Cannabis, Hemp or Marijuana is a plant native to the Himalayas, which is currently distributed throughout the globe. His scientific name is Cannabis sativa and belongs to the Cannabaceae family.
We humans have used it for many years as a medicinal and recreational plant; At the beginning of the 20th century it was classified as a drug and banned in many countries due to its psychotropic effects.
The Cannabis sativa provides psychological and physiological effects in our body, due to the 400 cannabinoids present in the plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, that the most psychoactive of all.
Cannabis has been used in Asia for millennia. In China there is evidence of the medicinal uses of this plant in texts of 2000 years a. C.
On the other hand, there are also numerous garments and utensils made with hemp fibers from remote times; So the use of this plant is very old.
Its cultivation and properties spread throughout the world, and in the 19th century it was an important raw material for its fibers. It had textile uses and was used for papermaking, with direct competition from cotton and forest pulp.
Common uses of cannabis
The Cannabis sativa, when it has low proportions of THC, which is the component that causes psychotropic properties, it is popularly called hemp.
These varieties are those used for rather industrial purposes, thanks to the characteristics of the plant such as its long and resistant fibers, the ability to grow rapidly and the ease of propagation in all types of soils. And if that were not enough, also its high resistance to pests and diseases.
Industrial and commercial uses
Hemp fiber is used both for clothing and basketry and for paper making.
Among the textile uses, we will find from diapers to designer bags. Its use has several advantages, since its cultivation is simpler and more sustainable than that of cotton and its fibers are of better quality. Most objects made from hemp fibers come from organic or organic crops.
Currently, other uses for hemp have been discovered, as a building material. It is an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator. And as biomass, for the manufacture of biofuels, since from hemp you can manufacture ethanol and biodiesel alike, with excellent yields. If you want more information about it, I recommend https://sensiseeds.com/blog/es-el-canamo-el-mejor-biocombustible/.
Cannabis or medical marijuana
Medical cannabis is a real and even superior alternative to drugs. In many cases, especially in those such as chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia and even parkinson's attacks, can be quickly mitigated with this powerful plant.
The medicinal use is studied and endorsed by the scientific community and even legalized in several countries and some US states. Medicinal use nothing has to do with the recreational. It is not smoked without more, but is administered in dosed form under medical control like any other medicine.
However, the current restriction in Spain and other countries of the cannabis it makes access to it very difficult or almost impossible for those who need it most: the patients to whom the usual remedies have been unable to offer them a solution.
Sick people who often see their life disrupted by the serious side effects of conventional drugs.
The worst part is that in the absence of legal protection, doctors have their hands tied, and patients are forced to obtain information and artisanal methods, in some cases without much accuracy, with information from friends or taken from the Internet.
Several of these have already been founded in Spain cannabis associations with the desire to support the sick with resources and information. They are created by those who have found a solution to their serious health problems in medical cannabis.
Research on medical marijuana
Recently several Spanish doctors and researchers such as Manuel Guzmán, Cristina Sánchez or Mariano García de Palau, Carola Pérez and many others together with the existing associations founded the OECM (Spanish Medicinal Cannabis Observatory).
The purpose of this medical and scientific observatory is to promote, coordinate and carry out activities and projects oriented to the knowledge of the medicinal properties and uses of cannabis and its derivatives.
Legal status of medical cannabis in Europe and the world
The legal status of marijuana is in the process of change. There are several countries that have active medical cannabis programs in Europe, as is the case in Germany, France, Italy, Finland or Macedonia. Outside Europe, many states in the US, Canada, Colombia or Uruguay have also legalized medicinal use. Meanwhile, that countries like Switzerland, Poland, Croatia, Australia or New Zealand are currently in the process of legislating about it.
Differences between recreational and medicinal cannabis
Cannabis has 400 substances, one is the one that causes the psychoactive effects of recreational use called THC. This substance itself has no medicinal effects but they are called cannabinoids.
We could easily medicate with cannabis avoiding THC and harness the full healing power of the plant.
Many patients who use cannabis as a medicine want to avoid the psychoactivity of THC, because it interferes with their daily lives or, directly, because they don't feel well.
«When I was presenting my study on the treatment with cannabidiol or CBD, one of the chemical compounds of cannabis, non-psychoactive, to treat the neonatal asphyxiation that causes the death of one million newborns a year in the world, some colleagues gave me a Pat and they said: 'What, do you want to give babies a joint?' Nobody asks you if you are going to inject heroin into a patient when you talk about opiates, ”says Martínez Orgado. Martinez's preclinical trial is so promising that several laboratories have become interested and next year begins a test with patients in charge of the FDA in the United States.
Manuel Guzmán, is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Complutense University of Madrid and outstanding researcher in cannabinoids in his own words the most relevant benefits of the plant and its preparations are:
the attenuation of pain and deficiencies in coordination and motor activity of neurodegenerative diseases such as spasms, tics and tremors. It is an appetite inducer and an effective regulator of metabolism, helps reduce weight loss in some chronic diseases, appeases childhood seizures and epilepsies that are refractory to other medications and can help in problems associated with chronic diseases such as depression, insomnia and stress .
