Using Cannabis and Ayurveda to Improve Sleep

Cannabis is regarded as the five essential plants in Vedas, and for a good reason. Cannabis or “Vijaya” helps one to attain victory over sufferings.

However, so much has been said to misled about the plant, that people often get confused. Its beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Cannabis can be abused, yes. Similarly like anything used in excess is bad. But the medicine has so much potential to help in various ailments and act as a boon for mankind, if used in the right way.

We are witnessing a much needed mind shift with ongoing research and worldwide law reforms, which has brought the focus back to the benefits of Cannabis.

So, Why Cannabis?

Cannabis has been used since thousands of years in India to alleviate pain, relax muscles, stimulate appetite, improve sleep and reduce anxiety.

Cannabis is a vital ingredient in more than 80 traditional Ayurvedic formulas, in varying quantities. For individuals suffering from Insomnia, it works –

  • As an effective sleep aid, as it restores person’s natural sleep cycle.
  • With analgesic properties, it can provide relief from chronic pain,
  • Its anti-anxiety properties help calm down mind and body,
  • Reduces stress and improves mood

Please be advised that Cannabis is a medicine that works differently on different individuals and thus should be started slow to analyze its impact and interpret the right dose. It is best consumed under the guidance of a doctor and in moderation.

How is cannabis associated with sleep?

The herb contains many cannabinoids, which affects the body through the endocannabinoid system, the receptors of which are located in throughout our body. This system is a biochemical communication system of the body and regulates our physiology, mood, and everyday experience. Endocrine system regulates the processes such as sleep, energy storage, growth and development. Endocrine system disruption can lead to various disorders, including anxiety and insomnia.

Cannabinoids have the potential to regulate endocrine system and improve sleep patterns by reducing anxiety and improving REM sleep.

Which sleep disorders can be treated with Cannabis?

We sleep to rest the body and reset the mind for the next day. Imagine the plight of those who cannot get a restful sleep. Medicinal cannabis has been proven to be a boon for such patients, suffering from a range of sleep disorders. The five most common and precarious sleep disorders that can be benefitted by Cannabis are mentioned below:

  1. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes breathing to be interrupted for 10-30 seconds in one go, which causes loss of oxygen resulting in disturbed sleep.

  1. Insomnia

Unable to fall asleep, when you want to, can cause a lot of stress. When this happens for a prolonged number of days, it is termed as insomnia.

  1. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

You must have seen people talking or walking or moving their limbs, while sleeping, this is REM Sleep disorder, where the person enacts the dreams.

  1. Hyper somnolence

Hyper somnolence makes people very sleepy during the day. This situation does not get better even after a nightlong sleep.

  1. Restless Leg Syndrome

This disorder creates an irresistible urge to shake your legs. Movements of legs cause lot of disturbance in falling asleep.

Choose Authentic Products

Vedi Herbals offers 100% organic ayurvedic products, which can help treat your sleep issues-

  • Sarpagandha Ghan Vati is one of the best natural medicines by Vedi Herbals to treat insomnia, along with high blood pressure and alcoholism, the most apparent problems in today’s world. Infused with the goodness of Cannabis, it is a good remedy for hypertension and insomnia.
  • Vijaya Capsules (Cannabis Sativa) is a full spectrum cannabis extract, standardized to 4% CBD and 2% THC. Capsules available in 2:1 ratio are considered to be ideal for treating insomnia. Vijaya Capsules works on the interactions of cannabinoids with our own endocannabinoid system and help to regulate movement, mood, memory, appetite, pain and many other activities.

Tips

Ayurvedic Cannabis also has minor side effects, which can be easily reduced by including the following in your diet:

  • Cannabis may have heating effects in body, so try to balance it with other herbs and foods, which have qualities pacifying its harmful effects. Consume foods that have cooling, moistening, nourishing effects.
  • Ghee is an ideal treat for overall nourishment of body and digestion. While using Cannabis, ghee must be a part of diet.
  • Spices such as cumin, coriander, fennel, rose, saffron have cooling digestive qualities, including them in your diet will also help.
  • Pomegranate Juice, grape juice and coconut water are very refreshing, cooling, thirst quenching and improve digestion.

