Soil Contamination – Phytoremediation with Hemp
June 27, 2012
by Stephanie Bishop - MarijuanaInc.TV
Mother Nature’s Solution to Soil Contamination – Phytoremediation
Phytoremediation is the environmentally friendly science of using plants and trees to remove heavy metals and other toxins from contaminated soil. By planting specific plants and trees, called hyper-accumulators, in polluted areas, the contaminants can be reduced.
The science is simple, and basic to plant life.
Toxins can enter the soil through a multitude of paths, from chemical fertilizer applications to urban runoff. The toxins can then become embedded in the Earth and are considered bio-accumulates. These bio-accumulates may include metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil and its derivatives.
As the remediating plant grows, it develops a root system. The roots draw the bio-accumulates along with beneficial nutrients as part of its nourishment, and concentrate them in its stems, shoots, and leaves, which can then be harvested and disposed of safely.
The marvel is how the plants can flourish while simultaneously rendering the toxins harmless through the nutrient uptake process, resulting in clean, balanced and nutrient rich soil, which can then be safely used for agriculture or improving the wildlife habitat.
Mustard, alpine pennycress, and pigweed are all phytoremediators, but one particular plant shows potential above the rest; Hemp.
Hemp’s industrial uses in the production of food, fuel, and fiber are widely documented, but few people are aware of Hemp’s potential as a remediator. Why is Hemp superior to other phytoremediators? Hemp grows quickly, reaching full harvest in just 180 days and produces a root ball extending into the ground from 6 to 8 feet. At that level, toxins can be extracted without the need to remove any of the contaminated top soil, thus avoiding the expense of transportation to offsite disposal facilities. Other factors making Hemp the champion of remediates are its ability to grow unaffected by the toxins it accumulates, its fast rate of absorption and its ability to bind compound contaminants from the air and the soil. Hemp actually removes CO2 from the air as it removes heavy metals and other pollutants from the soil.
Current laws prohibiting Cannabis production in the United States make it impossible for Biotechnologists to plant Hemp for research purposes, even though the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated there are over 30,000 hazardous sites in need of clean up in the United States, including Hanford and Three Mile Island. Seventeen states currently have voter approved initiatives allowing farmers to grow Hemp, but Federal regulation has seemingly superseded any attempts to plant a crop. Those who have planted Hemp fields have been met with Federal Interference and tactics including the destruction of their crops and the real threats of prosecution using obscure asset forfeiture laws and property seizure.
Recently, the State of Colorado took the initiative to come up with legislation allowing researchers to plant and study Hemp, specifically to research its use in cleaning contaminated soil. The Colorado HB12-1099 Industrial Hemp Pilot Program sponsored by Representative Wes McKinley (D) and Representative Jerry Sonnenberg (D) was unanimously approved by the 11 Colorado State Representatives present on February 13, 2012 during a House Committee on Local Government.
The program will allow a committee of experts to be assembled, and one to three contaminated locations to be designated for planting. Due to extensive mining of Colorado lands, there is no shortage of space needing clean up. Target areas considered will include farmland, mill sites, and landfills affected by chemical, sludge, and effluent runoff.
Once the sites are approved, planting will begin and the committee will study and report back on the components of the process, including the rate and mode of contaminate uptake from soil and water, the rate and location (stems, roots, leaves) of carbon contaminate fixation and what contaminates are stabilized in the plants versus what requires additional treatment. Different disposal methods will be tested once the plants reach harvest, including encasement, incineration, burial and composting.
Growing Industrial Hemp is currently prohibited by Federal Law and requires a special permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Colorado is invoking their 10th Amendment rights to rule on this matter outside of the Federal Government and cites Article 28 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs amended by the 1972 protocol that states, “This Convention shall not apply to the cultivation of the Cannabis plant exclusively for industrial purposes (fiber and seed) or horticultural purposes”. For this reason, Colorado will proceed with the program without seeking special permissions from the DEA.
The Industrial Hemp Remediation Pilot Program is expected to run for approximately a decade. Data collected is expected to show hemp’s effectiveness as a soil and water remediator, and the economic benefits of using hemp to clean the environment. Researchers are expecting the results to exceed expectations and hope the project will encourage other States to follow suit.
Hemp legislation passes committee vote
Measure wants to use hemp to ‘heal’ contaminated soil chieftain.com
DENVER — For the past few years the Colorado General Assembly has been debating the merits of marijuana as a pain reliever. On Monday, a legislative committee took up whether hemp, pot’s less intoxicating cousin, has healing properties over contaminated soil.
The House Local Government Committee unanimously passed Rep. Wes McKinley’s bill that would establish a pilot program to determine whether drugless hemp mitigates toxins in the ground where they’re grown.
“We’re not sure exactly what it does,” McKinley said. “That’s the idea of this study.”
