15 Mind-Blowing Ways Hemp Can Save the World

15 Mind-Blowing Ways Hemp Can Save the World

Hemp is one of the world’s oldest crops. It also happens to be one of the most versatile.

From plastics to paper, the hemp plant provides a way to live in harmony with the environment and the ecosystems that support it.

Just to give you an idea how far this plant can take us, here are 15 amazing ways hemp can be a game-changer for planet Earth.

#1) GROWING HEMP PREVENTS PESTICIDE POLLUTION

Did you know hemp is naturally resistant to pests? Unlike cotton or flax (which are estimated to consume 50% of all pesticides) growing hemp does not require pesticides or herbicides.

When pesticides are sprayed on land, they can easily seep into water sources such as a river, ocean, or pond. If pesticides contaminate a body of water it can harm the living creatures within that water source (fish, frogs, insects, and more) along with anyone ingesting it.

Pesticides have been linked to cancer, birth defects, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s Disease to name a few. So not only are pesticides dangerous for the environment, but they are also a hazard to our health.

By integrating hemp, we can significantly reduce our exposure to unnecessary toxins and pollutants.

#2) HEMP HELPS RESTORES SOIL FERTILITY

Hemp can grow in a wide variety of terrains and soil types. It forms deep roots helping to hold the soil together. This, in turn, prevents soil erosion.

In fact, hemp also increases the microbial content of the soil. And the incredible benefits don’t end there.

The stem and leaves of the hemp plant are rich in nutrients. After harvesting, these nutrient-dense remnants of the hemp plant can be returned to the soil, rejuvenating it for a richer yield the following year.

#3) HEMP CAN PRODUCE BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS

Americans used over 45 billion plastic water bottles in 2015 alone. Even crazier: plastic water bottles can take anywhere between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose.

Considering the United States’ recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, there is room for improvement to say the least.

The basic building blocks of plastics are cellulose derived from petroleum. Yet petroleum is highly toxic. Hemp, on the other hand, happens to be the greatest cellulose producer on earth. It also happens to be biodegradable.

Why not use non-toxic and biodegradable hemp for producing plastics? Instead of stuffing our landfills with toxic chemicals we could reuse and recycle natural products.

#4) THE HEMP PLANT ABSORBS TOXIC METALS

Soil sustains life. The plants that feed, clothe and house us originate from the earth. Yet we’ve become increasingly detached from this basic human need. Meanwhile, man-made waste has contaminated soil across the globe.

Both our planet’s health and our personal health are under duress, and the need for change is imminent.

It has already been proven that hemp can eliminate toxins from the environment. Hemp is so effective at absorbing toxic materials it has even been considered for removing radiation from Fukushima.

#5) HEMP IS AN OUTSTANDING RENEWABLE BIOFUEL

Imagine if there was a non-toxic fuel source that could be domestically produced and was totally renewable. Turns out that material already exists. It’s been on this planet for hundreds and thousands of years.

Hemp converts to biodiesel at a 97 percent efficiency rate. It also burns at a lower temperature than any other type of biofuel.

Plus, when burned in a diesel engine, hemp eradicates the exhaust odor of petroleum with the pleasant smell of hemp.

With over 4,000,000 miles of roads in the United States, transitioning to hemp biodiesel could help heal our planet one mile at a time.

#6) FABRICS MADE FROM HEMP DO NOT CONTAIN CHEMICAL RESIDUE

Did you know the majority of synthetic fibers we use today are manufactured from polymer-based petrochemical materials (AKA highly toxic materials)?

Producing these synthetic materials requires an energy-intensive process, burning large amounts of gas, coal, or crude oil.

If that wasn’t enough, this type of manufacturing process releases toxic emissions into the air while also leaving toxic residues within the fibers. Not exactly a pleasant notion.

Yet, this problem can be avoided by switching to hemp. Hemp fibers are easily removed from the plant and can create clothing with zero chemical residue. Hemp is also a highly durable fabric and UV resistant.

