Hemp Fabric Could Prove Crucial to Creating a More Comfortable and Sustainable World

Hemp is a super material: it’s soft, naturally bacteria resistant, UV resistant, long lasting and gets softer with use.

Hemp is a super material: it’s soft, naturally bacteria resistant, UV resistant, long lasting and gets softer with use.  Select companies, such as Patagonia, have a few hemp clothing products on the market but the cost is significantly higher than their cotton and wool counterparts. Currently, most hemp products in the U.S., especially outside of CBD product industry, are made from imported hemp.  The global transportation increases both the carbon footprint of the end products, in addition to, the final cost to the consumer.   Hemp fabric is made from the stalk of the hemp plant, allowing the stems, leaves, and flowers to be used for other hemp-derived products.

The manufacturing of hemp fabric is a labor intensive process.  According to Recreator, a hemp clothing company based in California, hemp goes through the following eight steps to become usable hemp fabric:

1.   Cultivation
2.   Harvesting
3.   Retting (the process whereby naturally-occurring bacteria and fungi, or chemicals, break down the pectins that bind the hemp fibers to be released. Common techniques consist of soaking in water or laying on the ground, allowing dew to do the retting.)
4.   Breaking
5.   Scutching (beating stems, which separates the desired fibers from the hemp’s woody core.)
6.   Hackling (combing of the stems to remove unwanted particles.)
7.   Roving (improves strength.)
8.   Spinning (can be wet and dry spun.)

The greatest advantage to growing hemp, over other natural materials, is that it can be grown quickly (120 days to harvest) in almost any soil.  Hemp grows densely, leaving no room for weeds to grow and its roots reach deep into the soil leaving natural nutrients in the top-soil and sub-soil.  Hemp is also a drought-resistant plant, requiring only 5% of what cotton needs through harvest.

Hemp is truly a super fabric.  We can only hope that in the coming years the mainstream clothing industry will embrace the use of locally-sourced hemp as a prime fabric source.

Effects of CBD on Muscle Quality and Performance in Mice with Muscular Dystrophy

Researchers test CBD’s ability to restore functional autophagy, reduce inflammation and positively enhance muscle function.

Italian researchers sought to determine if CBD would demonstrate any effect on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness; it is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy. Prior research has determined that autophagy, the natural destruction of cells, greatly contributes to the aggravation of muscle damage. Researchers tested CBD’s ability to restore functional autophagy, reduce inflammation and positively enhance muscle function.

During the study, mice with DMD were injected with CBD at different stages of the disease. After treatment, locomotor tests and biochemical analyses were used to evaluate their effects on inflammation and autophagy. Researchers also observed the interaction of CBD with transient receptor potential (TRP) channels; these channels respond to different stimuli, including pain. At the conclusion of the study, researchers determined that the administered CBD prevented the loss of locomotor activity, reduced inflammation and restored autophagy. The mice also had rapid desensitization in the TRP channels, allowing the mice to feel less pain. Overall the researchers are optimistic in utilizing CBD, in conjunction with traditional treatments, to treat DMD and provide patients with a better quality of life through reduced inflammation, restored functional autophagy and improved muscle function.

To review the medical study abstract, please click here.

Is Cannabidiol the Future of Autism Treatment?

CBD could be the future of treating ASD, offering a natural, well-tolerated alternative to traditional pharmaceutical drug therapies.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, may play a key role in the future treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  CBD is one of the main components of the cannabis plant which produces none of the psychoactive effects caused by the more commonly known cannabinoid, THC.  Researchers have begun to consider CBD as a potential candidate for the treatment of ASD and are currently beginning clinical trials to determine its safety and efficacy.

The causes of autism are not fully understood and there is currently no cure.  Unfortunately, autism is becoming more and more common.  In 2004, the CDC estimated that 1 in 166 children would be diagnosed with autism; by 2018, that number was changed to 1 in 59, nearly triple the previous rate.  Traditionally, doctors have attempted to treat symptoms of autism with anti-psychotic medications, which often have harmful side effects and are unideal for children.

