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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the burning-up-and-down dept.

Science 178

biodata (1981610) writes "BBC News is reporting findings published in the journal ACS Nano by Dr David Mitlin from Clarkson University. Dr. Mitlin's team took waste hemp stems and recycled the material into supercapacitors with performance as good, or better, than those built from graphene, at a fraction of the raw materials cost. "We're making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price - and we're doing it with waste. The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow. It has no THC in it at all - so there's no overlap with any recreational activities," Mitlin says.

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Uh, no (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674069)

Graphene and 3D printing is the future, not hippy rope.

Re:Uh, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674307)

'hippy rope' and development, and funny story... :}

Oh, come now (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 months ago | (#47674361)

The hemp we use... has no THC in it at all - so there's no overlap with any recreational activities," Mitlin says.

Well, every technology has bugs and birthing pains. Keep working at it, and perhaps you can graduate to a better class of hemp, Mr. Mitlin.

Re:Oh, come now (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47674585)

They could grow their hemp in Colorado or Washington, and be dual use: Sell the leaves and buds to the pot shops, and use the fiber in the stems to make supercapacitors.

Re:Oh, come now (0, Troll)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 2 months ago | (#47674695)

They could grow their hemp in Colorado or Washington, and be dual use: Sell the leaves and buds to the pot shops, and use the fiber in the stems to make supercapacitors.

Hemp is not marijuana. And it doesn't act like it either.

Re:Oh, come now (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674791)

Hemp can't replace marijuana, but I'm pretty sure marijuana can replace hemp.

Re:Oh, come now (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 2 months ago | (#47674909)

Hemp can't replace marijuana, but I'm pretty sure marijuana can replace hemp.

Well sure - for baking anyhow....

Re:Oh, come now (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47675157)

As I understand it, no. (I'm not a marijuana expert however.) From what I'm told, while the two plants are closely related, marijuana is really good for smoking, but the fibers are not very good for rope-making, whereas hemp has great fibers for rope-making and clothes and such, but sucks for smoking. So basically you can have one or the other, but not both.

It's kinda like trying to use a Prius for hauling plywood and concrete, and a Ford F350 for daily commuting. You could probably get both those combinations to work, but the Prius is not optimized for cargo like the F350 is, and the F350 gets lousy fuel economy compared to the Prius and is much harder to maneuver and park.

Re:Oh, come now (4, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47675341)

You are correct, the hemp plat is the rudalis plant, we smoke the indica and sativa plants. Side note, hops are also related to pot

Re:Oh, come now (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675939)

Side note, hops are also related to pot

As are pine trees, sharks, monkeys and potatoes. But not humans, we were made by a wizard separately.

Re:Oh, come now (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | about 2 months ago | (#47675501)

They are the same species, the main difference with where the plant invests carbon, and what chemical compounds are more highly expressed.

The wonders of hemp (1)

shiftless (410350) | about 2 months ago | (#47675779)

What doesn't this plant do? Besides give up and die?

How do we really know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674109)

.. that these hippies are not just high?

suitable for home use? (5, Informative)

russejl (746370) | about 2 months ago | (#47674111)

This is potentially exciting... no pun intended :-)

The article abstract says:
The nanosheets are ideally suited for low (down to 0 C) through high (100 C) temperature ionic-liquid-based supercapacitor applications: At 0 C and a current density of 10 A g–1, the electrode maintains a remarkable capacitance of 106 F g–1. At 20, 60, and 100 C and an extreme current density of 100 A g–1, there is excellent capacitance retention (72–92%) with the specific capacitances being 113, 144, and 142 F g–1, respectively. These characteristics favorably place the materials on a Ragone chart providing among the best power–energy characteristics (on an active mass normalized basis) ever reported for an electrochemical capacitor: At a very high power density of 20 kW kg–1 and 20, 60, and 100 C, the energy densities are 19, 34, and 40 Wh kg–1, respectively. "