He said the study would be of a small scale, possibly a few acres, at a site or sites determined by the state. It would begin with indoor experiments.
Witnesses in favor of HB1099 said pesticides on farmlands, heavy metals and other toxins have been proven in other studies to be absorbed by plants such as sunflowers. They testified that hemp could be a superior alternative because it takes virtually no additional water than what is naturally occurring.
Despite the overwhelming vote to pass the bill, lawmakers posed some serious questions about its feasibility.
A legislative researcher testified that growing hemp — even the drugless variety — remains illegal under federal law. A dispensation from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration would be necessary to move forward with McKinley’s plan.
Rep. Keith Swerdfeger, R-Pueblo West, pointed out that the medical marijuana industry has had trouble banking, because many institutions will not accept money from those types of businesses because marijuana is illegal under federal law.
As it is written, McKinley’s bill would require the seed money for the study to be banked at a federally recognized institution for tracking purposes. The legislative analyst said banks could object, but would not be turned off to the extent that they are by accepting medical marijuana proceeds because the study would generate none.
While hemp products ranging from garments to purses and even foods are readily available in many stores, none of the hemp that supplies them is produced in the United States. McKinley said attaining hemp growth to an extent that would change that is not the first aim of his bill.
Next, HB1099 faces a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee.
“They’re going to try to kill it,” McKinley said.
5@5 - Eat more hemp seeds (yes, they're legal)
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
In yesterday's post about eating more compassionately in the new year, Farm Sanctuary president Gene Baur extolled the virtues of replacing cow’s milk with an animal-friendly, non-dairy milk.
Among his replacement recommendations were the usual suspects - almond, soy, rice - but then he also mentioned a substitute a little more, shall we say, earthy.
While the perception of hemp leans, erroneously, more toward Cheech and Chong than one of undiluted health, hemp seeds are packed full of nutrition - and you should milk them for all they're worth, says Happy Hemp owner Tara Miko Grayless.
Five Uses for Hemp Seeds: Tara Miko Grayless
1. A happy stand-out
"Hemp seeds are a flavorful seed similar to pine nuts. Just a sprinkle of hemp seeds elevates any meal to super food status. It adds nutty goodness and a healthy dose of protein, fiber and essential amino and heart healthy fatty acids.
Sprinkle this moist seed on to any salad, yogurt, or cereal, or enjoy this protein-packed snack on their own. Simple and easy."
2. Got milk?
"Hemp milk is one of the most nutritionally value-packed milk options. Hemp milk is a great option for vegans, those who have allergens associated with whey protein or casein, or are lactose intolerant. Hemp milk is full of omega fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and protein - not to mention easy to make!"
1 cup hemp seeds
5 to 6 cups of water
Sweetener: honey or agave
In a blender combine one cup of hemp seeds with five to six cups of water. Blend for two to three minutes until smooth. Use less water for a thicker option. Add sweetener to taste. Strain through a cheesecloth or strainer to remove seed particles. Keeps fresh for three days in the refrigerator. Great for coffee, cereal, or oatmeal.
3. Breakfast on the go
"In an increasingly hurried and hectic world, adhering to a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge. We often overschedule ourselves to the point of not eating. Enter hemp seeds. Whipping up a quick smoothie to go can kick-start your day and your metabolism."
Hemp, Blackberry and Almond Smoothie
1/4 cup almonds
4 Tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Combine all ingredients into a blender, pour and enjoy.
4. Chocolate chip cookies to go with your milk
"Do you have little ones at home that are on a strict cookie, pizza or hamburger diet? No problem, hemp seeds can secretly be added to their diet with this stealth sweet treat. Simply add 1/2 cup of hemp seeds to your favorite cookie recipe. Here’s my no-fail chocolate chip cookie recipe that kids and kids-at-heart can never resist."
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup hemp seeds
6 ounces of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add hemp seed in flour mixture.
Combine flour mixture into butter and sugar. Once combined fold in chocolate chips.
Place large tablespoons of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5 minutes and then rotate pan, bake another five minutes (may have to adjust to your oven). Enjoy!
5. Protein power
"Many vegans, or people following the Paleo diet, have a terrible time finding alternative options to protein. Hemp seeds have more protein than meat, fish or tofu. This plant-based protein is an excellent option for a vegan diet. Hemp, hemp hooray! Here’s my easy recipe for Happy Hemp Stuffed Acorn Squash that many of my vegan friends just love. The hemp seeds provide much-needed protein to a vegan’s diet."
Hemp-Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup walnuts, in pieces
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ginger, grounded
1/4 teaspoon cloves, grounded
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup brown and 1/2 cup wild rice to make one cup
2 cups water
After cleaning the squash, cut in half along its length (top to bottom) and scoop out the seeds.
Boil water in a covered cooking pot on the stovetop. Add to seasonings, coconut oil and rice. Cover and reduce temperature to a simmer. Add raisins and onions. Simmer until all water is absorbed into the rice.
