You Should Know

You Should Know

The Countries Where Weed is Legal (Video)

This is a great educational video by Youtuber Louis Tee which lists the countries/states where cannabis is legalised or decriminalised.

The list is even longer than you’d imagine, and it is expanding quickly as more and more countries decriminalise or relax laws on cannabis, highlighting just how far behind we are in the UK.

Since this video was made it was announced that Turkey has just  legalised cannabis production.

Also here in the UK, with lots of developments regarding CBD as a medicine and the SNP backing medicinal cannabis, we are optimistic that the Government will have to admit that cannabis as a whole has medicinal benefits and stop criminalising medical patients. We will keep you updated!

Discovery Proves We Have Been Using Cannabis for at Least 2,400 Years

Archaeologists in China recently discovered evidence indicating humans have been using cannabis as medicine and employing it in spiritual rituals for over 2,400 years.

According to “Ancient Cannabis Burial Shroud in a Central Eurasian Cemetery,” published in Economic Botany last month, “[a]n extraordinary cache of ancient, well-preserved Cannabis plant remains was recently discovered in a tomb in the Jiayi cemetery of Turpan, NW China.

The researchers, led by Hongen Jiang, an archaeologist at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, discovered 13 whole female cannabis plants buried in the tomb of a 35-year-old Caucasian man. The paper explains the cannabis plants “appear to have been locally produced and purposefully arranged and used as a burial shroud which was placed upon a male corpse.” Researchers suspect he might have been a shaman.

The Many Uses of Hemp Part 4 – Cannabis, Spirituality & Religion

Over the past few weeks, our many uses of hemp series has covered the use of the cannabis plant in Fuel, Paper, Textiles, Building Materials, Food and Medicine.

Finally, we come to cannabis and its use in spirituality.

The Many Uses of Hemp Part 3 – Food and Medicine

The Many Uses of Hemp

In the last two articles in our Many Uses of Hemp series I covered some of the main uses for the cannabis (hemp) plant.  I wrote about hemp’s uses for fuel and paper, and for textiles and building products, which are of course just some ways that the hemp plant can be used for the benefit of mankind.

Hemp awareness is something that is slowly becoming more apparent in society.  Many great people have made it their life’s ambition to educate people about the benefits of hemp and it has begun to pay off.  When researching for the last article I read in the Telegraph about a couple in England that are building a house entirely out of hemp products, creating next to no carbon footprint and building a house that will outlast any other house on the street due to the quality of the building products.

In this article, I will focus on the uses of hemp for Food and also the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant.

The Many Uses of Hemp Part 2 – Textiles and Building

hemp

Last week we took a look at just a couple of the benefits of hemp – Hemp for fuel and Hemp for paper.  In this article we will delve into more uses for this wonderful plant – Hemp for Textiles and Hemp for Building Materials.

Now I know you’re thinking: “Just how can this one plant have any more uses?!” – Well it does, and a multitude more at that.  These articles are really just scratching the surface on what hemp can be used for.  Jack Herer stated that “From more than 1,000 years before the time of Christ until 1883 AD, cannabis hemp–indeed, marijuana–was our planet’s largest agricultural crop and most important industry, involving thousands of products and enterprises; producing the overall majority of Earth’s fibre, fabric, lighting oil, paper, incense, and medicines. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food, oil, and protein for humans and animals.”  Hemp is a very important part of our history, and for good reasons.

“Hemp is one of the faster growing biomasses known, producing up to 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare per year. A normal average yield in large-scale modern agriculture is about 2.5–3.5t/ac (air dry stem yields of dry stalks per acre at 12% moisture). Approximately, one tonne of bast fibre and 2–3 tonnes of core material can be decorticated from 3–4 tonnes of good quality, dry retted straw.”

What variety of cannabis is grown for hemp can also be an important factor.  The tall thin Sativa varieties are most suitable for industrial hemp. Sativa will produce more hemp fibres than Indica or Ruderalis.

Hemp for Textiles

The UKCIA states that “Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) could be an important crop enabling the production of environmentally-friendly, locally produced, high-quality textiles.” Hemp textiles were once part of a booming industry which saw our ancestors using hemp for textiles, paper, rope and oil.  This history dates back a long time, with hemp being a big part of British culture.

In fact, according to The Emperor Wears No Clothes, “The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, which began to be worked in the eighth millennium (8,000-7,000 BC).”  Just to put things in perspective, at between 8,000 and 7,000BC, the world population was stable at five million and pottery was beginning to become widespread.  This means that hemp has been a part of human culture for a very, very long time.