Which possibly suggests that the materials are suitable for indoor use (but not in cars unless you happen to operate in a non-freezing climate) which could have some very practical applications. Solar panels are becoming attractive and I'd like a storage bank but would like to avoid batteries because of the slow charge, expense, and maintenance. A super capacitor, of course, is attractive. Off the top of my head, I don't know what the power density of this type of capacitor is relative to lead acid deep cycle batteries. Still, I smile though :)

Re:suitable for home use? (5, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 months ago | (#47674395)

The power density is really nowhere close to a battery. Supercaps make sense for things where you actually need really massive charge and/or discharge spikes, over very short times. Think railguns, or a camera flash that can fire multiple times without needing to recharge between shots (if it charged enough to begin with), or possibly a smoothing system for charging batteries from a very spiky power source (hypothetically, this could scale to things like harvesting lightning, though at present that's not at all practical). They aren't practical for long-term storage, either due to energy density or due to their tendency to lose power over time pretty quickly.

A sufficiently large battery bank will have no problem with the charge speed of a photovoltaic array (which is actually rather slow). A small bank might reach saturation voltage - where the batteries are still charging but can't charge any *faster* or they'll take damage from overvolting - fairly quickly if fed by a large array, but that's not the real problem with a small bank; the real problem is not having enough storage capacity.

Expense is considerable, especially if you go with the low-maintenance options like gel-cells. However, supercaps are, at this time, not something you can buy a huge bank of at any price (certainly not the hemp-based ones). If you could get a meaningful capacity of the graphene ones it would probably cost many times as much. Maybe the hemp ones will change that, but don't hold your breath.

Maintenance is much less than it sounds. Wet-cells (typical lead-acid batteries) need topping up with water periodically, and occasionally may need equalization charges; the first can be done by a reminder to go do so every month, and the latter doesn't even need to be that often. Pretty much every other aspect of maintenance should be handled by a good enclosure for the batteries and a good charge controller. The controller costs a bit but you want one of the good ones anyhow; they perform DC-DC voltage conversion to take the output of the solar cells (which can easily be at least 25% higher voltage than the batteries will charge at) and down-convert it, extracting some extra current in the process (some energy is lost in this process, but it's typically a 10%-20% net positive for the 12V gel-cells my family uses). Speaking of gel-cells, those will save you on maintenance (at a cost of more money up front and a more severe voltage sensitivity that limits charge rate a bit harder). Such batteries are basically install-and-forget, but you'd need to be tremendously lazy for them to be worthwhile for a home installation; they are typically for marine usage (as my parents do) where never needing to open the cells (to add water) is a significant plus.

Re:suitable for home use? (3, Informative)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 months ago | (#47674867)

The power density is really nowhere close to a battery. Supercaps make sense for things where you actually need really massive charge and/or discharge spikes, over very short times.

That is the definition of power density. You're thinking energy density. The fact that you would get the two confused casts aspersions on your knowledge in the field.

It should also be noted that almost all types of batteries have leakage current which renders them unsuitable for long term energy storage. Most super caps have a higher than normal leakage current due to the lower operating resistance of the devices (the same trait which allows them very high power density).

Re:suitable for home use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674883)

The power density is really nowhere close to a battery.

A typical 100 Ah car battery weighs 33 Kg [powerstream.com] . At 12 volts that comes out to 1.2 KWh/33Kg or 36Wh/g. That is in the same neighborhood as the values cited by the grandparent post.

Re:suitable for home use? (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 2 months ago | (#47674939)

Are the gel-cells you refer to also called "sealed lead acid" batteries? If so, then you are correct, they are maintenance free (and good for about 5 years if kept up properly and not overly discharged often).

Re:suitable for home use? (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about 2 months ago | (#47675365)

They aren't practical for long-term storage, either due to energy density or due to their tendency to lose power over time pretty quickly.

I'd be curious to know what you consider long term, as it might not be as long as you think for a home storage situation.