Conclusion

In the recent years, Cannabis has received immense attention and appreciation due to its enormous medicinal potential. Studies and time have proven that Cannabis definitely is a holistic herbal treatment for sleep disorders.

Choosing the right CBD: THC ratio in Cannabis

We all know that the Cannabis plant is used for recreational purposes, such as getting high. The Cannabinoid THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the only compound in the Cannabis plant, which gives the psychoactive effect and makes you feel high. We would like to portray the other side of the coin, as it can do wonders for the brain health and the overall wellbeing of yours, if used in the right way and under the supervision of an Ayurvedic practitioner, as a medicine or for wellness. Not for abuse.

Did you know that this plant also produces more than 100 other non-psychoactive compounds known as Cannabinoids, providing numerous benefits in treating various disorders and managing symptoms?

The two most well-researched and well-known Cannabinoids are CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is non-psychoactive and provides good relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, convulsions and other conditions. THC provides good relief from neuropathic pain, lack of appetite, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, spasms, irritability and other conditions.

Hence, both of these Cannabinoids along with the various other Cannabinoids are essentially needed for a complete treatment. Adding on other Ayurvedic herbs will certainly improve the healing process.

Cannabis has a lot of medicinal value and has been used in Ayurveda and other systems of traditional medicines since ages. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the medicinal uses of these compounds, how they work together and what should be the right ratio for you. As of now HempCann Solutions has been able to produce the Cannabis capsules in two different ratios of CBD and THC, which is 1:1 & 2:1 and can be available through vediherbals.com

Medicinal uses of CBD and THC

The diagram below illustrates some of the medical benefits that can be gained using CBD and THC:

 

Here are links to some clinical studies that have been conducted to prove the medicinal properties of CBD and THC. You will find thousands of research articles on-line, proving the effectiveness of Cannabis in the treatment of various disorders.

How CBD can prevent seizures, THC and anti-cancer effect, CBD and mood disorders.

Why are CBD and THC taken together?

Our body has an endocannabinoid system. Which means we produce natural cannabinoids endogenously. The human endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes, such as mood, fertility, pregnancy, appetite, pain-sensation, memory, etc.

Scientists have identified two primary Cannabinoid receptors in our body. CB1, which is highly concentrated in the brain/ central nervous system, and CB2, which has the highest concentration in our immune system.

When we consume an external cannabinoid (phytocannabinoid), like THC/ CBD it has a different mechanism of action in our bodies and follows different pathways. And when CBD and THC are taken together it creates a synergy known as “entourage effect”. Simplistically, it means that the non-psychoactive CBD modulates or balances the effects of the psychoactive THC. We have seen earlier that THC has many medicinal properties but because of its psychoactive nature, it cannot be taken by itself, as it creates some anxiety and minor side effects. Hence, when THC is taken along with CBD and the other phytocannabinoids, the psychoactive effects are reduced and the therapeutic effects are enhanced.

CBD and THC ratio

It is clear that CBD and THC have to be taken together to enhance and support each other’s medicinal value, along with the many other Cannabinoids of the Cannabis plant. Such as CBN, CBC, THCA, THCV, etc. But, is there a specific ratio and what are their benefits? Yes there are many such ratios, which benefit various individuals. There is no specific ratio that will suit every individual suffering from a particular condition.

Ratios that are most commonly available and used are CBD:THC ratio as 1:1, 2:1, 1:2 and 20:1.

Even Ratio (CBD:THC::1:1) : The balanced standardization. These are optimal for treating problems like neuropathic pain, lack of appetite, depression, spasms, nausea, vomiting, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.

High CBD (CBD:THC::2:1):  The high CBD standardization. These are ideal for problems like seizures, inflammation, stress, anxiety, insomnia, etc.

So, What Ratio Should I Take?

Now, this can be confusing for a beginner. Every individual is different, and can react differently to various types of Cannabinoid ratios and cultivars. We would advise you to not pick a medicine over the counter. If you are not sure about the formulation that is going to suit you, please get in touch with us and we will certainly help you find the right ratio for you.