Henry VIII, one of the most famous British monarchs, gives testament to just how important hemp was half a millennium ago.  World Mysteries states that: “Hemp was so important in England in the 16th century that King Henry VIII passed a law in 1553 which fined farmers who failed to grow at least one quarter acre of hemp for every 60 acres of arable land they owned.”  The UKCIA elaborates on hemp’s use in Britain around that time, stating that hemp was mainly used for ropes, sailcloth and sacking, no doubt due to its great durability.  This also made it great for working clothes, meaning a high number of our ancestors throughout this period were wearing hemp clothing.

There are many advantages when considering hemp for the textile industry.  Hemp, like linen, contains “bast fibres” in its stem.  The machines used to process these bast fibres happen to be very similar, meaning, in theory they could be used to process hemp (although the long hemp stalks may need to be broken in half beforehand).

There are many uses for hemp within the modern textiles industry.  The long “bast fibres” are used for twine, geotextiles and paper.  The Shorter “tow fibres” can also be used for paper, and the wood-like core/hurds are also high in cellulose, and can be used for things like animal bedding. (UKCIA)  Hemp is also used to make non-allergenic items like horse bedding and carpet backing, providing safe alternatives to synthetic and potentially allergenic products.

There are also significant problems resulting from our ever-growing consumption of cotton and other synthetics.  Cotton production is very intensive, and requires a lot of pesticides to keep the crop in good shape.  OrganicConsumers.org explains that “Cotton uses more than twenty-five percent of all the insecticides in the world and 12% of all the pesticides. Cotton growers use 25% of all the pesticides used in the US. Yet cotton is farmed on only 3% of the world¹s farmland.” – From these statistics, you can get an idea of the amount of chemicals needed for cotton production.  A sad fact I just found about cotton on the same website was that “InIndia, low prices for cotton and high prices for chemicals have caused tens of thousands of farmers to go bankrupt. As a result, there have been more than 20,000 cotton farmer suicides since 1995.”

The hemp plant does not require pesticides, due to it being highly resistant to insects.  It also doesn’t require herbicides or fertilisers, growing extremely well under organic conditions.  There are studies from the late 60s that found that organically grown hemp has the highest yields and improved fibre fitness – it would certainly be more economically viable, to say the least.  An interesting fact from the UKCIA article worth highlighting was that hemp grows so fast that it smothers weeds.

Another advantage of hemp over cotton is that it doesn’t deplete the soil that it is grown on of nutrients.  This makes it much more cost-effective to produce as well as eliminating lots of nasty underground pollution caused by pesticides.  viridisluxe.com states that “If hemp replaced cotton globally, the increased fibre yield would free up an area of farmland the size of Florida. The reduction in toxic pesticides would be 94,080 tons.”  So from this we can gather that the more hemp and the less cotton we farm, the better it is for our environment.

I read on Hempcar.org that “Hemp is softer, warmer, more water absorbent, has three times the tensile strength, and is many times more durable than cotton.”  In fact, hemp is the most durable natural fibre.  As well as being UV resistant, it is four times as durable than cotton, meaning that hemp garments will last four times as long as similar cotton garments.

Hemp for Building Materials

Hemp can be used to make a wide variety of building materials which are much more eco-friendly than popular methods used today.  Its many uses as building materials are pointed out by Hemp-Guide: “Hemp is a very versatile fibre that can be manufactured into a variety of products that resemble wood including fibreboard, wallboard, roofing tiles, insulation, panelling and bricks can even be made from the compressed hurds. The fibres then can also be used like straw in a bale construction paired with mud for an old-style cob building.”

In other words, hemp is extremely useful to the building industry.  Tow fibres from hemp can be used to make one product – particle board which may be up to twice as strong as wood particleboard and will hold nails better.  The late Jack Herer also stated that “Because one acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fibre pulp as 4.1 acres of trees, hemp is the perfect material to replace trees for pressed board, particle board and for concrete construction moulds.”

Another product, Hempcrete is “half as heavy, seven times stronger and three times more pliable” than concrete”. (Hemp-Guide).  Hempcrete is also considered carbon negative.  This is because hemp absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows, retaining the carbon and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.  Wikipedia states that “165kg of carbon can be theoretically absorbed and locked up by 1m3 of Hempcrete wall over many decades.” Hempcrete’s superiority both in strength and flexibility makes it the perfect building material in places on Earth where there is the possibility of earthquakes.  Hemp-Guide also states that “Hempcrete is resistant to rot and pesky animals like rodents and insects, fireproof, waterproof, weather resistant and self-insulating.”

Read our feature – Hempcrete is a Great Building Material on ISMOKE Magazine

In fact, Hemp is so fit for this purpose that Archaeologists found a bridge in the south of France from the Merovingian period (c.450-751AD) built using similar methods.  Rawganique states that: “Iso-chanvre (chanvre is French for hemp), a rediscovered French building material made from hemp hurds mixed with lime, actually petrifies into a mineral state and lasts for many centuries.”

