The Many Uses of Hemp Part 3 – Food Medicine & Spirituality
By Nuff Said
The Many Uses of Hemp Part 3 – Food Medicine & Spirituality
In the last two issues of ISMOKE Magazine I covered some of the main uses for the cannabis (hemp) plant. I wrote about hemp’s uses for paper, fuel, textiles and building products, just some ways that the hemp plant can be used for the benefit of mankind. And I mean this literally, as the use of hemp for any of these things is much greener (pardon the pun) than the currently popular methods.
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 to 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 in Food, Medicine and Spirituality.
Hemp’s uses in food are numerous to say the least. According to Wikipedia, Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, and made into hemp milk (like to soy milk). It can also be prepared as tea, you can use it in baking, and the leaves can also be eaten in salads if they’re fresh. Wikipedia also states that hemp “Products include cereals, frozen waffles, hemp tofu, and nut butters.”
The Cannabis Campaigners guide also has some good facts to say on the matter. It outlines just how easy hemp seed is to produce, stating “Hemp seed is one of the easiest to produce and nutritious food crops on the earth.” Hemp was also the staple food crop for a significant part of the world for many centuries. This was because the oils produced from hemp seeds contained the highest amount of essential fatty acids of any plant grown in the world (CC GUIDE).
CC Guide also states that “Hemp seed is the single most complete food on the planet and can be grown quickly almost anywhere, yet the world is allowed to starve as a result of the often total prohibition of cannabis. During recent years, some countries, notably the Maldives, have given life sentences to people found with even three seeds, whilst in the Western world it is readily available for use as bird food and fishing bait. That alone reveals the real evil behind this senseless banning of foods.” Cases like this show the backwardness of people who prohibit such a benevolent resource on no grounds except that a form of the plant can get you high – even when industrial hemp itself doesn’t contain the psychoactive compounds found in varieties of the cannabis plant which are consumed by millions of people worldwide. As hemp is so easy to grow, the cost of food products from a regulated source would be low. This, combined with its ability to grow almost anywhere on the planet would surely indicate hemp as a possible solution to hunger in certain countries around the world.
Another thing worth noting about hempseed is its allergy-free properties. The Wikipedia page on hemp states that: “Hempseed is usually very safe for those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten, lactose, and sugar. In fact, there are no known allergies to hemp foods – Hempseed contains no gluten and therefore would not trigger symptoms of celiac disease”.
OK, we’re taking a leap here to psychoactive properties of the cannabis plant. Of course the varieties here differ greatly to industrial hemp, which typically has no psychoactive properties. But this is such a massive use for the cannabis plant that it is worth explaining just a few ways of how cannabis benefits thousands of people in our country, and millions of others around the planet.
The first thing I would like to go into is cannabis’ use in bipolar patients. ISMOKE published an article entitled “Reefer Cures Madness” By Alice Ayers, a lady that suffers with Bipolar Disorder. In this article, Alice notes how ‘crazy’ her life used to be when she was at university and drinking. She also speaks of dark times in which she stopped seeing the point of life entirely. Alice began smoking cannabis, and immediately noticed the massive highs and lows suddenly seemed more normalised. Things didn’t send her on a downwards spiral anymore, and she began to enjoy life more and more. Replacing alcohol with cannabis was the best thing that she ever did.
Cannabis also has an amazing effect on those suffering with Multiple Sclerosis. A good friend and ISMOKE featured author Clark French knows first-hand how much cannabis can help his condition, because he was diagnosed with MS back in 2010. There is a video somewhere on Youtube of Clark’s leg shaking violently and uncontrollably after somebody accidently knocking into him. He smokes some cannabis, and the shaking slows down, then stops. If that is not a reason to legalise cannabis for sufferers of MS, then I don’t know what is. Cannabis is proven to help the condition, yet currently only government-approved Sativex is allowed, and even that is almost impossible to get on the NHS for those with anything but the worst symptoms. At the same time, cannabis can be grown in as little as 3-5 months – vast quantities of medicine that can safely alleviate the suffering of thousands of MS sufferers in the UK. It wouldn’t cost the government anywhere near what it costs if they were to treat 100 patients with herbal cannabis for every 1 treated with Sativex. And the really messed up thing? – People prefer herbal cannabis. Ask any MS sufferer and they will tell you that it is much more effective at getting rid of their symptoms than any other drug, or in any other form.
Another regular ISMOKE writer Cure Ukay suffers with Crohn’s disease. Cure Ukay does an excellent job of documenting his experiences with cannabis and how it helps him live more of a normal life. He says that before he began using cannabis the medications that he was on sometimes made him feel worse and he noticed a change as soon as he got high.
