, a new study published inToxicology In Vitro titled,”The neuroprotection of cannabidiol against MPP+-induced toxicity in PC12 cells involves trkA receptors, upregulation of axonal and synaptic proteins, neuritogenesis, and might be relevant to Parkinson’s disease,” makes the case for using cannabidiol in PD even more compelling by helping to illuminate some of the molecular mechanisms beneath its benefits.

The study found that cannabidiol protects against the neurotoxin known as MPP(+), which is widely believed to be responsible for the damage to the dopamine-producing cells in the substania nigra of Parkison’s patients, by preventing neuronal cell death and inducing neuritogenesis (a neuro-regenerative process for repairing damaged neurons). This mechanism was found to be independent of the neural growth factor (NGF) pathway, even though it involves NGF receptors. Cannabidiol was also found to increase the expression of axonal and synaptic proteins. The study concluded that CBD’s neuroprotective properties might be of benefit to Parkinson’s disease patients.

For additional research on how cannabis can contribute to mitigatingneurodegenerative diseases read our article, “Marijuana Compound Found Superior To Drugs For Alzheimer’s,” and peruse the cannabis research database on GreenMedInfo.com. Also, for an extensive set of data on natural interventions for Parkinson’s disease, view our database on the topic: Parkinson’s disease research. Finally, peruse an extensive list of foods, spices, and natural substances that have neuritogenic properties here.


References

[1] Chagas MH, et al. J Psychopharmacol. 2014 Nov;28(11):1088-98. doi: 10.1177/0269881114550355. Epub 2014 Sep 18. Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: an exploratory double-blind trial.

[2] Hermann D, Sartorius A, Welzel H, et al. (2007) Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex N-acetylaspartate/total creatine (NAA/tCr) loss in male recreational cannabis users. Biol Psychiatry 61: 1281–1289.

[3] Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Hallak JE, et al. (2009) Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease. J Psychopharmacol 23:979–983.

Hemp could literally save mankind – so why is it illegal?


Hemp is a tall, beautiful and gracious looking annual plant that can reach heights over twelve feet. Although hemp (cannabis sativa) and marijuana (cannabis sativa var. indica) come from a similar species of plant, they are very different and confusion has been caused by deliberate misinformation with far reaching effects on socioeconomics as well as on environmental matters. The reason hemp is illegal is not because of any negative impact to the environment or human health, but exactly the opposite. It is so environmentally friendly, nutritionally and medicinally beneficial, that it provides too many abundant resources which would make it impossible for powerful corporations to compete.

Historical Use

Hemp is the most universally useful plant we have at our disposal. The history of mankind’s use of hemp can be traced way back in time to between about 5000 – 7000 BC. Remains of seed husks have been found at Neolithic burial sites in central Europe, which indicate that they were used in funeral rites and shamanic ceremonies. It is probable that at that time the distinctions between various strains were not as pronounced as they are today.

Up until and even during WWII, hemp was a widely grown crop, which provided the world with an excellent and most durable source of fibre. Since it is an annual with a growing cycle of only 120 days it can be harvested several times a year, depending on local weather conditions. Its biomass is considerable, which means that it absorbs large quantities of the greenhouse gas CO2. It is resistant to bugs and requires little agrochemical treatment. It is extremely undemanding and can be grown in very poor conditions and depleted soils and will actually improve the soil structure over a period of years. For many centuries hemp was one of the most important industrial crops which provided the fibres for rope and tough, durable canvass without which the age of exploration could never have set sail.

In the US too, there have long been numerous rules and regulation in place regarding the cultivation of hemp. But unlike today’s regulations that strongly prohibit any cultivation of hemp, less than a century ago hemp cultivation was not just encouraged, but mandatory, with hefty fines being levied against farmers who refused. ‘Hemp for Victory’ was the government coined slogan that fuelled the last big bout of legal hemp cultivation during WWII, promoting hemp cultivation as a patriotic cause.

Delierate Misinformation About THC

 

Hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa that has a long history of use in the United States. However, since the 1950s it has been lumped into the same category of marijuana, and thus the extremely versatile crop was doomed in the United States. Hemp is technically from the same species of plant that psychoactive marijuana comes from. However, it is from a different variety, or subspecies that contains many important differences.
Industrial hemp has very low Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels, which is the principal psychoactive constituent. Compared to marijuana which is specifically cultivated for personal psychoactive use, it is nearly impossible to “get high” on hemp. Marijuana that can be smoked usually contains between 5-10%t THC, industrial hemp contains about one-tenth of that. In order to get a psychoactive effect, one would need to smoke more than a dozen hemp cigarettes over a very short period of time to achieve any kind of psychoactive effect. The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds, and therefore lacks the primary component that forms the marijuana high. Furthermore, industrial hemp has higher concentrations of a chemical called Cannabidiol (CBD) that has a negative effect on THC and lessens its psychoactive effects when smoked in conjunction.

