Visit our Website for more content:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Is Organic Farming Sustainable? - by James E. Kostrava

     As more people express concerns about GMO foods, many are turning to organic fruits and vegetables.  The organic food market continues to rise in popularity among Americans of all backgrounds. As such, many farmers are transitioning to organic farming.  While many American farms are still controlled by corporations or semi-government organizations, there is a growing number of individual organic farms popping up all over America. 

Nepeta Cataria: Catnip - by Rebecca Veenstra

     The botanical name for Catnip is Napeta Cataria. Catnip grows naturally in many types of environments in Michigan. You may see it growing wild next to a stream or river as well as deep in the forest, or along the fence in your own back yard.

     Catnip is similar to the mint plant, and is a self-seeding perennial. Perennial means that the plant’s roots can survive a cold season and sprout new growth the following spring. Most perennials live for many years. Catnip is from the same family as the mint plant making it a Lebiatae. That is the name scientists have given any species in that particular plant family.

     Catnip enjoys full sun to partial shade, and dry or sandy soil. The plant itself can grow to about 3 feet high, and sprouts new stems each season from the same root. The leaves are oval, toothed, and gray-green in color. The plant blooms in summer to early fall, with white or lavender flowers.

     Most people think that Catnip is only for cats. Our furry friends certainly know how to enjoy it but Catnip has many potential benefits to humans as well. Initially, the plant was introduced to the American continent by the colonists. Native Americans first adopted the herb as a beverage to relieve indigestion and infant colic. Over the years it became a popular smoking herb as well.

     The best way to harvest the plant is to wait for a dry, sunny day. Snip leaves or flowers with a sharp scissors or knife. The amount you take would depend on your intention for use and preferences as well as the amount of healthy plant material available at your gathering site.

     The leaves and flowers have similar effects. So, don’t fret if your plant is not in bloom. Just trim some leaves carefully--- leaving the majority of the plant to continue to grow. The roots of a catnip plant can survive under the earth during winter so be sure to leave part of the plant when you harvest. That way the following year you will be able to return to the same location and collect your herbs.

     It is wise to also leave a few buds on your catnip plant later in the season in order to allow the bees to pollinate them. Once the buds have gone to seed, make sure the seeds are spread so that the plant can start the next generation. Responsible wild crafting is the only hope our future generations have in a world where things become extinct all too often.

     You can dry the leaves and flowers on a screen. If you have just a few leaves or flowers a paper plate can work very well. When they are crispy-- and crumble when you pinch them-- you can store them in a paper bag or a glass jar. If you opt for a jar, make absolutely certain you have removed all excess moisture so that your Catnip doesn’t mold. The buds will dry just as easily as the leaves but they may take longer. Once the buds are dry, you may choose to snip the flowers off the stem for storage. If you do this you will reduce the volume-- but potentially lengthen the storage time for the herb because the stem can retain moisture sometimes.

     One of the most common ways to enjoy catnip is to smoke it. Historically, Catnip has been a regular component of many Native American knick knick blends. Knick Knick is the word that Native American’s use to describe a large variety of smoking blends that are used in smoking ceremonies. Catnip is sedating when smoked.

     Many people find that they enjoy mixing Catnip with Cannabis occasionally. The combination can be extremely soothing. The amount of Catnip a person would add to their Cannabis would depend entirely upon personal preference. Indica strains would add to the sedating effects of the Catnip and Sativa strains would potentially offset the sleepiness of the Catnip.

     In some respects, the latter would be kind of like having coffee with a sleeping pill but there are instances where a fine balance could be achieved. For example, perhaps a particular Cannabis strain allows a person to feel more alert and energetic but the person has a tendency to feel anxious at times. It may be beneficial to add a small amount of catnip to their regiment in order to help combat the anxiety.

     Perhaps a person with muscle spasms may find the antispasmodic action of catnip very helpful. Yet, the sedative effects may interfere with their ability to get through the day. In such a case, it would be prudent to experiment with different stimulants like ingesting  green tea during or after medicating with Catnip, or perhaps a strong sativa strain of Cannabis.

     It goes without saying that any smoking herb can be vaporized. Catnip is an herb that would provide smooth flavor and a very relaxing soothing effect. Many herbs would combine nicely with Catnip for any variety of effects when vaporizing. For example, a person with asthma symptoms may find a blend of Mullein and Catnip to be very relieving to the tension and inflammation created by lung congestion. Cannabis would also blend well with the Mullein and Catnip. As always the particular strain of Cannabis chosen would vary the effects greatly.

     Internally, Catnip can be very relieving to upset stomachs and colic symptoms. Many women find Catnip can help combat the pain of menstrual cramps too. The most common way to prepare Catnip to relieve tummy cramps is in a warm tea. As with most herbs the most common dosage is approximately one teaspoon steeped in approximately one cup (8 oz ) of hot water. Many texts on the subject suggest using about ½ ounce of leaves to a pint of water. You want the water to be hot enough to steam but it is crucial not to boil Catnip during preparation as this will destroy the medicinal properties. It is very important to cover the cup you are steeping your herb in as well. I use a saucer over the tea cup myself.  Steep for about five minutes.

     If you are preparing more than one serving you can create a make-it-yourself tea bag with a coffee filter. Put a scoop of your dried herb into the filter and gather the top, securing it with a bread tie to assure that no herbs sneak out into your tea.