#7) HEMP CAN REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF CARBON EMISSIONS

Industrial hemp has the power to transform the environment. Hemp is unique in that it is one of the few crops capable of reducing carbon emissions through rapid carbon dioxide uptake. It does this through a process known as carbon sequestration.

When cultivated, hemp actually captures carbon emissions from the atmosphere. Essentially, hemp helps sequester or “trap” carbon from the air into plants. For every ton of hemp produced, 1.63 tons of carbon is removed from the air.

#8) CULTIVATING HEMP PREVENTS DEFORESTATION

Deforestation is increasing across the globe at alarming rates. Scientists now believe the rate of deforestation equates to a loss of 48 football fields every minute.

Within 100 years, it is estimated there will be no rainforests. Shamefully, the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes more than one-third of the world’s paper.

But there is hope.

Hemp can easily replace trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper. One acre of hemp can produce as much paper annually as four acres of trees.

While trees take years to mature, hemp can be grown and rapidly reproduced within months. Hemp paper is also more durable than paper produced from trees.

In other words, this is a no-brainer – transitioning to hemp could literally save our trees, and ultimately, our planet.


#9) INDUSTRIAL HEMP CONSERVES WATER

It can take more than 5,000 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of cotton. In fact, cotton is one of the most water-dependent crops around and is quickly depleting our limited freshwater sources.

Meanwhile, hemp requires minimal irrigation in comparison to cotton. A study in the UK comparing cotton production to hemp production found that hemp required 634-898 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of hemp.

Considering hemp is suitable for fiber production, it is clear to see the superior option.

#10) HEMP SUPPORTS SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES

Farmers who practice sustainable farming techniques know the importance of rotating crops by season. Not only does it keep the soil nutrient-rich, but it also increases the overall yield.

Hemp happens to be an ideal plant for crop rotation. It enriches the soil while also removing toxins. Growing hemp helps keep the soil and air more habitable for years to come.

#11) GROWING HEMP PREVENTS SOIL COMPACTION AND EROSION

Did you now soil compaction and erosion are some of the biggest problems plaguing farmers today?

This is particularly true for farmers within the Midwest who depend on two staple crops – soybeans and corn.

Corn contains a deep and fibrous root system that penetrates the ground deep below the surface. Over time, these roots can lead to soil compaction during the winter and spring.

Soybeans also have a strong root system but do not penetrate below the topsoil. As a result, soil erosion can frequently occur.

However, hemp is capable of repairing damaged soils. In fact, introducing hemp into crop rotations not only adds diversity but can also reverse the effects of soil compact and erosion. Hemp contains deep roots that can reach up to nine feet below the surface. These hearty roots help to break up soil compaction while also increasing nutrient absorption.

#12) HEMP BUILDS STRONGER AND HEALTHIER HOMES

The use of the hemp plant can extend into every aspect of our lives – including our homes.

Fiberboards made from a hemp-based composite are stronger and lighter than those made from wood. Not to mention the combination of hemp and lime (hempcrete) results in a soundproofing system and insulation superior to that of concrete.

Hemp homes are also shown to have incredible durability. One hemp home in Japan is estimated to be over 300 years old!

Perhaps, even more, astonishing, hemp homes also provide a healthier living environment. Unlike fiberglass or drywall, hempcrete is nontoxic and mold-resistant.

If we’re smart about this, hemp homes will be the future of green living.

#13) HEMP REDUCES AIR POLLUTION

Air pollution is not only harmful to human health but can also cause a number of devastating environmental effects. While China is the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide, the United States is close behind at number 2.

Should we choose to ignore this reality, these problems are likely to increase even further. Meanwhile, hemp can break down pollutants and improve air quality.

Hemp can even be used as a paper source, eliminating the need for chlorine bleaching – a direct cause of excess carbon dioxide in the environment.

#14) HEMP GROWS IN ALMOST ANY ENVIRONMENT

Imagine if there was a crop that could be cultivated almost anywhere in the world. In fact, this crop required zero pesticides and could produce over 25,000 products.

Better yet, this crop could mature within months and keep producing for years to come. Surprise – that crop is hemp. Hemp is an incredibly durable plant. While hemp thrives in a mild climate and humid atmosphere, it can survive almost anywhere.