I have a 1.5kwh array on my home, which generates a little excess during the day and of course, is useless at night :)

I've considered bumping it up to 3 or 5kwh as I get no effective use out of the excess generation (8c/KwH). However if I could buffer it for 24-48 hours then I could effectively power my house overnight. I live in Brisbane, Australia, so it would be effectively off grid for 80% of the year.

Re:suitable for home use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675695)

You can heat water in an well insulated boiler, for keeping water hot until the morning for showers/bads.
Also you could run your fridge harder during the day and not at night.

Re:suitable for home use? (5, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 months ago | (#47674975)

I'd love these for a solar array where energy stored for unit volume is important, but not critical (like it is in a car or RV) for a number of reasons:

1: Hemp is a lot less nasty for the environment than graphene.

2: This could be used as a buffer for the chemical batteries, since you don't have to worry about limiting amps coming in. Come "shoulder hours", the supercaps can be charging the batteries at exactly the amperage rate they need even after the sun is down, greatly improving the system's efficiency.

3: The lifespan of a capacitor is a lot longer than a battery because electricity is stored physically, not chemically. So, if space is less of an issue, large supercaps can be used without worrying about replacement every 5-10 years (or 2-3 years with Li-ion) batteries.

So, for an off-grid circuit (one that never goes near mains power and pretty much acts as a UPS), having this technology would go far.

Re:suitable for home use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675477)

A lot less nasty for the environment?

You're aware that graphene is literally just a sheet of Carbon atoms, yes?

Gives new meaning... (5, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 months ago | (#47674131)

This will give new meaning to the term 'magic smoke'.

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org] for those that don't know)

Gives new meaning... (3, Funny)

Stolovaya (1019922) | about 2 months ago | (#47674175)

Have you ever made hemp fiber supercapacitors...on weed?

Re:Gives new meaning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675253)

Too fluffy/sticky. Not a good substrate.

Re:Gives new meaning... (0, Offtopic)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 2 months ago | (#47674561)

The pro pot crowd often makes reference to George Washington and other founders raising hemp. The hemp they raised for rope and fabric wasn't any good for getting high either. I suppose if you smoked a huge drum of it you might get a mild buzz but no reasonable amount of exposure would give you a buzz. Tobacco is actually worse in that regard. Picking tobacco leaves can put enough nicotine in your system to make you quite ill and that is without lighting it up.

Re:Gives new meaning... (2)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 2 months ago | (#47675167)

Actually, Washington's diaries talk about his hemp crop, and include this passage:

  "Began to separate the Male from the Female hemp ⦠rather too late."

The only reason to separate the male and female plants is to prevent pollination, and thereby increase (psychoactive) resin production. This is still done to this day among pot growers. It seems pretty clear that Washington had at least some interest in the medicinal/psychoactive qualities of his crop.

Re: Gives new meaning... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675735)

That's not the only reason, and you pinched that idea from Robert Anton Wilson. The Straight Dope has something to say about it:

But let's not give up too quickly. In his diary for August 7, 1765, Washington writes, "Began to separate the Male from the Female hemp ⦠rather too late." Female marijuana plants are the ones that contain enough THC to be worth smoking. Some take this to mean Washington was cultivating the plant not just for fiber. Of course, two days later Washington says he put the hemp in the river to soak and separate out the fibers, and later in September that he started to harvest the seed. That suggests he divided the plants because the males made stronger fiber while the female plants produced the seed needed for the next year's crop. Jefferson in his Farm Book wrote that a female plant would produce a quart of seed, and a bushel of seed was enough to plant an acre.

Re:Gives new meaning... (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47675173)

The pro pot crowd points to Washington and hemp so they can point out how stupid our marijuana laws are, because these laws, in banning marijuana, also ban hemp, even though hemp does suck for getting high. It's a versatile and useful plant (but not for smoking), good for making rope, paper, clothing, etc., but we can't have it because of these stupid pot laws.

