“If the words “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” doesn’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”
“It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics, dope and all of that stuff. It is a thousand times better than whiskey. It is an assistant and a friend.”
My research on Cannabis revealed an extraordinary amount of facts that it would be extremely difficult to not write an entire book. It’s amazing to have learned how this plant has evolved with human beings in order to survive as it has for so long. However, I will attempt to cram in as much knowledge as possible in just a few pages. So without further ado, here is cannabis in a nut shell:
Cannabis was first discovered somewhere in India or China thousands of years ago. It was used heavily as a medicine, primary to treat for pain (which would make since; most people did extreme hard labor). It also was used for industrial hemp (we’ll get more into this later). It was used everywhere, including the United States, as a wonderful medicine to treat all sorts of medical issues.
It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century, that then term “marijuana” came into use, and that’s when all the trouble started. Cannabis was first use for recreational purposes by Mexicans. In the 1920’s when Mexicans started immigrating to the United States, marijuana was made illegal in hopes to put an end to the recreational use. However, in the southern parts of the United States, marijuana also made it’s stand. Also, the boom in jazz music was partly due to the assistance of marijuana in the black culture. Louis Armstrong felt marijuana enhanced his artistic ability to improv, and it help him grow as a musician. And then poof: 1937, Cannabis is illegal in the United States.
However, this plant is smart, and knows how to adapt with the times. It seems to have the consciousness of the present, and knows how to react. In the 1960’s, cannabis is reborn. It is at this time that the government decided to “crack down on pot.” Why? Let’s think, who were the ones using marijuana at this time? A lot of people who didn’t agree with the government. But as history tells us (and those that were there), this was an extraordinary time for art, as we saw the rise to artist like Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Dylan and The Beatles, all of whom were cannabis users. But the war on Cannabis continues.
In 1964, the dominate compound in cannabis, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), was discovered by Raphael Mechoulam in Israel. This was the first time in all of history that actual research was done on the plant. We’ll get more into this in a few moments. This led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system that in embedded in all life forms. Allyn Howlett found this discovery in 1988. But we’ll get to this in just a little bit.
Since the “crackdown on pot” the American government has since been responsible for spraying and confiscating several fields of cannabis in the US and Mexico. To avoid this, the Cannabis plant had to adapt: move inside. The pioneers of indoor growing had to get smart.
We need to move off track for just a second to explain the two different types of cannabis. There’s the Cannabis Sativa and the Cannabis Indica. Here’s the physical difference: Sativa’s are tall plants; indica’s are short. However, there are differences in effects between the two. Sativa’s are usually more mentally stemulating; they pump you up. Indica’s produce more of a body high, and make you more relaxed; some can knock you out flat after just after use.
Since Sativa’s are so tall, and that’s what was grown in souther California and Mexico, growers decided to hybrid the seeds with an indica dominate strand from Asia, and then proceeded to move the plants indoors. This could have actually been the best thing for the Cannabis plant. Now that it doesn’t have to deal with the forces of nature, the Cannabis plant became very spoiled.
Once again, at the turn of the century Cannabis is starting to be reborn once more. Over time, this plant has evolved with us to second the consciousness of the times. It used to be a skinny plant, and now it’s a fat, spoiled bush.
But what is the cause for this sudden change in attitude towards this plant, even after the relentless false propaganda over the past several decades?
The science between the medicinal properties of cannabis are starting to be discovered. In fact, there are over 200 known medicinal uses of cannabis. Let’s go back to some of the discoveries mentioned earlier.
The Endocannabinoid System is a system that has evolved from the Sea-Squirt. In our nervous system there are thousands of receptors that receive and trasnmitt signals, we all know this. Some of these receptors are specifically suppose to receive cannabinoids. It turns out that THC chemically binds to the receptor’s; like a key in a lock. These receptor’s are located all over the body in most organs including the brain. It is this system that makes cannabis so special to us.
There are several cannabinoids in cannabis. The one everyone knows about is THC, as it is the most prominent cannabinoid present. It’s the cannabinoid that is responsible for the psychoactive effects; the “high.” However, this cannabinoid is useful for several medicinal purposes: it can treat nausea; help control appetite; it has anti inflammatory properties that work 20 times better than aspirin; it’s also an anti-oxident; One big medicinal use is for post-traumatic strees syndrome; it’s been also proven that THC can reduce and kill cancer cells when properly given the correct dosage (think about it, how much cancer was going around BEFORE 1937? Not much…); It’s been proven to help treat turrets, depression, and works 70% better than all perscription drugs for ADD/ADHD. There are several other medicinal purposes, these are just a few.
What’s funny about THC is the way that the cannabis plant produces it. The female plant is the one responsible for producing THC in hopes to attract a male plant to pollinate it. In other words: a higher amount of THC means a very sexually frustrated female cannabis plant.
Now there is a cannabinoid very similar to THC that is responsible for the body that is now starting to get studied. It’s called cannabidiol (or CBD). The biggest difference is that CBD has no psychoactive effects. It has some of it’s own medicinal properties: It has anti and preventive inflammatory properties; it can be used to help treat seizures, diabetes and MSRA; Most important, CBD can bind to cancer cells, and cause them to eat themselves or committ suicide; it also protects nerves endings, and can inhibit the nerve-damaging process; because of this, CBD can be used to protect brain injury. Once again, these are only a few medicinal bennifits.
THC can be found in more sativa dominate strains, while high amounts of CBD can be found in indica dominate strains. There was a study done where patients were given a higher dose of THC, and then given a dose of CBD. The CBD turned the negative effects of THC around, and also worked it’s own magic. There are other cannabinoids also currently under study (CBC and THCV), but there isn’t much information on it yet. However, they also have their own medicinal purposes which include anti-cancerous properties, depression and diabetes.
The most harmful way of using cannabis treatment is also the most known way: smoking. However, there are safer and better ways to use cannabis. Vaporizers allow you to inhale the cannabinoids without inhaling the burning plant matter in the process. Edibles are good for CBD ingestion. The best way: Oil. Rick Simpson discovered a great way to extract the oil from the plant, and gave it away to his community for free. Several people that used this oil were cancer patients, including Rick Simpson himself. All are cancer free now. Rick Simpson is in exile in Europe due to the Canadian government not agreeing with pure science.
Industrial Hemp could save our entire ecosystem. Hemp is the male part of the plant, and can be used to make pretty much anything from food, to clothes, to biofuel. It can even be made into a dense fiber board that can be used in construction. Buildings made with hemp are very stronger and lighter than wood, and can work with virtually any weather. Hemp is very high in protein, and very good to eat or drank (Hemp Milk, yum yum). Hemp can be use for clothes and paper, making them much more durable and sustainable. The Declaration of Independence is actually written on hemp paper, which is why it’s in such good condition for being a few hundred years old.
Honestly, I want to see what this plant can’t do. If the government was at all interested in stabilizing the economy (which they’re not), the full legalization of the plant should be first on their list. Not only would it generate a lot of money from the buying and selling of cannabis, but we would save million’s of dollars in law enforcement. In 2010, New Yorkers spent $75 million on small drug busts. If the prohibition was non existent, wouldn’t that $75 million go to something more important…like education?
There is so much more to discuss about the cannabis plant, but this is the summery of my research thus far in a nutshell. I will continue my research on Cannabis, and do what I can to push for the end of prohibition. Watch out NYC! Cannabis is about to really become our best friend.