From China to Colorado, hemp can grow in a broad range of climate types, which means hemp has the potential to be sourced locally.

A source of food, income, and more – hemp farming could change lives for the better. Hemp can also lead to more sustainable farming, which in turn will bolster local economies while having a positive impact on the environment.

#15) HEMP CAN HELP CURB WORLD HUNGER

Around 795 million people are undernourished globally. In developing countries (where 92 percent of children live) 30 out of every 100 will experience stunted growth due to a lack of nutrition.

Now, imagine if hemp were in the picture. Not only is hemp inexpensive, but it can also be grown almost anywhere. In fact, hemp seeds are considered to be one of the most nutritionally dense food sources on this planet. A complete protein – hemp seeds supply the body with amino acids, vitamins, and much more!

In addition, hemp seeds can also produce two vital food products – oil and flour. So not only is hemp nutritionally rich but also versatile.

Cultivating hemp as a staple crop could change people’s lives for the better worldwide, especially if you consider the vast number of people that could not only be fed but also nourished by this superfood.

Humankind has been cultivating hemp for thousands of years. Some anthropologists even believe hemp was the first agricultural crop domesticated by humans over twelve thousand years ago.

It is time we return to our roots.

Switching to hemp products may not solve all of the world’s problems but it is a start. Hemp has the potential to leave a cleaner and greener planet for future generations. So what are we waiting for? It is high time to let the hemp shine once and for all.

If you agree that hemp could change the world, please share this article with the people in your life. Let’s spread the word!

This story originally appeared at BodyChekWellness.com

The Cannabis Industry Could be a Big Winner on Election Day

The Cannabis Industry Could be a Big Winner on Election Day

New Jersey is expected to approve a ballot initiative to legalize adult-use (aka recreational) marijuana on Election Day next month. Aside from stoking up the 61% of likely Garden State voters in favor of the measure, its passage is projected to generate up to $400 million in adult-use sales in its first year and $950 million by 2024, translating then to nearly $63 million in annual state tax revenue and an additional $19 million in local taxes, as estimated by Marijuana Business Daily. In an economy shattered by the coronavirus pandemic, legal weed looks like a great idea.

That may not be the only good news for legalization proponents after Nov. 3. They’re hoping New Jersey’s pro-pot vote will trigger a domino effect in neighboring states considering similar efforts. “Once New Jersey goes, it’s going to set off an arms race along the East Coast, putting New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania on the clock,” said DeVaughn Ward, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, a cannabis advocacy group in Hartford.

Those three states already permit medicinal marijuana sales and have been moving toward legalizing adult-use for several years, considering tax revenue, job creation and the will of the majority of residents in favor of full legalization. The legislative stars appeared aligned following the 2018 midterm elections’ blue wave, yet ultimately there weren’t enough yea votes in the respective state houses last year. Then the pandemic hit in March, keeping legalization bills in lockdown until next year.

Three additional states — Arizona, South Dakota and Montana — have adult-use legalization initiatives on their November ballots, and Mississippians will vote on a bill allowing medicinal sales. If all five measures pass, medicinal marijuana will be legal in 38 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and adult-use in 14 of those, plus D.C. 

Legalization is another leg on the long, strange trip the U.S. cannabis industry is experiencing in the Year of Covid. Marijuana sales have gone up during the pandemic, thanks to stay-at-home orders and federal stimulus money. And the prospects for continued growth are high.

Total cannabis sales in the U.S. this year are projected to reach $15.8 billion, according to Arcview Market Research/BDSA, up from $12.1 billion in 2019. In adult-use states, the numbers are eye-popping. Illinois, for instance, recently reported its fifth straight month of record-breaking marijuana sales, which hit $67 million in September. Oregon has seen adult-use sales rise 30% above forecast since the pandemic began, averaging $100 million a month over the summer.

“As a whole, the industry is doing fairly well,” said Chris Walsh, CEO of Marijuana Business Daily. “Some companies have struggled, but in general we haven’t seen an overwhelming number of layoffs or companies going out of business.” A big boost, he added, was that most states deemed cannabis businesses as essential during the pandemic. “They were able to stay open while the economy virtually came to a grinding halt,” Walsh said.

