By Paul Benhaim, Hemp News Correspondent/Hemp Building Consultant
As there are so many applications for hemp and hemp products, so it is not a surprise to find that it can be used to build a house; but the question we need to answer is, is it worthwhile?
Let's look at the facts and see why the answer to this question is undeniably YES!
To begin with, hemp buildings are not a new concept - but the technology necessary is very new and constantly evolving. Although there is a 300 year old hemp-built house in Japan! Hemp building technology was originated in France where most hemp building products come from.
There are several different combination's of building materials used in hemp building:
• Hemp + Lime, Cement and minor wetting agents.
• Hemp + Lime only
• Hemp + Gypsum based binder
The Gypsum composite is the basis for hemp bricks, for building, generally the first method is the most used. The composite should be chosen to suit the climate and specific requirements of the building. Hemp houses exist from the snow of Canada down to the Australian tropics and just about everywhere along the way!
David Piller, Hemp News Correspondent
A friend of mine recently put together a survey for a ethnography research methods class on the topic of creating effective hemp education and promoting hemp awareness. Below are a few of my responses.
What is your educational platform (or pro-hemp argument) that you use when doing hemp outreach?
My main "argument" is that if we are truly serious about maximizing the growth of the green economy and creating a sustainable future, industrial hemp must become, once again, one of the United States' primary crops. I stress how cultivating hemp will do more to help clean our air, soil, and water than any patented technology our scientists can offer. I include hemp nutritional benefits and communicate how making more hemp foods available to our citizens, we can improve the quality of life of many and reduce our long term health care costs.
Do you change this platform for various audiences: when and why?
Yes and no.
I think it is important to make things as simple as possible for people to grasp hemp’s true potential, and I always strive to bring it down to a healthy environment, healthy food, and healthy industries to lay a solid foundation to build a dialogue upon.
Oregon Hemp History, Connecting the Past to the Future
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
In the early 1990's, C & S Specialty Builder's Supply (namely Bill Conde, Dave Seber, Barry Davis, and Tim Pate) in Harrisburg, Oregon, imported regulated bales of hemp and began working on a medium density fiberboard (MDF). The evolution of hemp MDF as a viable building supply option began when Bill Conde of C & S took their hemp fiber research and ideas to Paul Maulberg, the head of Washington State University's Wood Engineering Laboratory.
Conde explains in a 2005 Mycotopia blog, "We asked if [Maulberg] would consider trying some hemp fiber to make some experimental hemp MDF, and his reply was, 'You bet, hemp is the King Cong of fiber. I would love a chance to work with some."
Excitedly, Conde and team began the process working with Maulberg on creation and testing of the hemp MDF. It was soon discovered how strong the hemp fiber truly was, as the full-length hemp fibers jammed both of the processing machines and brought things to a standstill. The process for breaking down the fibers was redesigned and restarted with ultimate success.
Press Release: News Conference
When: Monday, March 28th, 10 AM
Where: 2712 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland, OR 97232
Who: Paul Stanford, Chief Petitioner & Treasurer
Jennifer Alexander, Campaign Manager
By Susan Gager, KEZI
EUGENE, Ore. -- Just months ago, a marijuana dispensary measure failed on the ballot in Oregon. Now the push is on to legalize the drug across the board.
The creator of the new initiative wants marijuana to be taxed just like cigarettes and liquor. He and its supporters say it would generate millions for the state. But does it have any chance of passing? That depends on who you ask.
"I think that it's time for the nation to take the demonization out of marijuana," said Phillip Allen, family nurse practitioner.
That's what the director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation intends to do with a new initiative to get marijuana legalized in the state.
"It really does relieve a lot of pain and it can really help a lot of people," said Eliza Williams, student.
The executive director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation says if it were taxed like cigarettes and liquor, it could generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state's general fund.
"Alcohol revenue brings in about $75 million. It will create lots of new jobs, and create all these new industries. We think it'll create billions and billions of dollars in the long run," said Paul Stanford, Hemp & Cannabis Foundation Executive Director.
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to Hemp News
If Paul Stanford has his way, cannabis will become legal in Oregon next year. The executive director of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) is working to get a measure on the ballot in 2012 to legalize marijuana in the Beaver State.
