Great News!


hemp field

Yes, this IS great news!

Many of you are aware that Colorado has legalized the use of hemp.

A farmer in Colorado, who owns 3,000 acres of farmland, will use 100 of those acres to start growing industrial hemp. His first crop will be used to produce food-grade hempseed oil. This project will be good to gain understanding of the viability of hemp farming in the U.S.

On the other hand, there are those who are AGAINST the hemp farming. According to the Richmond Register, local law enforcement OPPOSES the farming. Their argument? “Dan Smoot, of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police and president of Operation UNITE, a drug education, treatment and enforcement organization working in eastern Kentucky, said supporters are looking “through rose-colored glasses if they believe hemp production would be a good alternative crop or provide an economic boon.”

He said there isn’t a great demand for the crop, and legalizing its production “would create more problems than benefits and is currently not permitted under federal law.””

Also,

““It is impossible to distinguish between hemp and marijuana with the naked eye,” KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer said.”

Here are my key arguments: There is a distinguishable difference between hemp and marijuana. Other countries, where hemp farming is legal, have no problem telling the difference between the 2 plants. Hemp farming WOULD provide an economic boom, because of the need for clean fuels, environmentally healthy crops for textiles and plastics and building materials, and  healthy food.

It is my hope that the Federal government does NOT interfere and allow the farming of hemp. This is an excellent start to get BACK to the crop that supported our nation a century ago.

photo credit: higgott via photopin cc

Menopause: Hemp vs. Soy


Menopause

Menopause.

For some, the M word brings up thoughts of felonious females flirting with fiery flashes of fitful frustration.

However, not every woman experiences menopause in the same way.

As I stated on an earlier post, some common symptoms of menopause are (this is a partial list):

  • Hot/cold flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Night sweats
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Mood swings
  • Bloating
  • Confusion
  • Hair loss/weakened fingernails/dry skin
  • Depression/panic disorder
  • Headaches
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Digestion problems
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Aching joints

The changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can last a few months, or they can last a few years.  Some women may experience all of these symptoms, some may not.

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is another way, but more women are avoiding that avenue, since HRT has been shown to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer.

One way to manage symptoms is with nutrition and diet. For quite a while soy has been one of the dietary staples of menopausal women, especially those who wish to avoid HRT.  It has been widely thought that soy isoflavones helped prevent menopausal bone loss, but according to JAMA, “Conclusions  In this population, the daily administration of tablets containing 200 mg of soy isoflavones for 2 years did not prevent bone loss or menopausal symptoms.” (http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1106084)

I am seeing more often articles and stories debunking the benefits of soy.

Many menopausal women turn to soy to stave off nasty effects, like decreased bone density and hot flashes, because estrogen therapy is associated with risks for breast cancer and heart attack. But now researchers are calling for alternatives because a new study showed soy might not even work.” (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20090000-10391704.html)

The vast majority of soy at your local market is not a health food. The exception is fermented soy, which I’ll explain more about later and even worse GMO soy that is contaminated with large pesticide residues as the reason it is GMO is so they can spray the potent toxic herbicide Roundup on them to improve crop production by killing the weeds.

Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole non-GMO soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities—protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products.

Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story, points out thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.” (Mercola.com)

Today, depending on which source you go by, 86-94% of soy planted and grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. That is reason enough to avoid soy altogether.

If soy were to be avoided, what would be an alternative? HEMP.

Hempseed is a natural anti-inflammatory. It also helps to balance and restore the cellular structures.

Hempseed is a natural source of GLA, and is one of the few plants that contains GLA. This is important, because during menopause the body’s ability to convert LA to GLA is lessened.

The Omega 3 fatty acids found in hemp are the perfect ratio for the human body, and it is especially important for women to have a sufficient intake of them.

Low levels of Omega 3s are associated with inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of many disorders and diseases. Hemp can reduce the effects of muscular pain, hot flashes, headaches, cardiovascular problems, hair and skin dryness and nail strength.

Hemp has been shown to reduce the effects and decrease the instances of depression and memory loss. The brain is mainly comprised of fatty acids, and having enough Omega fatty acids will help improve memory and brain function.

Osteoporosis, another symptom of menopause, is helped by the intake of hemp and Omega fatty acids. The essential fatty acids in hemp help with absorption of the calcium and vitamin D and aid in bone growth and calcification, and reduce calcium excretion in the urine (calcium loss and excretion through the urine can also cause kidney stones).

Hemp seeds are also rich in vitamin E, which is also important for those suffering from menopause.

One last note:

Hemp protein vs other proteins:

The edestin protein in hemp is one of the most easily digestible proteins.  It is very similar to human globulin.