Even so, because marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, the industry was ineligible for funds distributed through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. “It’s just another irony on top of irony about how the country handles cannabis in general,” Walsh said. House Democrats have included the industry in previous and proposed Covid stimulus packages, but to no avail.

Federal stance on pot legalization

Depending on the outcome of next month’s presidential and Congressional elections, the likelihood of full federal legalization — which means removing it from its highly restrictive Schedule I drug classification under the Controlled Substances Act — could be greater than ever. What’s more, there’s a good chance that the rampant injustices inflicted during the nation’s nearly century-old cannabis prohibition, disproportionately upon people of color, may be overcome.

The Trump administration has had an enigmatic relationship with cannabis. It rescinded an Obama-era policy that prevented federal prosecutions for marijuana offenses and made immigrants ineligible for citizenship if they consume marijuana or work in the cannabis industry. Yet Trump has previously favored states’ rights to legalize pot and signed the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp, its non-intoxicating variety. He’s running for reelection on a law-and-order platform and has never promoted federal legalization, so even if Congress turns solid blue, it’s hard to predict where he might come down on the issue.

Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, has a complicated history with cannabis, too. As a senator, he championed the 1994 crime bill that sent tens of thousands of minor drug offenders to prison. Yet while serving as Obama’s vice president, the administration issued the Cole memo, which cleared the way for state-legal marijuana businesses to operate largely without federal interference. Biden and running mate Senator Kamala Harris support adult-use marijuana decriminalization, moderate rescheduling, federal medicinal legalization, allowing states to set their own laws and expunging prior cannabis convictions — though not federal legalization.

Harris and Rep. Jerry Nadler were co-sponsors last year of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and eliminate criminal penalties under federal law. The MORE Act also would expedite expungements, impose a 5% tax on cannabis products to fund criminal and social reforms and prohibit the denial of any federal public benefits based on marijuana use. Congress was scheduled to vote on the bill in September, but it was delayed, probably until next year.

Alongside tax revenue and job creation, social justice reform is the strongest argument for legalization, on both the federal and state levels. Dating back to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, criminalization and incarceration, especially of minorities, have been foundational to drug laws. “The war on drugs has historically and continues to disproportionately target communities of color,” said David Abernathy, vice president of research and consulting for Arcview Group, an Oakland-based firm that matches cannabis businesses and investors, who also is on the board of the Minority Cannabis Business Association.

Business opportunities in the cannabis market

While decriminalization and expungement are paramount to legalization, providing business opportunities for minorities in legal cannabis is equally vital, Abernathy said. “It’s harder for communities of color to participate in the industry as it gets better capitalized and folks from other industries move into it with their connections,” he said. That’s why there’s been pushback in some state initiatives that disqualify individuals with drug convictions from working with cannabis.

On the investment side of the equation, Abernathy noted that even before Covid, there was a significantly slower capital market than in recent years. But with the industry’s uptick during the pandemic, for some investors it’s been “a good place to put money in this volatile time,” he said. Next year, especially if legalization initiatives pass, “we expect this growth trend to continue.”

Another positive trend is the increasing sophistication of cannabis businesses, with publicly-traded companies such as TilrayCronos GroupAurora CannabisGW Pharmaceuticalsand Canopy Growth as prime examples. They are among start-ups involved in medicinals, CBDs, edibles, vaping and smokable products, as well as cannabis cultivation and distribution, where allowed in the U.S. and other countries. If and when marijuana becomes federally legal in the U.S., those endemic players are likely to be joined by conventional food, beverage, tobacco and other consumer product companies that for years have been anticipating a multi-billion-dollar global cannabis market.

Additionally, the industry has the potential for significant job growth, said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association in Washington. There are already nearly 244,000 people working full-time in legal cannabis, according to a report by Leafly earlier this year, “but with new states coming on board and [possible] federal legalization, that could turn into tens of millions of jobs,” Smith said. “Given the state of the economy, policy makers and voters ought to look to this industry for its economic potential.”