Medical Marijuana Pro Con.org explains two sides of the argument for using cannabis as a treatment for Crohn’s disease. I’ll let you make up your mind as to which side wins:
O’Shaughnessy’s, a scientific journal, published a study in its Autumn 2005 issue titled “Cannabis Alleviates Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease,” by Jeff Hergenrather, MD, that found: “[Crohn's] patients described marked improvements with the use of cannabis.
Beneficial effects were reported for appetite, pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, activity, and depression. Patients also reported that cannabis use resulted in weight gain, fewer stools per day and fewer flare-ups of less severity…
Cannabis-using Crohn’s patients not only report significant relief of their symptoms, they are also able to reduce the amount of immunosuppressive medications that have been a mainstay of conventional treatment…
Crohn’s disease is so debilitating and life-threatening and so difficult to manage with conventional medications it is very encouraging to find that cannabis is proving to be an effective treatment for it right now.”
Karen Wright, PhD, Research Fellow in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Bath, toldNewScientist on Aug. 1, 2005:
“We are not advocating cannabis use, particularly as smoking tobacco exacerbates Crohn’s disease and many smokers of cannabis use tobacco as well.”
Wright told the BBC one day earlier, July 31, 2005:
“The psychoactive effects and the legal implications associated with herbal cannabis use make it unsuitable as a treatment [for Crohn's disease].” I personally believe that its effective use as a medicine far outweighs the potential risks (which are pretty non-apparent when you consider how safe cannabis is even compared to energy drinks) – and if people choose not to smoke tobacco with their cannabis, they remove the health issues surrounding tobacco use as well, making it a much safer alternative to most prescription medication.
Another good friend of ISMOKE, Len Richmond released a film entitled “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer.” In this documentary he examines cannabis’ potential for the treatment of cancer and shows examples of people that have cured themselves using cannabis oil. The film shows that in such a potent form, tiny amounts (e.g. one drop, 3 times a day) can lead to spectacular results – with people claiming to have been cured of their cancer in 3 months of treatment with cannabis oil. This is also well-documented in Rick Simpson’s Run From The Cure (Available on www.ismokeherb.co.uk), and there are many testimonials by people that have been cured by the benevolent herb that is cannabis, as well as lots of scientific facts and evidence showing cannabis having a positive effect in the combat of cancer, even as an alternative to chemotherapy.
And finally we come to hemp, or cannabis’ use in spirituality. Almost everybody that uses cannabis uses it because they enjoy how it makes them feel – and this is the case because our bodies are programmed to respond to cannabinoids, making it the perfect substance to give us a safe “high”. Millions of people in the UK alone use cannabis on a regular basis. People from all walks of life use it to chill out, relax and feel good about themselves.
Cannabis makes your brain work in a different way, allowing the expanding of thoughts and leading to inspiration, apparent in a lot of music you listen to on a daily basis. I personally work a full time job, and smoke cannabis every evening and at weekends. It’s my hobby – I like to get high, write ISMOKE Magazine and watch things on the Discovery Channel. Others will use it in completely different ways, but to achieve the same effect – a happy buzz that just makes everything seem a little bit better.
Some people take the belief of cannabis’ spiritual use very seriously – namely Rastafarians (a form of Christianity originating in Jamaica). This religious movement which embraces cannabis is now recognized worldwide, thanks in part to reggae musicians such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, amongst many others.
Rastafarians believe that cannabis brings them closer to Jah (God), and according to Wikipedia, “They are not surprised that it is illegal, seeing it as a powerful substance that opens people’s minds to the truth — something the Babylon system, they reason, clearly does not want. They contrast it to alcohol and other drugs, which they feel destroy the mind… They hold that the smoking of cannabis enjoys Biblical sanction, and is an aid to meditation and religious observance.”
There are several parts of the bible which Rastafarians believe show God’s justification for ‘herb’:
Genesis 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
Genesis 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (taken from Wikipedia).
And so here you can see some of the other uses of hemp, which in my opinion is the most useful substance on the planet. It can be used for more than any other plant, in a multitude of ways which could help mankind, and it is an injustice that hemp is not recognized by many as a safe alternative to currently popular methods of production of things like fuel, paper, textiles, building products, food and medicine. I hope that with these articles I can raise some awareness for hemp, and persuade people that it can be used safely as an alternative to industries that are currently doing untold amounts of damage to our planet. It also makes people feel good about themselves, and has not been responsible for a single direct death throughout recorded history. Free the hemp plant, and free cannabis!
From I-smoke magazine issue 9