This Saturday, 30 March at 8.30PM local time, is Earth Hour. With its campaign #Connect2Earth, Earth Hour 2019 aims to unite millions of people around the world to show their commitment to the planet and tackling climate change. To join the movement, switch your lights off on 30 March, 8:30 pm your local time in solidarity with global efforts to secure nature and our home.
Hoping to make another major earth-friendly change this year? As well as switching off your lights, make the switch to hemp!
The cannabis plant is thought to be one of the earliest agricultural and economic crops, coveted for its multi-purpose nature. From building to clothing to food, medicine, and recreation, cannabis is one of the most versatile plants used throughout history. Here’s why we need to bring it back.
1. Hemp Cleans Soil
Hemp is like a sponge for environmental chemicals. The cannabis plant pulls in environmental toxins like excess mineral deposits through its roots, binding up potential toxins in its fibrous stalks and leaves. A key component in a process called “bioremediation”, hemp plants have already been successfully used to clean up dioxin, a pervasive environmental pollutant produced as a byproduct of steel smelting, in this case.
In a recent project from Colorado State University, hemp was used to absorb selenium buildup in an experimental setting. While elements like selenium are naturally found in soil, agricultural runoff deposits excessive quantities of the mineral into the surrounding landscape. The contaminant can harm aquatic life if it leaches into waterways, and it may cause harm to plants and animals that are less tolerant of the pollutant.
2. Cannabis Makes Biofuel
There are many reasons to invest in alternative fuels. For one, carbon emissions are the single largest contributor to climate change, which is already impacting weather patterns, animal migrations, and changes in food supplies around the globe.
Secondly, fossil fuels are a finite resource, meaning that there is only a limited amount available for consumption and we cannot make more. The overreliance on fossil fuels makes for security risks for many countries, who are dependent on access to a finite resource for basic living.
Here’s where hemp comes in. Hemp, like other plants, can be processed to make biofuels. Biofuels are oils extracted from plants. In the case of cannabis, the oil produced by hempseeds can be transformed into fuel through a process called transesterification, in which the oil is blended with combustible alcohol via the help of a catalyst.
While all biofuels are better for the environment than fossil fuels, hemp biofuel is a particularly attractive option. The benefit of using biofuel is that plant-based energy sources can be cultivated continuously in local areas without the risk of running out. Hemp is a vigorously growing plant that can thrive even in infertile soils, which makes it a superior selection over other biodiesel crops.
3. Build Carbon-Negative Homes with Hemp
Cannabis may be a sponge for soil pollutants, but it is also a sponge for carbon. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that carbon dioxide emissions are fueling a rapidly changing climate. Cannabis plants are unique in that they can both absorb carbon dioxide, retain the carbon, and release only oxygen back into the atmosphere.
In a sense, hemp plants are like carbon storage devices. For this reason, hemp is oft touted to be one of the “ultimate sustainable building materials”. Hemp stalk and pulp can be mixed with lime to create a plant-based concrete, concrete that incidentally prevents carbon from being re-released back into the environment. This process of “locking away” carbon is called carbon sequestration.
In a 2017 poster presented at the International Conference on Advances in Construction Materials and System, researchers found that a cube of hemp concrete successfully stored 307.26 kilograms of carbon per meter cubed of material. Unlike other materials like wood and metals, which are heavily reliant on fossil fuels and are not considered sustainable building materials, structures made from hemp concrete are considered carbon negative. Hemp pulls more carbon out of the environment than it puts back.
4. Hemp Makes Better Plastic
Let’s be honest, we’ve got a plastic problem. Plastic is polluting the ocean, leaching harmful chemicals into our foods, and refuses to degrade in any reasonable amount of time. Recently, major corporations like Starbucks have recently announced commitments to reduce their use of plastics. Many cities have stopped providing plastic bags in grocery stores, while others have banned the use of plastic straws.
While it would be silly to suggest that we could replace all plastics, the need for widespread alternatives is upon us. Currently, many compostable plastics are made from corn or other botanical materials. Hemp can provide another alternative.
Remember all of that carbon hemp plants pulled in from the atmosphere? Well, it turns out that the herb uses it to make high concentrations of cellulose, a natural polymer needed to make natural plastics.
Hemp biomass contains 60 to 75 percent cellulose, making it a particularly good candidate for biodegradable plastics. By comparison, corn stover has clocked in at a little over 50 percent. The result is a strong and durable plastic that can decompose into natural compounds like carbon dioxide and water, without leaching harmful chemicals back into the environment.
5. Cannabis Makes Better Fiber
Cannabis plants have been used to make textiles and papers for millennia. And yet, cannabis prohibition back in 1937 interrupted what could have been a thriving and sustainable hemp industry. Cannabis plants require less water than cotton or wood, which are the two most common natural fiber sources used today.
Further, hemp plants feature a low concentration of lignin when compared with wood. Lignin is a natural fiber in plants that provides a hard, sturdy structure. This lignin concentration is important for making products like paper. With a lower lignin concentration, hemp requires synthetic chemicals to process into paper and cardboard than wood. This makes processing hemp pulp a more environmentally-friendly practice overall.
Remember to switch off in solidarity with #Connect2Earth and global efforts to secure nature and our planet on 30 March, 8:30 pm your local time.
Tyson 2.0 Launches New Mike Bites Cannabis Gummies
Nearly 25 years after he was disqualified from the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Championship for biting his opponent’s ears, Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand has just released ear-shaped edibles, Mike Bites.
The new ear-shaped edibles are complete with a missing chunk where Tyson removed a portion of Evander Holyfield’s cartilage in what became known as The Bite Fight. After Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear, the 1997 match resumed. However, after attempting to snack on Holyfield’s second ear, Tyson was disqualified and his boxing licence was withdrawn. The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed Tyson a a $3 million fine for his actions and he didn’t fight again for over a year.
Wiz Khalifa Debuts New Taylor Gang x Stündenglass Collab
Wiz Khalifa and his entertainment company Taylor Gang Ent. have collaborated with Stündenglass, the world’s first gravity-powered infuser, to introduce the iconic gold and black Taylor Gang x Stündenglass.
“I’m honored to have collaborated with long time friend Wiz Khalifa, who is as passionate about this product as I am. Our mutual admiration for Stündenglass made it a natural collaboration,” Stündenglass CEO Chris Folkerts said via a press release.
Taylor Gang x Stündenglass is an authentic collaboration developed after the multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, Golden Globe-nominated Khalifa discovered Stündenglass and began enjoying it regularly as seen on his Instagram.
“I love my Stündenglass, and I’m pumped everyone gets to experience this with me now,” Khalifa.
The infuser features a patented 360-degree gravity system that elicits a powerful and immersive experience. It generates kinetic motion activation via cascading water, opposing airflow technology and the natural force of gravity.
The Taylor Gang gravity bing comes in an exclusive black and gold colorway and features two glass globes on a metal base made of aircraft-grade aluminum, surgical grade stainless steel, and high-quality Teflon seals.
Taylor Gang includes artists Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, and Berner among others — the former of which has his own line Stündenglass collab with his Cookies brand.
“We’re very excited to launch the official Taylor Gang x Stündenglass. We use glass in our everyday lives, so it only made sense to team up and create an exclusive Taylor Gang collaboration for the fans,” Taylor Gang said.
No Super Bowl for Brock Ollie
With medicinal marijuana being legal in 37 states and recreational cannabis allowed in 18, we should be seeing commercials for companies, products, and services almost as frequently as commercials for sports betting, which is permitted in 30 states in some form.
However, mainstream cannabis advertising continues to be non-existent, as demonstrated in the recent news that NBC has rejected an ad by cannabis e-commerce and advertising platform Weedmaps from being shown during the Super Bowl LVI event his coming Sunday.
Weedmaps reportedly approached the network late last year about airing a Super Bowl commercial that would be “similar to a PSA,” according to reports. Execs volunteered to present some of their earlier educational-based programming, assuring NBC executives that it would not contain any direct-sell messages, which are still forbidden under federal law.
“The answer was a hard no — they wouldn’t even entertain the conversation,” Weedmaps Chief Operating Officer Juanjo Feijoo told Adweek. “We see ourselves as trying to be trailblazers in the industry and making new inroads where others haven’t gone before in cannabis advertising. So it was disappointing.”
The contentious ad personifies cannabis as Brock Ollie, a head of broccoli, the veggie emoji commonly used as a visual representation of cannabis in marketing. The 30-second ad takes viewers through a day in the life of Brock Ollie, whose superfood identity is in jeopardy as he is repeatedly misidentified as cannabis. The ad offers a lighthearted take on the industry’s issues, such as social media censorship and a lack of clear advertising standards, which limit cannabis-related commercials during nationally televised events like the Super Bowl.
“Despite three quarters of the country having legalized cannabis and the bipartisan enthusiasm we continue to see in support for change at the federal level, the industry continues to face roadblocks that inhibit competition in the legal market and stifle opportunities to educate,” Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps said. “There’s an irony in the fact that the biggest night for advertising will feature an array of consumer brands in regulated industries, from beverage alcohol to sports betting, yet legal cannabis retailers, brands and businesses have been boxed out.”
The game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will be played Sunday in L.A.