The adage “start low and go slow” is appropriate for cannabis therapy. If you are not sure about how the THC is going to react in your body, its better to start with our 2:1 ratio, as it contains less THC.

This blog details the combinations and its effects. Having read it you not only have a complete understanding of using these cannabinoids but it will also help you in asking your medical expert right questions.

Vijaya capsules from VEDI

Vijaya capsules from Vedi have 125mg Cannabis extract infused in Organic cold pressed Coconut oil. These capsules are available in two variants.

Vijaya Capsules with CBD:THC ratio of 2:1, which can help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Contains 4% CBD and 2% THC.

The other variant of Vijaya  Capsules has CBD:THC in 1:1 ratio. This can help relieve neuropathic pain and stimulate appetite. Contains 4% CBD and 4% THC.

Cannabis has a lot of potential in treating and managing various ailments and providing relief in symptoms. Read more on Vedi website here.

Cannabis: The natural stress killer

So, is cannabis good for you?

If you asked somebody like Willie Nelson, who stand-up comic Bill Maher called the ‘Founding Father of Stoning’, the answer would be simple: it relieves stress and that alone keeps you healthy.

If you asked a doctor about the role stress plays on our overall health, here is the simplest answer you would get: stress directly affects and weakens the immune system. In Star Trek terms, that’s your body’s force field going weak, making you fair game for disease causing microbes.

Stress also promotes lifestyle diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. That is probably the reason why ‘outlaw’ Willie Nelson did not bat an eyelid when he came on the Larry King Live show and said that he had had a toke right before the interview.

It is important to ask if a legend like Willie Nelson, who is also in his 80s, would promote a naturally growing herb if it did not help him. Does he have any need to lie about it, especially at his age? We believe that his view comes from the conviction he has developed all through his life, for which he has had to suffer legal censure in his home state.

He added that he did not smoke it anymore but used a vaporiser instead, as he was not fond of smoke now. He also added that personal experience had proved to him that marijuana did not have any side-effects that were worrisome. He went on to add that the only time he saw a man die of marijuana was when a huge bale of the plant fell on him accidentally.

According to Laura Borgeit, PharmD, University of Colorado, your body already produces marijuana-like chemicals that affect pain or inflammation and other processes that regulate your system. What marijuana does is boost the power of these natural bio-chemicals and make them work better.

The efficacy of cannabis in fighting stress is a profound one and has a very long history. The oldest cultures of the world used it to counter anxiety and stress since thousands of years now. We shall talk about that in the next post.

While we may not know the exact science behind how this happens even today, it is known that it has something to do with the body’s endocannabinoid (ECB) system. Since the ECB system is a fairly new medical discovery, there is not enough information as to how marijuana fortifies and helps this system function better.

Researchers say that the ECB system naturally regulates stress in the body by releasing chemicals that belong to the same class of chemicals found in marijuana, which are called cannabinoids. Till now, over 60 chemicals have been discovered which may help the ECB system. Interestingly, tetrahydro cannabinol or THC, which is considered the main psychoactive substance in marijuana, is almost a twin of anandamide, which is one of the first endocannabinoids discovered in humans.

While studies as to how marijuana works with the ECB system are on across the world, there is a growing community of scientists and researchers who believe that THC alone cannot do what the entire array of chemicals in marijuana can.

Researchers say that only when CBD (Cannabidiol), the other chemical found in marijuana, acts with THC, it produces the feeling of well-being and euphoria associated with the plant.

While we wait for the science of the plant and our body to reveal it totally, what we know for sure is that administration of marijuana shows significant results in bringing down stress and promoting overall mental and physical well-being.

This is the need of the hour for those of us who live in urban areas and are in the grip of unrelenting schedules.

When you are racing against the clock all the time, who wouldn’t want a natural stress-buster?

Yes, 2014 was the Year of Pot (and rightly so!)

For those of us in India, whatever happened in the US in 2014 should be our compass when viewing the marijuana ‘problem’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s very popular and necessary Twitter debate (#drugfreeIndia), which clearly indicated a lack of basic education about marijuana among many urban Indians, makes it even more important for Cannabeings to at least try and attempt to create a more studied view of the herb.