This story originally appeared at CNBC

Cannabis On The Ballot: Everything Investors Should Know Ahead Of Election Day

Cannabis On The Ballot: Everything Investors Should Know Ahead Of Election Day

In addition to the U.S. presidential election, the cannabis legalization movement has a lot riding on the November election.

It’s been another difficult year for marijuana investors, with the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ 0.14% down 39.5% in 2020. However, the election could be a major catalyst for cannabis stocks, especially multi-state operators (MSOs).

On Thursday, DataTrek Research co-founder Jessica Rabe took a look at the latest polling data in the four states that are voting on recreational cannabis legalization initiatives in November.

State-By-State Breakdown: In New Jersey, a new poll by law firm Brach Eichler found that 65% of likely voters support legalization, suggesting recreational legalization is likely.

In Arizona, a recent poll conducted by Smart and Safe Arizona found 57% of likely voters support recreational cannabis legalization, but a poll by OH Predictive Insights this week found only 46% of respondents support legalization compared to 45% who do not.

In South Dakota, a marijuana opposition group recently found that 60% of respondents favor legalization.

Finally, a University of Montana poll back in February found that 54% of potential voters support statewide legalization in Montana.

Federal Disappointment: Rabe said New Jersey could be key in triggering a cannabis domino effect among neighboring states.

“Should New Jersey allow retail sales, it will show all the tax revenue and jobs its neighboring states are missing out on, especially amid huge budget shortfalls and job losses due to COVID-19,” she said.

Unfortunately, cannabis investors have little to be excited about on the federal level at the moment. Neither President Donald Trump nor Democratic nominee Joe Biden support federal legalization, which Rabe said is one of the primary reasons for the weakness in cannabis stocks this year.

“Should the tipping point for federal legalization not come this election cycle, this group will continue to struggle with a limited addressable market and fragmented industry,” Rabe said.

Benzinga’s Take: The best thing that could happen for cannabis investors may be for the election race to tighten heading into its final weeks. Biden could feel pressure to use the cannabis legalization issue to rally more voters to the polls if he feels he is losing momentum heading into Election Day.

This story originally appeared at Benzinga.

Ancient Egypt’s Rich History Of Medical Cannabis

Ancient Egypt’s Rich History Of Medical Cannabis

In Egypt, medical cannabis use goes back for millennia. 

And while many different early cultures cultivated cannabis, the ancient Egyptians exemplified a truly holistic use of the plant. It’s even possible that cannabis — Egyptian hieroglyphs called it shemshemet — became popular before the great pyramids were built. 

Egypt’s historical use of shemshemet appears twofold. On one hand hemp may have been used for fiber and textile; on the other hand, the more psychoactive components of cannabis may have been used medicinally. Though many sources today appear authoritative in their claims that the ancient Egyptians used hemp for this and cannabis for that, a closer inspection of the evidence is needed. 

Let’s take a trip back through Egyptian history, beginning around the year 3,000 BC.

Cannabis Hints in the Historical Record

While the exact timeline is less than crystal clear, cannabis was likely used in ancient Egypt as many as5,000 years ago. Some speculate that depictions of the Egyptian Goddess of writing, Sheshat, are brimming with cannabis-inspired themes. In many paintings, she’s shown with a star-shaped leaf atop her head and a fibrous rope in her hand. Was Sheshat’s creative ability courtesy of some help from hemp? It’s a fun theory, but let’s move on to more evidence-based examples. 

First, it’s important to understand the context in which Egyptian medicine found itself. The culture’s understanding of the human body was far ahead of its time, and, relatively speaking, extraordinarily advanced. Although the ancient Egyptians preceded Pasteur’s germ theory by thousands of years, they nonetheless placed a great value on cleanliness and sanitation. And customs like embalming added to the Egyptian’s understanding of how the human body worked.

This same medical knowledge lent itself to the extensive use of medicinal plants. At first, this usage blurred the lines — merged them, even — between science and religion. As Egyptologist Barbara Watterson notes, “the earliest ‘doctor’ was a magician, for the Egyptians believed that disease and sickness were caused by an evil force entering the body.” Thankfully, plant-based incantations seemed to be a perfect cure. 

