Since ancient times, many traditions are being carried forward through many generations. Marijuana while some is continuing still in the modern era, some got dissolved in the manuscripts of ancient history. The traditions which are still alive have been changed and updated politically, intellectually, and anthropologically. All these customs and traditions used to include the utilization of many various kinds of floras.
The plant which earned the name of the most sinfully useful plant is cannabis. Starting from Ayurveda to one of the most popular ways of enjoyment, cannabis came up the ladders of success very quickly. But the question arises that suddenly what happened that it got considered as illegal?
Let us see below.
What is cannabis?
Cannabis is also called marijuana which is extracted from the plant Cannabis Sativa. The dried out flowers of this plant is used to make consumable marijuana or cannabis. By rubbing the buds of these plants, we get hashish which is also a psychedelic agent. There is another variety of this species which is called hemp. Hemp is farmed in many places in the world. Hemp has many medicinal attributes as well as commercial benefits.
The main psychoactive element present in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. 483 known compounds are present in the plant among which 65 are cannabinoids.
The History Of Marijuana
Marijuana’s history is dated long back from the ancient Chinese empire after which spread India, North Africa gradually and then Europe. In India, marijuana got its name escribed in the Atharvaveda, stating that it is one of the most useful plants.
The timeline of marijuana is as follows-
1500– It got introduced in the New World by Spanish sailors
1600– It became a major commercial plant in Jamestown after English introduced it there. It was a major source of fiber.
1800– It replaced cotton in the southern states as the major commercial crop
1920– In the jazz community, it got introduced as a major recreational drug.
1850-1942– Marijuana made its appearance in the U.S. Pharmacopeia. It was at that time prescribed for conditions like labor pain, nausea, and rheumatism. It also gained its popularity as an intoxicant.
1950– Marijuana was declared very useful and versatile by the beat generation
1960– Became a symbol of rebellion against authorities
1970– The controlled substances act was published
1970-1980– The war on drugs declared by Nixon. Usage declined with time
1996– California first legalized medical marijuana followed by other states
2012– Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use of marijuana followed by other states.
2014– The Rohrabacher–Farr amendment was passed prohibiting the justice department from interfering in state medical marijuana laws.
What are the types of cannabis?
There are two main types of cannabis which are consumed.
The indica variety is considered to be farmed in the “Kush” region which is near to Afghanistan. They have very thick coats of resin to protect the plants from getting damaged in the harsh cold climate.
The properties of indicas are as follows-
- They have dark green leaves which are quite broad.
- Consumption of this affects the whole body.
- The plants are short and dense.
- The effect is very relaxing and calming.
- It is mainly used at night.
Examples of cannabis indica are- Purple haze, northern lights, etc.
The appearance of Sativa is just opposite of Indica. The plants grow up to 20 feet high, and the branches are very loose and narrow. Sativa is known for its curing ability in terms of depression, exhaustion, add, and mood disorders.
The characteristics of Sativa are as follows-
- The plants have a light green color.
- The leaves are much skinnier.
- It gives a euphoric feeling.
- It makes the consumer energetic by uplifting his mood.
- It is mainly used during day time.
What are the uses of consuming marijuana?
Marijuana has many uses, and all these uses have some effect on the body. It is not only used for recreational purposes as a pschycadelic drug it has many medical applications too. To make it more effective medicine wise its most active ingredient THC was synthesized in the year 1966 and finally got the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1985. In 1999 the Institute of Medicine revealed its medical benefits.
The benefits are as follows-
1. Cancer Treatment
According to molecular cancer therapeutics report, cannabidiol can stop the cancer cell from spreading by deactivating a gene called id-1. It was experimented on breast cancer cells, and the results were very positive
.2. Preventing Alzheimer’s
Thc makes the progression of Alzheimer’s very slow by slowing down the process of amyloid plaque formation by not allowing the brain enzyme which accelerates the process. These plaques damage the brain by killing the active cells present there.
3. Glaucoma Treatment
Glaucoma is a state which pressurizes the eyeball and injures the optic nerves resulting in vision loss. Marijuana lowers that pressure hence stops the process. It can also prevent blindness.
Cannabis is very effective in reducing pain and inflammations promoting sleep. It is beneficial for people who have rheumatoid arthritis and has difficulty in sleeping. The main medicine is given to treat these patients in Sativex, which is a cannabinoid-infused pain relieving medicine. People using Sativex has found peace while being in pain.
5. Epileptic Seizures
Thc can control the seizures by binding the brain cells which are responsible for regulating relaxation and controlling excitements in the brain.
6. Easing Multiple Sclerosis
The adverse neurological effects can be stopped by the help of marijuana; hence, it is also useful for muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. Patients in pain reported that after smoking up marijuana, they feel very relaxed as if the pain has eased down.
7. Soothing Parkinson’s Disease
Marijuana helps to improvise sleeping habits in patients who have Parkinson’s disease. It reduces the pain and helps to improve the fine motor skills. For this, Israel has made medical marijuana legal.
8. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a situation with pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss leading to bowel disorders. Marijuana has confirmed to be very useful in patients with Crohn’s disease even altogether canceling the condition is 5 out of 10 people because cannabis can help to control the gut bacteria and the intestinal functions.
9. Decreasing Dravet’s Syndrome
Dravet’s syndrome is one of the main reasons for developmental delays. The drug controls the seizures and eases up the pain. It is also effective in children.