Omega fatty acids help reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and may lessen the possibility of stroke or heart attack.

Hemp does not contain phytoestrogens. Soy does. These hormones mimic estrogen and have been linked to cancer. Soy also contains natural toxins that hinder protein digestion.

There are no known allergies to hemp. Hemp is safe for anyone to consume, from toddler to octogenarians and beyond.

photo: Angry Woman by Vera Kratochvil

Hemp – The Natural Remedy for Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. It is a brain disorder that leads to tremors and difficulty with coordination and movement.

The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly, with most cases occurring after the age of 50.” (Wikipedia)

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the progressive death of the neurons responsible for producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter closely linked with movement control. The disease is usually diagnosed when 50 to 80% of these neurons are already dead.” (sciencedaily.com)

Parkinson’s may result from environmental toxin exposure or injury; it may be genetic, although that percentage is quite slim; Parkinson’s can also be the result of poor nutrition. Parkinson’s most commonly, though, is the result of low dopamine levels. It is characterized by the accumulation of alpha-synuclein, a protein that aggregates into inclusions, or bodies (called Lewy bodies) and also from reduced levels of dopamine in parts of the midbrain.

Lower dopamine levels are caused by stress, sugars, caffeine, insufficient sleep, medications, and drug and alcohol use.

The natural way to increase dopamine levels, and remedy Parkinson’s symptoms, is the intake of Omega fatty acids. The brain is composed mainly of fats, and when there is a low level of Omega fatty acids, Parkinson’s may occur.

A 6-year study conducted by the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Neurology at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, monitored 51 patients’ intake of essential fatty acids and discovered that those with the highest levels of EFAs had the lowest incidences of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia.” (ehow.com/health)

Hempseed is the perfect source for Omega fatty acids, having the perfect 3:1 ratio required by the human body and brain. Studies have shown that an increased intake of Omega fatty acids may reduce or delay the effects of Parkinson’s Disease.

This demonstrates both the importance of diet on the brain’s fatty acid composition and the brain’s natural inclination for omega-3 fatty acids,” observes Calon…researchers suggest that the protective effect against Parkinson’s comes essentially from DHA.” (sciencedaily.com)

Parkinson’s Disease is usually not diagnosed until well after the onset of the disease. This is why it is so important to get enough Omega fatty acids daily, and practicing good nutrition from an early age.

Hempseed Oil – Fountain of Youth?


For many centuries hempseed has been used as food and medicine. One of the wonderful properties of hempseed oil is that it is a component in anti-aging, both for skin and cellular health.

Hempseed oil is rich in anti-oxidants and Omega fatty acids. Hempseed has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body.

Healthy skin cells contain water. As we age, the cell’s ability to retain the water diminishes. Our skin cells also work to use nutrients that keep our skin healthy. One of the functions of the Omega fatty acids is to KEEP our skin nourished. When our skin is not healthy it ends up being dry, saggy, and wrinkly.

The Omega fatty acids in hempseed oil also help with acne, rashes, and other skin conditions by repairing the skin cell structure, feeding the cells with nutrients, and repairing damage from blemishes.

Hempseed oil does not clog pores. It goes beyond the outer skin layer and soaks deep inside where it is needed.

There are many skincare products that have a hempseed oil base; these products will keep the skin nourished, fresh, and young-looking (along with proper diet and plenty of water intake).

So, if you are looking for that fountain of youth – try hempseed oil!

Hemp ~ “Weeding” Out The Myths


The topic of hemp is often a confusing one, and I am frequently asked questions regarding industrial hemp, so here are a few ‘myth-breakers’ I’ve compiled that answer some of those queries.

1. Industrial hemp is marijuana.~ False. Industrial hemp is not marijuana, it is a different plant. Both marijuana and hemp are of the cannabis family, but they are not the same. Hemp is very low in THC, marijuana has higher concentrations of THC.

2. Industrial hemp can make you high. ~ False. Because hemp is low in THC, if you smoked it, even huge amounts, all you would get is a pretty big headache.

3. Industrial hemp fields can hide marijuana plants. ~ False. Industrial hemp plants are grown tightly together, allowing for height (up to 20 feet) while at the same time making it nearly impossible for weeds to grow. Marijuana is shorter, and is grown further spaced out. Also, growing the 2 plants together would cause cross-pollination, which would compromise the potency of the marijuana plant. One common argument is that DEA officials would not be able to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana, and that marijuana would be easily hidden in hemp fields. This is simply not true.

4. Hemp Oil is the source of THC. ~ This can be confusing. Hemp SEED oil does not have THC, and is one of the MOST nutritious food oils available. Hemp seed oil has a green tint to it. Hemp oil is from the marijuana plant, and while it also has excellent healing properties, it is not the same as hemp seed oil, and has a very dark tint, almost black in color.