Modi’s hashtag (if you allow a little digression, it’s funny that a debate on marijuana happens via a ‘hashtag’) threw up a curious bunch of anti-drug sentiments that appeared almost Nazi-like in its denouncement of ‘drugs’. There was no distinction being made: marijuana was put in the same deadly bouquet of heroin, cocaine, meth etc. It is like saying alcohol is as dangerous as absinthe. This is disturbing because it is a blinkered view of the issue which, obviously, is an effect of the narcotic and psychotropic substances laws (NDPS Act), which is also equally thoughtless and gives away the lawmakers’ ignorance.

Anyway, going back to the year that was in America, there is a clear indication of a shift in collective consciousness as far as marijuana is concerned. In fact, Washington Post journalist Niraj Chokshi, who reports on government affairs, called 2014 the ‘Year of Pot’ in an article that traces the entire chain of events that transpired over the months. These are some of the stories he cited in his piece:

The year began with an historic moment: the first legally sanctioned sale of recreational marijuana in modern history. Swarmed by cameras and journalists at a planned media event, former Marine, Sean Azzariti, was among the first to make a purchase. He bought 3.5 grams of “Bubba Kush” for $40 and some pot-laced chocolate truffles for an additional $9.28.

In the Jan. 27 issue of the New Yorker, Editor David Remnick published a long piece based on a wide-ranging interview with President Obama. In it, the president shared his thoughts on marijuana, which advocates felt gave legitimacy to their long-held argument that marijuana does relatively little harm. Here’s what Remnick wrote:

When I asked Obama about another area of shifting public opinion — the legalization of marijuana — he seemed even less eager to evolve with any dispatch and get in front of the issue. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta said he was “doubling down” on medical marijuana after initially opposing the drug altogether. “I am more convinced than ever that it is irresponsible to not provide the best care we can, care that often may involve marijuana,” he wrote in a commentary on the evolution of his beliefs. His reversal, and a special he starred in, added high-profile legitimacy to the argument for medical marijuana.

You can read all the 22 crucial events that Chokshi has detailed in his report HERE.

Since we believe that cannabis is the true wonder plant, whose history is intimately connected to Indian culture since thousands of years, it is pertinent that we tell you that the religious significance of the herb is inextricably linked to its health benefits. It is surprising that Indians do not have any issues with marijuana at holy places or during festivals like Kumbh Mela or its use by sadhus/mystics like Gajanan Maharaj and Shirdi Sai Baba, but at the same time many see it as a dangerous ‘thing’ when it comes to being used by regular folks.

The question of personal choice is conveniently forgotten despite our deep cultural connect with the marijuana plant. To top that, even with reams of research that proves that this plant is harmless when compared to tobacco/ alcohol/ cigarettes, that it’s infinitely safer than prescription drugs, that it is a natural relaxant, pain killer and that the hemp plant is an industrial powerhouse, we continue to rely on one-dimensional law quoting news reports in the mainstream media.

The kind of damage that the nicotine in cigarettes, along with the countless other chemicals in it, has been well documented. The packets come with horrible warnings. Even then the government believes it is safer than marijuana. Doesn’t it make you think? Also, the damage that alcoholism does is far more dangerous than marijuana ever will be. We need to understand that everything can be abused, but that does not mean we ban something for it. No government has ever, in its right mind, considered alcohol prohibition. They talk about personal choice there, with which we agree. In places where there is a ban on alcohol, people procure it illegally. It would not be wrong to say that lesser the number of bans, higher the amount of collective happiness. Also, the police, the legal, and the prison systems get overloaded with work when a person is held for possessing, say, 10 grams of marijuana. That person is then sent to jail, and he does not come out any better. In fact, a stint in prison makes it hard for the person to land a job and make a life again. That’s not moral rehab by any stretch of the imagination. This also makes our already slow justice system even more lethargic.

While killer stuff like brown sugar needs regulation, simply because it has no positive qualities as such, the debate on marijuana should not be considered in the same breath even with prescription drugs. Come to think of it, a McDonald’s burger is much more detrimental to our health and we do not mind fattening our children because we consider it to be ‘food’, despite all the science telling us all we need to know about this empty calorific monster.

Even the mainstream media in the US is changing. The New York Times advocated for the legalisation of marijuana in a landmark six-part editorial, something that should awaken the media here. After all, an organisation as important and influential as the NYT would not take such a step, which most journos here would consider drastic, without getting their facts in order.

You can read the NYT editorials HERE.

In many ways, 2014 was the year of pot even for India because the first industrial hemp conference was held in New Delhi. The Indian Industrial Hemp Conference, organised by IIHA, saw many luminaries from the medical as well as industrial world launch a thoughtful debate on the uses of this resourceful and versatile plant.

Since the law is mostly unenforced in India when it comes to marijuana (for religious reasons mostly), it would be safe to say that as a culture we know better and are ready to show the world the way forward, even America.

The sad part is our laws are sometimes misused (often as vendetta) to criminalise an individual who may be perfectly sorted and even doing something beneficial to society like, say, a software engineer, a doctor or an artist. Would it make sense to send a young engineer to jail because he smoked a joint?

We need to re-evaluate our ideas about marijuana. We need to see it as a mature society. We cannot let an imagined fear guide the journey ahead. The reason there are so many recreational and religious users in India is because there is supply, because people who use it know its benefits and do not feel it hampers their lives. There are abusers, yes. But that is the case with alcohol as well. So, what do we do? Do we grow up and realise our own history with this plant or do we sleep with our heads in the sand? So, let’s not choke good science, history and tradition with the wrong attitude.

GodHerb had fun at KYTF: Taking the hemp message to Kolkata

We had a great outing in Kolkata this December. All of us at HempCann love doing something creative or being around people who do creative things. A little music, some theatre and everything that goes into making such things happen go very well with the herb.

HempCann supported the launch of the Kolkata Youth Theatre Festival, better known as #KYTF, because only the youth of India seems to understand the necessity of industrial hemp. Almost everybody we met in Kolkata seemed to want a greener and cleaner future.

Since our primary concern now is to educate people about the benefits of cannabis and hemp, we were happy when the organisers contacted us to be a part of the event. As Buddha said, if we understand even one herb deeply our entire lives will change. And cannabis is that herb.

We saw this very interesting Internet meme which says there should be “one medicine for many diseases and not many medicines for one disease”. Research worldwide has been proving time and again that the CBD and THC in the cannabis plant is that one medicine.

As a young organisation ourselves, we have decided to align with the youth and do our best to create awareness about one of Nature’s most important gifts, so that we have a future that understands its fears and moves beyond it. Only the youth seem to have the wisdom and the ability to see beyond the pop-speak of the establishment and the mainstream media’s views that often reek of inaccurate perception or even ignorance.

So, what did we do at #KYTF? We gave the event a hemp makeover by providing absolutely green hemp-cotton t-shirts. We also distributed HempCann pamphlets to all the art-loving young and young-at-heart people to tell them about the benefits of marijuana and hemp.

Here are a few pictures to give you a feel of the event. We thank #KYTF for the thrilling association and we will be joining these bunch of cool people again in the New Year in February for the theatre festival. And, yes, do follow our blog for the latest from the world of the beautiful herb, what we call #GodHerb. Do check out our Facebook page and Twitter handle as well.

The first time I smelled pot at a Bryan Adams concert. I thought, ‘That smells like my dad’s car’

Amy Poehler on marijuana, her life and humour.

She may be currently playing the overzealous stickler for rules in Parks & Recreation, and her character may even havedeclared “I want to be the President someday so I don’t smoke marijuana” on the show. But in real life, comedienne Amy Poehler is known to not only spark the occasional doobie or three, but also engage in her fair share of pro-marijuana activism via her chosen medium – comedy.

Between 2006 and 2008, the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live introduced the genre of ‘marijuana humour’ to millions of homes – all thanks to Poehler. She and Horatio Sanz portrayed the ‘lovable stoners’ in one skit, which earned them a Stony award. More importantly, Poehler also frequently inserted weed jokes (autobiographical in most cases) into the “Weekend Update” section. Here are a few gems:

“According to a new survey, 67 per cent of teenagers are content or extremely happy most of the time. They’re called stoners!”

