Cbd oil for nickel detox

Can Hemp Clean Up the Earth?

In 2017, Gavin Stonehouse, a graduate student in plant biology at Colorado State University, started cultivating hemp plants in a special soil mixture dosed with varying levels of selenium. A mineral that occurs naturally in most of the western United States, selenium is also a nasty environmental pollutant when produced in excess by industrial and agricultural activities.

Stonehouse wanted to find out if hemp could handle the selenium. If the plants thrived, it would be an important first step towards proving claims that industrial hemp naturally cleans soils contaminated with a multitude of toxic substances – a process known as “bioremediation” or “phytoremediation.” The next step will be to discover just how much of the selenium the plants extract, and where the mineral ends up – in the plants’ roots, stems, seeds or flowers.

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Stonehouse and his advisor, CSU professor Elizabeth Pilon-Smits, plan to publish their results this summer. But the early indications are promising. The hemp was “super tolerant” of the selenium, says Stonehouse. Not a single plant died, and only a few, exposed to the highest doses, showed signs of stress.

The implications of the experiment go beyond just the potential for healthier soil. As humans have known for thousands of years, hemp is a plant that boasts abundant industrial, nutritive and medicinal properties. You can eat its seeds, treat pain and inflammation with its oils and make clothing, rope and paper from its fibers. And now, in the 21st century, we’re discovering that it can perform like a kind of a toxic-substance vacuum cleaner too?

“If you can clean up the environment and still get a commercial product,” says Stonehouse, “you are killing two birds with one stone.”

The term “phytoremediation,” was coined by the scientist Ilya Raskin, a member of a team that tested hemp’s ability to accumulate heavy metals from soil in contaminated fields near Chernobyl in the 1990s. According to another team member, Vyacheslav Dushenkov, the experiment was a success. “For the specific contaminants that we tested, hemp demonstrated very good phytoremediation properties,” says Dushenkov,

In 2001, a team of German researchers confirmed the Chernobyl results by showing that hemp was able to extract lead, cadmium and nickel from a plot of land contaminated with sewage sludge. In 2011, hundreds of farmers in Puglia, Italy, started testing the theory, planting hemp in a long-term effort to clean up fields disastrously polluted by a massive steel plant. (Conclusive data on how well the Italian bioremediation project is working doesn’t appear to be available yet, but the farmers have been cleared to sell harvested hemp fiber for industrial use.)

Pilon-Smits, the CSU professor, has been studying phytoremediation for more than a decade. She had long been aware of the international research suggesting hemp was a prime candidate for environmental cleanup. But until very recently, her hands were tied. For nearly a century, commercial cultivation of hemp was forbidden in the United States, fallout from the widespread panic over marijuana that swept the Western world in the 1930s. (Hemp and marijuana are strains of the same species, cannabis sativa; the primary difference is that marijuana gets you high, and hemp does not.)

Even after Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and passed a bill encouraging research into hemp’s phytoremediative qualities in 2014. That same year, Congress added a provision to the farm bill that legalized the cultivation of hemp for research purposes, but Pilon-Smits still found it difficult to get academic funding for research. (Although numerous states have passed legislation encouraging industrial hemp cultivation and normalizing marijuana laws, both substances are still federally restricted. Even in forward-looking Colorado, suggests Pilon-Smits, a university that gave the go-ahead to research on hemp might run the risk of losing federal funding.)

But in the last couple of years, the political climate has changed drastically. In April, ultra-conservative Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 which would specifically remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. McConnell is currently maneuvering to get his stand-alone hemp bill incorporated into the 2018 Farm Bill.

In 2017, when Colorado Cultivars, a company that operates several industrial hemp farms, approached Pilon-Smits to ask if she was interested in analyzing hemp’s potential for cleaning up soil, she jumped at the chance. She quickly brought on Stonehouse for the hands-on work, and started, as far as she knows, one of the first comprehensive research efforts in the United States aimed at establishing hemp’s qualifications as an environmental savior.

If that sounds like a hippie dream, that’s because it is. For decades activists fighting for the normalization of marijuana laws have touted the manifold beneficial uses of hemp as a kind of stalking horse for pot legalization. The somewhat fuzzy logic seemed to be that if laws against hemp were loosened, the case for marijuana’s legalization would be strengthened. But in a sequence of events unimaginable a decade ago, the opposite happened: pressure to ease restrictions on marijuana ended up paving the way for hemp’s redemption. The groundswell that emerged from the spread of medical marijuana led directly to what Doug Fine, author of 2014’s Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, calls the “hemp renaissance.”

For Fine, hemp is nothing less than a savoir of humanity, a miracle plant that will revivify depleted soils, mitigate the threat of climate change, and re-establish harmonic balance between humans and the environment.