Soon enough, cannabis was discovered as among the best and most powerful of these plant-based preparations. Its dual psychotropic and healing properties likely made cannabis popular among the dual doctor-magicians of ancient times. And while it’s unclear exactly when cannabis use became mainstream, the plant’s residue has been found in Egyptian artifacts dating back to more than 4,000 years ago.

Around 2,000 BCE, cannabis salves were used to treat eye sores and glaucoma. Today science has proven what the ancient Egyptians learned through centuries of experience: that cannabis is a potent anti-inflammatory which reduces intraocular pressure. Another Egyptologist, Lise Manniche, notes in her book An Ancient Egyptian Herbal that several texts dating back to the 18th century BCE encouraged readers to “plant medicinal cannabis.”

Cannabis Referenced In Ancient Scrolls

It’s now fairly common knowledge that Egypt was a pioneer in the development of papyrus and parchment papers. With these scrolls came the culture’s ability to write and document — and our ability to take a glimpse into their world. Papyri covering everything from legal topics to mythological tales to medical records have been found, and naturally, the medical papyri sometimes mention cannabis.

The Ramesseum Papyri | According to The British Museum, the Ramesseum Papyri “have been described as the ‘most precious single find of papyri’ from pharaonic Egypt.” As one of the oldest medical records ever discovered (circa ~ 1750 BCE), it’s likely these tales reflect a cumulative buildup of the healing techniques of even earlier generations.

The Ramesseum Papyri get their name from their origin: the ancient city of Ramesseum. Researchers have uncovered countless other gems from this Ramesses II-built city, nearly all of which points to the era’s educational prowess. 

The Papyri themselves point to this, too. They include information about childhood illness, anatomy, recovery from volcano-induced injuries, and the birthing process. Plate A26 of the Ramesseum III Papyrus describes this treatment for the eyes: “celery, cannabis is ground and left in the dew overnight. Both eyes of the  patient are to be washed with it in the morning.” Could this have been an effective early THCA therapy? 

The Ebers Papyri | This remarkable collection of papyrus scrolls is the world’s oldest complete medical book. Written around 1500 BC, it describes its era’s most popular medicinal remedies. The Ebers Papyri gets its name from botanist George Ebers, who obtained it in the late 1800s. Like many others in his field, Ebers was understandably interested in gleaning whatever he could from the ancients. And with 700 medical and magical formulas spanning 110 pages, it seems there’s a lot to glean. 

A formula for feminine health is as follows: 

Formula No. 821: Shemshemet (i.e., cannabis) was to be “ground in honey; introduced into her vagina to cool the uterus and eliminate its heat.”

Another cannabis-based formula for “a painful finger or toe” is effective enough that physicians are instructed to encourage their patients — “you must say to this patient: ‘A problem that I can treat’.”

Formula No. 821: “honey: 1/4; ochre 1/64; cannabis: 1/32; hedjou resin: 1/32, ibou plant: 1/32. Prepare as for the preceding, and dress [the affected area] with it.”

The Berlin Papyri | This slightly newer scroll (circa ~1,300 BCE) points towards the evolution of cannabis as medicine. It wasn’t just good for eye problems, feminine issues, or inflamed extremities — cannabis could be used to treat fever and inflammation too. 

The papyri’s 81st formula shows that cannabis was prescribed as an “ointment to prepare for driving away the fever.” Today, modern medicine has made these same anti-fever, anti-inflammatory qualities abundantly clear. 

The Chester Beatty Papyri | Also written around 1,300 BC is the Chester Beatty papyri. This artifact is geared mostly towards treating colorectal diseases. It likely mentions shemshemet at least twice and prescribes the plant’s crushed seeds as a valuable cure. There are even instructions on the use of cannabis suppositories for digestive purposes.  

Overall, examples of cannabis use within the papyri records are somewhat sparse. But the ones that are present are also very telling. As Dr. Ethan Russo quotes in a 2007 publication in the Journal of Chemistry and Biodiversity, “as a drug, it [cannabis] has remained in active use ever since pharaonic times. It does not appear very often in the medical papyri, but it was administered by mouth, rectum, vagina, bandaged to the skin, applied to the eyes and by fumigation.”

