Marijuana is part of the cannabis family. Many people have used cannabis over thousands of years for helping with common ailments such as arthritis pain, inflammation, upset stomach and more. The Chinese used marijuana and we have evidence of hemp in clay food storage containers that have been dated to nearly 6,000 years ago. Hemp and marijuana are both forms of cannabis plants.
In the United States, cannabis was never considered illegal or even wrong to use until 1937 when it was suddenly criminalized. Up to that point, it had been used as a ‘medicinal herb’ by people very freely. It was commonly planted and used for any purposes that people felt would be beneficial.
The problems began to arise when it was learned that hemp fibers could be used to make nearly every product that wood was currently used for. It also had the potential to be used in the same sort of textiles that cotton was used for.
Lumber barons and cotton plantation owners began lobbying congress to criminalize hemp and cannabis in general, citing that it was harmful, that it was immoral, dangerous, etc. Today, we know this to be untrue, but in 1937 cannabis was officially declared off limits and the United States lost out on utilizing one of the most natural and sustainable crops in the history of the world.
The Devil’s Lettuce
This is a term assigned to marijuana and cannabis, according to the Urban Dictionary. Again, based very much on here say and untruths. Cannabis has been called a gateway drug and the work of the devil for nearly a hundred years. People were told that cannabis would cause you to rape, kill, steal, and that it was a sin and immoral.
None of these things are true. Most people who use cannabis are only at risk of raiding the kitchen cabinets and taking a nap. Cannabis use has never been proven to lead to other drug use. In fact, in more recent years, it has been discovered that CBD, one of the compounds in cannabis, has the ability to reduce cravings for cigarettes and harder drugs to help people be able to quit them.
This is hardly the work of the devil!
In 1996 the state of California legalized medical marijuana for those with specific ailments. One thing that was getting the most publicity at that time was Epileptic seizures and the strange ability that cannabis had to slow them down so that they happened less frequently and were not as potent when they did happen.
In the years following, science has done thousands of tests and eventually came to learn that CBD, with the help of THC, both cannabinoid compounds present in cannabis, could definitely reduce seizure activity. Not only was this a fact, science went on to develop an anti-seizure medication with CBD (cannabidiol) as the active ingredient. The FDA gave Epidiolex their stamp of approval and many have been reaping the benefits since.
Further research is constantly on-going but there are many things that we know cannabis can do to help people feel better. This is why so many states have legalized medical marijuana. Additionally, the Farm Bill was signed in 2018, which states that you may now have hemp products in your possession, regardless of what state you live in. This opened a vast market to CBD oil as well.
Marijuana has been successfully used to combat the effects of nausea and pain from cancer treatments in patients over the last twenty years with great success. CBD, as well as some of the other 112 known cannabinoids in cannabis, has also proven effective in combating the spread of cancer cells and shrinking of tumors in lab mice and gerbils.
The facts are that cannabis is more like a gift from God, if you’re a religious person. Western society is just starting to learn things that the ancient Chinese seemed to know thousands of years ago, cannabis has medicinal properties that can have a therapeutic effect on many conditions. While it is not a cure for anything, it can prompt the body to heal itself and regulate pain on its own.
How Does Cannabis Work?
Everyone, even your dog and cat (or your goldfish for that matter) has an endocannabinoid system in their body. This is condensed to ECS for our purposes. The ECS is made of receptors and enzymes. The enzymes promote the production of endocannabinoids in your body. Endo literally means ‘from within’ and endocannabinoids come from within.
Scientists have determined that the ECS is responsible for the regulation of metabolism, pain management, the immune system, and even moods. When you introduce phytocannabinoids – plant cannabinoids – to the body, they can also interact with the ECS and prompt it to get to work. They, in fact, help to boost it to better performance. Some chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia are now thought to be linked to an ECS that is not functioning properly.
When cannabis is consumed, the 112 known cannabinoids all enter the body and look for the ECS. Some of the cannabinoids are too large to bind with the receptors of the system but can still prompt it to do some things. Other cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC are just the right size to bond with CBD receptors, of which there are two types. CB1 receptors are in the brain. THC prefers thos and that explains the high effect that THC has.
CBD, on the other hand, prefers CB2 receptors which are located all over the body. When they bind, lipids form and these move into the neural network where they promote health of your neural network, block pain messages from getting to the brain, promote healthy metabolism at the cellular level and provide boosts to the immune system because they are loaded with Omega 3, 6, and 9 oils.
Cannabis has helped tens of millions of people to feel better, improve their ability to function without pain, without seizures, and promoted their ability to function with daily life. Cannabis helps people with the following conditions:
· Parkinson’s disease
· Ulcerative colitis
· Crohn’s disease
· Irritable bowel syndrome
· Alzheimer’s disease
· Post-Traumatic Stress disorder
· Cardiovascular disease and stroke recovery/prevention