“It is the most important plant for the future of humanity,” says Fine, speaking to Rolling Stone from Hawaii, where he is working as a hemp-seed oil researcher for the University of Hawaii. For Fine, the vision of a hemp lifecycle in which the plant is used to remediate soil and then converted into environmentally friendly products is an example of “regenerative values” that are currently leaking out of the crunchy hippie communities and spreading “into the basics of our economy and society.”

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And at first glance, there are any number of reasons, according to Pilon-Smits and Stonehouse, why hemp has superstar phytoremediative potential. Hemp is a hardy plant that grows like, well, a weed, just about anywhere. It produces a relative abundance of bushy biomass in a short period of time, which means it is highly effective at extracting nutrients from the soil and converting them into potentially useful products. Its relatively deep and extensive root structure, unusual for an annual plant, allows it to probe widely through contaminated soil. It is also naturally resistant to insect predators, thus obviating the need for pesticides.

The full environmental picture, however, is not quite so balmy. As with most commercial crops, industrial cultivation of hemp depletes the soil of key fertilizing compounds such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Producing all that biomass requires significant inputs of water and runs the same risks of soil erosion as other industrial plants. A hemp-based economy, in other words, doesn’t automatically usher in a green future.

There is also still a great deal to learn about what can be done with hemp plants that have been deployed to clean up especially dangerous contaminants. There is unlikely to be a market, any time soon, for edible hemp seeds or CBD oil from plants that have been used to extract cadmium or lead from Superfund sites. And at present, we simply don’t yet have enough data to understand exactly how hemp stores the contaminants it extracts and what that might mean for possible health implications.

Still, it’s possible to visualize some sweet spots where everything comes together. One of the reasons why Pilon-Smits and Stonehouse are excited about their selenium research is that even though excess selenium is an environmental pollutant, it is also, in small doses, a necessary nutrient for human life. Over a billion people in the world are selenium deficient, says Pilot-Smits. If industrial hemp removed selenium from the earth and concentrated it in edible hemp seeds, it would be possible to simultaneously clean up the environment and improve human nutrition.

“If hemp grows well,” says Pilon-Smits, “the phytoremediation will pay for itself. There are many degraded or marginal soils that are taken out of production and polluted soils awaiting cleanup because there are not enough funds available to pay for it. Hemp can really be a solution.”

FAQs About Nickel Allergies

Maybe you recently returned from your doctor’s office, after a skin patch test, or perhaps you’re searching for answers about living with systemic nickel allergy. Many times the actual diagnosis can be confusing and overwhelming. There’s no magic bullet or fast acting solution for treating your nickel allergy.

Moving forward when you’re first diagnosed can feel like hiking up a mountain without a map. You will figure out what’s best for you, even if the process takes time and I am referring to months or even years. Don’t be discouraged by this fact. Instead find hope that you’re finally here and now actually have that map to chart your own trajectory and heal, if you stay on course. Changing your diet, cookware and many other little things can be time consuming and costly. All of these changes also can be gradual and will make a positive difference.

First and foremost, the best thing you can do is to follow all of the advice from your doctor. If you have questions after the initial appointment or when you were diagnosed, follow-up with him/her and ask your questions. Only you and your doctor truly know and understand your personal circumstance. Many physicians now use electronic health record applications to communicate with their patients, such as mychart. Take advantage of these services to get all your questions answered.

If you don’t have a doctor who diagnosed your nickel allergy, it could be beneficial to get a primary care doctor or a dermatologist. Others have told me their horror stories about being denied medical care. I’ve also heard from folks who inform me their doctor questioned them about trying the low nickel diet, when the individual attests that it works for him/her. Typically it costs the same amount of money to see a good doctor as it does to see a bad doctor. Yet the emotional toll of seeing a terrible doctor isn’t worth the energy. You will have to become your own self-advocate, as there are providers who don’t know about allergic contact dermatitis, or systemic nickel allergy syndrome. There are also plenty of doctors that don’t listen or take their patients seriously.

More and more research is being published about allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and systemic nickel allergy syndrome. More still needs to be learned, researched and known. Trust yourself and your own experience.

My skin patch story or this page discussing my nickel food allergy story with links to other helpful posts is a great place to start when you’re first diagnosed. I share so much information throughout my website about various things that work for me.

In this post, I’ve answered various frequently asked questions individuals ask me. Some of the questions are from folks are newly diagnosed with a contact nickel allergy or a systemic nickel allergy. Other questions are more specific about the “nickel allergy detox” or how to read processed food labels. So let’s begin!

Question: How should I proceed when first diagnosed with a nickel allergy?