Industrial hemp also grows differently than THC-containing cannabis. Hemp is typically grown up, not out, because the focus is not on producing buds but on producing length of stalk. In this way, hemp is a very similar crop to bamboo. The stalk contains the fiber and hard, woody core material that can be used for a variety of purposes, even carpentry.

The two also differ in the areas that they can be effectively grown. THC-producing Marijuana must be grown in generally warm and humid environments in order to produce the desired quantity and quality of THC-containing buds. However, since industrial hemp does not contain these buds, and the hardy parts of the plant are the more desired, it can be grown in a wider range of areas. Generally, industrial hemp grows best on fields that provide high yields for corn crops, which includes most of the Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast United States. Furthermore, since industrial hemp can use male plants as well as female plants (since the object is not THC production), higher crop yields can result.

While there is virtually no THC in the varieties grown for industrial uses such as oil and fibre, governments have cooperated with powerful corporate lobbyists the ensure that hemp is lumped into the same category as marijuana. The primary reason is that hemp has too many abundant resources for fuel, housing, food, medicine that corporations cannot exploit. Think about how many polluting conglomerates would go down if hemp was permitted as a resource. The oil, pharmaceutical, supplement and constructions industry would need to radically shift their business model to survive.

Abundant Resources

Hemp provides the fibre to make a durable paper – a far more sensible solution than the wasteful method of clear cutting old growth forests, or even the cultivation pine plantations that are ecologically speaking dead zones that take 20 years to mature before they can be harvested. Cannabis produces 4 times more fibre per acre and can be harvested several times per year. The first dollar bills were printed on hemp paper, your old family bible is probably printed on hemp paper and even the constitution itself was drafted on hemp paper.
Hemp has the strongest natural fibres, which can be used not just to produce rough cloth, such as sails or canvass, but also durable work clothes, like the original jeans. When the plants are grown closer together the fibre becomes shorter and finer, which allows for finer textiles. Today, there are some fashion designers that are experimenting with a wide range of textiles made from hemp for their stylish, trendy hemp lines, shirts, suits, bags, jeans and more. And, no- you can’t smoke them to get high!

Hemp fibres are also finding application as a modern building material, an application that has been spearheaded and exploited successfully in France. Hemp fibres can be blended with water and limestone to create an extremely tough, light-weight, natural cement that has not only excellent insulating properties, but also shows more flexibility than conventional concrete, which makes it particularly useful as a building material in earthquake prone areas.

Back in 1941, Henry Ford built a car that was not only entirely built from ‘hemp plastic’, but also ran on hemp fuel. Hemp oil, pressed from the seeds is also extremely versatile. It can be polymerized to create a solid plastic-like material, which is extremely durable, yet nevertheless is completely natural and biodegradable, which could replace plastics in numerous industrial processes.

Car manufacturers are again turning to hemp as a resource to provide light-weight, yet shock absorbent and environmentally friendly material for their cars. Due to the high biomass hemp would also make an ideal source of ethanol, the best bio-fuel alternative to gasoline, which is capable of fuelling engines without producing all those evil gases that are destroying our atmosphere and poisoning the air. At long last, some of the top car manufacturers are beginning to follow in Ford’s steps.

Some Facts on Hemp

– Farming 6% of the continental U.S. acreage with biomass crops would provide all of America’s energy needs.
– Hemp is Earth’s number-one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months.
– Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol, or gasoline at a cost comparable to petroleum, and hemp is much better for the environment. Pyrolysis (charcoalizing), or biochemical composting are two methods of turning hemp into fuel.
– Hemp can produce 10 times more methanol than corn.
– Hemp fuel burns clean. Petroleum causes acid rain due to sulfur pollution.

Hemp oil is of a very high quality and industry is using it in paints, inks and varnishes. In recent years the food
industry is also discovering its virtues. Hempseed oil is one of the richest sources of essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, providing an excellent balance between omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids. All of these substances are currently being discussed, not only in the alternative health scene, but also by the food industry, which is searching for suitable ingredients to create so called ‘functional foods’. Essential fatty acids are extremely important to the proper functioning of cells. They play a role in reducing bad cholesterol and plaque, which is responsible for arteriosclerosis. Healthfood companies are beginning to experiment with hemp as a basis for a large range of products- from hemp seed bars, to gummi bears, to beer, to hemp cheese and many more.

