What’s New in the World of Hemp?


modern-uses-for-hemp

Greetings!

Much has been going on lately, both in my world and in the world of hemp!

Let’s start with my world. My book transcript is finished, now I am editor shopping and working on a book cover, as well as a cover for a spoken word CD I will be creating to go with the book…and one other creative project I may add to the package! Exciting times!!

There has been so much news about hemp lately, I almost don’t know where to start!

It is exciting to see daily, weekly, and monthly progress in education and legalization of hemp. Having said that, below, in outline style, is a run-down of what is happening nationally:

1) The call for hemp homes is getting stronger! Hemp Industries Association is offering a 3-day hands on course for building homes from hemcrete. Hemcrete is strong, versatile, and a high performance alternative to traditional building materials. Homes made with hemcrete leave a negative carbon footprint. The class is in September, so there is still time to check it out! You can find the information HERE.

2) Virginia is currently drafting a hemp farming act; when I hear more about the details I’ll share them here!

3) Next year, California may finally be planting hemp seed in research fields. Last year the bill passed, but it as been slow to get the action going. Again, as more details become available I’ll be writing and keeping you up to date!

4) GREAT NEWS FOR WASHINGTON STATE! First of all, I’m sure most of you know that recreational marijuana use has been legalized in Washington State. I do believe that this helped get the door open for industrial hemp farming. Currently there is pending legislation to allow hemp farming. Washington State has much farmland, and some of that isn’t even being used. How great it would be to see that land utilized for a crop that can feed, heal, house, and clothe us, fuel our cars, and much, much more! Whatcom county soil (which is where I live!!!) will be tested, and hopefully some test plots planted here. In my honest opinion, this is an excellent choice – we are, after all, the berry capital of the world (raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries) with our wonderful soils, as well as producers of corn, potatoes, and other crops. You can see the news clip from NBC News HERE.

5) “On May 12, Murray State University made history by becoming the first entity of any type in the nation to legally place industrial hemp seeds in the ground as part of a statewide trial.” What great news to see that hemp is legally planted in U.S. soil! http://murrayledger.com/news/growing-like-a-weed-msu-industrial-hemp-crop-thriving-in/article_2f1fb430-fe7f-11e3-bec4-0019bb2963f4.html

6) Tennessee is jumping in: “The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s proposed rules for hemp farming include plenty of red tape.

Under the proposal, farers would have to obtain a $500 license, be subjected to random testing of THC levels (to ensure trace amounts compared to marijuana) and provide GPS coordinates for their fields, Nashville Public Radio reports.

State Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) told the station that strict rules were necessary to open Tennessee’s’ doors to industrial hemp, but that he hopes there will be fewer hoops to jump through in the future. Farmers wishing to grow hemp can submit applications to the state later this year to begin growing in 2015.” http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/morning_call/2014/06/stateagriculture-department-proposes-many-hoops.html

7) And here comes Nebraska! “The first federal law mentioning hemp came in 1937. Congress discouraged the high THC varieties of cannabis, like marijuana, while exempting farmers who grew the crop for industrial uses like fiber and seed. It enjoyed a short resurgence during World War II, when the federal government actually promoted the crop, petering off in the 1950s. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 put the current kibosh on the plant. It required farmers apply for a federal permit before growing it. No commercial permits have been granted since then.

But in a historic move, the 2014 farm bill allowed hemp cultivation in areas where state laws have legalized the crop.” http://netnebraska.org/article/news/921662/now-appearing-hemp-first-time-decades

 

As you can see, the movement toward hemp farming, cultivation, and use is increasing as populations are learning about the excellent uses and versatility of hemp (not to mention a huge boost to the economy!). Can you feel the momentum? I can!

Kentucky, California, and Colorado are among states that have welcomed its return. Nebraska recently passed a law opening the door for farmers to grow hemp. Currently 12 states have legislation on the books that would allow cultivation of hemp as laid out in the recent Farm Bill.

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Can Hemp Fuel Replace North American Oil Production?


hemp fuel

I thought I was finished with blog posts for today, but that changed after I read an article while eating lunch. I felt I had to speak out AGAIN on this subject, especially since it is quite pervasive.

Here is an excerpt from the article I read today:

In its latest report, the Paris-based IEA forecasts that North America’s oil supply will grow by nearly 4 million barrels per day between 2012 to 2018, amounting to nearly 50% of global output growth over that period.