Or this piece of brilliance:

“Rapper Snoop Dogg was given a desk appearance ticket Wednesday night in New York for possession of marijuana. Snoop called the ticket unfair and hard to roll.”

She even bade farewell to the show with one last pot joke: “When you’re doing something illegal you need to speak in code. Like when I call up my weed dealer and I ask for $50 worth of circus tickets, you know what he doesn’t give me? Circus tickets!”

But Poehler’s relationship with weed goes way back. In her recently released memoir Yes Please, she describes her first brush with pot, which was through her own father, William Poehler – a passionate cannabis apologist.

Poehler tells her readers in her book, “The first time I smelled pot was when I was a teenager and at a Bryan Adams concert. I thought to myself, ‘Hmm, that smells like my dad’s car’. I went home and searched all of my father’s pockets and drawers until I found some weed. The revelation that my dad was a pot smoker wasn’t too shocking. He was always friendly and happy. He loved getting to places early to pick us up and sitting in his car, and he was always first to suggest we get ice cream in the middle of the day. I had some friends with alcoholic parents, and my memories of those houses always involved people being scared, afraid of what mood was around the corner. I never worried about my father and how he would act around my friends. He was generous and nice and didn’t yell.”

Parenting done right, eh? No prizes for guessing why Poehler is all for marijuana – she is only following in her father’s footsteps.

In the book, she also describes her life of a stoner in Chicago where she started her career, “I would smoke in the morning and listen to Bob Marley. I would wear headphones and buy records and comic books. I would make mac-and-cheese while watching Deep Space Nine. Weed helped with my Irish stomach and anxiety and the constant channel-changing that happened in my head.” This also ended up inspiring her to write an improved sketch for The Upright Citizens Brigade on medical marijuana, which, she is quoted to have said, “can make people think about really interesting stories and ideas and opinions”.

In an interview with Conan O’Brien last year, she recalled, with great fondness, having been a judge at Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup in the year 2000. “It’s a real event, where people from all over the world come to try different types of weed and say which is the best,” she said. There, she also performed improv in front of a completely stoned audience.

There are straight-faced, solemn pro-marijuana activists, and then there’s Poehler, who combines her love for the herb with her passion to make people laugh. Take for instance the time a reporter from a political website asked her what her top issue would be if she were a politician, and she responded, “Free healthcare for gay married couples who grow their own medical marijuana.” Or when she declared at the Emmy Awards that McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are “menu items at most marijuana dispensaries.”

Or when she said this: “Drugs help. They pull people from despair. They balance our moods and minds and keep us from freaking out on airplanes. Drugs are fun. They expand our horizons. They create great memories and make folding our laundry bearable.”

(Written by Mrunmayi Ainapure, who loves to write about the God Herb)

Forget soy milk, look who’s here!

An introduction to the benefits of hemp milk for the vegan at heart.

For some of you, the words ‘hemp milk’ might conjure up images of the protagonist of A Clockwork Orange getting intoxicated on ‘Moloko Plus’ (milk laced with drugs) and then proceeding to engage in an evening of ultra-violence. To these people, we’d like to say three things: firstly, the substance that is purportedly added to the milk in the novel is NOT marijuana, but a hallucinogenic like mescaline; secondly, the only kind of violence that pot can induce is ferocious ingestion of food; and thirdly and most importantly, hemp seeds don’t contain any THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. So unless you actually take the effort of grinding some weed, adding it to boiling milk and letting it simmer for an hour, you can never get high on hemp milk. And if you’re one of those, you may want to read the rookie’s guide to cannabis-infused foods.

For vegans, it might be an ethical choice to avoid animal products and for the lactose-intolerant, it might be the non-allergy-causing alternative.