Gives new meaning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674589)

please..... _do_ let the magic smoke out ;)

superconducting cannabis plants. (0)

jaeztheangel (2644535) | about 2 months ago | (#47674165)

history has officially jumped the shark.

not superconducting (4, Informative)

penguinoid (724646) | about 2 months ago | (#47674331)

A supercapacitor is not superconducting; it just stores a lot of charge.

Re:not superconducting (1)

jaeztheangel (2644535) | about 2 months ago | (#47674563)

apologies; thank you for the correction.

Re:not superconducting (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#47674789)

If it was superconducting, it'd be a rather horrible capacitor, actually.

Not available in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674171)

You can grow hemp in Canada to make rope, clothes, etc. Americans will throw you in jail for 5 million years if you try to grow hemp (even in Washington State and Colorado).

Re:Not available in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674283)

They legalized it in CO last year [growhempcolorado.com] . Once MJ is legal, there's no argument for outlawing hemp.

Re:Not available in US (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674383)

You can be forgiven for thinking this, since the law changed very recently [marketwatch.com] . Several states had passed industrial hemp bills that were void until the Federal government acted. They finally acted. Note that some of the industrial hemp states do not allow recreational. I haven't checked to see if they all allow medical. Thus, it's legal to grow industrial hemp in California, but recreational marijuana is still an infraction/$100 fine for less than on oz., criminal for more than an ounce, etc. I don't know what the regs are for joe blow growing industrial hemp. I don't think I'm going to try since it would attract unwanted attention for obvious reasons.

Legal... sort of (3, Informative)

michael_cain (66650) | about 2 months ago | (#47674179)

"The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow."

Yeah, if you're properly affiliated with a university or state department of agriculture, are doing it for research purposes, and have agreed to all of the terms and conditions that the feds and your local state require. If you or I try to do it commercially, it's a federal felony.

Re:Legal... sort of (5, Insightful)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 2 months ago | (#47674217)

Which is nuts, actually. Hemp is a brilliant raw material with hundreds of practical uses which *should*, if people had any sense of balance, far outweigh the small issue of the cannabinoids. It could probably even be selectively bred to eliminate that aspect, but no, concern about a few potheads sends legislators into a tailspin. This is why we can't have nice things.

Re:Legal... sort of (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47674441)

Yea but it looks like pot and if you allow any Joe, Dick and Jane to grow it the feds would have to genetically test every plant in the crop and that's just unworkable so it should be banned to save the government effort in proving that you are growing illegal plants.

[/sarcasm]

Re:Legal... sort of (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674473)

Hemp is overrated

Clever stoners have built this huge mythology around the industrial value of hemp. It is a good fiber but it isn't the miracle material you've been trained to think it is. We've had no problem discovering suitable and better alternatives for every conceivable use of hemp and if industrial hemp is ever available in bulk I doubt more than a few of these will actually be displaced. A few maybe, but if it competes with other crops for cultivated land it won't be cheap, so it won't be the first choice.

It would be great if hemp were able to produce excellent supercapacitors beyond the lab. We could begin replacing our fleet of gas cars with electrics and build feasible energy storage for renewables. Unfortunately the same mentality that takes all the hemp hype as gospel also believes that we don't have these things because Big Oil and Big Coal — so I guess hemp supercapactors aren't going to help anyhow. Right?

AC because poking at the millennial world view is bad for karma.

Re:Legal... sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674521)

Clever stoners have built this huge mythology around the industrial value of hemp. It is a good fiber but it isn't the miracle material you've been trained to think it is. We've had no problem discovering suitable and better alternatives for every conceivable use of hemp and if industrial hemp is ever available in bulk I doubt more than a few of these will actually be displaced.

Yes, and we have to use materials like oil to make your materials.

Or we could use sunshine and rain and a lot less oil.