Remove from heat and mix thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes. Add walnuts and hemp seeds to rice mix together.
Stuff the squash halves with the rice mixture and lightly drizzle olive oil over top. Bake in a covered roasting pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour, or until the squash is tender.
Koforidua, Oct. 31, GHANA – The Eastern Regional Police has destroyed a three and half acre Indian hemp farm at Tweapease near Begoro in the Fanteakwa District of the Eastern Region.
Police Corporal Gideon Boateng, Deputy Eastern Regional Public Relations Officer, said in a statement copied to the GNA, that the farm was intercropped with garden eggs, okro, pepper, cocoyam and maize.
The statement said the team which was led by Assistant Superintendent of Police Omare Anim, got to the farm at 0500 hours and destroyed the crops with chemicals.
It said it has been observed that many farmers living in that community and its environs seem to be interested in the cultivation of Indian hemp farms despite the efforts of the police to stem the tide by destroying such farms.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Kwabena Gyamera Yeboah, the Regional Police Commander, warned farmers to desist from cultivating the illegal crops adding that the police were ready to arrest them.
5/25 By Paul Armentano NORML opposingviews.com
Is he too good to be true? -UA
Texas Republican Ron Paul and a coalition of 25 co-sponsors are once again seeking to allow for the commercial farming of industrial hemp.
House Bill 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011, would exclude low potency varieties of marijuana from federal prohibition. If approved, this measure will grant state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.
Several states — including North Dakota, Montana, and Vermont– have enacted regulations to allow for the cultivation of hemp under state law. However, none of these laws can be implemented without federal approval. Passage of HR 1831 would remove existing federal barriers and allow states that wish to regulate commercial hemp production the authority to do so.
“We are pleased to see the re-introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act in Congress. Vote Hemp is currently working with a Democratic Senator who is preparing to introduce companion legislation in the Senate in support of industrial hemp farming,” says Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. “It is due time for the Senate as well as President Obama and the Attorney General to prioritize the crop’s benefits to farmers and to take action like Rep. Paul and the cosponsors of H.R. 1831 have done. With the U.S. hemp industryvalued at over $400 million in annual retail sales and growing, a change in federal policy to allow hemp farming would mean instant job creation, among many other economic and environmental benefits,” adds Steenstra.
According to a 2005 Congressional Resource Service report, the United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop. As a result, U.S. companies that specialize in hempen goods — such as Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Patagonia, Nature’s Path, and Nutiva — have no choice but to import hemp material. These added production costs are then passed on to the consumer who must pay artificially high retail prices for hemp products.
Previous versions of The Industrial Hemp Farming Act were introduced, but failed to receive a public hearing or a committee vote. Please write your members of Congress today and tell them to end the federal prohibition of industrial hemp production. For your convenience, a prewritten letter will be e-mailed to your member of Congress when you enter your contact information below.
Fibers related to marijuana still illegal to grow in the U.S.
It looks like marijuana, but it’s not. It’s hemp.
To the unfamiliar eye, hemp can be easily confused with marijuana just as hemp fabric is mistaken for cotton in clothing. Underneath the confusion, hemp is a versatile material that can be used to make products such as gasoline, fabric, soap or protein powder and has a lessened environmental impact.
“As we transition from a hydrocarbon based economy to a carbohydrate based economy, hemp will be a part of the solution,” said Tom Murphy, the national outreach coordinator for Vote Hemp, an advocacy group aimed to legalize hemp farming and processing.
In distinguishing hemp from marijuana, a close inspection is required. Advocates for hemp argue that it contains no THC, or insignificant levels in comparison to marijuana, Murphy said. The fibers in hemp are sturdier than marijuana and the reason it has better use in clothing.
“Hemp fiber is stronger and longer lasting in comparison to petroleum sources,” Murphy said, such as oils and plastics.
Though it has slowly begun to shed its controversial image through research and acceptance in mainstream culture, the federal government still makes it illegal to farm and harvest hemp.
The Controlled Substance Act, passed in 1970, uses the same definition from the 1937 marijuana tax act, which recognizes hemp as the same as marijuana. This lack of distinction between hemp and marijuana make hemp illegal and open to prosecution.
“Since the law doesn’t distinguish (hemp and marijuana), we don’t distinguish,” said Barbara Correno, a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesperson.
While hemp farming and processing remains illegal in the U.S., it is still legal to make hemp-based products or include additives in products. Trader Joe’s sells a hemp protein powder, Whole Foods sells Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a hemp based soap line and Urban Outfitters sells hemp bracelets.
In food, Hemp is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, essential nutrients that the human body does not produce, is a source of digestible protein and currently has no known allergic reactions to it, Murphy said.