Answer: The first recommendation my dermatologist told me prior to undergoing my skin patch test was to eliminate any and all fragrances from all of my cosmetics and laundry detergents. Within two weeks of eliminating fragrances, my eczema had improved by about 50%. Since nickel is all around us, it’s very difficult to eliminate all of your exposure. However there are many ways you can consciously work to reduce your exposure, by avoiding food higher in nickel, avoiding canned goods and stainless steel products which contain nickel.

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Question: What’s the most effective way to get diagnosed or accurately tested?

Answer: Skin patch testing is the most accurate type of test for diagnosing a nickel allergy. Since my nickel allergy is systemic, I also eat an elimination diet called the low nickel diet. After my skin patch test results I was told to try eating a strict low nickel diet for 4-6 weeks. If you try the low nickel diet and do not experience improvement in your symptoms after 4-6 weeks, it’s best to consult a medical professional to identify what else could be the culprit. You could have a histamine intolerance or allergic contact dermatitis and not a systemic nickel allergy. Eating an elimination diet is not fun or wise without consulting medical professionals.

Question: Why are there so many different lists identifying which foods are higher or lower in nickel?

Answer: Nickel is a natural heavy metal found in our air, soil and water. Some foods absorb and retain more or less nickel predominately from these sources. Meat and dairy products tend to contain the lowest amounts of nickel. Whereas foods primarily cultivated in soil contain higher concentrations of nickel. Generally, the more volcanic the soil the higher the concentration of nickel, which is tricky as volcanic soils tend to be very fertile and retain water.

Different lists that identify the nickel quantities can be more or less specific to food grown in a specific area or include a high level overview of what to eat or avoid. That’s why regardless of the “list” there are several foods such as soy, oats, nuts, whole grains, seeds, beans, leafy greens, pineapple, raspberries that are consistently identified as containing higher concentrations of nickel on nearly every list.

The benefit of globalization is that we can taste foods from all over the world, often year round. Since the majority of our food is not sourced locally, sometimes it can be beneficial for you to shop locally if where you live has less nickel than in other parts of your country, as the soil of different parts of the world can contain lower or higher amounts of nickel.

In 2009 when I was diagnosed, my dermatologist provided me with a list of foods with nickel that I’ve shared on my website. The Rebelytics low nickel diet scoring sheet and companion mobile application has data and research from various countries throughout the world. Some use the Rebelytics scoring sheet to introduce or reintroduce foods with higher amounts of nickel in their diet after eating a strict low nickel diet for months.

Question: What about foods not high in nickel that can trigger similar eczema symptoms?

Answer: Some with allergic contact dermatitis or systemic nickel allergies are also sensitive to foods that release more histamines or have a histamine intolerance. Certain foods, frozen foods or leftovers can cause the body to release more histamines when ingested.

Sometimes the longer you’re on the low nickel diet, the better you can tolerate moderate to higher nickel foods from time to time. Some can tolerate iceberg lettuce or lettuce grown hydroponically. The longer a food ripens or even storing cooked food in the frig can cause histamine reactions, which can mimic eczema symptoms. For instance, tomatoes are higher in histamines, despite their lower nickel content, some react more to them than others. Using a food journal is a great tool to identify what you can or cannot tolerate.

Question: What about a “nickel allergy detox”?

Answer: Again, there is no magic bullet, cleanse, detox, or cure for systemic nickel allergies. Unfortunately there are non-medical professionals who do not know or understand systemic nickel allergies, but are quick to offer bad solutions they promote as a “detox.” Do not unintentionally harm yourself by seeking these remedies, as they can backfire and cause severe long term health issues. I don’t believe in intermittent fasting or “diet” plans. The low nickel diet is not a weight loss plan, but an elimination diet where foods higher in nickel are avoided.

There are some well known physicians who understand systemic nickel allergies and treat their patients using chelation therapy. I have never sought this therapy. There may be naturopaths that promote herbs, but I avoid supplements so I have not tried this remedy. I also don’t know about whether cosmetic CBD products work or contain nickel. There have been some successful clinical trials using oral hyposensitization. These are under the care of trained medical providers and not considered a “cleanse” or “detox” remedy.

The best known and well researched “treatment” for systemic nickel allergies is to strive to live low nickel, using these 3 strategies. First stay hydrated and eat a strict low nickel diet avoiding foods higher in nickel, second, cook using low nickel cookware like glass, cast iron or ceramic, and third work to avoid touching anything containing nickel, like stainless steel.

Did you know there are two powerful search bars on my website? You can use them to search various topics I may have already written about in other posts. One search bar is located in the header of my website and the other is on the right hand side above my bio. Try them out.

Question: What are the most common nickel allergy or systemic nickel allergy symptoms?