It is possible to make a house out of nearly 100% hemp-based materials.  You can make incredibly strong pipes out of Hempcrete.  Hemp can also be mixed with lime to create a long-lasting plaster.  Hemp paints have also been created, and according to Hemp-Guide they are “proven to be superior over other paint brands in their effective coating ability as well as durability.”

Of course at the present time building your home out of hemp is going to cost a bit more than building it out of traditional materials.  But from the facts above it is clear that hemp products are a viable source of building materials, without damaging the environment.

So there you have it – Hemp is great for textiles, and great for building materials.  There are so many things that this wonderful plant can be used for, and is indeed in some cases the best candidate for, and I just hope we can spread the message so that as many people as possible realise the benefits of hemp.

Sources:

The Many Uses of Hemp (Part 1) Fuel & Paper

Hemp is quite probably the most useful raw material on the planet. In this four part series, we are going to be taking a look at all the wonderful benefits of the cannabis plant and the many uses of hemp in particular.

Hemp’s uses are well documented; for example as fuel, fibre and paper amongst many other things.  Its use dates back thousands of years, and UKCIA explains that: “Cannabis hemp was widely grown across Britain in the Middle Ages, from at least 800 to 1800 AD, though the amount grown varied widely through the centuries. It was mainly grown for fibre which was used to make sails, ropes, fishing nets and clothes. Old clothes were recycled into paper. Oil was produced from the seeds and was burned in lamps. It may also have been used as a folk medicine and for food, but it’s a mystery whether or not it was taken as a drug.”

Also a mystery is why the hemp industry isn’t bigger in the UK, when there are numerous benefits to its use.  In this series, I will outline hemp’s primary uses and the advantages over currently more popular options for fuel, paper, textiles and other things such as building materials.

THC Lean Cannabis Syrup

Have You ever tried Cannabis Syrup? Did you know you can consume your cannabis in liquid form?

Cannabis Syrup

Today we want to talk about THC Lean, the drink everybody is talking about.

New Cannabis Terpene Hashishene Discovered

Hashishene
The world of cannabis has just expanded slightly, with the discovery of a new terpene Hashishene, which gives high-grade Moroccan Hash that distinct taste and aroma.

5 Cannabis Facts You May Not Know 02

We have just uploaded a new Cannabis facts video on the ISMOKE Media Youtube channel

ISMOKE Youtube Channel: Your Source for Cannabis Facts and More!

Today we want to let you know about the ISMOKE Youtube Channel, your new source of cannabis videos and info.

What are Cannabis Terpenes?

You are probably familiar with cannabinoids like THC and CBD – but do you know about Cannabis Terpenes?

Terpenes are chemicals found in cannabis that not only give the plant its taste and aroma, and also deliver some therapeutic effects.

There are over 20,000 terpenes in nature, with more than 200 identified as cannabis terpenes (not found exclusively within cannabis, but found in the cannabis plants). It is worth noting that the terpenes in cannabis vary from strain to strain.

A Guide To Cannabis Concentrates

“Concentrates” is a catchall term for any form of concentrated marijuana/cannabis product. There are many types of cannabis concentrates and therefore, many methods to create them.

What is Rosin Oil and How is It Made?

We’d like to introduce you to the wonderful world of Rosin Oil, a form of Cannabis extract. This oil is growing massively in popularity, and for good reason. Rosin is a solid form of resin that is obtained by adding pressure & heat to vapourise volatile liquid terpenes – somebody figured out the using this method on your bud is a good thing!

The History of Cannabis

When was the first recorded use of cannabis?

Whilst ancient artefacts found in the far east point towards humans cultivating and using hemp (to produce textiles and as a food source) from as early as 8000 BCE, the first recorded use of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent wouldn’t come until a good few thousand years later…

industryhealthiermed135_02Emperor Shennong was a significant figure in ancient China, revered for being a heroic leader who would end up gifting numerous ground-breaking discoveries to his people.

This legendary ruler would later become known as the ‘Divine Farmer’, as well as the ‘Emperor of the 5 Grains’: monikers that were not given lightly…

7 Cannabis Terms and Their Meanings

 Cannabis is a remarkably diverse plant which comes in many specific strains, each with their own special characteristics: Over the centuries, and particularly over the course of the past few decades, mankind has helped to cultivate a mind boggling array of cannabis strains.

In order to help categorise different types of cannabis, breeders will typically lump a plant into one of two main varieties: ‘Sativa’, or ‘Indica’.