     Catnip and many other herbs can be used to make sun tea too. Just use the above method and put the make shift tea bag into a large jar or jug. Then, let it sit out in the sun for a few hours and you will have a very soothing summer tea. Peppermint can be a wonderful addition to a Catnip tea and also Cannabis. There are a lot of flavors that combine nicely with Catnip. Experiment and see what you like. I enjoy it plain with a touch of honey and lemon.

     Catnip has diaphoretic properties. That means it can induce sweating. Times when this action could be beneficial would be in instances of fever as sweating could potentially lower the body temperature.

     Additionally, individuals with kidney disease may find herbs that induce sweating to be very soothing to the kidneys. The action of sweating aids the body in removing uric acid. The primary job the kidneys perform for us is to remove uric acid from our blood stream. Uric acid is the by-product of protein digestion. When the kidneys are compromised, the process of removing the uric acid can be exhausting to the organ. So, building a nice sweat can ease the burden on the kidneys and allow them to rest.

     Uric acid build up in the joints is the cause of gout. Therefore, it follows that individuals suffering with gout may find that using Catnip for its diaphoretic properties could ease the pain.
For example, drink a nice warm cup of Catnip tea after a hot shower. Stay bundled up and let the body sweat for a while. Then rinse off with warm water using a cloth to gently exfoliate the skin. Follow up with 8 oz. of cool water. A hot bath with a sachet of Catnip floating in it can also be extremely soothing to aches and pains. Add a little lavender to enjoy even more relaxation and fragrance.

     The conclusion of many studies on Catnip was unanimous that no adverse side effects were reported if used in reasonable quantities or doses. Some people may experience upset stomach. FDA classifies catnip as a drug of “undefined safety”. No significant toxic reactions have ever been reported. So, much like Cannabis, Catnip is a particularly useful herb with little known risk that may benefit the health in many ways.

     The next time you see a kitty romping in the Catnip-- stop to clip a bit for yourself & always... spread the seeds for future generations.

Balch, James and Phyllis.  Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Avery Publishing Group. Garden City Park, NY; 1997.
Blumenthal M, Ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Integrative Medicine Communications.  Boston, Mass; 1998.

You Must Show Your Papers! by Daniel L. Price, Esquire

     Fall in Michigan brings some of the most breathtaking sights of the year.  Nature provides a warning of the upcoming deep freeze by displaying brilliant colors before the trees lose their foliage. If you are like many others, you might even go out of your way to spend a nice fall afternoon driving north to see this awesome display.  You get up early on a September Saturday morning.  You get the daily routine of tending your medicinal plants out of the way. Being a conscientious patient, you also hold off on medicating yourself until after you return home. Then you pack the car and think about those fall colors. 

     You get out there and are enjoying the ride and the wonderful colors, when out of nowhere a police officer pulls you over. 

The 2015 High Times Medical Cannabis Cup - by Ben Horner

     The High Times Cannabis Cup was a blast this year. For many cannabis consumers this event is like a dream come true. As High Times evolves into a premier event promotions company the quality of their productions get better each year. Thousands flocked to the Clio Speedway, just north of Flint, to partake in the festivities. People of all ages and ethnicities found common ground in this sanctuary for pot lovers.

     MMM Report wants to thank the people of High Times for inviting us to participate, and for providing our local magazine with press passes for the event.

     Congratulations to all the winners, most especially to those folks who keep their cups here in Michigan. We are pleased to report consistent compliments from
those attending from out of state that Michigan Growers are really stepping it up.

     Special thanks to Buddy and his staff from Clio Cultivation and the Brad Lemke, the members of Genesee County Norml with the friends from The Herbal Centre for hosting some most excellent pre and post parties and on sight camping.  

     The only complaint was regarding the lack of recognition of Adam Brooke and John Sinclair, two Michigan Boys that should be more involved as speakers at the Michigan High Times Cup. Hopefully next year. I can’t wait till next time.

Cannabis: Knocking on Your Bedroom Door - by Veronica Dean

    Are you experiencing what urban dictionary has dubbed “Cotton Vagina”? Scientists first noticed the link between marijuana usage and poor vaginal lubrication after surveying 8,650 Australian people in 2009. If you notice a strain gives you dry mouth it will likely make you more dry down there and this is due to the drying of mucus membranes. Dr. Julie Holland suggests that higher CBD strains are more pro-sexual than the higher THC strains.

      Which is why Cannalube is now saving vajayjay’s countrywide! With Cannabis Sativa Oil as one if it’s main ingredients, it’s not only sure to feel good but marijuana compounds are anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous . Labeled 100% euphoric this product actually contains no THC so don’t worry about any traces of it in your system. You can experience that high of being in love!

Legend of the Ancient Herb - by Marijuana Jones

Episode VII: Other Taboo Lifeforms

     There are many plants and animals on this planet which yield psychoactive properties in humans when prepared and consumed properly. Throughout most of western history, any mind altering substances found in nature has been the subject of fear and/or hatred because of their abilities to give personal insight, feelings of elation, visions of the metaphysical plane, and the destruction of the ego. In medieval times, many of these plants and animals were considered to be the work of the devil. In modern times, many of them are considered illegal, and the use of these taboo life forms is met with much fear and apprehension.

The Height of Folly - by Citizen Jay Daily

     It is a true scourge on our society.  One that has plagued our cities for decades bequeathing death and destruction in its wake.  Its association with what we’re trying to do with Cannabis is really hurting our movement.  And it’s got to stop.

You know what I’m talking about: Synthetic Marijuana.  The very name itself is an oxymoron.  It’s also downright offensive.