Beware the Evil Weed?!
Let’s Rethink This
The evil weed, dope, wacky tabaccy. We’ve heard it before that cannabis is evil and will turn your world upside down. And honestly, today’s strains of cannabis can certainly do that if mistreated/over-used. But used properly, cannabis can be beneficial.
In fact, humans have been using cannabis for literally thousands of years. During this long stretch of time, cannabis became illegal for only a short period of time. And many things conspired to make this so.
Let’s Look at History First
During America’s early colonial days anyone who owned land was required to grow hemp (which is a cannabis plant). It was so valuable, especially for its fiber and fuel, that during the founding of the country landowners were required to grow it. America’s early pharmacopeia also included the cannabis plant as a soporific helping induce sleep, and in liniments for pain relief.
Eventually, many things conspired in the U.S. to make this valuable plant illegal. For example, crops like tobacco and cotton became more profitable then growing cannabis. Also, using wood pulp instead of hemp fiber to produce paper products became increasingly popular. And then attitudes began to change towards cannabis and the term “evil weed” eventually emerged. Soon thereafter cannabis in the U.S. became illegal until relatively recently. Now the laws are changing and legalization in various states is rolling out.
But way before this, in fact, long before the conquistadors landed on this “new” continent, humans used hemp for many reasons.
Traditional Chinese herbalists used the plant to balance “yin” and “yang”. But mostly, they actually used it for its fiber and fuel, much like the American colonizers did. Like most herbal traditions, Chinese practitioners warned about overuse of this healing plant. By overusing it, they say, it can cause imbalances and be detrimental to health.
The ancient Ayurvedic tradition from India also has a long history of cannabis usage. Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners used cannabis, (known as vijaya in Sanskrit), to support digestive health, inflammatory balance, and many other things. In Ayurveda cannabis is considered a sacred herb which was created by the Gods when a drop of heavenly nectar fell to earth and helped water and sprout a cannabis plant. From the mountain tops where the plant grew Lord Siva brought it down for all humankind to enjoy. Holy men and women, called Sadhus, still use cannabis to assist with their yogic meditations.
What About Today?
Fast forward hundreds of years and now we have studies and emerging research supporting cannabis usage for a variety of reasons. Delving deeper into the plant we are discovering a variety of chemical constituents, including CBD, CBA, Delta-8, and THC, each with their own set of health supporting aspects.
The research will continue to emerge for many years to come. Stay tuned!