Even if you’re neither of the two, you can still make the healthier choice by drinking hemp milk for its immense nutritional value. A blend of hemp seeds and water made by soaking and grinding the former in the latter, hemp milk is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, rich in protein, and supplies a wealth of vitamins and minerals. These include calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for healthy bones and teeth; magnesium, which supports the normal function of muscles and nerves and also plays a role in keeping blood glucose and blood pressure normal; iron; potassium; vitamins A; E; B-12 and D. If you go for the unsweetened variety, hemp milk also doesn’t contain any added sugar.

Health benefits of drinking hemp milk regularly include strengthened immune system, clear skin (yes, cannabis is a beautiful skin cream), healthy hair, strong nails, healthy heart, improved circulation and a generally increased mental capacity.

While hemp milk can be bought from health food stores, it is also very easy to make at home. You will need:

1. Half a cup of raw, organic, shelled hemp seeds

2. Two cups of purified water

3. A piece of cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag.

Combine the water and hemp seeds in a blender for about three minutes, strain the mixture through the cheesecloth and enjoy a glass of some fresh hemp milk.

It tastes better cold so you can choose to chill it. If you buy the packaged version, then you don’t even need to refrigerate it.

So if you had to go for a plant-based milk, why would you choose hemp milk over other non-dairy alternatives? For one, hemp milk is the highest source of hormone-regulating omega-3 and anti-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids among all these options. A single serving of this milk provides an entire day’s recommended intake of the same, which is about four times as much as you’d get in soy milk. Then, because of its oligosaccharides content, soy milk can cause gas in some people. Also, since it’s made from soybeans which have a bitter taste, it is usually heavily processed and sweetened to make it more palatable. Hemp milk, on the other hand, with its thick, creamy consistency and nutty, earthy flavours, is naturally delicious.

As for the others on the alternate milk scene, almond milk does not offer much in terms of protein, oat milk is higher in sugar and calories, coconut milk (although the best-tasting) is also high in calories, and rice milk is not just low in protein and fibre but can be constipating as well.

Be it to support the recent movement of organic living and opting for cruelty-free products or to simply try a healthy, delicious product, it’s definitely time to include hemp milk in your diet.

Google and Cannabis: Search and ye shall find

Recently we shared a poster that had a simple message: if you do not know that marijuana cures cancer, just google it.

This is important because Google has come to define our reality in profound ways, whether we like it or not. While most information you find online requires corroboration, in general the information out there is helpful. Many of the articles we read online have pretty good attribution and seem to be legit.

Anyway.

We decided to find out the Google search story of the God Herb and give you a few statistics on how deeply cannabis is rooted in the global culture. On that note, it is important to note that this post was written at 7.00 pm on Wednesday on April 8, 2015.

Here are some interesting facts:

If you search the word ‘marijuana’, you get about 10,10,00,000 results in 0.38 seconds.

Google the word cannabis, and you get about 6,35,00,000 results in 0.32 seconds.

For medical marijuana, the number is about 2,41,00,000 results in 0.33 seconds.

If you put a longer search term like this one, ‘marijuana cures cancer’, you get about 5,65,000 results in 0.29 seconds. This search term is also the top search.

The search term ‘cannabis medicine’ turns out about 1,66,00,000 results in 0.46 seconds.

Marijuana vs alcohol is also a top search and returns about 92,00,000 results in 0.35 seconds. In the first two pages, all stories say that marijuana is safer than alcohol. The second favourite search term of this kind is ‘marijuana vs cigarette’ and we don’t have to tell you that the God Herb wins hands down in terms of safety as compared to nicotine.

If you search ‘number of deaths due to marijuana’, the first page that pops up is ‘Annual Causes of Death in the United States | Drug War Facts’. If you go to the page, there is a table of the most dangerous drugs in terms of deaths. The first position is held by ‘All causes’ obviously and the toll is 2,596,993. Right after it is Major Cardiovascular Diseases (MCD) with 796,494 deaths. Alcohol induced deaths rests at 29,001, while the toll of all illicit drugs combined stands at 17,000. Cannabis is last and the toll is zero. Yes, nobody dies in America by consuming pot.

In the same search there are stories that link certain deaths to marijuana (the numbers are not significant). However, there is no direct correlation but are seen as ‘contributing factors’. That is too much of a loose end.