Cannabis for the Pharaohs, Cannabis for All

Egyptian pharaohs may have used cannabis for more ceremonial purposes, too. The remains of Ramses the Great (Pharao in 1213 BCE) contain traces of cannabis, as do the remains of other mummified Egyptians. In the 1990s a series of studies from NerlicheParsche, and Balabanova reported this surprising find. Nerliche’s study noted that mummies had a significant deposition of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and concluded that this was likely obtained through cannabis smoke. As you might imagine, these studies were very controversial when they first came out. 

As time went on Egyptian use of medical cannabis continued to develop. By around 1,000 BC, it seems as though even Egypt’s common people had caught on to the plant’s potential benefits. Unfortunately, though, there is relatively less historical data on cannabis use during this time period. 

Could the ancient Egyptian’s understanding of cannabis have trickled down to adeptness in other areas related to health and the body? Perhaps. In his epic work The Odyssey, Homer notes that “everyone in Egypt is a skilled Physician”. Everyone, in this case, even included women — which was a very rare allowance in those times. Indeed, some of Egypt’s first doctors were women prized for their caregiving; other women were skilled as midwives. 

A final papyrus-written record surfaced around 200 AD: the Vienna Papyri. This one appears to mention cannabis as a treatment for tumors, ear pain, and fevers. In some instances, the Vienna papyri recommend using acacia and cannabis in conjunction. Though not truly ancient, this one distills down information gathered from prior time periods. 

Translation difficulties make coming to a full knowledge of the Egyptian’s medical cannabis use challenging, though researchers like Dr. Greg Gerdeman agree that ancient mentions of shemshemet most definitely refer to cannabis. What can be said with full confidence is that the ancient Egyptians were leaders in the medical world of their era — and they attained this leadership through devotion to medicinal plants like cannabis. 

It’s likely that practical lessons can be learned from their devotion, too.  Perhaps Dr. Russo’s review said it best: “information gleaned from the history of cannabis administration in its various forms may provide useful points of departure for research.” In the future, the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians may truly come full circle. 

Read the original Article on The Cannigma.

Is fungus the answer to climate change? Student who grew a mushroom canoe says yes.

Is fungus the answer to climate change? Student who grew a mushroom canoe says yes.

“Mushrooms are here to help us — they’re a gift,” college student Katy Ayers said. “They’re our biggest ally for helping the environment.”

April 18, 2020, 6:17 AM PDTBy Sarah Kuta

Catch a glimpse of Katy Ayers paddling her canoe on a Nebraska lake this summer and you might do a double take.

At first glance, her 8-foot vessel looks much like any other canoe — same oblong shape, same pointed ends, same ability to float on water.

But upon closer inspection, it’s clearly anything but ordinary: Ayers’ canoe is made out of mushrooms.

More specifically, her boat is made from mycelium, the dense, fibrous roots of the mushroom that typically live beneath the soil. Ayers, 28, a student at Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska, even gave her creation a fitting name: “Myconoe.”

Though Ayers has taken the canoe out for several quasi-recreational excursions — and plans to do so again as soon as the weather warms up in the rural part of Nebraska where she lives — her real goal with the eye-catching project is to raise broader awareness about mushrooms. She is part of a growing movement of mushroom advocates, people who believe these squishy, sometimes edible fungi can help solve some of our most pressing environmental problems.

Katy Ayers' 8-foot vessel is made from mycelium, the dense, fibrous roots of mushroom that typically live beneath the soil.
Katy Ayers’ 8-foot vessel is made from mycelium, the dense, fibrous roots of mushroom that typically live beneath the soil.Courtesy Katy Ayers

In addition to their ability to break down harmful pollutants and chemicals, Ayers pointed out that mushrooms can be used for everything from household insulation to furniture to packaging, replacing plastics, Styrofoam and other materials that are hard to recycle and harmful to the environment.