Re:Legal... sort of (1)

killkillkill (884238) | about 2 months ago | (#47675159)

If you start producing hemp on a scale large enough to replace his materials, I bet you're still going to end up using quite a bit of petroleum derived fertilizers to replenish the depleted soil.

Re:Legal... sort of (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675029)

No. There is no replacement yet for hemp cloth that is as good or better in hot weather. Flax comes close but isn't as durable. The ridiculous state of the law makes flax cheaper than hemp which would otherwise outperform it in all aspects including price. Synthetic fibers are trash for clothing if you have to do anything beyond sitting in an air-condition room.

Re:Legal... sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675125)

That's goddam straight. Fuck around in the tropics for a couple of years in polyester or rayon, you'll love it.

Re:Legal... sort of (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47675183)

Wrong and stupid. Hemp can be used for paper, which is more environmentally-friendly than normal paper because hemp (a "weed") grows far faster than trees.

Re: Legal... sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675893)

Yeah, it'll never be a success. Which is why we have fields full of them here

http://mensenmakendestad.almere.nl/typo3temp/pics/81bb02fb09.jpg

Re:Legal... sort of (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 months ago | (#47674535)

It could probably even be selectively bred to eliminate that aspect

That's been available for a very long time, it's what they used in this experiment and is grown commercially to make hemp clothing. Getting permission to grow those species is unreasonably difficult in many countries for no other reason than it looks like the smokeable stuff. Historically hemp is as important as cotton, George Washington once decreed every land holder set aside a portion of land for growing hemp to supply the colonial navy with rope. It's said that the invention of nylon spurred the original US government propaganda and the prohibition drive, hemp was a direct competitor in many markets and the nylon makers had powerful friends in congress. The propaganda avoided the word "hemp" and used the Mexican name "Marijuana" in a cynical attempt to appeal to the racist dogma of the day that branded Mexicans as lazy and untrustworthy.

Cotton lobby (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 months ago | (#47674795)

there's more to it than just Mary Jane. You don't think the cotton lobby has noticed the wonder material that is hemp?...

Re:Legal... sort of (3, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 months ago | (#47675017)

It's one of the reasons France gave the USA the finger and you guys decided to hate the nation that used to be admired - France still has a large and legal hemp industry for fibre production. They refused to shut it down as part of the "war on drugs". India grows a vast amount of the stuff for fibre. There's a few other places that didn't decide to wipe out an industry as collatoral damage in the "war on drugs" distraction.

Re:Legal... sort of (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 2 months ago | (#47675955)

Of course you have to comply with state and federal regulations. They probably include random sampling by feds to test THC levels in your crop.
If you genetically modify corn to have THC the corn farmers will face the same thing. That's not wrong.

What is wrong is that THC is illegal in the US. But that is a different discussion.
Info: I live in the Netherlands. I know a society can work properly while weed is available to everyone (although it isn't perfect yet).

No overlap with recreational activities? (5, Insightful)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 2 months ago | (#47674189)

What about basket weavers, you insensitive clod!

Re:No overlap with recreational activities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675163)

What about smoking your dead battery "YOU" insensitive clod!

No THC? (2)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 months ago | (#47674193)

Sorry, but every cannabis sativa plant, whether of the recreational, medicinal, or hemp varieties produces some THC. Granted, hemp is a miniscule fraction of a percentage THC, but it does have THC.

Re:No THC? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 months ago | (#47675035)

Friend of a friend story but probably true.
A friend of mine, his sister and his sister's stoner boyfriend went to Latvia after the Russians moved out and they could reconnect with family etc. The stoner was astonished with hemp growing all over the place and he collected and dried a lot of it. It turns out that with the variety there and the short growing season he was effectively just smoking rope because whatever process forms THC just didn't get time to happen.

Re:No THC? (2)

sound+vision (884283) | about 2 months ago | (#47675427)

The concept of dirtweed or ditchweed is well-known to US stoners as well - if you find it growing naturally there is a good chance it's a hemp strain, not suitable for smoking. It's not that the these plants don't contain any THC, it's that they don't contain appreciable THC in doses large enough to get high. It's a minor distinction, and probably good not to mention it lest the government try to clamp down on supercapacitor research. But, I would expect the scientist in the article to be more precise.

Re:No THC? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47675371)

... They're talking about hemp, not Cannabis Sativa. Theres a difference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

There are many strains of Cannabis, some have THC, some don't.

Re:No THC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675823)

Hemp does have THC, just such a small amount (0.3% - 1.5%) that you wouldn't get high from smoking before you got a massive head ache from everything else in the plant and passed out from the CO poisoning. Medical/recreational grade has 10% or more THC content, I've even heard some varieties have upwards of 23%

Re:No THC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47676079)

And almost every apple and almond has cyanide.

But yeah Mitlin shouldn't have used "at all". I'd cut him some slack if he merely said "No THC", but "No THC in it at all" means something different.

That tears it, Bailing Twine? (4, Funny)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47674201)

Dang it folks, I left the farm to be an electrical engineer and it keeps following me! I ran away from the farm for a reason, and bailing twine was wrapped all around it.

Now we are going to be making capacitors from bailing twine? NOOOOOO!! I won't do this again!

I have to retire before they start sending me out to pickup packages of dried grass and haul them to the barn again.

Potheads assemble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674225)

Waiting for the NORML press release that cites this discovery as a reason why all states must legalize weed for recreational use immediately. Doesn't matter that it has nothing to do with getting high, facts are irrelevant to them.

It's hilarious how drug advocates find everything about science to be wrong when scientists discover new dangers about marijuana use, but love science when it finds uses for hemp or marijuana, even if the use has NOTHING to do with getting high in the slightest. Talk about cherry picking.

Re:Potheads assemble! (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47674487)

but love science when it finds uses for hemp

Because with large scale hemp agriculture, you can always sneak in a few rows of 'the good stuff'.

Re:Potheads assemble! (3, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | about 2 months ago | (#47674833)

You wouldn't want to though. Your marijuana plants would end up getting cross-pollinated and the quality would go to hell. No one would want to buy the crap. That and cultivating the plants indoors in a more controlled environment is going to provide a much better yield.

Re:Potheads assemble! (1)

careysub (976506) | about 2 months ago | (#47675583)

but love science when it finds uses for hemp

Because with large scale hemp agriculture, you can always sneak in a few rows of 'the good stuff'.

No, you can't - although the belief that you can is apparently what has kept the hemp business shut down in the U.S. for 80 years (and led to Governor Arnold to veto a hemp cultivation measure in California.

The cultivation patterns are completely different. The hemp crop is grown in dense plantings that lead to tall stalks and few leaves, and then the crop is either harvested before it flowers (if an all-fiber farm) or is allowed to go to seed (if hemp seed is also harvested).

Either way there is no way that a successful drug crop, however small, can be snuck in there. (Not so drug cannabis and, say, field corn though - hiding pot among corn is an old trick).

Re:Potheads assemble! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47674875)

Care to share pointers to the dangers of MJ use? If possible some where it's anyone's business but the person's who consumes it. Note: It's NONE of your business if someone wants to off himself in any way he likes.

Re:Potheads assemble! (3, Informative)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 2 months ago | (#47675415)

Marijuana doesn't have the same dramatic effects as meth, and there are people who are long-term users who suffer very few side effects from this drug. There is however a small chance that it can lead to temporary or even permanent psychosis. There is still some debate over this issue, but I can assure you it's quite real.

http://www.sane.org/informatio... [sane.org]
http://medicalmarijuana.procon... [procon.org]

A while ago I spent some time in a mental facility and one of the patients there was that unlucky 1 in 700,000 who was vulnerable to the psychotic effects that marijuana could cause. He was a good student who was just starting university. Intelligent, articulate, and with excellent grades - he had good prospects for a long and happy life.

His mother worked as a nurse at that hospital so she could spend time with her son, and I received this information directly from her. At uni he tried marijuana, just a few times. I get the impression he was just a typical uni kid enjoying his new freedom and he started to smoke it because his new social circle were smoking it. Pretty typical stuff. He had an adverse reaction (I think over a short time period of maybe week or so) and had to be hospitalised due to psychosis.

By the time I met him, he had been in hospital for 12 years. He had no teeth left, since he couldn't look after them they had to all be removed. He was heavily medicated but was still liable to fits of anger and hitting other patients for something simple like sitting in his chair. He was barely able to speak and never managed more than a couple of mumbled, often unintelligible words. There was a rec room where we could watch a TV which was behind a plexiglass panel we needed to lift up to change channels. He had a tic that meant every 1-2 minutes he needed to get up, walk to the TV, life the plexiglass, run his hand over the top of the TV, then sit down again. He might do this 100+ times in a day.

While it's easy to think there's no dangers using marijuana, and admittedly, they are few and low - it's not totally without cost or risk. This man will spend the rest of his short life in that mental institution, unable to read, play games, go outside, speak to others, share friendships or talk about the good old days. He will never experience any of the myriad of things that you and countless others can - and that is directly attributed to a fairly small quantity of weed he smoked - he wasn't trying any other drugs at the time.

Certainly, he had a disposition towards this happening, but it was marijuana that pushed it over the limit and completely fucked his entire life.

We have a decent welfare system and free hospitalisation in Australia, so he is getting the care he needs. You could argue that as taxpayers who are shouldering that cost we do get a say in whether people consume the drug or not...but, I'm not going to bother with that argument, it's not the important one.

Enjoy the smoke if you can amd avoid it if that's that you prefer. Just bear in mind, however small, there is a chance of psychosis that may in same rare cases be permanent - and weed is a known contributor to this condition.

Role your dice, move your mice.

Re:Potheads assemble! (0)

qpqp (1969898) | about 2 months ago | (#47675523)

Certainly, he had a disposition towards this happening, but it was marijuana that pushed it over the limit and completely fucked his entire life.

That would have happened in any case. Stop scaring the kids! Just remember, it's all in your head.

Re:Potheads assemble! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675531)

1/700,000 has an adverse reaction to marajuana
how many people in the US can die from eating a peanut? almost no non-essential substance is innocuous to everyone.

Re: Potheads assemble! (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 months ago | (#47675063)

So they are just like... everybody else?

Marijuana... (4, Interesting)

geekd (14774) | about 2 months ago | (#47674281)

Marijuana. Is there anything it CAN'T do?

Re:Marijuana... (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 months ago | (#47674319)

Marijuana. Is there anything it CAN'T do?

Make donuts?

Re:Marijuana... (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 months ago | (#47674373)

Make donuts?

Clearly, you are unfamiliar with Marijuana. :)

Re:Marijuana... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674381)

Might find hemp in donut making equipment.

Re:Marijuana... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675601)

There's no CAN'T in CANNABIS.

Bong (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 2 months ago | (#47674313)

But, can it be converted into a bong?

Re:Bong (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47674571)

No, but it can be used to jump start your vaporizer

Whoa, dude, that gave me a great idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674333)

... ... ...wait, what was I saying?

Man, I'm hungry....

(Yes, I can read I know it's THC free. That's a joke, I say, that's a joke, son.)

/Oblg. Hemp for Victory ! (3, Informative)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 months ago | (#47674357)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

The hypocrisy of the government is retarded.

--
"It is the government proselytizing it is propaganda. When it is people promoting it, it is outlawed."

Re:/Oblg. Hemp for Victory ! (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47674607)

I don't have a reference handy, (would have to ask a certain member of my family who would know all about this) but I seem to remember that the banning of hemp had nothing to do with THC. That was only an excuse. The real reason was that hemp was competing too well with some other part of the textile industry.