Pot should be taxed like cigarettes and alcohol to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state, according to Stanford, who said cannabis would be regulated and sold to people over the age of 21, reports Joe Raineri at KATU.
"We want to regulate it so that businesses like bars and taverns that bar the admission of minors can offer that as a business," Stanford said.
According to Stanford, legal marijuana would bring a steady flow of cash for Oregon.
"Alcohol revenues bring in about $75 million," he said. "It will create lots of new jobs. It will create all these new industries. We think it will be billions and billions of dollars in the long run."
About 90 percent of the revenue brought in by legal marijuana would go to the state's general fund.
In order to get the measure on the ballot, Stanford needs to get nearly 90,000 signatures.
More people are choosing this balanced food source despite legal potshots
By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune
Hemp, its advocates say, is nature's perfect food source.
It has omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, contains 33 percent protein, is a good source of vitamin E and is low in saturated fat. It's an environmentally friendly crop that grows fast and requires few pesticides.
We can't farm it
Hemp is also a controversial food source because of its relationship with its naughty cousin, marijuana. Hemp seeds can contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
While it is legal to import, sell, purchase and consume industrial hemp in the U.S., it is illegal to grow it without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and it is virtually impossible to get such a permit. The policy stems from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, when all varieties of cannabis were put into the category of schedule 1 drugs, alongside the likes of heroin.
The DEA tried to ban hemp food consumption in 2001, citing THC concerns. The ban was struck down in court.
But we can use it
By By Jacqueline Street, ABC News
Australians may have consumed a lot of food over the Christmas weekend but it is unlikely many thought about eating hemp.
Products like hemp chocolate and hemp ice cream are available in other countries but are banned in Australia.
Now a group of Tasmanian farmers is renewing a push to overturn the ban.
They say industrial hemp will not make you high and has many health benefits.
Phil Reader, who has been growing industrial hemp in northern Tasmania for five years, says the plant's similarity to cannabis ends at the leaves.
"There's absolutely no drug in it; it's below 0.35 per cent THC, so it cannot be confused with marijuana," he said.
Mr Reader says Tasmania has the ideal climate for growing hemp seeds, but his crop is tightly controlled because under state law hemp is classified as a poison.
"The reason it hasn't taken off is the legislation. In Tasmania we come under the Poisons Act," he said.
"It's not a poison; there's no reason for that to be called a poison."
Mr Reader says industrial hemp is not regarded as a drug crop anywhere else in the world.
"It's only in Tasmania that we have this problem and that means a whole host of issues with regards to licensing, administration and where we can sell the crop," he said.
Hobart hemp producer Brandt Teale says he is frustrated because he believes hemp could be a profitable food product in Tasmania and other states.
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults and it should be of no interest or concern to the government. They have no business knowing whether we smoke or why we smoke." Keith Stroup, NORMLCON 2010
Compiled by Hemp News
1. Global: U.S.-Mexico Drug Summit Fails to Acknowledge Obvious Solution to Violent Drug Cartels
Ending Marijuana Prohibition Would Deal Crucial Blow to Mexican Drug Cartels, Drastically Reduce Border Violence.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, high-ranking officials from the United States and Mexico concluded a three-day conference meant to outline ways the two nations could reduce the illicit drug trade-associated violence that continues to plague the U.S.-Mexican border.
By LEX18 News
Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley will formally announce that they will be running for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively, on Wednesday, according to a press release Tuesday.
Galbraith and Riley say they will open their 2011 Campaign and Ballot Petition Drive with a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
According to the release, the candidates will outline their issues and plans for restoring Kentucky to prosperity.
Galbraith, who has been an advocate for the legalization of marijuana for years, has run unsuccessfully for various offices in Kentucky, including commissioner of agriculture, governor (four times - as a Democrat in 1991 and 1995, 2007, and as a Reform Party candidate in 1999), U.S. representative (twice), and attorney general.
Of all the various uses for Cannabis plants, add another, “green” one to the mix.
By Christine Buckley, UCONN
Researchers at UConn have found that the fiber crop Cannabis sativa, known as industrial hemp, has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel – sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources.
The plant’s ability to grow in infertile soils also reduces the need to grow it on primary croplands, which can then be reserved for growing food, says Richard Parnas, a professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering who led the study.
