Dr. Mahlberg’s Cannabis Research

NAIHC Board Member Dr. Paul G. Mahlberg’s cannabis research over more than 30 years has explored topics important to the definition of cannabis as either a drug or a fiber and food plant.

Dr. Mahlberg is a Professor of Biology (plant biology) and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Indiana University. He received his Ph.D. in Botany at the University of California, Berkeley and his MS and BS degrees in Botany at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He has studied cannabis for over thirty years and has published over thirty articles on cannabis (Cannabis sativa), a tall annual dioecious plant group which includes both industrial hemp and marijuana.

One of only two federal DEA permits to grow cannabis in the United States is held by Dr. Mahlberg. His research program began in 1970 and continues to the present, specializing in the ultra structure of the resin-producing gland and the biogenesis of its cannabinoids. With his post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, he has explored these and other topics important to the definition of cannabis as either a drug or a fiber and food plant.

Dr. Mahlberg serves as an advisor to healthcare company Stevia Corp’s Real Hemp subsidiary which focuses on commercializing industrial hemp.

Read more: Dr. Mahlberg’s Cannabis Research


2012 CRS Report on “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity”

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has issued a 26-page report on “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity.” The Dec. 2012 CRS report warns that if proposed legislation ends the current U.S. ban on growing industrial hemp, U.S. hemp production would face stiff competition from established global suppliers including Canada and China. The report concludes, however, that “the U.S. market for hemp-based products has a highly dedicated and growing demand base, as indicated by recent U.S. market and import data for hemp products and ingredients . . . Given the existence of these small-scale, but profitable, niche markets for a wide array of industrial and consumer products, a commercial hemp industry in the United States could provide opportunities as an economically viable alternative crop for some U.S. growers.”


Bast Fiber Applications for Composites, by Erwin H. Lloyd and David Seber

In today’s market, the cost, quality, and availability of fiber are of utmost importance. A number of companies currently are developing manufacturing operations that utilize alternative fibers for panel products. This paper surveys the crop and fiber technical characteristics of the temperate bast family of plants, as well as an overview of the potential products and markets from these markets. These materials include kenaf, hemp, and flax.

For the full article Click Here


Testimony on Oregon Senate Bill 348 to re-legalize industrial hemp in Oregon

NAIHC member Andy Kerr’s testimony in Oregon Senate hearing, to explain how industrial hemp is not marijuana, how marijuana growers won’t want industrial hemp growing anywhere near their drug crop, and how most of the rest of the world distinguishes industrial hemp from marijuana.

For the full article Click Here


Feasibility of Industrial Hemp Production in the United States Pacific Northwest.

Ehrensing, Daryl T. 1998. Feasibility of Industrial Hemp Production in the United States Pacific Northwest. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 681. This report was commissioned by Oregon Natural Resources Council (now Oregon Wild). pdf verion. The same study in html: Pacific Northwest Industrial Hemp study by Oregon State University, commissioned by Oregon Natural Resources Council while Andy Kerr was executive director.


Industrial Hemp Offers Great Promise

For a comprehensive perspective on industrial hemp past, present and future, read the 43-page chapter “Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America” in Purdue University’s 2002 book Trends in New Crops and New Uses, edited by Jules Janick and Anna Whipkey.


Read more: Industrial Hemp Offers Great Promise


Congressional Research Service’s 2007 Update on Hemp

“The United States is the only developed nation in which the production of industrial hemp is not permitted.” That’s according to the U.S. Congress’s research arm which reported favorably on industrial hemp in a Jan. 2005 report and then issued an even more favorable updated report March 23, 2007. Click here to read the complete 2007 report.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) update concludes that the U.S. government and its Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oppose hemp legalization based on their arguments that legalization “would increase the likelihood of covert production of high-THC marijuana, significantly complicate DEA’s surveillance and enforcement activities, and send the wrong message to the American public concerning the government’s position on drugs. DEA officials and a variety of other observers also express the concern that efforts to legalize hemp — as well as those to legalize medical marijuana — are a front for individuals and organizations whose real aim is to see marijuana decriminalized.”