Answer: Many people with a nickel allergy or systemic nickel allergy don’t experience immediate, but delayed symptoms. Allergic contact dermatitis is more common than systemic nickel allergy, as both can involve a delayed immune system reaction to an allergen or in my case nickel. Even if you don’t experience an obvious contact allergy when you touch nickel it’s recommended to limit all physical contact with nickel as your body can still be reacting internally. That’s also why changing your cookware and what you eat can also be so impactful to your symptoms.

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My severe eczema symptoms appear on my face around my mouth or eyelids, on my neck or inner elbow don’t usually appear until 12-24 hours after I’ve eaten something higher in nickel. Other common symptoms can include brain fog, inflammation, muscle weakness, joint issues and gastrointestinal issues. If you need a medical explanation or diagnosis for a particular symptom you may be experiencing, seek medical care from a provider.

Question: What’s a low nickel gluten free flour alternative?

Answer: Prior to their nickel allergy diagnosis, some individuals are told to avoid gluten. However, eating gluten free foods can aggravate systemic nickel allergies as they usually contain copious amounts of nickel, or oats, nuts, seeds and soy. Many individuals with systemic nickel allergies can tolerate white flour, just not whole wheat flour. If you still want to avoid gluten, alternative flours can include white rice flour, arrowroot flour, quinoa flour, or banana flour. You can also use sweet potato or regular potato flours.

Question: What about supplements?

Answer: I choose to avoid supplements as there can be undisclosed ingredients in some of them that could include heavy metals. Many supplements can contain heavy metals and in the U.S., companies aren’t required to disclose their ingredients.

Question: When will I know whether or not the low nickel diet is working for me?

Answer: If you do decide to try a low nickel diet it can take 4-6 weeks to experience results. My eyelids, lips, neck and elbows always experience eczema first when I eat foods higher in nickel. There’s lots of great information on my website. This page discussing my nickel food allergy story and linking to other helpful posts is a great place to start. Often the low nickel diet is a diet of trial and error, so using a food journal can help make the process more like a personal investigation than a hardship.

Question: How do I interpret food labels to know what I can eat or should avoid?

Answer: Unfortunately I’ve never seen a food labeling identifying “nickel” in the ingredients list. If you choose to eat processed food you have to take the time to learn how to interpret food labels. Many preservatives or additives in processed foods can contain nickel or aggravate nickel allergies. I find it is easier to avoid eating any and all processed foods. Eating homemade food from scratch where you control the ingredients and how your food is cooked will always be a better option than anything processed.

Question: What about low nickel cooking oils?

Answer: Olive oil or butter are great options for low nickel cooking oils. There are some cooking oils or sprays that have seed based ingredients, like sunflower oil or safflower oil. I primarily use olive oil but will occasionally use spray oils with sunflower oil as they don’t cause me to react. Since I cannot tolerate coconut, I do avoid coconut oil.

Question: What cosmetic products should I use or avoid?

Answer: I don’t have an answer for what cosmetic products, especially makeup, you should or should not use. I choose to not wear any makeup. Finding nickel free products can be very challenging. The best recommendation is to call the manufacturer, instead of trusting product labels, as often they’re not accurate. In addition, just like always checking food labels, I recommend you also always verify the ingredients in cosmetics even if you’ve used them previously as often the ingredients in cosmetic products can be changed without any notice to consumers.

Lastly, if you’re trying out different products to see if they will or won’t work for you, you could always participate in a “do-it-yourself” skin patch test. This is where you place a small amount of the new product on your inner arm, maybe near your wrist or elbow and cover it with a Band-Aid. Since the majority of our bodies have a delayed reaction, it’s best to not wash the area for 3-5 days. If your skin didn’t react, then most likely your body can tolerate the product. Sometimes however we can become oversensitized when various products are used for an extended period of time and/or again the manufacturer can add new ingredients that can cause us issues later without us necessarily knowing.

Question: What about vaccines?

Answer: Even with my severe nickel allergy and thimerosal allergy, I regularly receive vaccines. Personally, I do not want to get COVID-19, the flu, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, etc. When I receive a vaccine, usually I’ll experience minor side effects at the injection site and a sore arm for a couple days. The CDC and FDA say all of the COVID-19 vaccines are safe. After both doses of my COVID-19 vaccine, I experienced a sore arm and redness at the injection site, and after the second dose I experienced minor body aches, tiredness and chills. I took it easy for a couple days and was fine. If you have concerns about any vaccine or the COVID-19 vaccine, please consult your primary care physician or allergist.

Do you have a question I didn’t include in this post? Or maybe a tip you’d like to share? Feel free to ask via in the comment section below.

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