There are already more than 600 studies that prove the therapeutic effects of cannabis. In many countries the use of this powerful medicine is already a reality, hopefully it will be soon in Spain, and everyone who needs its benefits can access them, in a normal way, assisted by a professional, dosed accordingly and without having to risk jail sentences for cultivating or being forced to resort to illegal ways to seize their medicine.
In order to better understand how powerful we can see this man suffering from a terrible disease like parkinson's, being able to stop an attack in seconds and lead a normal life thanks to medical cannabis.
And this is just an example, there are already hundreds of children who walk and play today thanks to medical cannabis. These are children with epilepsy in which no known drug worked.
It is for cases such as these that it is necessary to legislate, regulate, investigate and promote the use of medical cannabis. Medical marijuana is not a drug, it is a cure that cures.
Medicinal uses of cannabis CBD
One of the most studied cannabinoids that has surprising effects in patients especially with seizures and epileptic conditions is CBD. It also suppresses many of the unwanted effects of THC, so varieties with a high CBD content are safe to use for even minor patients.
Benefits of marijuana
Our body, like other mammals, creates its own cannabinoids that are part of the so-called endocannabinoid system, which fulfills important regulatory functions of our body.
The phytocannabinoids produced by cannabis plants, have a structure equal or similar to our own cannabinoids and that is why they can be used to influence and enhance this endocannabinoid system.
Among the most prominent uses of medical cannabis we can highlight:
- Pain relief
- Reduction of nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety reduction
- Sleep regulation
- Increased appetite
- Inflammation reduction
- Increased muscle tone and help with motor function
- Treatment of spasms and seizures
This is why it is recommended for countless conditions from cancer to Parkinson's disease. The medicinal use of cannabis produces solutions and improves the quality of life of many people.
Almost from the same time that marijuana was used as a medicine and as a source of vegetable fibers it was also used as a drug for recreational purposes.
Cannabis or marijuana contains THC and this cannabinoid has the peculiarity of creating a state of temporary euphoria, as well as auditory and visual hallucinations.
This varies by person and variety since many marijuana plants also have cannabidiol or CBD and this other substance attenuates the unwanted effects of THC, such as hallucinations.
Due to these uses, at the beginning of the 20th century its consumption is illegal in several countries, which later became widespread on a large scale.
Cultivation of Cannabis sativa
As mentioned earlier, it is a plant with easy cultivation, rapid growth and low requirements.
It can be grown outdoors and indoors, although it is a plant heavily loaded with oils and gives off strong aromas, something that should be taken into account when growing indoors.
It can be grown directly in the soil and in pots, like loose soil with good drainage and rich in plant material such as hummus.
The most important for growth is the sun, it is a plant that likes and needs sun, so it is usually grown in the summer.
Today, due to the popularization of indoor cultivation, a lot of technologies associated with indoor cultivation techniques have been created controlling from the contribution of water to daylight hours.
Adverse effects of cannabis use
Regular use of Marijuana can have adverse effects, although this depends on the person and the form of consumption to a large extent.
Among the effects are:
- Increased appetite
- Problems with short-term memory
- Pulmonary or cardiovascular problems
- Problem of addiction or drug dependence
Increased appetite although they can come great for the treatment of certain diseases in a healthy person can be a problem that negatively influences your health.
Memory problems are well studied and documented in people with periods of long-term consumption, although these problems will cease when they stop consuming.
Pulmonary or cardiovascular problems are related to the CO2 emissions we consume when smoking marijuana; Today there are other consumption options that do not present these risks and free us from the CO2 burden.
The addiction is very minor compared to tobacco or alcohol but it can happen, and become a serious problem.
Legality of cannabis
In the 21st century many countries have begun to legislate on the uses of cannabis. In many countries the medicinal use of cannabis is already legal, given its importance in the treatment of many diseases.
Also, in many countries the industrial uses of hemp have been legalized and, through permits, it can be cultivated for the purposes of raw materials for various processes.
Situation in America
In North America, several states in the United States have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana and many have decriminalized possession and self-cultivation.
In South America there are already several countries such as Chile or Argentina that have legalized the medicinal uses of cannabis, and Uruguay has been the first country in the world to completely legalize all uses of cannabis, but with strong control by the state.
Situation in Europe
In Europe we find a varied picture regarding the use of therapeutic marijuana. The Netherlands continues its lawlessness without law, it is something very typical of the Dutch system, although there is no law as such, if there is a legal and regulatory framework.
In countries like Italy and Spain, consumption, self-cultivation is allowed and medicinal use is allowed. Even in Spain there are civil associations of consumers that allow the legal use of marijuana, but there is no real law yet that offers a clear regulatory framework.
I hope that with this article you have made it clearer what cannabis is and what its uses are; Any questions or queries do not hesitate to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading ecocosas.
And this is just an example, there are already hundreds of children who walk and play today thanks to medical cannabis, children with epilepsy in which no known drug worked. It is for cases such as these that it is necessary to legislate, regulate, investigate and promote the use of medicinal cannabbis. Medical cannabis is not a drug, it is a cure that cures.