‘The shock waves of rising U.S. shale gas, light tight oil and Canadian oil sands production are reaching virtually all recesses of the global oil market,’ stated the IEA report.

The U.S. is experiencing an oil boom, in large part thanks to high world prices and new technologies, including hydraulic fracking, that have made the extraction of oil and gas from shale rock commercially viable.

The new supply surge comes as developing nations are set to consume more oil than developed countries for the first time.

The IEA says the shift will be seen this quarter, with demand from developing countries hitting 54% of the global total by 2018, up from 49% in 2012.” (http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/14/news/world/oil-iea-demand/) (Author’s note: I am often skeptical about news that I read from major corporate-owned news sources, and usually turn to other news sources. However, even if this is partly true/partly false/exaggerated/or whatever, it is STILL disturbing to see them touting oil distraction {fracking, etc.} as ‘commercially viable. That may be so, but it is NOT NOT NOT environmentally viable.)

In a previous post that I had written I mentioned the benefits of hemp (carbohydrate) fuel vs fossil (carbon) fuel. Here are a few of the key points:

* Hemp is renewable. Unlike fossil fuels, hemp is easily replenished AND healthy for the environment. One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as 4 acres of trees; in addition, hemp can be harvested every 90 days.

* Hemp fuel is biodegradable and non-toxic. Hemp fuel spills do not harm the earth. In fact, they would act more as a fertilizer than a hazardous spill.

* Hemp fuel burns cleanly; it does not cause create large amounts of carbon monoxide or hydrocarbons. *This brings up a good point. We have gone from a ‘carbohydrate’ society to a ‘carbon’ society. Biofuels and natural, clean materials were pushed aside and replaced by carbon products – fossil fuel-based and chemical-based products that harm the air and environment, and health.

(You can read the entire article here)

It is IMPERATIVE that we back off from dangerous, toxic fuels and methods of extraction and turn to hemp-based fuels. It’s cleaner, healthier, and there would be no shortages.

Is Kentucky Close To Growing Hemp Again?


Hemp in Kentucky

My friend Alan Tracy sent me a link this afternoon, with the comment, “Big News!” (A great followup to yesterday’s post!)

This is from the website of Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=f0db455a-2152-4e7a-9ccd-358fb7f2f9bd)

Here is what it says

Jan 31 2013

Industrialized Hemp Will Help Spur Economic Growth and Create Jobs in Kentucky

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement today regarding industrialized hemp and its impact on Kentucky:

“After long discussions with Senator Rand Paul and Commissioner James Comer on the economic benefits of industrialized hemp, I am convinced that allowing its production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy. Commissioner Comer has assured me that his office is committed to pursuing industrialized hemp production in a way that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement’s marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use. The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times that sounds like a good thing to me.”

A commitment to pursue a crop that can help our economy, our planet, and our health – that IS great news!

Let’s hope that Kentucky can get BACK to growing hemp, as it did 150 years ago.  It looks as if it is going in the right direction – again!

photo credit: jimmywayne via photopin cc

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

Update: Hempseed Oil for Hair Regrowth (and what about Oil Pulling?)


This morning I received a very nice comment on a previous post about how hempseed oil can help with hair loss/regrowth. It’s always nice to see such wonderful testimonials! Below is the comment:

I have been giving myself hemp oil massages morning and night, as well as using it for oil-pulling. Within a few weeks of starting this regimen my eyebrows began to grow back. They were half gone and now they are 80% there! It’s very obvious. Also, My usually very gray hair roots have a lot more of my naturally dark hair in them. They used to be more gray than dark, and now they are nearly 50/50 in ratio. My eyes can’t lie.

I love testimonials like this!

In case you didn’t read the former post, you can see it here.

Now, for those who are not aware of what oil pulling is: oil pulling is a safe, natural way to boost one’s health and immunity, and helps with dental/gum health.

Interestingly, many diseases originate from the mouth! Periodontitis, heart disease, diabetes – it is said that all of these originate from the mouth. Here is some insight I found on webmd.com:

Your Mouth, the Gateway to Your Body:

To understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to understand what can go wrong in the first place. Bacteria that builds up on teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.

Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

Back to oil pulling. Simply put, oil pulling is swishing oil in the mouth for 20 minutes, not much less than that and not more than 20 minutes. The oil needs to cover the teeth, gums, tongue, and all crevices.

Yes, I know, it sounds a bit horrid. But let’s continue.

