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Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Big Pharma Isn't Telling You About Cannabis Could Kill You

By: Adam Mahan
Marijuana. When this word is heard, many people automatically think of hippies, Woodstock, and teenagers who don't have jobs and like messing with their cognitive abilities. No doubt, this is a large chunk of the culture surrounding this plant, but using it to get high at your favorite band's concert is not its only function. In fact, Cannabis has been used for medicinal purpose for thousands of years.

So where Did This Weed Thing Start
Cannabis was used widely in ancient China, and dates back to 4000 B.C., where it was used as an anesthetic for surgeries. However, it was not only found in China, it was used all over the ancient world for a variety of different purposes. Over the next few centuries, Cannabis migrated to different parts of the ancient world, travelling through Asia, into the Middle East, through Europe and Africa, found its way to South America sometime in the 19th century, and, finally, reached North America at the beginning of the 20th century. It was brought into the United States through Mexico by immigrants who were leaving their country during the Mexican Revolution in 1910-1911. The American officials never saw the difference in the various forms of Cannabis, and, in 1915, it was outlawed. By 1931, it was illegal in 29 different states. In 1937, the DEA started regulating the use of Cannabis, and criminalized the possession of it throughout the country.

Is It Really Medicine?
Aside from smoking Marijuana in a joint, blunt, bong, pipe, what have you, it can be used in a variety of different ways and can treat and/or help with many different diseases. In Ancient China, cannabis was made into a tea to treat diseases such as gout, malaria, memory impairment, and rheumatism. Chinese physicians mixed cannabis with wine and used it as an anesthetic which people would drink before their surgeries. Physicians would also use it to treat blood clots, tapeworms, and constipation. In India, cannabis was used medicinally, religiously, and recreationally. The people of India also made it into special drinks to treat various things. One of the most common is a drink called bhang, which is comprised of cannabis, milk, ghee, and various spices. Bhang was known to help rid people of anxiety, make people happier, and improve mental abilities. That's not all it can do, though. Bhang was also used to cure dysentry, sunstroke, get rid of phlegm, speed up the digestion process, increase appetite, increase intellect, and make you more alert. In Medieval Europe, cannabis was used for treating tumors, coughs, and jaundice. It's no surprise that, to this day, medicinal marijuana is still being used, and can even help with HIV/AIDs, Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, and even some forms of Cancer. While research into medical marijuana is limited due to various restrictions, more and more benefits are being discovered each and every day.

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 Uses You May Not Know

Despite the apparent ability to treat different illnesses, Marijuana has other practical uses as well. Starting way back in 8000 B.C, a derivative of the Marijuana plant, called Hemp, was used for multiple things, such as cords, ropes, clothing, food, textiles, ritualistic use, offerings, etc. Here are just a few different recorded accounts on the use of Hemp:
8000 B.C.: Hemp cord was used in pottery
6000 B.C.: Hemp seeds and oil used in food in Asia
1500 B.C.: Hemp used for fiber in cloth
600 B.C.: Russians used Hemp in rope
100 B.C.: Hemp paper found in China
These are just a few different accounts on how it was used in the ancient world, all of which are still being used in the modern world. Today, it is also being used for creating construction materials, bio fuel, paper, and plastics.And, if you're a farmer, you're guaranteed to love Hemp, due to its ability to breathe in CO2 and detoxify soil. It seems like the only thing Hemp is incapable of doing is getting you high. Why is that? Well, Hemp contains almost no tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC. And, the little THC that is in Hemp is being processed by your body much quicker than you can smoke it, so there will be no effect.

So Let's WrapThis Up
Marijuana, no matter how bad or harmful you may think it is, and no matter what schools are teaching our youth these days, it is quite clear that Marijuana has many amazing and helpful properties. Sadly, due to many restrictions our government has on the research and use of this miracle plant, it is quite difficult to discover new ways it can be used, and it's equally as difficult, in most of the country anyway, to reap the rewards of using it. Now, let me be clear. I am in no way saying it is okay to go out and get high all of the time, simply because it is so useful, nor do I support that. However, I fully support the use of herbal supplements, such as Marijuana, in place of all these high dollar prescription meds people are putting into themselves on a daily basis. We, collectively, should be fighting to make the research and use of medicinal Marijuana available to anybody who wants it. Marijuana is a much safer, much cheaper, and much more beneficial means of healing than anything western medicine has to offer. If the unwarranted prohibition is ever repealed, the world's oldest crop will once again be able to serve this planet in many ways.
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