“For sustainable fuels, often it comes down to a question of food versus fuel,” says Parnas, noting that major current biodiesel plants include food crops such as soybeans, olives, peanuts, and rapeseed. “It’s equally important to make fuel from plants that are not food, but also won’t need the high-quality land.”
Industrial hemp is grown across the world, in many parts of Europe and Asia. Fiber from the plant’s stalk is strong, and until the development of synthetic fibers in the 1950s, it was a premier product used worldwide in making rope and clothing.
By Cassandra Upton, NBC
It won't get you high, but researchers at UConn say they've found another use for Cannabis plants.
The fiber crop Cannabis sativa, known as industrial hemp, has properties that make it attractive as a raw material for producing biodiesel fuel, UConn Today reports.
Richard Parnas, a professor of chemicals, materials and biomolecular engineering, led a UConn study on the subject.
Several things make the hemp an appealing option for producing the sustainable diesel fuel that's made from renewable plant sources, he said.
Like the plant's ability to grow in infertile soils, reducing the need to grow it on primary croplands, which can then be reserved for growing food.
“For sustainable fuels, often it comes down to a question of food versus fuel,” says Parnas, noting that major current biodiesel plants include food crops such as soybeans, olives and peanuts. “It’s equally important to make fuel from plants that are not food, but also won’t need the high-quality land.”
Industrial hemp is grown across the world, mainly in Europe and Asia and fiber from the stalk was used worldwide to make rope and clothing until the development of synthetic fibers in the 1950s. Parnas says that because a hemp industry already exists, a hemp biodiesel industry would need little additional investment.
By USA Today Staff
Hemp is turning a new leaf. The plant fiber, used to make the sails that took Christopher Columbus' ships to the New World, is now a building material.
In Asheville, N.C., a home built with thick hemp walls was completed this summer and two more are in the works.
Dozens of hemp homes have been built in Europe in the past two decades, but they're new to the United States, says David Madera, co-founder of Hemp Technologies, a company that supplied the mixture of ground-up hemp stalks, lime and water.
The industrial hemp is imported because it cannot be grown legally in this country — it comes from the same plant as marijuana.
Its new use reflects an increasing effort to make U.S. homes not only energy-efficient but also healthier. Madera and other proponents say hemp-filled walls are non-toxic, mildew-resistant, pest-free and flame-resistant.
"There is a growing interest in less toxic building materials, says Peter Ashley, director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.
"The potential health benefits are significant," he says, citing a recent study of a Seattle public housing complex that saw residents' health improve after their homes got a green makeover.
Tribute to Jack Herer
By Gatewood Galbraith
Jack Herer is a social and philosophical tsunami, the ripples from whose splash will forever grace the shores of human consciousness in every freedom loving nation.
He is a grand champion of “We the People” and a natural cycle in our battle with the synthetic subversion which threatens the very concepts of the sovereignty of each human individual.
Jack's tireless efforts to eliminate the facts about cannabis have furnished freedom fighters everywhere with the tools of knowledge with which to resist the fascism of the corporate state as it seeks to subject everyone to its economic bottom line.
Jack recognized that cannabis is a gateway to existentialism, which enlightens our existence and is the basis of our freedom of choice. He also recognized the miraculous healing powers of this herb and many sick and dying people have found comfort in its use after reading his wonderful manifesto "The Emperor Wears No Clothes". I am one of them.
By Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Fox News
As we're faced with an increasingly large world population and ever-dwindling resources the race is on to produce cars that not only produce zero tailpipe emissions, but ones that are green to manufacture too.
But what is the ultimate material for cars? Steel is strong, but hardly light enough to make ultra-efficient vehicles. Many plastics are based on oil, and composite materials like carbon fibre are difficult and costly to manufacture and repair.
Enter the Kestrel. Designed and engineered by Motive Industries, a Canadian firm based in Alberta, the fully electric car features a body shell made of hemp--which may be better known as Cannabis Sativa L.
The hemp for the Kestrel's body is grown by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) under license from the Canadian government.
Unlike the cannabis Californians may find available at their local medical marijuana dispensaries, hemp grown by AITF ends up on a production line, where it is turned into a composite material that has the impact resistance of fiberglass.
But unlike fiberglass, the hemp bio-composite is cheaper to produce and has fewer health risks connected with its manufacture. It is also significantly lighter than glass-based composites traditionally used in racing cars.