The CRS report notes that the proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007 “would open the way for commercial cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States.” It goes on to point out that according to the Canadian government, which legalized hemp production in 1998: “Hemp’s remarkable attributes are hard to beat: it thrives without herbicides, it reinvigorates the soil, it requires less water than cotton, it matures in three to four months, and it can yield four times as much paper per acre as trees. Hemp can be used to create building materials, textiles, clothing, inks, and paints and has potential use in other non-food products. These advantages are in tune with the environmental and health preferences of today’s North American public. The growing curiosity of consumers, the interest shown by farmers and processors, and Canada’s excellent growing conditions for industrial hemp allow optimistic views for its future.”

Click here to read the complete 2007 CRS report.

Click here to read the Canadian government’s 2007 report from Agriculture Canada.


Journal of Natural Fibers

Current, authoritative information about all types of natural fibers!

Editor-in-Chief: Ryszard Kozlowski, PhD
Director, The Institute of Natural Fibres, Poznan, Poland
Richard Kotek, PhD
Assistant Professor, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

To order a subscription or submit an article, Click Here.

About the journal

Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the use of natural fibers!

The Journal of Natural Fibers meets the growing demand for a comprehensive guide to new applications, processing methods and techniques, and up-to-date research findings on natural fibers. Co-edited by Ryszard Kozlowski, Coordinator of the FAO/European Cooperative Research Network on Flax and other Bast plants, and Richard Kotek, Assistant Professor at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the journal presents peer-reviewed articles and review papers on basic and applied research, research and development, diversified areas of application, international units and standards, and new technologies. The Journal of Natural Fibers is the continuation of the previous annual journal Natural Fibres (Wlokna Naturalne), which was published for many years by the Institute of Natural Fibres, Poznan, Poland. The Haworth Press, Inc., is pleased to publish this quality journal, now being published quarterly.

The Journal of Natural Fibers presents new achievements in basic research and the development of multi-purpose applications that further the economical and ecological production of hard fibers, protein fibers, seed, bast, leaf, and cellulosic fibers. An international panel of academics, researchers, and practitioners examines new processing methods and techniques, new trends and economic aspects of processing natural raw materials, sustainable agriculture and eco-friendly techniques that address environmental concerns, the efficient assessment of the life cycle of natural fibers-based products, and the natural reclamation of polluted land.

Each issue of the Journal of Natural Fibers includes continuing features that examine:

*    the world market
*    new patents and technologies
*    reports from conferences, symposia, and workshops
*    new developments in the industry
*    updates on cultivation and harvesting techniques
*    agribusiness notes
*    and much more!

The Journal of Natural Fibers is an invaluable resource for scientists, researchers, consultants, and academics working with research and development institutes, and agriculture and textile universities. The journal is also of great value to producers and processors of lignocellulosic fibers, natural silk, and wool, and to anyone working in the textile, geotextile, automotive, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, building, and food industries.


Advances in Hemp Research

Learn about recent research and technological advancements concerning cannabis for uses in the textile and paper industries!

Edited by Paolo Ranalli, PhD Head, Plant Breeding Section, Experimental Institute for Industrial Crops, Bologna, Italy

To order your copy, Click Here.

About The Book:
Offering up-to-date information on the uses and composition of the plant, Advances in Hemp Research provides growers, researchers, manufacturers, and suppliers with methods and data for the processing and cultivation of hemp for textile and paper products. You will learn how recent advances in germplasm resources, breeding methods, and the improvement of physiological, morphological, and biochemical characteristics of the plant can strengthen hemp fiber, making it a profitable and important crop to study and to grow for uses in the textile and paper industries.
Providing you with a complete update on the advances in research in several different areas, this text covers the entire spectrum of recent international hemp research and technological developments. Advances in Hemp Research discusses many factors essential to the improvement of the crop and its uses, including:

  • breeding techniques, agronomical practices, increased stress tolerance, and processing techniques that will enable the plant to produce high-quality fibers
  • new cultivars to distinguish licit from illicit field cultivation
  • the recent advances in crop physiology, such as radiation use efficiency, harvest index, and dry matter yields
  • cultivation practices such as soil structure, manuring, harvesting, and crop rotation and how they contribute to optimal growing conditions for the plant
  • current disease and control measures that lessen parasitic damage and loss of crops
  • storing, processing, and marketing hemp as a component of paper, pulp, fiber, and oil
  • Furthering the advancement of cannabis as an environmentally friendly and useful crop, this text supplies you with the information you need to successfully grow healthier and more resilient plants. Advances in Hemp Research will benefit your breeding studies or your business ventures by providing you with information and laboratory results that will help you successfully grow the cannabis plant for commercial use.