“Mushrooms are here to help us — they’re a gift,” Ayers said. “There’s so much we can do with them beyond just food; it’s so limitless. They’re our biggest ally for helping the environment.”

Mushrooms aren’t exactly mainstream, though citizen scientists like Ayers and some private companies hope to someday change that. The New York-based biotech company Ecovative Design, for instance, has made headlines for its mushroom-based packaging material, which has been deployed by companies such as Ikea and Dell. Mushrooms are being used at the local level to help clean up toxic debris and contaminated soil — a process known as mycoremediation — but so far have not been adopted on a larger scale.

Ayers never paid much attention to mushrooms until she enrolled in 2018 at the college in Columbus, a small city with around 23,000 residents. During her first semester, an English instructor challenged students to find and study a potential solution to climate change.

During her research, Ayers came across a 2013 documentary called “Super Fungi,” which made the case for mushrooms as an environmental ally and highlighted some of their innovative uses.

Ayers was sold on the power of mushrooms instantly. Having learned that mycelium is buoyant and waterproof, she decided to try using it to create a boat.

“I always have very big ideas,” she said. “So I see something and it’s small and I just want to make it bigger and better. Since I’m from Nebraska, I love to fish. I’ve always wanted a boat. Why not just grow it?”

With a mini-grant from the college, Ayers got to work. She reached out to a mushroom company in nearby Grand Island for help, sharing her idea with owner Ash Gordon. He agreed to help immediately and offered her a summer internship so she could learn the ins and outs of fungi.

During the day, Ayers worked alongside Gordon at Nebraska Mushroom, doing lab work, creating spawn and harvesting, packaging and processing mushrooms.

After finishing their work for the day, the two turned their attention to the canoe project. They first built a wooden skeleton and a hammock-like structure to suspend the boat-shaped form in the air.

Katy Ayers and Ash Gordon sandwiched the boat's skeleton with mushroom spawn and let nature take over.
Katy Ayers and Ash Gordon sandwiched the boat’s skeleton with mushroom spawn and let nature take over.Courtesy Katy Ayers

They next sandwiched the boat’s skeleton with mushroom spawn and let nature take over.

For two weeks, the fledgling canoe hung inside a special growing room in Gordon’s facility, where temperatures ranged between 80 and 90 degrees and the humidity hovered between 90 to 100 percent. The last step in the process was to let the 100-pound boat dry in the Nebraska sun.

Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta is a freelance journalist based in the Denver area.

Cannabis is from seeds, drugs are from Big Pharma.

Cannabis is from seeds, drugs are from Big Pharma.

By characterizing THC/Cannabis as “harmful,” and maintaining control over this unique & essential natural resource, is wrong on every level. This precious resource has been manipulated by people who seek profit from the fear & pain of others.

Drugs don’t make seeds. Herbs do. Cannabis is from seeds, drugs are from Big Pharma. The drug treaties & drug laws we were all born into have always been “void for vagueness.”

It all began with maintaining the Great Lie of 1937 (that THC is “dangerous”), rather than admitting it is essential for optimum health, does several things, none of them good.

First, it attempts to justify the wrongful jurisdiction of unobjective courts, who profit from Cannabis prohibition in many ways.

Secondly, by claiming jurisdiction over an “herb bearing seed” the gods-given sanctity of Nature is subjugated by institutional disregard. Sincere respect for Natural systems & relationships, that predate mankind, are rendered legally inconsequential, to the detriment of human social evolution and global environmental integrity.

Finally, by exerting fees, taxes, financial burdens & punishments on the multi-billion dollar “marijuana” industry, institutional control of the multi-trillion dollar “industrial hemp” industry is maintained by the same people & politically powerful corporations presently vested in fossil fuels & nuclear energy.

Now that Cannabis has been revealed as essential to optimum human health, proper physical development, and sustainable existence on this planet, there is zero logic in perpetuating obsolete values imposed two generations ago, which have no bearing on today’s stark reality.

Extinction is in our proximate future unless Cannabis is recognized as mankind’s functional interface with the Natural Order. Anything less is just a tragic waste of time, for which our children will suffer the worst.