10. Treating Hepatitis C
Severe hepatitis c can even lead to severe health issues like fatigues, muscle pain, nausea, mental illness, etc. Cannabis consumption helps to accelerate the therapies and make the viral levels go low.
Marijuana has been found very effective for relieving stress and anxiety. Lower doses of marijuana affect a smoker’s mood and elevate its inner self.
12. Reducing The Effects Of Tobacco
Consuming marijuana can improve your lung health by eradicating the carcinogen effects of tobacco. It also increases your lung capacity.
13. Helps During Chemo
Chemotherapy can cause pain and nausea in a very severe way which leads to more healthcomplications. Cannabis helps in reducing these side effects and relaxes the patient.
14. Treats Lupus
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself for reasons which are still unknown. The chemicals present in marijuana cools down the nervous system and prevents lupus.
15. Brain Strokes
Marijuana reduces the stroke area hence preventing the brain from further damages. This shows the neuroprotective effects of cannabis.
16. Preventing PTSD
As discussed before marijuana helps in controlling anxiety and panic and hence also calms a person experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients are suffering from this hold license to avail medical marijuana.
17. Controlling Muscle Spasm
Leeuwenhoek’s disease causes endless spasms in the abdominal muscles, which makes it difficult for the patient to breath or speak. Smoking marijuana calms the attacks immediately by relaxing the diaphragm muscles.
18. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Other bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis can be treated with marijuana. Marijuana plays an important role in improvising the gut and immune system. It makes metabolism much better and faster.
19. Eliminating Nightmares
Marijuana leads to a very relaxing sleep and hence eliminates stressful nightmares and also helps in curing insomnia. People with sleep disorders are very positively affected by consuming marijuana.
20. Brain Concussions
Marijuana is very good for brain health since it prevents concussions and trauma. It helps the brain to function normally even under stress. It is a healing agent for people suffering from depression and trauma. Researchers are still searching more about marijuana positive effects on the brain.
Apart from these 20 major benefits, there are many other benefits of marijuana which proves the point that the plant is a noted one in medical sciences and can do miracles if consumed properly.
Myths related to the use of marijuana
There are many myths that are related to consuming cannabis. All of these myths are baseless andhas noscientific logic backing them up. Some of the myths are-
- Cannabis causes memory loss and reduces mental ability
- Cannabis can lead to apathy, and the person will lose motivation
- Cannabis is a gateway drug
- Cannabis causes crime
- Cannabis is highly addictive
Who are the biggest rival of the cannabis industry?
In ancient trade time, the main goods that were traded to earn huge capital were alcohol, tobacco, and medicines. In the modern-day world, the situation is still the same. The marijuana industry is a death to these three industries from where many countries get maximum of their revenue. Hence these three stands as the main rivals to the cannabis industry, especially in the developing countries. The developed nations, however, have made the usage of marijuana legal which helps them in more exporting than importing. A Forbes report says that the hemp industry in the U.S. will add 3 lakhs crore of revenue by the year 2020.
Places, where marijuana has been approved, has seen a decrease in crime rate and decrease in tobacco,
liquor, and pharmaceutical companies. Maximum of the medicines have marijuana extracts in them, which soothes pain or helps in fighting viruses by increasing the immunity of the body. So if people get the main raw material on hand, the pharmaceutical companies will be seeing the edge of their period.
On the other hand, marijuana slowly rinses of the craving of having alcohol, tobacco and other drugs so these industries will also be in an alarming position
Global Cannabis Consumption
The global cannabis consumption is shown with a graphical representation with 2018 data with Iceland having the highest number of people consuming weed.
Marijuana has always been termed as a plant which has helped immensely in the development of the medical history of the world. But because of some political games, it was banned by spreading many rumors and
myths. From the above facts, it is always clear that marijuana not only has a positive effect on health but also on economy, law, and order. Legalization of medical marijuana has disabled or cut down the usage of other drugs like crack, heroin, and brown sugar which really has adverse effects on the body.
Doing anything overly will always cause a negative impact on the body. Water, which is considered as the elixir of life if taken too much, will make you nauseous and make you feel bloated up. Everything should be done in a very controlled way, then only there will be a positive reinforcement of the substance.
In recent trends, marijuana-infused food items and trends are coming back in the economy, and let’s just face the truth it is getting a positive response from everywhere.
- Is consuming marijuana harmful?
Consuming marijuana in a limited amount is not harmful for your body in fact it does have a lot of benefits. It has positive effects like relaxation, decreasing stress and fighting many other diseases.
- How to consume marijuana?
You can smoke it which is the most used way of consuming it. You can also take it as liquid which is processed in factories. There is various marijuana infused foods too which has been introduced in the current times.
- Does marijuana reduce mental ability to think over time?
Scientifically still now nothing has been found which backs up this theory of marijuana destroying your brain health. If taken in proper decent amounts marijuana leads to a better and healthier brain and neuro-systems.
- Is marijuana legal in U.S.?
In many American states marijuana is legal for medical purposes and some of them recently have legalized it for recreational purposes. In other states you need a license to trade or consume marijuana.
- Does marijuana have any effect on pregnancy?
Marijuana has no adverse effect on pregnancy directly. But many doctors tell expecting mothers to avoid consuming cannabis because it can have some genetic effects on the baby and also on the mother.