If you search ‘how much marijuana can kill me’, you get about 2,92,00,000 results in 0.35 seconds. Most of the reports on the first page of the search put the number at a ridiculous number of between 20,000 and 40,000 the amount that is contained in a regular joint. The consensus, both anecdotal and researched, seem to agree that marijuana does not kill.

If you search for ‘I was cured of cancer by cannabis’ you get about 7,49,000 results in 0.43 seconds. The first page that the search throws up is ‘Cannabis does not cure cancer – Science-Based Medicine’. The writer of the article says that cannabis being useful for cancer is still questionable or bad science. However, the first comment to the article just below it this:

My battle with Breast cancer started 2 years ago, after so many Chemo, Radiation and other natural therapy treatment that i took just to cure my Breast cancer, it all did not work for my condition. I have been treating this disease for the past 2 years, but today i am here telling the world about my final victory over Breast cancer with the help of cannabis oil medication. This is a breakthrough in my family with so much Joy in our life today, i do really appreciate all the help and contribution from every member of my family for all they did for me. And if you have any kind of cancer diseases, there is no need to waste money on Chemo or Radiation, go get cannabis oil from UK cancer research centre (ukcancerresearchcentre@gmail.com),this is a medication that totally kill cancer cells.
Britney Alja

Almost all the comments after this seem to discredit the view presented by the article. After the first page, rest of the results seem to concur that cannabis has a healing role in cancer. Most significant, in my view, is what the ‘Marijuana – American Cancer Society – www.cancer.org’ has to say:

The American Cancer Society supports the need for more scientific research on cannabinoids for cancer patients, and on better and more effective therapies that can overcome the often debilitating side effects of cancer and its treatment. The Society also believes that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration imposes numerous conditions on researchers and deters scientific study of cannabinoids. Federal officials should examine options consistent with federal law for enabling more scientific study on marijuana.
Ultimately, medical decisions about pain and symptom management should be made between the patient and his or her doctor, balancing evidence of benefit and harm to the patient, the patient’s preferences and values, and applicable laws and regulations.

Anyway, this is the kind of post that can go on and on. So, why don’t you do a Google search and find out what people have to say. There are also videos made by cancer survivors on YouTube who say cannabis oil helped them in being cancer free.

While we are sure the cannabis plant is a true miracle plant, we want to give the skeptics the chance to voice their opinion. However, one thing is true for sure: more and more people are waking up to the fact that you cannot brush the cannabis debate under the rug anymore.

(Written by Santanu Borah, a writer and cannabis enthusiast)

The controversial ‘lost child’ of the cannabis family

You have heard about Cannabis Indica. Sativa you probably love. So, what about Cannabis ruderalis?
This is apparently a lesser known species of the cannabis family (ruderaliscomes from ruderal which means root), though there are a few debates that it’s only a descendant of Indica.

Ruderalis is a tough plant as its survival involved coping with harsh conditions, of both weather and human habitation. Found in Asia, Russia and Central/ Eastern Europe, the Ruderalis has a short flowering cycle of 21 to 30 days. The flowering does not depend on the light cycle, unlike Sativa and Indica. And this is the reason many growers love it: its ability to ‘autoflower’.

Once thought to be a wild cousin, in recent times there have been some growers who have used it to create new hybrids.

This autoflowering strain is short – just 1 to 2.5 feet at harvest time. It is a very robust plant with a more improvisational growth pattern with wide leaves that are light green in colour.

While the buds are smaller than usual, they have body and are held on by sturdy stems.

Ruderalis genes offer the ability for breeders to create an autoflowering hybrid with the advanced potency and flavour profile from its genetic partner.

While the general view is that Ruderalis has low THC content, there are people who think otherwise.

Jordan Stojanov had this to say about Ruderalis, replying to a report on Leafly that spoke about the low THC content: “We have Ruderalis here in Macedonia that are very potent: 23% THC content. They are old, from the Turkish occupation time when they used the land to grow opium and cannabis for 500 years.”

There are others who believe that Ruderalis is nothing more than the usual hemp.

While we are still to sample cannabis ruderalis, we are happy to see that the cannabis family has one more member, albeit bit contentious one.