That's going to bug me. I'll have to do research tonight and get more details.

Re:/Oblg. Hemp for Victory ! (4, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47675391)

It was a 2 fold attack from du pont, who nust created the synthetic fibre, and william henrey hurst with his timber operation, they didnt want the competition with the hemp fibre, so they started a campaign to smear it. They were blaming marijuana for black men raping white women and chinese being lazy, the convinced the government that they were both evil

Re:/Oblg. Hemp for Victory ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674935)

The hypocrisy of the government is retarded.

Did it occur to you that the government isn't one person and that this video was produced at a time before the drug wars? Different people made different policies and that is not hypocritical.

Re:/Oblg. Hemp for Victory ! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 months ago | (#47675099)

It never fails to amaze me how small minds cannot make the distinction between industrial hemp fiber and marijuana that is smoked for recreational purposes. They're two different things, but thanks for trotting out that old hoary video for the ten millionth time.

So no ... (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 2 months ago | (#47674401)

... capacity for any recreational activities.

Re:So no ... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 months ago | (#47674461)

Actually when I was in high school electronics class we had great fun charging up big capacitors then tossing them to our classmates yelling "Here, catch!". A few of us were smart enough not to catch.

Re:So no ... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47674591)

Actually when I was in high school electronics class we had great fun charging up big capacitors then tossing them to our classmates yelling "Here, catch!". A few of us were smart enough not to catch.

In my high school electronics class the instructor announced on the first day of class that anyone charging up a capacitor and tossing it to someone else as a joke would automatically fail the class. (Apparently this was not his first rodeo.)

Up to that point, we'd never even realized this was possible. That Halloween was fun.

Re:So no ... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 months ago | (#47674855)

Yea, it only took our instructor a couple of days to tell us to stop too but by that time everyone was wise to it anyway.

Re:So no ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675027)

We didn't throw them. We just touched them to the back of the metal chair on the desk. It would make a nice startling pop especially during tests.

Re:So no ... (2)

TehZorroness (1104427) | about 2 months ago | (#47675107)

My high school instructor told us that when he was in high school electronics, the kids would toss a charged capacator at you if they saw you trying to sneak in after the bell rang. Either you try your best to catch it, or you let it drop and the professor turns around from the chalk board and notices you walking in.

Supercapacitors from used cigarette filters (1)

dsgrntlxmply (610492) | about 2 months ago | (#47674433)

Supercapacitors from used cigarette filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674609)

I was thinking about the same. So the super-super-capacitors will be made of hemp cigar butts ?

I don't believe you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674499)

I'm just going to come out and say it. This is a fraud. It'll be revealed some time in the next couple of days. Count on it.

Hey! (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47674575)

Administrator: What are you guys doing in the lab with all those plants?

Undergrad lab assistant: Testing them for use as supercapacitor electrodes. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Administrator walks away satisfied.

Um, I have to wonder... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47674587)

Experimenter bias?

How unfortunate ... (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 months ago | (#47674635)

The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow. It has no THC in it at all - so there's no overlap with any recreational activities," Mitlin says.
A shame, isn't it?

Re:How unfortunate ... (2)

sound+vision (884283) | about 2 months ago | (#47675383)

The good part is, instead of throwing the stems out I can now recycle them!

But how long can it maintain the high (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about 2 months ago | (#47674679)

voltage?

Re:But how long can it maintain the high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675505)

Sadly his variety has no THC, so no high ... voltage.

That said, I'm about to go and squirt some cannabis oil up my ass. That'll give me a rise ... in voltage.

Bamboo may be an even better choice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47674921)

What we are talking about here is after all is just charred chains of sugars of terrestrial plant origin.

Alternates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47675561)

Have they tried bamboo?

forgetful electronics (1)

thygate (1590197) | about 2 months ago | (#47676063)

oh no, soon our computers will be confused and forgetful ..
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