Autism also has a broad range of symptoms and severities.  The most noticeable symptoms include deficits in social communication, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities and often intellectual disabilities.  Comorbidities can include sleep disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/HDHD) and epilepsy.  Interestingly, while less than 2% of the population suffers from epilepsy, nearly 1/3 of individuals with autism have epilepsy, as well.  CBD is known to be extremely effective for treating epilepsy and many who have administered CBD to autistic individuals for their epilepsy have noticed improvements in other autistic behaviors.  There have been enough claims that CBD is beneficial in treating autism symptoms that New York University (NYU) neurologist Dr. Orrin Devinsky, the same scientist who did research on Epidiolex (the only FDA-approved CBD drug), is now conducting two studies on how CBD affects children aged 5 to 18 with moderate to severe autism.

While no studies have yet proven the efficacy of CBD for the treatment of ASD symptoms, there is sufficient evidence to prompt clinical trials to explore the effects of CBD on autism.  CBD could be the future of treating ASD, offering a natural, well-tolerated alternative to traditional pharmaceutical drug therapies.

Dogs with Osteoarthritis Treated with CBD have Increased Comfort and Activity

The study concluded that administering CBD oil to dogs with osteoarthritis increased both comfort and activity.

A collection of veterinary hospitals and clinics conducted a study to determine the effect of CBD oil, administered twice daily, on dogs with osteoarthritis.

The dogs in this study were split into three groups, receiving CBD oil at 2mg/kg, 8 mg/kg or placebo oil every 12 hours; their treatments continued for 4 weeks. During this trial period the dog owners completed surveys and the dogs had veterinary assessments before treatment, at 2 weeks and at 4 weeks, upon conclusion of the study. Blood work, serum chemistry and physical examinations were also performed at each veterinary visit to assess how their bodies were processing the oil.

At the conclusion of the study, the owner’s survey and the veterinary assessments noted that there was a decrease in pain and an increase in activity during the CBD treatment with no observable side effects. However, serum chemistry showed an increase in alkaline phosphatase while taking CBD which could eventually affect the kidneys. Overall, this study concluded that administering CBD oil to dogs with osteoarthritis increased both comfort and activity.

To learn more about this study please click here.

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CBDA Beneficial for Pain and Inflammation in a Rodent Model of Inflammatory Pain

Cannabis has shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperalgesia (lowering of pain response) properties, but the exact plant components causing these effects were the target of this study.

A recent study from the Department of Psychology and Collaborative Neuroscience Program at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, has examined the pain reducing and anti-inflammatory properties of chemical components, called cannabinoids, in cannabis.  Specifically, CBD, CBDA (CBD’s acidic precursor, cannabidiolic acid) and THC were studied in an animal model of acute inflammation, in the paw of a rat.  Cannabis has shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperalgesia (lowering of pain response) properties, but the exact plant components causing these effects were the target of this study.

Researcher results demonstrated that CBDA was the most effective at relieving both pain and inflammation when administered intraperitonially 60 minutes prior to carrageenan-induced inflammation.  Both CBDA and THC given orally had anti-hyperalgesia effects, and the THC also reduced inflammation.  Comparatively, equal dosage of CBD did not display the same pain-relieving results, which led researchers to conclude that CBDA is more effective for this application.  Interestingly, when very low doses of CBDA and THC were not effective on their own, when combined, they produced anti-hyperalgesia effects, along with, reduced inflammation.

This study was able to importantly identify the effects of different components of the cannabis plant and the medicinal properties they possess.  While CBD was not the most effective at managing pain and inflammation in this study, a different cannabinoid, CBDA, was extremely effective.  CBDA can be found in many CBD-rich products such as tinctures, topicals and edibles.

To read more about the aforementioned study from the University of Guelph, click here.