“SCHOLARLY AND COMPREHENSIVE . . . covers the botany, chemistry, and fiber processing of hemp.”
American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter

“ESSENTIAL READING for any commercial or research cultivator of cannabis.”
Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics

“Provides a well-founded evaluation of several aspects relevant to successful cultivation of cannabis. . . . This compilation stands out as one of the few written by researchers/practitioners who actually have first-hand experience with hemp research.”
Gero Leson, DEnv, Leson Environmental Consulting, Berkeley, California

“Provides an extensive review of recent advances in hemp science and places them within the context of existing knowledge and understanding. . . . The rigorous scientific approach will assist to dispel or qualify many hemp ‘myths’. . . . I greatly appreciate the value of such a text.”
Shaun Lisson, PhD, Crop and Soil Modeller in Sugarcane Systems, CSIRO, Queensland, Australia


*    About the Editor
*    Contributors
*    Preface
*    Chapter 1. Botany of the Genus Cannabis
*    Introduction
*    Life Cycle
*    Origin, Early Evolution, and Domestication
*    Early History and Dispersal
*    Taxonomy
*    Brief History of Hemp Breeding
*    Conclusion
*    Chapter 2. The Phytochemistry of Cannabis: Its Ecological and Evolutionary Implications
*    Introduction
*    Cannabinoid Biogenesis and Anatomical Distribution
*    Cannabinoids and Environmental Stress
*    Evolution of Biogenetic Pathways
*    Conclusion
*    Chapter 3. Detecting and Monitoring of Plant THC Content: Innovative and Conventional Methods
*    Introduction
*    Immunodiagnostic
*    Polyclonal Antibodies
*    Monoclonal Antibodies
*    Recombinant Antibodies
*    Assay Format
*    Conclusion
*    Chapter 4. Agronomical and Physiological Advances in Hemp Crop
*    Introduction
*    Cannabis Gene Pool
*    Variety Recommendations
*    Hemp in Crop Rotation
*    Seedbed
*    Methods of Planting
*    The Effect of Temperature on Leaf Appearance and Canopy Establishment in Fiber Hemp
*    Seeding Rate
*    Growing Conditions
*    Cultural Practices
*    Phenological Development
*    Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization and Row Width
*    The Chemical Composition of Hemp Stem
*    Cultivation Techniques and Crop Destination
*    Constraints to Dry Matter Production in Fiber Hemp
*    Implications for Future Research
*    Chapter 5. Crop Physiology of Cannabis Sativa: A Simulation Study of Potential Yield of Hemp in Northwest Europe
*    Introduction
*    Crop Physiological Characteristics
*    Potential Yield
*    Hemp versus Kenaf
*    Chapter 6. A Survey of Hemp Diseases and Pests
*    Introduction
*    Insect Pests of Stalk and Roots
*    Insect Pests of Leaves, Flowers, and Seeds
*    NonInsect Pests
*    Fungal Diseases
*    Other Diseases
*    Control of Diseases and Pests
*    Chapter 7. Cannabis Germplasm Resources
*    Introduction
*    The Structure of the Cannabis Gene Pool
*    Fiber and Seed Strains
*    Drug Strains
*    Other Domesticated Cannabis
*    Cannabis Germplasm Ex-Situ
*     Chapter 8. Genetic Improvement: Conventional Approaches
*    Historical Review
*    Sex Genetics
*    Improvement in Stem Yield
*    Breeding for an Increase in Fiber Content
*    Breeding for Reduced THC Content
*    Resistance Breeding
*    Breeding for Seed Yield and Oil Content
*    Biotechnological Aspects
*    Chapter 9. Advances in Biotechnical Approaches or Hemp Breeding and Industry
*    Tissue Culture and Breeding
*    Cell Culture and Secondary Metabolism
*    Molecular Markers for Hemp Breeding
*    Future Perspectives
*    Chapter 10. Alkaline Pulping of Fiber Hemp
*    Introduction
*    Bast Fiber Pulps for Paper Applications
*    Hemp Woody Core and Hardwood Pulp
*    Introduction of Hardwood and Recycled Fibers in Paper
*    Important Pulping Processes and Their Significance for Hemp
*    Alkaline Pulping of Hemp
*    Recommendations
*    Chapter 11. Hemp Seed: A Valuable Food Source
*    Introduction
*    Extraction Methods
*    Oil composition and Properties
*    Critical Enzyme
*    GLA Importance
*    SDA Supporting Role
*    Future Prospects
*    Index
*    Reference Notes Included

Published: 1999
272 pp. with Index. Features tables and figures.
Product Identification Number (SKU): 1744
To order your copy, Click Here.


