Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reality Check:Should federal ban on hemp production be lifted?

Hopeful on Hemp

Some Vermont farmers are eager to grow hemp—once they’re allowed

 Hemp seed in Saskatchewan, Canada
Hemp seed in Saskatchewan, Canada
“Hemp For Victory!” the poster reads.
Hanging in the House Agriculture Committee’s hearing room in the Vermont Statehouse, and put there by who knows who, it’s a poster that to some would be more appropriate in a college dorm room 30 years ago. In reality, it’s from 1942 and was produced by the United States Department of Agriculture to promote a film encouraging U.S. farmers to grow hemp to support the war effort.
But it’s a poster that has relevance today, as Vermont farmers who believe in the economic and agricultural benefits of growing hemp seek a victory in their longstanding push to grow industrial hemp.
In 2008, advocates led by Rural Vermont and the national organization Vote Hemp celebrated the tri-partisan passage of Vermont’s Industrial Hemp Bill, Act 212. The bill calls for a regulatory framework for growing industrial hemp in Vermont. However, it can only take effect once the federal government—either Congress or the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration—takes an active step in the permitting of hemp. In the meantime, the hemp export industry is thriving in Canada and China, primarily supplying the U.S. demand for hemp products.
Why the prohibition in America? Hemp’s cousin is the marijuana plant. The two plants look similar; however the hemp plant contains minimal traces of the psychoactive drug associated with the marijuana plant, tetrahydracannabinol (THC). The hemp plant contains .3 percent THC concentration as compared to marijuana, which contains anywhere from 2 percent THC to the modern levels of 20 percent THC. If a person were to smoke hemp they would most likely achieve a bad headache rather than obtain any intoxicating effects.
There are many theories as to why the hemp plant became illegal to grow in the U.S., including allegations that it was competing with the Hearst family’s newspaper interests, as hemp can be turned into paper very efficiently compared to wood. But today, the biggest resistance to hemp comes from the law enforcement community, concerned by its association with marijuana.
So it is still illegal for Vermont farmers to grow hemp, but that is not stopping some from planning on it.
Will Allen, of Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, wants to grow hemp because “it’s a miraculous crop that can provide wood, cordage, high-protein seeds, fabric, medicines, large amounts of organic matter, bio plastics, animal feed….” In an interview with WCAX-TV last August, Will commented on its prohibition: “Yeah, it’s related to marijuana, but poppies are related to opium poppies—it’s the same issue. We don’t stop growing poppies because they are related to opium poppies. We grow poppies because they are beautiful, and we should grow hemp because it’s useful.” Should the federal government pave the way for Vermont’s law to take effect, Will plans on becoming one of the first Vermont farmers to grow hemp.
John Vitko, who runs a small-scale diversified farm in Warren, says hemp “is proven by our forefathers to be a very productive and manageable plant for a small farm, and denying farms this tool is a crime.” His farm provides eggs for his local ice cream business, and his “main reason to grow hemp is to supply a feed for my chickens that is high in omega 3-6, a complete protein, and loaded with amino acids; this feed will make my chickens healthier and in turn make healthier eggs and healthier humans.” Furthermore, John points out that “a farm could improve hard clay soil [common in Vermont] with its tap root, and it could be grown in areas where other crops have difficulty, feed and bed the livestock, fuel the tractor, warm the farmhouse, and clothe the farmer.” He acknowledges that hemp is not the “holy grail” but is quite versatile and “should be in every farmer’s fields.”
Aspiring farmer Ben Brown of South Burlington envisions growing hemp on land he is looking to purchase. “I intend to use hemp on my [future] homestead to feed animals, sequester carbon, fix nitrogen in the soil, and hopefully sell the residual byproducts of my uses to other local industries such as textiles, building materials, etc.” To Ben, the possibilities are virtually endless. Communities such as Rutland and Barre could become hemp “factory-production” towns, he says, and Vermont could create “sustainable economies with existing infrastructure that is not currently being utilized to create lasting, meaningful local jobs.”
Full Sun, a new Vermont startup in the midst of building a commercial oilseed processing facility in Addison County, is also hoping to one day source local hemp. At first, “our business model is to purchase non-GMO and organic specialty oil crops [such as canola, sunflower, and soybean] from Vermont farmers and others in the region, and market the oil and meal for food and feed ingredients,” says Netaka White, cofounder of Full Sun along with his business partner, David McManus. “We can’t wait to set contracts with our farmer/partners to grow hemp seed.Farm gate prices are around $1.00 per pound now, with 800 to 1,200 pounds of seed per acre, so it’s a solid cash crop for the grower, and the hemp oil, the meal, and the hulled seed are all going to be important products for Full Sun. But unfortunately, until the federal government reclassifies hemp, we’re forced to buy from Canadian growers.”
Hempfully Green of Poultney is planning on developing “sustainable, clean, carbon-reducing, fuel-reducing, fire-proof, mold-proof housing made from locally grown hemp.” Forming hemp into a concrete-like substance called “hempcrete” is highly efficient and is currently being used in Quebec. Tom Simon, a partner in the business, is working on a business proposal to sell the equipment, know-how, and building needed to grow and harvest—on 45 acres—all the seed stock to fulfill all the energy needs of a farm, from electric to auto/tractor fuel to home fuel. Emily Peyton, the other partner in the business, insists that “the prohibition be lifted on grounds of fair trade relations with foreign countries, who enjoy the one-way market of exporting hemp to the U.S. while we are prevented from competing.” However, she adds, “It will have to be the states who stand up to the feds, as we all see the fed forces are not anywhere near a place of doing loving things for the earth, or for the people.”
Where does hemp stand, legislatively? Last year, Vermont Senator Vince Illuzi attached an amendment to a relatively minor bill that would have given the Vermont Agency of Agriculture the power to issue hemp permits and symbolically challenge current federal policy. Instead, a compromise was struck that authorized the agency to create rules for the permitting process and hold a public comment period (but the agency cannot issue a permit until the DEA or Congress acts on federal policy). Once this state-permitting process is developed by the agency, Vermont farmers would be a step closer to being able to plant hemp; they’d be “shovel ready” should the federal government act, and would not have to be delayed while Vermont engaged in a rule-making process.
On the national level, Vermont is not in a bubble. Vote Hemp, a national hemp advocacy organization, notes that “to date, thirty-one states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and nineteen have passed pro-hemp legislation.” Rural Vermont and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund have collaborated on a public education campaign to drive the Vermont Congressional delegation to action, which they have taken. Vermont Rep. Peter Welch was a co-sponsor of Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2010, which gives authority to the states to regulate hemp as they see fit. And this past summer, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joined Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley in co-sponsoring Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2012, which would do the same as the House bill. Neither bill has come up for a vote yet.
Topping off the state actions and federal legislation, this past November, voters in Colorado and Washington approved public referendums to legalize marijuana. Those same measures also legalized hemp; however, the states’ laws are now in conflict with federal law, so if a farmer in one those states were to grow hemp, they could still risk land forfeiture.
In late January of this year, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, sent a letter to DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart declaring that the “Senate Judiciary Committee has an interest in the DEA’s regulation of industrial hemp and its effect on the ability of hemp producers to operate in states like Vermont.” The Senator’s letter questions why there has been no progress in the agency’s evaluation of hemp. “Has the DEA reconsidered any aspect of its regulation of hemp in light of these developments?” Sen. Leahy wrote, using his power as the Judiciary Committee chair to address these concerns. But he was not alone, and not simply acting within his own party. A week after Sen. Leahy’s letter was sent to the DEA, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, senator from Kentucky, issued a statement declaring his support of the industrial hemp movement, to allow hemp farming in his home state.
In the near future, Vermont farmers such as Will, John, and Ben may be allowed to grow hemp, and businesses such as Full Sun and Hempfully Green may be able to source hemp locally and create an added economic opportunity for farmers and entrepreneurs. When might this happen? It’s hard to be sure, for watching the political process unfold is like watching grass grow. However, given our country’s divisive political climate, hemp could become a unifying force for nonpartisan politics. As the USDA stated in 1942, hemp could mean victory.
Robb Kidd is an activist based in Montpelier and the organizer for Rural Vermont, a statewide farmers’ advocacy organization.
Photos by Luke Zigovits, courtesy of Vote Hemp

Give this plant its due: legalize hemp

February 25, 2013
The highly useful weed has been entangled too long with that other 'weed.' That's silly.
The global market for hemp consists of some 25,000 products, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, including fabric, paper, rope, auto parts and home furnishings. (Los Angeles Times)
As states of a more liberal bent battle the federal government over the legalization of medical and even recreational marijuana, another cannabis battle has reemerged in the farm states. But if pot smoking raises troubling moral and safety questions, industrial hemp does not.
Activists have been struggling to legalize hemp for decades in the U.S., but only recently has the issue seemingly caught fire in Congress. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signed on to legislation that had for years been championed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the former GOP presidential contender, and has now been taken up by his son Rand, the Republican senator from Kentucky. It would remove hemp from the federal government's list of Schedule 1 controlled substances and make it legal to cultivate the plant.
What's so hep about hemp? Supporters tout it as a wonder fiber with dozens of potential uses that would find a lucrative market in the U.S. But while that may be an exaggeration — hemp is unlikely to become anything more than a specialty crop for a few hundred growers supplying goods to high-end food markets and low-end textile producers — there's no denying that it's a highly useful weed. The global market for hemp consists of some 25,000 products, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, including fabric, paper, rope, auto parts and home furnishings. Hemp seed, meanwhile, is an alternative protein source used in a variety of food and beverages, and can be pressed to make body oils, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Despite all this, it is illegal to grow hemp anywhere in the U.S. without permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration. There are currently no active federal licenses, so all hemp products produced here are made from imported material.
Based on its classification under the Controlled Substances Act, one might suspect that hemp provides a cheap high for pot fiends, but one would have to smoke an absurd amount of rope to catch a hemp buzz. The plant seems to have been deemed guilty by association with marijuana because both come from the same species, Cannabis sativa. But just as some mushrooms are magical while others are only good in a salad, not all varieties of cannabis are the same. The intoxicating chemical in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is heavily concentrated in the marijuana plant: anywhere from 10% to 30%. The THC content of hemp, by contrast, is less than 1%, and in the varieties legally cultivated in the European Union and Canada must be less than 0.3%.
Historically, hemp was an important crop in the U.S. before it was caught up in an anti-marijuana crusade in the 1930s. When the Controlled Substances Act was approved in 1970, it took the definition of marijuana from the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which considered all varieties of Cannabis sativa to be dangerous and narcotic. Despite court challenges, the DEA continues to insist that any plant containing THC, no matter how little, must be tightly controlled.
Legalization opponents, including the California Narcotics Officers Assn., argue that legalizing hemp would complicate the enforcement of laws against cultivating marijuana because the plants are almost indistinguishable from each other; marijuana growers, in other words, could easily conceal their plants in hemp fields. The association opposed a 2011 state bill to create pilot programs for hemp cultivation, which was approved by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown because hemp production violates federal law.
Of course, few sensible growers of marijuana would raise their plants in a hemp field. The two varieties would cross-pollinate, severely lowering the pot's THC content and rendering it all but useless medicinally or as a recreational drug.
Reasonable people can disagree about whether marijuana should be legalized. But the dangers of growing industrial hemp are next to nonexistent. To date, nine states have approved its cultivation, but none has any active fields because of a refusal by the DEA to grant growing permits.
Enough. Hemp is a rare issue that Republicans and Democrats, and members of Congress from both rural and urban states, ought to be able to agree on. Legalize it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Multiple Sclerosis and Ataxia with Medical Marijuana

Holder: Feds to set pot legalization response 'relatively soon'

"We’re still in the process of reviewing both of the initiatives that were passed," Holder said at a morning appearance, answering a question from Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. "I would say, and I mean this, that you’ll hear soon."
"We are, I think, in our last stages of that review, and are trying to make a determination as to what the policy ramifications are going to be, what our international obligations are. There are a whole variety of things that go into this determination," Holder said. "But the people in [Colorado] and Washington deserve that answer and we will have that, as I said, relatively soon."
Federal law treats marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance like Heroin and LSD. However, as pot has been legalized for medicinal use in 18 states in recent years, federal prosecutors have had to confront the awkwardness of prosecuting individuals for actions that are legal under state law. That predicament became even more intense after the passage of broad decriminalization measures in Colorado and Washington state last fall.
During the 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama pledged that he was "not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws." However, pro-pot forces and defense lawyers claim some prosecutions have reneged on that promise.
Holder made his pot-related comments during a question-and-answer session of the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, D.C. His prepared remarks discussed the Obama Administration's policies to address gun violence and his views on the impact of the automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to hit on Friday.
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Hemp Facts!

Did You Know?

Farmer In Hemp FieldThomas Jefferson once said, "Hemp is of greatest importance to our nation." Boy, did he have the long view. Today, the U.S. hemp industry has estimated annual retail sales of $452 million dollars. Yet the crop that was planted by the nation's founding fathers, and is today a rising star in healthful living, is currently prohibited from being grown on U.S. farms.

Did You Know?

  • Industrial hemp has been grown in the U.S. since the first European settlers arrived in early 1600's.
  • The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper.
  • George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all grew hemp and actively advocated for commercial hemp production.
  • Hemp was a staple crop of 1800's American agriculture, reflected in town names like "Hempfield" and "Hempstead."
  • Hemp was handled by the U.S. government like any other agricultural crop. More than 150,000 acres of hemp were cultivated as a part of the USDA's "Hemp for Victory" program during WWII.

Crop Confusion

  • The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act defined hemp as a narcotic drug, requiring that farmers growing hemp hold a federal registration and special tax stamp, effectively limiting further production expansion.
  • The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) adopted the same definition of Cannabis sativa that appeared in the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.
  • Strictly speaking, the CSA does not make growing hemp illegal; rather, it places strict controls on the production of hemp, making it illegal to grow the crop without a DEA permit.
  • DEA continues to stick to its interpretation of the CSA that "hemp" is not a term that is found in federal law and "hemp" and marijuana are actually separate parts of the species of plant known as cannabis. DEA stubbornly refuses to grant permits for commercial production of the crop.

Hemp for a Healthy Future

  • U.S. consumers are discovering the benefits of hemp. In 2011, annual retail sales of hemp products was an estimated $452 million dollars.
  • While American farmers often net less than $50 per acre for soy and corn, Canadian farmers just across the border net an average of $200-400 per acre for hemp.
  • U.S. companies are producing popular and sustainable hemp foods, hemp body care products, hemp clothing, hemp paper and much more. These companies want to purchase U.S. grown hemp.
Hemp is our history! Get involved and support Hemp for a Healthy Future.
Hemp History Week

Kentucky Poll Finds Majority Support for Medical Marijuana, Industrial Hemp - See more at:

A Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll conducted last week KY Pollfound that 60% of registered Kentucky voters support making marijuana legal for medical use. Only 31% were opposed. A bill to make medical marijuana legal for certain qualifying conditions and ensure safe access for patients, S.B. 11, was introduced this session by Sen. Perry Clark.
In addition, 65% of those polled support making production of industrial hemp legal in the state. There is also a bill being considered that would allow farmers in Kentucky to cultivate hemp and take advantage of this versatile agricultural commodity.
- See more at:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hemp Healthy Cooking

Juicing raw fresh cannabis

Juicing raw fresh cannabis

By Richard Shrubb

By juicing raw, fresh cannabis you can take a greater therapeutic dose of cannabis with almost no psychoactive effects. The chief issue in the way of medicinal users in the UK seems to be cost – you’d need a whole plant a day – and the risks of being busted growing your own “cannabis farm”.
Juicing raw fresh cannabis.
Juicing cannabis
You can consume up to 600 mg of THC – Acid (hence, THCA) in cannabis’ raw form. If you were to smoke that much THC you’d be on the floor. Smoking THC, a practised smoker can consume as much as 10mg for medical purposes. Writing in Treating Yourself, Issue 24, Californian medical marijuana specialist doctor William Courtenay suggests “Heat increases THC from 90 microgrammes / ml to 10600 microgrammes / ml. This sweeping conversion from negligible THC into clinically effective THC is done at the expense of 14500 microgrammes /ml of THCA found in the unheated plant”…
As with all different preparations of cannabis, juicing is shown to have certain benefits that smoking does not. Smoking also has benefits that juicing does not. With pain relief you do need THC as opposed to THC Acid because THC is a very good painkiller. Tina Mendes, medical lead on the NORML UK Executive says of juicing, “it is a healthy, natural and refreshing way of consuming cannabis. I use juicing to combat my irritable bowel syndrome. Smoking isn’t the most effective way to consume weed for medical purposes anyway.” Tina, like many people, has been on the receiving end of police attention for growing her own.

In this video about medical marijuana research, the conversion of THC Acid to THC is explained as THC Acid being “decarboxylated” into psychoactive THC. Another senior member of NORML UK has difficulty in understanding this as he has eaten bud before, and this has got him stoned.
Another article perhaps explains why he got stoned: “This carboxyl group is unstable; heat, light, or alkaline pH make it evaporate as CO2, resulting in the more well researched cannabinoids. Even just drying for a while causes these precursors to break down.” Most weed sold is dried – it is likely he ate the dry stuff with decarboxylated THCA, meaning he got a good buzz from the newly created THC.
Consuming weed in this way is not going to be cheap. In an interview with the Washington Post Dr Courtenay suggested that “large shade leaves should be used, or fan leaves from a 3 month old plant” 8-10 leaves as a therapeutic dose? That would be around 45 plants every 45 day growing cycle. You can imagine how the Daily Heil would react to someone busted with that many plants in their living room! The stigma with weed being what it is, this isn’t “£45000 worth of cannabis” but actually a homegrown medical cabinet.
Des Humphrey is on the NORML UK Executive. Like many medicinal users, he has weaned himself off a toxic mix of pharmaceutical medications and primarily uses cannabis – to greater benefit for his body than the piles of pills he’d normally have to swallow. Cost stands in his way: “I have juiced before, its the amount needed to get the desired effect that stops me from doing it every day, the cost would be massive. But if it were available for me I would juice every day, as it is I use the main fan leaves as a tea to make cannabis/bush tea.”
Cannabis juice
The DEA is a fan of juiced cannabis! From my understanding reading around the subject, the DEA would love a medical marijuana preparation that doesn’t expand peoples’ minds by getting them stoned. As such there is potential for medical users to benefit – if more research is carried out.
So, what of the future of cannabis use? Will medical research leap onto THCA as a therapeutic compound? A brief Google search suggests not a lot has been done to date. Only one paper has been published on THCA – and that was a petri dish experiment on cancer cells. Once again, anecdote and a doctor who is a fan of juicing suggests this has a legs for future research. What will they find? What outcomes will there be? Only time will tell.

Richard Shrubb
Richard Shrubb is a freelance journalist with a specific interest in medical science and sailing, for more info about Richard, see his web site and you can follow Richard on Twitter #Shrubberz

The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth

by John Summerly,
They come in all different sizes, shapes and colours. The seed is an embryonic plant itself and the origin of nutrition. A plant goes to great lengths to produce each seed and fill it with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes. If you’re looking for a high quality, nutritious and filling snack, seeds are tough to beat. Let’s look at the ten healthiest seeds on Earth and how to consume them.