5. Industrial hemp is illegal to grow in the United States. ~ False. Technically, it is not illegal to grow. It IS, however, illegal to grow without the proper permits from the DEA, which are very difficult to get.

6. Legalizing hemp would be a backdoor to marijuana legalization and would also send the ‘wrong message’ to kids. ~ False. Legalizing an industrial crop for food, fiber, and fuel – that is proven to be healthy and environmentally safe and economically viable – would not be considered a backdoor to marijuana legalization and would NOT send the ‘wrong message’ to kids. (This author realizes the health benefits of marijuana and its curative properties, but will leave that discussion out of this post, as it pertains mainly to industrial hemp.)

7. Eating hemp seeds or hemp seed oil will cause me to fail a drug test. ~ False. Hemp seeds imported into the United States must pass inspection for low THC (1% or less). The seeds that are imported are ‘washed’, so THC levels from ingestion causing a positive drug test are impossible.

Industrial hemp is not the ‘evil’ drug that it has been made out to be from propaganda stemming from the early 1930s. It is my purpose and passion to spread the word about industrial hemp, and educate others about the TRUTH of this miraculous plant.

Hemp ~ The Gluten-Free Solution


Gluten sensitivity is a condition that has symptoms similar to Celiac disease or wheat allergies. About 6% of the population suffers from gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder that centers around the small intestine. With both gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease, reactions from proteins (gliadin) in wheat and other grains damage the lining of the small intestine and prevent absorption of important nutrients that the body requires to stay healthy, including important fats, such as Omega fatty acids.  When the gliadin reaches the tissues in the small intestine, the over-reacting antibodies in the immune system cause an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction interferes with nutrient absorption. If this is not treated, villous atrophy will occur, making proper digestion of important nutrients very difficult.

According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, there are approximately 300 symptoms from gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease.

A short list of those symptoms are :

  • Loose stools
  • Weight Loss
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Abdominal pain, indigestion, bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising easily
  • Muscle cramps
  • Hair loss
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis

The only effective treatment that will allow the villi in the intestine lining to heal is to follow a gluten-free diet. (Villi are tiny ‘hairs’ in the intestinal tract that ‘grab’ the nutrients as they pass through.) This is where hemp comes in. Hemp seed and hemp seed oil do NOT have the protein gliadin. Hemp seed is an excellent source of edestin protein, the protein closest to human globulin. Edestin protein is easily digested by the body. Hemp is also an anti-inflammatory and has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids.

Adding hemp to a gluten-free diet is a perfect choice – you get your protein, the anti-inflammatory properties help heal the condition, and the Omega fatty acids and other nutrients in the hemp are then able to be absorbed.

Love Your Body With Hemp-Enhanced Body Products


Hempseed is one of the finest nutritional products around. Not only is it an excellent food source, it also helps heal and treat health conditions and disease. It simply does wonders for our insides.

However, we can’t forget our ‘outsides’. Hemp-enhanced body care products are on the rise. People are becoming more conscious about what they put on their skin and hair.

The skin is the largest organ on the human body. It is also the ‘gateway’ for absorption of nutrients, as well as chemicals that may be put on the body. The skin sees a lot of rough treatment – harsh soaps, chemicals, abrasives, and environmental exposure (wind, ice, snow, cold, dry heat, sun).

Hemp-enhanced face and body lotions are wonderful. They moisturize the skin; the hemp oil does not sit on top of the skin, but penetrates it, leaving skin soft, smooth, and non-greasy. The Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids in hempseed oil aid in cellular repair and also protect from UV radiation. Omega fatty acids also help replenish the fats lost in the skin, reducing scaliness and dryness, AND helping the skin to look younger and fresher. (I use a hempseed oil-based lotion several times a day, with no greasy feel left on my hands and skin.)

Let’s not forget the hair. Shampoos and conditioners can be quite harsh to the hair. Some are detergents and strip the hair of it’s natural oils. Hemp oil-based shampoo and conditioner leaves hear feeling clean, fresh, silky smooth, and looking and feeling shiny and healthy. The Omega 3 fatty acids in hempseed oil-based hair products penetrate the scalp and moisturize from the inside, reducing dry, flaky skin and adding nutrients to the hair follicles.

I personally use Versativa’s Juice Citrus Flower hemp-enhanced shampoo and conditioner. My scalp is moisturized; my hair feels fresh and clean, and looks healthy and full of body.

Whether you are wanting to treat your hair, or body, or both to some exceptional care, try hempseed oil-based products. Your skin and hair will thank you.