AN HERB BY ANY OTHER NAME

 

In the US there is a buzz around Cannabis that’s at an all time high. Decriminalization of the herb and legalizing medical Marijuana is freeing the shackled herb of healing and happiness. Of course on a much larger and ‘drug lord’ kind of scale, tensions are high for law enforcement, how do they deal with a new pot economy. BTW its really hard not to pun the crap out of this article! As you can imagine there are many varied opinions on this herb from the general populace, mostly due to misconception, especially when it comes to its healing properties. 

Despite such widespread use, Cannabis has been illegal in most countries, up until now. Did you know that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were all hemp farmers? It was even once mandated that hemp be grown, and one could pay taxes with hemp. Then came Harry J. Anslinger, a prominent prohibitionist, who successfully lobbied Congress to pass the ‘Marihuana’ (as it was called back then) Tax Act in 1937, making access to the plant costly. Anslinger was the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and presented Cannabis use to the public as an unalloyed danger, resulting in “reefer madness.”

The American Medical Association opposed the Marihuana Tax Act, fearing that it would limit medicinal study and potential prescription of the plant. Long a part of the United States Pharmacopeia, a compendium that set standards for medicines and foods, Cannabis was removed in 1942. The Cannabis herb has undergone all kinds of assaults due to political agendas. In 1970, Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act, classifying Marijuana along with heroin as a Schedule I drug. ‘Drugs in this category have a proven potential for abuse and no medical value’. (Opium, the source of morphine, and amphetamines are Schedule II drugs, classified as less dangerous despite their potent addictive properties.) Soon thereafter, President Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” and in 1986, President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which mandated prison sentences without parole for offenders convicted of possession and sale of all illegal drugs, including Marijuana.

Since then the ‘outlawing’ walls slowly began to crumble. In 1996, California passed an initiative to legalize medical Marijuana. Low and behold ‘studies’ suggest that Cannabis can help relieve the debilitating pain caused by chronic ailments and the nausea associated with chemotherapy. It was a decisive moment for the public image of the herb. FYI: Hemp and Marijuana are two different varieties of Cannabis sativa L: A flowering herb indigenous to many parts of the world, it is found growing in both tropical and temperate climates. When you grow Marijuana, male plants are culled and female plants are cultivated, since the THC content is most abundant in the buds or “female” part of the plant.

Marijuana plants are typically grown far apart to avoid possible seeding (from male to female plants), which would lower the THC content in the buds. Marijuana is a Mexican term that first referred to cheap tobacco and now denotes the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis plant. Hashish is Arabic for Indian hemp and refers to its viscous resin. In 1839, William O’Shaughnessy, a British doctor working in India, published a paper on Cannabis as an analgesic and appetite stimulant that also tempered nausea, relaxed muscles, and might ameliorate epileptic seizures. His observations led to widespread medical use of Cannabis in the United Kingdom; it was prescribed to Queen Victoria for relief of menstrual discomfort.

Cannabis was known to be used as a medicinal herb by the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for stomach ailments, cramps, and general pain. Archaeologists have discovered it in digs in Asia that date to the Neolithic period, around 4000 BCE. An emperor of China, Shen Nung, also the discoverer of tea and ephedrine, is held to be among the first to report on therapeutic uses of cannabis in a medicinal compendium that dates to 2737 BCE. It is also reported to be mentioned in the Sushruta Samhita of India, a Sanskrit redaction text on surgery published before the 8th century A.D. Hemp (from Old English hænep) is a commonly used term for high growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. The beauty of the plant is that it only takes four months before it is ready to harvest, as opposed to trees that take from 20 to 50 years. Hemp naturally repels weed growth and has few insect enemies this means it requires no herbicides and few or no pesticides. Albeit, we’ve all seen Hemp fabric is not chic, but what you may not know is that although hemp pantie’s may not be the best idea, the fiber is 10 times stronger than cotton, and unlike cotton which grows only in warm climates and requires enormous amounts of water, hemp requires little water and can grow in all 50 states. This plant can be utilized in many ways and it can become a home-grown product that with time and ingenuity may take over from GMO cotton fields. Unfortunately it will take perseverance. Its been reported that hemp farmers are having mixed success navigating red tape on everything from seed acquisition to processing the finished plant. In the mean time we import it from Canada, China, Turkey and other countries.

This healing plant that has been used as a medicine for thousands of years is used today in treatments ranging from nausea, lack of appetite, sleeping disorders, auto-immune diseases (MS) and glaucoma, cancer, chronic pain, chronic nervous system disorders, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, HIV or AIDS and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity. Lets get one thing straight: Hemp seeds do not cause intoxication when eaten. Hemp Seeds are a nutritious high-protein food that can be used for human and animal consumption alike. Because Hemp Seed Oil is such a rich source of Essential Fatty Acid’s of both LA (Omega 6) and LNA (Omega 3), in balanced proportions, conditions caused by deficiencies in both can be treated with the one oil. The seven-time Nobel Prize nominee, Dr. Johana Budwig, a pioneer of E.F.A research, reported success in treating heart infraction, arthritis, cancer and other common diseases with massive doses of E.F.A.’s. The functions of LNA include: Production of smooth skin increased stamina, speeds healing, increases vitality, brings a feeling of calmness, reduces inflammation, water retention, platelet stickiness and blood pressure, enhances immune functions, reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, can reverse pre-menstrual syndrome, can treat bacterial infections, brain development in children. The functions of LA include: Energy production, growth vitality, mental state, oxygen transfer, formation of cell membrane, recovery from fatigue, secretion production in exocrine and endocrine glands, formation of prostaglandin’s (to maintain cardiovascular system) keeping body fluids liquid, helping immune system resist and fight infection, prevention of allergies, functioning of heart tissue.

Hemp seed oil, seeds and butters can be used on a daily basis for optimum health and rejuvenation.

As seen in AGB Issue 4.