A seed is life. It is a living food. It is impossible to eat a raw seed and not derive nutrition. Many seeds are edible and the majority of human calories come from seeds, especially from legumes and nuts. Seeds also provide most cooking oils, many beverages and spices and some important food additives. In different seeds the seed embryo or the endosperm dominates and provides most of the nutrients. The storage proteins of the embryo and endosperm differ in their amino acid content and physical properties.
How to Eat Seeds
There is only one way to derive nutrition from seeds and that is to eat them raw. Once they are exposed to heat, they produce toxic substances and the vitamin, mineral and essential oil profiles are denatured. By roasting a seed, its classification moves from a living food to a dead food. There is no seed on earth that can withstand roasting or heating without breaking down its nutritional components. Always remember, eat seeds naturally…eat them raw. This also means they can be soaked, ground or mashed (i.e. tahini), especially if a seed’s shell or coat is too difficult to pierce with the teeth.
- Choose raw and unsalted seeds
- Avoid coated or roasted seeds
- Avoid sugar coated seeds

The 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth


Serving Size = 1 Tsp
Consider these facts about Chia seeds:
- 2.5 times more protein than kidney beans
- 3 times the antioxidant strength of blueberries
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- 6 times more calcium than milk
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
- 8 times more omega-3 than salmon
- 10 times more fiber than rice
- 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
The seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are an excellent source of fibre, protein and antioxidants, and are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of chia seeds could help reduce joint pain, aid in weight loss, deliver an energy boost and protect against serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.
The seeds are gluten-free, which also makes them appealing to people with celiac disease or an aversion to gluten.
Consumption of chia seeds may increase blood levels of the long chain omega-3 EPA by 30%, says a new study from the Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina.
Chia seeds are a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of “short-chain” omega-3 fatty acid, whereas fish is a source of the “long-chain” fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While growing research has linked consumption of EPA and DHA to heart health, improved brain function and possible other health benefits such as improvement in depression or rheumatoid arthritis, studies are now suggesting that ALA may bring about redistribution associated with heart and liver protection.
Consumption of chia seeds as a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) may bring about redistribution associated with heart and liver protection.

The top benefits of chia seeds
are far reaching and as far as superfoods go, this is undeniably one of the top ten.


Serving Size = 1 Tbsp
More people are discovering the nutritional benefits of hemp seed, nut and oil.
Hemp contains:
- All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
- A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
- Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.3
- Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
- A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid — for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
- A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
- A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
- The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.
According to the hemp growers industry, industrial hemp grown for food, fuel and natural fibers contains virtually no THC (less than .3%).
In fact, when hemp is processed into hemp seed oil and hemp seed milk, for example, it further reduces the minute amount of THC in hemp.
And yet, there’s still a stigma due to the long-standing idea that hemp and marijuana are one in the same. Hemp is actually categorized with marijuana as part of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and is therefore illegal to grow in the US.
The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid material to make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins. Since hemp seed protein is 65% globulin edistin, and also includes quantities of albumin, its protein is readily available in a form quite similar to that found in blood plasma. Eating hemp seeds gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make human serum albumin and serum globulins like the immune enhancing gamma globulins. Eating hemp seeds could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.


Serving Size = 1/2 Cup
Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants. Therefore, it helps to protect your body’s cells from free radicals, which cause premature aging.
In simple words, pomegranate juice pumps the level of oxygen in your blood. The antioxidants fight free radicals and prevents blood clots. This eventually helps the blood to flow freely in your body in turn improving the oxygen levels in your blood.
Pomegranates are especially high in polyphenols, a form of antioxidant purported to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. In fact, pomegranate juice, which contains health-boosting tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, has higher antioxidant activity than green tea and red wine.
The pomegranate, with its edible seeds inside juicy sacs, is high in vitamin C and potassium, low in calories (80 per serving, which is just under one-third of a medium fruit), and a good source of fibre.
The antioxidant properties of a pomegranate prevent low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from oxidizing. This essentially means that pomegranates prevent the hardening of the artery walls with excess fat, leaving your arteries fat free and pumping with antioxidants.
“Mice that drank pomegranate juice were able to significantly reduce the progression of atherosclerosis, [by] at least 30 percent,” said study co-author Dr. Claudio Napoli, a professor of medicine and clinical pathology at the University of Naples School of Medicine in Italy.
Pomegranate health benefits run bone deep; it can reduce the damage on the cartilage for those hit with arthritis. This fruit has the ability to lessen the inflammation and fights the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.


Serving Size = 1-2 Tsp (ground)
Dietary fiber from flaxseed suppresses rises in blood levels of lipids after a meal and modulate appetite.
University of Copenhagen researchers report that flax fiber suppresses appetite and helps support weight loss.
Flax has been cultivated for centuries and has been celebrated for its usefulness all over the world. Hippocrates wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains, and the French Emperor Charlemagne favored flax seed so much that he passed laws requiring its consumption!
The main health benefits of flax seed are due to its rich content of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), dietary fiber, and lignans.
The essential fatty acid ALA is a powerful anti-inflammatory, decreasing the production of agents that promote inflammation and lowering blood levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation. Through the actions of the ALA and lignans, flax has been shown to block tumor growth in animals and may help reduce cancer risk in humans.
Lignans are phytoestrogens, plant compounds that have estrogen-like effects and antioxidant properties. Phytoestrogens help to stabilize hormonal levels, reducing the symptoms of PMS and menopause, and potentially reducing the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.
The fiber in flax seed promotes healthy bowel function. One tablespoon of whole flax seed contains as much fiber as half a cup of cooked oat bran. Flax’s soluble fibers can lower blood cholesterol levels, helping reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Ground flax seed provides more nutritional benefits than does the whole seed. Grind the seeds at home using a coffee grinder or blender, and add them to cereals, baked goods and smoothies.


Serving Size = 1/2 Cup
They are the only seed that is alkaline-forming in this world of highly acidic diets.
Add pumpkin seeds to your list of foods rich in protein. 100 grams of seeds on a daily basis provide 54 percent of the daily requirement in terms of protein.
Most of us pop pills to replenish deficiency of vitamin B-complex, try pumpkin seeds next time. Pumpkin seeds are a good source for vitamin B like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates.
For those who are down in the dumps, pumpkin seeds can help fight through depression. The chemical component L-tryptophan is the secret ingredient to boost your mood.
Did you know that pumpkin seeds can prevent kidney stones? Studies suggest that pumpkin seeds can help prevent certain kidney stone formations like calcium oxalate kidney stone.
Pumpkin seeds even hold the secret to fighting parasites, especially tapeworms.


apricot seeds
Serving Size = 1/4 Cup
Apricot kernels are, like most nuts and seeds, very nutritious. Among the nutrients they contain is one called amygdalin, which is also known as vitamin B17. This attacks cancer cells, and thus can help prevent cancer from breaking out in our bodies.
Amygdalin (vitamin B17) is contained in many hundreds of foods, but ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large extent from our Western diet. People throughout the world who still eat a traditional diet, have been found to be largely free from cancer. These diets are rich in foods containing amygdalin.
Apart from apricot kernels, examples of other amygdalin rich foods are bitter almonds (amygdalin tastes bitter – sweet almonds do not contain it, and apricot kernels that are not bitter do not contain it). Other foods containing amygdalin are apple pips, grape seeds, millet, broad beans, most berries, cassava and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains – but not ones that have been highly hybridized.
For prevention, however, Dr Ernst T Krebs Jr., the biochemist who first produced laetrile (concentrated amygdalin) in the 1950s, recommended that if a person would eat ten to twelve apricot kernels a day for life, then barring the equivalent of Chernobyl, he is likely to be cancer free.


Serving Size = 1/4 Cup
Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity.
Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances:sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.


Serving Size = 1/4 Cup
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol.
Sesame seeds have some of the highest total phytosterol content of seeds. Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium. Numerous studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Serving Size = 1 Tbsp
Cumin is a seed that has been used since antiquity. This traditional herb is known for its health benefits and medicinal uses for hundreds of years.
Cumin is useful for digestive disorders and even as an antiseptic. The seeds themselves are rich in iron and help boost the power of the liver.
Cumin also helps relieve symptoms of common cold. If you have a sore throat, try adding some dry ginger to cumin water, to help soothe it.
Cumin juice makes for a great tonic for the body even if you don’t have a specific ailment. It is said to increase the heat in the body thus making metabolism more efficient.
It is also considered to be a powerful kidney and liver herb which can help boost the immune system. It’s also believed that black cumin seeds can treat asthma and arthritis.


Serving Size = 1-2 Tbsp
Grape seeds have a great concentration of vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid and polyphenols.
Grape seed extract may prevent heart diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. By limiting lipid oxidation, phenolics in grape seeds may reduce risk of heart disease, such as by inhibiting platelet aggregation and reducing inflammation.
A study published in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that grape seed extract (GSE) kills squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Grape seeds may even reduce the infectivity of Norovirus surrogates according to research published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Seeds anyone?
John Summerly is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.
Source: Prevent Disease

Derek Cross | Cannabis Nation | Weed Country| Mike Boutin

Derek Cross | Cannabis Nation | Weed Country| Mike Boutin

US Senate Considers Hemp Farming Bill For First Time

Thursday, 21 February 2013
US Senate Considers Hemp Farming Bill For First TimeWashington, DC: Senate lawmakers have introduced legislation in Congress to allow for the commercial production of industrial hemp. It is the first time in modern history that such legislation has ever been before members of the United States Senate.
Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) are sponsoring Senate Bill 359, which seeks to amend the US Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.
"I am convinced that allowing [hemp] production will be a positive development for Kentucky's farm families and economy," said McConnell, who is the Senate minority leader. "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."
Senate Bill 359 awaits action from the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is the companion bill to House Bill 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013. That measure has 28 co-sponsors.
Eight states -- Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia -- have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of HR 525/S 359 would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.
According to a Congressional Research Service report, "The United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop." Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.
For more information, please visit: Additional information regarding S 259/HR 525 is available from NORML's 'Take Action Center' at:

Medical Cannabis Protection Measures Reintroduced In Congress

hursday, 21 February 2013
Medical Cannabis Protection Measures Reintroduced In CongressWashington, DC: Members of the United States House of Representatives reintroduced legislation in Congress last week to protect state-authorized medical marijuana patients from federal prosecution.
House Bill 689, the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, would ensure that medical cannabis patients in states that have approved its use will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies. It states, "No provision of the Controlled Substances Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict in a State in which marijuana may be prescribed or recommended by a physician for medical use under applicable state law."
The measure also calls for the federal government to reclassify cannabis so that it is no longer categorized as a Schedule I prohibited substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. It states: "Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration shall, based upon the recommendation under paragraph (1), issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for the rescheduling of marijuana within the Controlled Substances Act, which shall include a recommendation to list marijuana as other than a Schedule I or Schedule II."
In January, a three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied petitioners request to overturn the Obama administration's July 2011 rejection of an administrative petition that sought to initiate hearings regarding the reclassification of marijuana under federal law.
Separate federal legislation, House Bill 710: The Truth in Trials Act, which provides an affirmative defense in federal court for defendants whose actions were in compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their state, is also once again pending before the US House of Representatives. Prior version of this measure failed to make it out of committee.
Additional information on these measures is available from NORML's 'Take Action Center' at:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Last Days to Act on Medical Marijuana Legislation in Oklahoma

Senator Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma District 28) has reintroduced legislation to allow patients with qualifying conditions to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes. However, this measure must be heard by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by Monday, February 25, or else the measure will be dead for the 2013 legislative session. Please take time today to contact the committee's chair, Senator Brian Crain, and request that he schedules a hearing for this important legislation. His office contact number is: (405)521-5620 .
Senate Bill 710 would allow qualifying patients to use cannabis with a physician's recommendation. Patients would be permitted to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to twelve marijuana plants. SB 710 would also allow the state to license marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers. You can read the full text of this proposal here. You can read NORML's support of this legislative effort here.
NORML will continue to update you in the coming weeks as this proposal moves forward. You can learn more about this legislation from Oklahoma NORML and Tulsa NORML.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hemp Healthy Cooking

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Derek Cross - Author: Hemp Healthy Cooking - February 22, 2013

Derek Cross is a native of Chicago who has traveled the country and found his calling and happiness in Texas. Derek stems from a blended family, and has seeded 5 of his own children, including 2 flowering grandchildren. Derek's love for his wife has never stopped blooming. He served as a machinist mate in the U.S. Navy and owned his own electrical contracting company in Wisconsin, before he settled in Texas.
Derek is the author of a new series of cookbooks titled Hemp Healthy Cooking. He was inspired to write the series after seeing the results first hand of hemp's healing benefits. While suffering from eczema and also nerve damage following surgery, Derek was looking for a non-pharmaceutical way to heal himself when he stumbled across an old remedy, hemp seed oil for the use on eczema. Derek noticed his eczema had gone away after applications of the hemp oil, so in doing further research, Derek found that hemp contains a lot more health benefits than just eczema. After using hemp oil daily on his skin, Derek started eating the hemp seeds straight from the bag, and was searching for a way to incorporate hemp seeds and hemp oil into his diet. Inspired by a dear friend, whom is a gourmet chef, and while cooking with hemp in Derek's diet, he had decided to take notes while in the kitchen, turning out fantastic recipes with hemp seeds and oil. Hemp has become his passion, and creating hip and trendy recipes for you to eat. His cookbooks can be found at Bake
He has been spreading Hemp not only on his toast with Honey and Hemp Butter, but has also been spreading Hemp Education to every one he meets, Derek is a Hemp advocate on all fronts, Nutritional, Industrial and Medicinal. He calls himself a "Hemp O' Holic," not only is he busy writing a series of Hemp Healthy Cookbooks, he is also a writer of the Hemp Healthy Today blog. Derek is also an active member of DFW NORML.

Hemp Healthy Cooking

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Commissioner Comer, Senator Rand Paul and others to testify on Senate Bi...

Hemp legalization bill passes Kentucky Senate

As Kentucky votes, McConnell, Paul back bill to help on federal level but opposition remains

Hemp legalization bill passes Kentucky Senate

As Kentucky votes, McConnell, Paul back bill to help on federal level but opposition remains.


Industrial hemp bill passes Kentucky Senate

Kentucky Senate passes bill allowing farmers to plant industrial hemp if federal ban lifted

Friday, February 15, 2013

(Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about how safe Nuclear is!!!And they, want Hemp Illegal!!!) So, how safe is it???I'd take my chances with Hemp any day, causes ZERO DEATHS.)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A tank that holds radioactive liquids is leaking at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday, raising concerns about the integrity of other storage facilities at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The U.S. Department of Energy said liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks at the nuclear reservation. Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels, the agency said. Inslee said the leak could be in the range of 150 gallons to 300 gallons over the course of a year.
"I am alarmed about this on many levels," Inslee said at a Friday afternoon news conference. "This raises concerns, not only about the existing leak ... but also concerning the integrity of the other single shell tanks of this age."

The tanks hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.
Inslee said the state was told such problems had been dealt with years ago and were under control.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the federal government must not waiver in its commitment to clean up the highly contaminated site, Inslee told reporters.
The tank in question contains about 447,000 gallons of sludge, a mixture of solids and liquids with a mud-like consistency. The tank, built in the 1940s, is known to have leaked in the past, but was stabilized in 1995 when all liquids that could be pumped out of it were removed.
Inslee said the tank is the first to have been documented to be losing liquids since all Hanford tanks were stabilized in 2005.
At the height of World War II, the federal government created Hanford in the remote sagebrush of eastern Washington as part of a hush-hush project to build the atomic bomb. The site ultimately produced plutonium for the world's first atomic blast and for one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan, effectively ending the war.
Plutonium production continued there through the Cold War, but today, Hanford is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site. Cleanup will cost billions of dollars and last decades.
Central to that cleanup is the removal of millions of gallons of a highly toxic, radioactive stew — enough to fill dozens of Olympic-size swimming pools — from 177 aging, underground tanks. Over time, many of those tanks have leaked, threatening the groundwater and the neighboring Columbia River, the largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest.
Construction of a $12.3 billion plant to convert the waste to a safe, stable form is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Technical problems have slowed the project, and several workers have raised lawsuits in recent months, claiming they were retaliated against for raising concerns about the plant's design and safety.

Jane Says: Learn How to Avoid GMOs in Your Food Supply

Genetically modified foods are seeping into our food system. Here's how to keep them off your plate.
corn field
Looking to avoid genetically modified foods? Search for an "organic" label. (Photo: Flickr/Getty Images)
“When [a food] says ‘organic,’ is that enough to mean non-GMO? Would a Monsanto soybean ever be considered organic? I always buy Trader Joe’s organic and I read somewhere that they do not use GMO ingredients in their own products. Please tell me if this is correct!” —Jillian Simms

The short answers to your questions are 1.) yes 2.) not no, but hell, no, and 3.) I don’t know.
The long answers are a little more complicated, but bear with me. Much will be revealed.
USDA-certified organic foods do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic produce is also cultivated without synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or sewage sludge (“biosolids” is the industry euphemism) for compost, and they haven’t been irradiated. Certified organic meat comes from animals that were given 100% organic feed and no growth hormones or antibiotics. They had access to the outdoors (although generally not the pastoral idyll we all fondly imagine) and the producers meet USDA animal welfare protocols. Any time you see the label “USDA Certified Organic,” in fact, it means that the food was produced under the federal standards specified by the National Organic Program (which is part of the USDA) and verified by an accredited certifying agent. For more information, the Organic Farming Research Foundation is a great place to start.
It took a good ten years to hammer out the organic food regs, and they are far from perfect. Organic food doesn’t have to be local or seasonal, for instance, and it doesn’t have to be harvested by humanely treated workers paid a living wage. The rules can be burdensome for small farms, and as always, it pays to know your producers; I buy fruit and vegetables from several of them who aren’t certified organic, yet follow organic practices. It’s also necessary to parse labels carefully: Underneath the official “Certified Organic” umbrella, there are different shades of meaning when it comes to packaged multi-ingredient foods.
  • “100% Organic” means that the product contains only organic ingredients and processing aids. The USDA seal and the logo of the third-party certifier may appear on the product.
  • “Organic” means that the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. Any remaining ingredients must consist of nonagricultural substances on the approved National List, including specific nonorganically produced agricultural products that aren’t commercially available in organic form. The USDA seal and the logo of the third-party certifier may appear on the product.
  • “Made with Organic Ingredients” means that the product must include at least 70% organic ingredients. It may carry the certifier’s seal but not the USDA seal. And it can list up to three of the organic ingredients or food groups.
It sounds like common sense to slap a label on foods containing GMO ingredients as well. After all, how hard could it be? They’re in everything. Commodity GM crops such as corn, soybeans, canola, and sugar beets are now present in the sea of processed foods at any supermarket. According to the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit organization committed to providing verified non-GMO choices to consumers, the back panel of almost any packaged food can contain ingredients derived from GMO risk crops, including “Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (‘natural’ and ‘artificial’), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.”
Yeesh. By the way, in case you are wondering why the name Non-GMO Project rings a bell, it’s probably because Kashi cereals recently jumped on the bandwagon. And for more on why GMO labeling is a good thing—and why it will be an uphill battle—read what the straight-talking policy expert Marion Nestle had to say in her first “Food Matters” column for the San Francisco Chronicle.
As to whether a Monsanto soybean would ever be considered organic, I reached out to Charles Benbrook, chief scientist at The Organic Center, in Troy, Oregon. “The vast majority of the soybean seed they sell has, by their choice, the Roundup Ready gene in it, whether farmers want it or not—and more and more do not, because of resistant weeds,” he explained. “The seed industry holds all the cards, since they must decide what they are going to grow in 2012 to sell to farmers in 2013. If farmer attitudes change in 2013 and a significant percentage—say, one-third—decide they do not want to plant GE soybeans, they will be #hit out of luck, since 90 percent plus of the nation’s soybean seed supply will be GE, and Monsanto cannot wave a magic wand and extract their RR gene.”
Lastly, when shopping, even at Trader Joe’s, don’t check your brain at the door. Private-label products help create a brand; some may be certified organic and some may not. In all honesty, Trader Joe’s lost me as a customer when a manager refused to disclose which poultry producers he buys from. This lack of transparency is nothing new, and don’t get me wrong: The chicken I was eyeing looked beautiful. But without more information, I took a pass. When it came to the trail mix, though, and the peanut-butter–filled pretzel nuggets, I caved. Nobody’s perfect.