Why Hemp Can Help Save The Environment

Why Hemp Can Help Save The Environment

Although hemp has been criminalized for almost a century, it’s made a huge comeback in recent years. With a history that spans thousands of years, hemp is actually one of the oldest domesticated crops known to man. It’s grown as a renewable source for raw materials, providing valuable resources throughout history and playing an integral role in several different cultures. Highly versatile, hemp can be used to make health foods, paper, organic body care, cordage, textiles, biofuel, and much more.

But did you know that hemp is also good for the planet? From cleaning the air, regenerating soil, and providing a habitat for wildlife, hemp has several environmental benefits! Here are a couple of examples.

1. Forest Conservation
While the world seeks to slow the pace of climate change and promote wildlife preservation, we continue to see the mass destruction of trees for short-term industrial gain. According to National Geographic, the world lost 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometers) of forest between 1990 and 2016. About 17 percent of the Amazonian rainforest has been destroyed over the past 50 years, and the losses continue to grow. However, hemp may be able to help with this critical problem. Hemp has great potential to create similar wood and paper products to what is sourced from trees. While trees take years to mature, hemp can be grown in just four months.

2. Hemp Regenerates The Soil
Hemp is extremely adept at cleaning polluted soil. Since the stem and leaves of the hemp plant are jam-packed with nutrients, its organic matter is able to decompose and replenish the soil with organic goodness. Other research shows that hemp is able to absorb heavy metals such as nickel, cadmium, and chromium from the soil without a significant effect on plant morphology. As such, hemp can also be used to clean up solvents, pesticides, crude oil, explosives, and other harmful toxins that seep from landfills.

3. Hemp Supports Sustainable Farming
Sustainable farming is all about meeting society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Hemp is a weed that is able to grow within four months of being planted, takes up little space and produces more pulp per acre than trees. Furthermore, hemp is naturally resilient to most pests, removing the need for most pesticides and herbicides. Huge reductions in chemical use can be achieved by using hemp.

4. Nothing Goes To Waste
Hemp can be used to produce over 25,000 products! Virtually every part of the plant can be used. The stalk can make textiles, canvas and rope, while its woody core can be used for paper, construction and animal bedding. Hemp seeds, considered to be ‘superfoods’, are high in protein, fiber, omega-3 fats and other nutrients, while hemp oil can be used for cooking and paints.

5. Hemp Can Replace Plastic
Almost 18 billion pounds of plastic waste makes its way to global coastlines every year, contaminating wildlife and the ecosystem around it. Plastic is all around us and a part of daily life; however, only about 9% of the plastic produced has been recycled. It can take at least 400 years to decompose, which is why it is absolutely critical to find sustainable alternatives. Hemp composites may be the solution. Strong, light, and cheaper than fiber glass and carbon fiber, hemp can create bioplastics that is also 100% biodegradable. Today, automobile companies are now researching ways to create plant-based materials to replace plastic and metal car parts. Many car manufacturers have already switched to hemp composites for door panels, columns, seat backs, floor consoles and instrument panels.

As we continue to decriminalize hemp and see increases in cultivation, this miracle plant will likely play a major part in helping to combat the environmental crisis. Morris Beegle, co-founder and president of WAFBA (We Are For Better Alternatives) is passionate about replacing unsustainable agriculture practices. “Industrial agriculture is one of the greatest drivers, maybe even the biggest driver, of climate change,” he says. “Hemp is a more sustainable, organic and regenerative agricultural crop, and most everything that you can make with cotton or soy or corn can be made with hemp – with way less impact on the Earth.”

Opioids vs. CBD for Athletes

Opioids vs. CBD for Athletes

Being an athlete can feel extremely rewarding, as it allows you to build upon your own physical endurance while practicing teamwork, responsibility, commitment, and time management. However, almost every type of athlete will experience some sort of physical pain from their sport. The constant wear and tear can have long-term negative effects, such as increased risk of osteoarthritis. Here’s why CBD could be right for athletes who are looking for alternative pain management solutions.

The Danger of Opioids 

Although current pain management methods are effective, they can also be dangerous. Despite the risk, athletes will often turn to opioid (narcotic) pain medications such as morphine and codeine. Common side effects of narcotics include constipation, nausea, dizziness, sedation, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, and dry mouth, while the more severe side effects include respiratory depression, chest pain, cardiac arrest, and death. Furthermore, prescription narcotics are the most commonly abused opioids. OxyContin, Vicodin, and other over-the-counter drugs bring pain relief as well as produce a feeling of euphoria and extreme relief. According to TimesUnion, a startling half-million people have died since 2000 as a result of misusing painkillers.

Painkillers have had a negative impact not only on professional athletes but also to those in college and high school. Most student athletes do not turn to drugs to impress others, but instead become unintentionally addicted after being introduced to prescription drugs (sometimes from their coaches or doctors). In an interview from the New York Post, Lee S. documents the root cause of his opioid addiction: an injury on the football field. After breaking his ankle during a high school football game, the doctor wrote him a prescription for Percocet pills. In addition to euphoria and pain relief, Percocet may also cause drowsiness, depression, memory problems, decreased testosterone, cardiac problems, bone problems, addiction and death. Fast-acting and effective, Percocet is able to mask the pain; however, when the sports season ends, many student athletes continue taking the pills due to the euphoric feeling.

Benefits of CBD

On the other hand, CBD offers a safe alternative for athletes who are looking to treat their pain. Since CBD does not produce the ‘high’ that is typically associated with cannabis consumption, it lacks the addictive quality that many opioids have. In fact, a 2011 study concluded that CBD has a better safety profile compared to THC and other cannabinoids. Researchers discovered that high doses of CBD up to 1,500 milligrams per day were well-tolerated by human subjects, and did not impair motor or psychological functions. 

Furthermore, it is well known that using CBD has a variety of health benefits, including pain relief, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving sleep quality for faster recovery. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties are able to help many athletes with their pain management. In an interview with CBS Miami, former NFL player Larry Chester advocates for CBD as a pain reliever, adding that chronic pain and an addiction to opioids had previously destroyed his relationships. He now uses topical CBD oil to help with knee pain, claiming that his discomfort is gone in just 15 minutes after application. Those who introduced CBD into their night-time routine also felt an overall sense of relaxation during their sport, reducing performance anxiety during competitions.

Is CBD legal for athletes?

Yes! Starting at the beginning of 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances in competition – however, the psychoactive component of marijuana (THC) is prohibited up to a certain threshold.  If you’re an athlete who struggles with pain management, CBD can be a great health supplement for post-exercise recovery and overall wellness.

What Women Want: Easing the Symptoms of Menopause with CBD

What Women Want: Easing the Symptoms of Menopause with CBD

Menopause comes as the second important phase of a woman’s life. While the first phase signifies fertility and the various challenges surrounding Premenstrual Syndrome – fondly referred to as PMS –  the second phase represents the end of a women’s fertility. Menopause comes when a woman’s ovaries stop making eggs and significantly lower their production of estrogen. This time period can come with a host of undesirable symptoms. From hot flashes and insomnia to mood swings and weight gain, menopause causes most women to seek out treatments that will help lower the risks associated these conditions.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of hundreds of chemical substances that occur in the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid, CBD does not produce any of the psychoactive or “high” effects that are commonly associated with marijuana consumption. This has made CBD a popular alternative for people looking to avoid the unpleasant side effects that can often come with prescription or over-the-counter drugs. According to BDS Analytics, the leader in cannabis market intelligence and consumer research, nearly 60% of female cannabis consumers reported reduced use of prescription and over-the-counter medications. While cannabis products are being consumed for their numerous recreation and medicinal benefits, women lean towards these products for three main reasons. 

The top three reasons for females to use cannabis for self-care include: 

  1. Menstruation 
  2. Menopause 
  3. Sex 

When it comes to menopause, let’s take a look at how CBD can either prevent or reduce it’s unpleasant symptoms and health risks. 

5 Common Symptoms that CBD can Help With:  

  1. Aches and pains 
    Many women who have gone through or are currently going through menopause tend to pin their increasingly common bodily aches and pains on age. However, it is the decreasing levels of estrogen that lead to higher levels of inflammatory molecules. This means that symptoms of arthritis typically skyrocket during menopause due to low estrogen levels. CBD has been used widely for the treatment of muscle pain and inflammation, making it an ideal option for women who are going through menopause. CBD is anti-arthritic, meaning that it protects joints from inflammatory damage. Since CBD also works to relieve pain, it’s a natural alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin or Advil. 


  2. Mood Swings 
    Estrogen and progesterone regulate the activity of serotonin and other important neurotransmitters in the brain that directly affect mood. As these hormone levels become plummet, a woman’s neurochemistry begins to change. CBD binds to and activates serotonin receptors which stimulate positive emotions and the necessary chemicals to provide us with feelings of calm and comfort.


  3. Weight gain 
    Hormones control our metabolism. Without estrogen, a vital hormone in sexual reproductive development, women’s bodies burn fewer calories and less fat during exercise. CBD can aid in weight loss or the prevention of metabolic disorder by reducing appetiteburning fat, and turning bad fats into good fats Numerous studies have found that adults who consume cannabis products have lower insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences. 


  4. Hot flashes and night sweats 
    The decrease in estrogen during menopause is believed to be the main cause of hot flashes. Many doctors and scientists believe that when estrogen levels fall, they alter the neurochemistry in the hypothalamus — our body’s main thermostat control. Although more research is required in relation to CBD or cannabis for relief from hot flashes, its influence on the body’s serotonin system could be one of the reasons many women have adopted CBD into their routines. 


  5. Insomnia 
    Menopausal women typically have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. This could be a result of hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, or aches. CBD is used by people of all genders and ages o assist in acquiring a more restorative sleep by calming the central nervous system. CBD’s influence on the body’s neurochemistry and anxiety can help improve sleep for women who are experiencing insomnia or night sweats. 

While the most common treatment for menopause symptoms is hormone-replacement therapy (HRT), it is only intended for short periods of time. Long-term HRT can lead to increased risks of heart attack, blood clots, stroke, and cancer. Doctors also commonly prescribe anti-depressants and other medications that come with risky side effects. If you are currently going through menopause, adding CBD into a healthy lifestyle can reduce the need for medication and lead to a healthier and happier transition into this new phase your life.