Because hempseed oil is so healthy, I would recommend it (although other oils may work just as well; just remember, hempseed oil must be refrigerated because it can go rancid quickly if not kept chilled).

Oil pulling must be done in the morning, BEFORE eating or drinking anything. About 1 tablespoon is all it takes, so be brave, grab your tablespoon of hempseed oil, and start swishing!  Pull the oil between the teeth as well; it works best if it is thoroughly spread about.

So now you are swishing and massaging for 20 minutes – but remember, do not swallow it! The oil is drawing out the bacteria, and you do not want to ingest it.

After your 20 minutes is up (which for some might seem like an eternity), spit it into a paper towel or trash can. You really don’t want the oil to go into your drainage system, so the trash is the best way to avoid that.

After removing the oil, immediately rinse out the mouth and gargle, again, not swallowing. Some people rinse with warm water, some choose salt water. You might want to repeat this a few times, then brush and go on about your day!

This can be done safely every morning. Also a good thing to remember: clean out the sink after you’ve spit out the gargle water. You want to make sure there is no lingering bacteria.

Now we know how to DO it, but how does it actually WORK?

Hempseed oil has antibacterial properties and is anti-inflammatory.  Swishing the oil in the mouth guarantees that the oil goes into the gum pockets, where most of the bacteria lies. The oil draws out the bacteria, especially where toothbrushes and floss cannot reach. The oil also can reduce inflammation from the bacteria.

*This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace care by a dental professional.

photo credit: Helga Weber via photopin cc

I Have A Hempy Dream!


This morning after taking my daughter to school (when I am driving is when I have my best ideas and do my best thinking) I had a thought. It wasn’t a new thought, but it had new energy.

I’ve always wanted to be involved with Habitat for Humanity. But my idea, my dream has a new twist. HEMP Habitats for Humanity. Solar hemp homes! I want to help put families in their own homes, homes that are carbon negative, environmentally healthy, and energy efficient. I want to get dirty, drive some nails, use my hands to help create a healthy environment for those that need a roof over their heads.

I, also, dream to have one of those homes. Solar. Hemp. Energy efficient. Clean. Healthy. Bright. A place that I know will not tax our planet, but HELP it.

I want to start by building one in each state. Can you imagine the impact just from one carbon negative home? I want this to go viral. I can envision communities like this, pockets of clean, green areas that heal, not harm.

I want this to be a movement, a wave. Wait, let me backtrack. WANT means lack. It WILL happen, and it will happen in my lifetime.

How will this happen? I do not know. But I do know I am not alone in this dream. I have put this dream out to the Universe, and where there is a will, a desire, there is always a way.

Who is with me? Who will join me in envisioning this dream and making it happen?

The time is NOW. For our planet, our environment, our economy, our children.

So, hop on this ride, folks, let’s make it happen!

Washington State Passes Cannabis Legalization Initiative 502


November 6 2012 – a day that will go down in history. Not only was it a very close presidential election (following one of the most aggressive campaigns I can ever remember), but it was also an opportunity for 4 states to approve Marriage Equality (my sister can now marry in our home state!) AND Colorado and Washington approved the legalization of cannabis.

Colorado and Washington have each defined cannabis in their own way, but they basically make the same point. In Washington State, there will be a 1 year period in which to decide on the rules and regulations.

Almost 40 years ago a group called Blossom Seattle was able to put the cannabis issue on a ballot.  20 years after Blossom Seattle we saw the inception of Seattle Hempfest, the world’s largest 3-day hemp rally, with over a quarter million attendees each year – and growing.  Our progressive state is making strides and making history – we have legalized a plant that helps many patients, even those with cancer; we have not given up in decriminalizing one of the safest medicines on the planet.

Now, why is this so important to industrial hemp lovers like myself? Initiative 502 opens the door wider toward the next progressive step – allowing industrial hemp farming. Will it happen overnight? No. Because this plant will be heavily regulated, it will take time, and hopefully much ‘adult conversation’ and the realization that this is what we need for our planet, to heal the soil, to provide healthy, organic foods, and to slow down or reverse global warming. Big oil, pharma, and the chemical industries will fight it…but the will of the people is strong. And the need for clean energy and clean products is strong.

How will the federal government respond? Well, technically, the federal level still overrides the state level decisions as far as cannabis is concerned. It remains to be seen if they will take this to the Supreme Court. But for now, we’ve taken an important step on the path to full cannabis and hemp legalization.

Next step – hemp farms? Let’s hope so.