Targeting the Hippocampus with CBD is Associated with Stress Coping in Rats

Researchers are conducting studies to examine the effect of CBD when injected directly in the hippocampus area of the brain and whether CBD could be a viable treatment therapy for depression.

Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) used as an anti-depressant can be a safe and effective method of treatment. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the hemp plant which has been shown to possess antidepressant-like properties.

A group of researchers from Brazil and Denmark are conducting studies using rats to examine the effect of CBD when injected directly in the hippocampus area of the brain and whether CBD could be a viable treatment therapy for depression. The hippocampus is thought to be the center of emotion, memory and the autonomic nervous system. Specifically, the study sought to determine whether BDNF-TrkB-mTOR signaling (brain-derived neurotrophic factor/tropomyosin-receptor kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin) in the brain plays a role in administering the effects of antidepressant drugs.

In this study, groups of rats received targeted injections of CBD directly into the hippocampus and were then subjected to a forced swim test and an open-field test to induce stress. After testing, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels were analyzed. The results showed that these direct injections of cannabidiol induced an antidepressant-like effect and increased BDNF levels. The CBD also reduced immobility time, an effect that other drugs being tested were not able to replicate.

After analysis, the researchers concluded that using the hippocampal BDNF-TrkB-mTOR pathway to inject CBD could be a vital method of treatment for depression. While further research is necessary, this targeted approach for administration is promising for those that suffer from severe depression, further demonstrating the effectiveness of CBD as a potential treatment therapy for depression.

To learn more about the medical study referenced above, please click here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29968502

Neuropathic Chronic Pain Conditions May Benefit from CBD

A group of researchers from the United States, Canada and Italy conducted a study on rats to determine if CBD could be a viable treatment option for neuropathic pain conditions.

Previous clinical studies have demonstrated that cannabidiol (CBD) may be effective at relieving pain while also possessing anti-anxiety effects.  Cannabidiol is one of the main non-psychoactive components of the hemp plant.  While the analgesic and anxiolytic effects of CBD have been widely studied, its effect on serotonin neuronal cell activity, and its impact on models of neuropathic chronic pain, are unknown.  A group of researchers from the United States, Canada and Italy conducted a study on rats to determine if CBD could be a viable treatment option for neuropathic pain conditions.

Using in-vivo single-unit extracellular recordings in rats, researchers demonstrated that slowly increasing low doses of CBD decreased the firing rate of serotonin neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus, the part of the brain stem that contains the majority of serotonin and is linked to stress and emotional processing.  Repeated injections of CBD for 7 days, in conjunction with the stimulation of heat receptors, increased serotonin firing through the desensitization of serotonin receptors.

Rats were then subjected to a nerve injury model to induce mechanical allodynia, a nerve condition in which a normal stimulus, such as the touch of clothing, causes debilitating pain. The test subjects were subjected to the nerve injury for 24 days and showed decreased serotonin firing activity, mechanical allodynia and increased anxiety-like behavior during maze tests, open-field tests and novelty-suppressed feeding tests. The subjected rats were then treated with CBD for seven days which reduced mechanical allodynia, decreased anxiety-like behavior and normalized serotonin activity. The study concluded that the repeated low-dose treatments of CBD effectively reduced pain by heat receptor activation and reduced anxiety through serotonin receptor activation.

While more research and trials are required to study this area further, this initial study demonstrates that patients suffering from neuropathic chronic pain conditions could possibly benefit from CBD.  To learn more about this study, please click here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30157131

Study Shows Cannabidiol Prevents Brain Cell Death Caused by Iron Overload

The administration of the CBD treatments was able to reverse the negative effects induced by iron on the brain, including cell death, and demonstrated that cannabidiol has neuroprotective properties through its ability to prevent cell death.