Since hemp remains illegal to grow, farm, and harvest, the hemp used to produce goods come from sources outside of the country like China and Canada, Murphy said.
Hemp is optimal for farming as well because once it has established itself the hemp plant becomes drought resistant, Murphy said.
While it needs as much water as cotton when first establishing itself in the soil, it requires less water than cotton. In addition, cotton requires many pesticides, while Canada doesn’t have any pesticides registered for use on hemp fiber or oil seed variety, Murphy said.
State legislation has passed that supports the farming or processing of hemp, Murphy said, yet he wouldn’t recommend anyone to start a farm because the Self Controlled Substances Act would still give the DEA authority to take the farmers land through forfeiture.
The last time an industrial hemp-farming bill was passed by California Congress, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill. Murphy hopes that Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill into law if Congress approves it again.
Though state legislation in support of hemp has put pressure on the federal government, complete hemp legalization cannot be reached until Congress approves it. Legislation in support of hemp has been presented to Congress three times since 2005, yet has never passed. Advocates want hemp regulation determined by each individual state and not the federal government and to make the distinction between marijuana and hemp in existing law, Murphy said.
“(Hemp) no longer would be the demon plant that it would be because it wouldn’t send the wrong message to our children,” Murphy said.
Check out hemp.org ! Cool website with great information! -UA
Feral Hemp Makes 35 Tons of Fiber and Four Tons of Seeds Per Acre
By Paul Stanford, Hemp News Director
Hemp seeds produce more oil and protein than any other plant per land area cultivated. Hemp protein and oil are rich in the essential fatty acids (EFAs) that our brain and cardiovascular system need, Omega 3 & 6, in the perfect ratio for optimal human health. Hemp protein has all 8 amino acids, again, in just the right balance to meet humans' nutritional needs.
Per acre, according to a study published in the Notre Dame University journal, The American Midland Naturalist, wild hemp here in the USA produces 8,500 pounds of seed per acre. The study is called: An Ecological Study of Naturalized Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in East-Central Illinois, by Alan Haney and Benjamin B. Kutscheid at the University of Indiana at Urbana, Department of Biology.
After you press the seeds, you get over 300 gallons of oil and 6,000 pounds of high protein hemp meal. That is 6 barrels of oil produced per acre, which is extremely healthy while fresh, and 3 tons of food per acre. This oil production rate is three times more productive than the next most productive seed oil crops: soybeans, sunflower seeds and canola, which produce 100 to 115 gallons of oil per acre. Hempseed oil will be the most productive source of biodiesel fuel when legalized, and it is also a nontoxic resource for plastics and other synthesized products.
Hemp biofuel conversion from biomass is beyond compare. Cannabis produces more biomass than any other plant outside the tropics, and it grows well in the tropics too. The ethanol production capacity of cannabis biomass is the best on Earth.
Fiber production from cannabis is also incomparable. Hemp stalks produce two types of fiber, the bast fiber, or the outer bark, and the hurd fiber, or the inner woody core of the stalk. Per acre, hemp is the most productive fiber on earth, making 10 tons of bast fiber, for canvas, rope, lace and linen, and 25 tons of hurd fiber, for paper and building materials.
The US Department of Agriculture's own Bulletin No. 404 said that the waste product from making canvas, rope and linen from cannabis hemp, this waste product, the hurd fiber, is more than 4 times more productive than trees for fiber production for paper and building materials. The USDA produced a movie during WWII called "Hemp for Victory" that promoted hemp farming for the war effort, and it is available online for free on YouTube and www.hemp.org...
Then, the flowers make a medicine that helps fight cancer, multiple sclerosis, neuro-degenerative disease, gastro-intestinal disorders, relieves chronic pain, helps glaucoma, seizures and spasms, and restores homeostasis. Marijuana increases longevity and using it as an edible food additive will make you live longer. The flowers make human brain neurotransmitters that make people laugh and relieve depression and anxiety.
I believe hemp is Mother Earth's greatest gift to us.
Remember, the low THC hemp allowed in Europe and Canada only make 600 to 1200 pounds of seed per acre, a small fraction of what hemp is capable of making. They get the THC so low by breeding out the flowers, and that breeds out the seeds too.
It is a conspiracy from the oligarchy to keep the wealth in their hands. Petroleum is capital intensive, hemp is naturally decentralized. You can buy 10 hemp seed presses for the price of one small car. It is over $1 billion to build an oil refinery, and they are incredibly toxic.
Hemp will create thousands of jobs and return economic control to the people. No more wars for petroleum, use hemp instead. Hemp can lead the way to economic and ecological sustainability, and help save the remnants of our biosphere's precious heritage, the diversity of life that we should bequeath to the seventh generation and beyond.
I am now working on establishing a multi-year hemp oil, protein and fiber agronomic research project to demonstrate the potential fuel, fiber and food production capacity of high-THC hemp. Stay tuned...