Studies have been released that show people suffering from cancer have low levels of melatonin in their bodies. Also studies have shown that just smoking hemp can raise the melatonin levels in our bodies. So one can only imagine what hemp oil that is in a concentrated state can do to increase melatonin levels. Hemp oil promotes full body healing and raises melatonin levels thousands of times higher than normal. When the pineal gland produces vast amounts of melatonin, it causes no harm to the body but it is very hard on the condition you are suffering from and indeed can eliminate it. For almost a decade, Rick Simpson has been showing people how to cure cancer with hemp oil.

Both the commercial legal type of hemp oil and the illegal THC laden hemp oil are one of the most power-packed protein sources available in the plant kingdom. Its oil can be used in many nutritional and transdermal applications. In other chapters in my Winning the War on Cancer book we will discuss in-depth about GLA and cancer and also the interesting work of Dr. Johanna Budwig. She uses flax seed oil instead of hemp oil to cure cancer — through effecting changes in cell walls — using these omega3 and omega6 laden medicinal oils.

Hemp Oil Uses 

Every application that uses petroleum for it’s skin and hair products can use hemp oil as it is more beneficial and herbal. It can be used in many health issues as either a pain reducer or even as the cure for it.

– Since hemp oil is natural, it is used as a moisturizing oil which can be applied after a shower or a bath. When you massage your body with it, it nourishes the skin and increases the blood circulation. More on facial skin care.
– Hemp oil is used in cooking as well, though it is not suitable for high heat cooking. Along with giving a slightly nutty and crispy taste to food, it can be the perfect salad oil just in case you’re out of olive oil.
– Another application of hemp oil is it’s use as biodiesel in the same manner like other vegetable oils. It is a safe replacement for petroleum as it is non-toxic and doesn’t harm the environment.
– Almost all the forms of plastics can be made by using hemp oil instead of using petroleum as a base. As those made from petroleum, release harmful chemicals while decomposition, but those from hemp oil, don’t.
– Hemp oil can also be used in the production of paints as it doesn’t cause any armful releases when washed down from the drain and has very low emissions than the petroleum paints which are currently being used.
– Hemp oil prevents skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, acne and dry skin. It is highly nutritious for the skin and makes a wonderful addition to homemade moisturizing blends and rejuvenating creams. (Read Andrew Weil’s article on hemp oil http://www.ratical.org/renewables/TherapHoil.html)

The list of beneficial uses of hemp goes on and on.

So why is non-psychoactive Hemp illegal?
There is an old saying: if you want to get to the root of a problem, follow the money. This holds true for hemp. In this case we have to ask the question ‘who benefits from hemp being illegal?’ The logical answer is: the oil companies- and their share holders, of course. Hemp became illegalized at the time when oil was beginning to make an impact on the economy as a base material for many things that hemp could also be used for, including textiles and fibres (plastics), cosmetics and fuel. Obviously, a resource is more profitable if access to it is restricted and not every farmer can grow it himself. In an exceedingly clever PR move psychoactive marijuana and hemp have been ‘thrown in the same pot’ as it were, and a massive campaign has been launched to convince people of the dangers of marijuana alias hemp – a highly questionable assertion.

Although technically hemp is not illegal to grow in some states, it requires obtaining a special permit from the drug enforcement agency (DEA) to restrict mass production. These permits are rarely given out and require that the crop be surrounded by security measures such as fences, razor wire, security guards, or dogs. For a crop that has little-to-no potential to get people high, the current attitude is both irresponsible and draconian.
Hemp is the most useful plant ally we have – a sustainable resource par excellence, as some might like to call it. Instead of cursing it we should be grateful to its deva and use all its ample gifts to turn the ecological demise of our planet around.

It is not hard to see how immensely valuable hemp is and how it has the potential of solving many of our environmental problems, not to mention our health problems. Yet, we are continuously deprived of its benefits because farmers are prohibited from cultivating this crop. Obviously importing it or products made from it is very expensive and the high expense is a prohibitive factor to choosing hemp as an environmentally friendly alternative even where it is available. It makes no sense to import a crop like hemp, when it can be, should be and used to be grown in all temperate and hot regions of the world.

Industrial hemp could transform the economy of the world States in a positive and beneficial way, and therefore should be exploited to its full potential.

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

Article source: Raw For Beauty

Sources:
PreventDisease.com
phoenixtears.ca
sacredearth.com
yahoo.com
cannabisculture.com