The Environmental Benefits of Using Industrial Hemp

This Larch Company report by NAIHC Board Member Andy Kerr explains that: “The widespread use of industrial hemp could result in numerous environmental benefits, including but not limited to: (1) less reliance on fossil fuels, especially from foreign sources; (2) more efficient use of energy; (3) less long-term atmospheric build-up of carbon dioxide; (4) forest conservation; (5) agricultural pesticide use reduction; (6) dioxin and other pollution reduction; and (7) landfill use reduction. Hemp is superior to many other plants for many uses. Present limitations on the use of industrial hemp are economically, environmentally and socially irrational.”
For a biography of Andy Kerr, Click Here.

For the complete article Click Here.


Hemp as a Potentially Important Crop and Area of Research

Analysis of the uses and value of industrial hemp, a research paper presented by NAIHC founding member Dr. Shelby F. Thames of The University of Southern Mississippi, Thames-Rawlins Research Group. In this overview of the promise and research priorities related to Industrial Hemp, Dr. Thames looks at past legislation banning hemp, current controversy, and what needs to be done on  the research side to realize hemp’s potential.

Dr. Thames writes: “. . .It has been estimated that by planting only 6% of the continental U.S., we could provide for America’s oil and gas requirements, thereby shifting our dependency toward renewable raw materials and energy independence. By allowing hemp to be grown in the U.S., the agriculture sector would be strengthened and farming practices could become more profitable and sustainable, creating more job opportunities in renewable sustainable hemp-related industries. . .Although the versatility of hemp increases the potential development of numerous products for human consumption and industrial applications, much research is still required. . .”

To read the complete article, Click Here.

For a complete biography of Dr. Thames, Click Here.


From Petro to Agro: Seeds of a New Economy

by Robert E. Armstrong
in Defense Horizons, Number 20, October 2002
A publication of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy
National Defense University

Robert E. Armstrong is a senior research fellow in the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University. Dr. Armstrong may be contacted via e-mail at or by phone at (202) 685–2529.

For a complete biography of Dr. Armstrong, Click Here.

In this prescient analysis, Dr. Armstrong writes that:

“Today, the hydrocarbon molecule is the basic unit of commerce. In a biobased economy, genes will replace petroleum. So, just as we currently demand assured access to sources of hydrocarbon molecules (oil), in the near future we will demand assured access to a broad-based, diverse supply of genes (plants and animals). This shift has security implications. Relations with oil-rich countries will be of less importance, and relations with gene-rich states—mostly the biodiverse regions along the equator— will assume greater significance. Conflicts may arise between gene-rich, technology-poor countries that control the basic raw materials of a biobased economy and gene-poor, technology- rich nations that control the production methods. American instruments of power will be challenged to meet the demands of a biobased economy. We already see diplomatic challenges with the United Nations Framework Convention on Biological Diversity and controversy with Europe over genetically modified crops. Informational and economic challenges and opportunities will likewise appear. It may be challenging for U.S. land forces, especially the Army, to meet the demands of securing access to large supplies of new genetic material. Agriculture will become increasingly important as a part of the Nation’s industrial base, as it offers the most economical way to produce large quantities of biological materials. Homeland defense will have to consider heartland defense, as agricultural fields will assume the same significance as oil fields.”


To read the complete article, Click Here.


Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities

“Surely no member of the vegetable kingdom has ever been more misunderstood than hemp. For too many years, emotion-not reason-has guided our policy toward this crop. And nowhere have emotions run hotter than in the debate over the distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. This paper is intended to inform that debate by offering scientific evidence, so that farmers, policymakers, manufacturers, and the general public can distinguish between myth and reality.  . .

“In the United States, the debate about the relationship between hemp and marijuana has been diminished by the dissemination of many statements that have little scientific support. This report examines in detail ten of the most pervasive and pernicious of these myths.”

Read more: Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities