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First “Hemp Wood” Factory On the Way

A man has reportedly spent the last decade developing a hardwood substitute made from hemp.

According to the Return to Now blog, Kentucky business owner Greg Wilson is planning to build a $6 million factory to manufacture what he is calling “HempWood.” The product is made out of compressed hemp pulp fibers held together by a soy-based glue. According to Wilson HempWood looks and feels like oak, but is actually 20 percent harder than the traditional building material. It would also be significantly cheaper, according to Wilson.

HempWood could be instrumental in halting the destruction of the world’s trees. Hemp’s grow cycle averages around six months. A single oak takes around 60 years to mature, by comparison. Oak trees are also the most endangered trees on the planet due to their use in highly sought-after furniture.

Wilson’s new HempWood startup company, Fibonacci, isn’t his first venture into manufacturing building materials. He’s already made a name for himself as owner of his other company, SmartWood, which makes wood products from logs that would traditionally have been turned into wood chips. He has also manufactured flooring materials made from bamboo.

Half of Pain Patients Suffer Withdrawal From Weed

A new study found that over half of cannabis patients who use the drug to treat pain experience withdrawal symptoms between uses.

The study was recently published in the journal Addiction. Researchers with the University of Michigan Medical School and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System took detailed surveys of 527 Michigan residents over two years. All the participants were enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program for treatment of non-cancer-related pain.

Over half of the respondents said they experienced clusters of multiple withdrawal symptoms when cannabis use was halted. About 10 percent of respondents said symptoms like sleeplessness, poor mood, low energy and lack of appetite actually worsened over the two years.

According to the study many cannabis users were unaware that the symptoms they were experiencing came from withdrawal from the drug rather than the underlying illnesses that drew them to cannabis in the first place.

“Some people report experiencing significant benefits from medical cannabis, but our findings suggest a real need to increase awareness about the signs of withdrawal symptoms developing to decrease the potential downsides of cannabis use, especially among those who experience severe or worsening symptoms over time,” said head researcher and addiction specialist Lara Coughlin.