 In both the normal aging process, as with neurodegenerative diseases, one of the common changes recorded is the accumulation of iron in the brain. Many studies have shown that iron overload in certain regions of the brain can cause cell death, resulting in cognitive dysfunction, such as dementia and loss of motor skills.  A recent collaboration between researchers in Brazil examined the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on excess iron levels. CBD has been proven, in numerous published research studies, to have a regulating effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The aforementioned study consisted of the administration of high levels of iron to infant male rats, followed by a two-week treatment of CBD.  Iron levels were increased to dangerous levels in several of the vital proteins of the brain’s hippocampus.  The administration of the CBD treatments was able to reverse the negative effects induced by iron on the brain, including cell death, and demonstrated that cannabidiol has neuroprotective properties through its ability to prevent cell death.

This study is promising for anyone dealing with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease.  If cannabidiol can control the negative effects of excess iron buildup in the brain, thus preventing the death of brain cells, it could help millions of aging individuals each year.

To read more about the aforementioned study, click here.

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New Research Demonstrates CBD’s Effectiveness in Reducing Symptoms of Psychosis

The results of the study demonstrated to researchers that CBD was able to realign the brain to normal levels and possibly reduce psychotic symptoms.

A study published in August 2018 by King’s College in London asserts that cannabidiol, also known as CBD, can effectively realign the brain to possibly reduce psychotic symptoms.  CBD is one of the main non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis plants.  In just a single treatment with CBD, MRI results showed significant changes to the part of the brain where psychosis occurs.

Researchers at King’s College examined patients with psychotic symptoms, in addition to, healthy patients. In the double-blind study, some participants received CBD, while others received a placebo. Testing was performed through an MRI scan while the test subjects performed memory tasks.  The MRI examined the portion of the brain related to psychosis.  Patients displaying psychotic symptoms, who received only the placebo, showed abnormal brain activity compared to the healthy patients.  The group of subjects who suffered from psychosis, that did receive CBD, displayed significantly less abnormal brain activity than those who received the placebo.  These results demonstrated to researchers that CBD was able to realign the brain to normal levels and possibly reduce psychotic symptoms.

Sagnik Bhattacharyya, co-author of the study, stated that “the mainstay of current treatment for people with psychosis are drugs that were first discovered in the 1950s and unfortunately do not work for everyone. Our results have started unravelling the brain mechanisms of a new drug that works in a completely different way to traditional antipsychotics.”

King’s College intends to further its research into the potential therapeutic uses of cannabidiol for treating psychosis.  CBD is currently readily available in the United States.  Organic CBD rich hemp oil is available for purchase at www.BuyNectarCBD.com, a Colorado company which features an entire line of CBD distillate for sale.  Distillate is the most refined form of full-spectrum CBD currently available.

To learn more about the research summarized in this article, see the link here.

CBD Showed Sustained Effects Against Depression in Rats

“Cannabidiol may not only be a faster-acting antidepressant than conventional drugs but also improve the response to such drugs when taken in combination with them.”

Brazilian and Danish scientists discovered that symptoms of depression in rats were reduced upon treatment with cannabidiol (CBD), with results lasting up to seven days. In this controlled study, researchers observed 367 rats and mice during stressful events to see if cannabidiol, given at various strengths, allowed the animals to perform better. The rats and mice that received CBD performed the tests in an anti-depressed manner, in comparison to, those that were given a placebo. One week after the initial tests were performed, various areas of the brain associated with depression were monitored; researchers found that the tested areas of the brain were functioning better after a single treatment of cannabidiol.

Researchers are continuing the scope of their study to determine if cannabidiol, in conjunction with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), will provide patients with quicker and longer-lasting relief.  Traditional anti-depressants prescribed to humans often require a month to demonstrate any significant improvement and, at times, are not effective at all.  Researchers believe that these patients may also be able to reduce their dosages of SSRIs while maintaining the same benefits. Researchers concluded that “cannabidiol may not only be a faster-acting antidepressant than conventional drugs but also improve the response to such drugs when taken in combination with them.” This particular study represents a breakthrough for those suffering from depression, especially those who do not respond to traditional anti-depressant therapy.

To learn more about this study, please see the link here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180830113004.htm.