Exploring the History of Cannabis And Its Benefits
Why is the discussion around the subject of Cannabis so polarizing? Cannabis also known as weed is one of those untouchable or unspeakable topics. If you are pro-cannabis, you are labeled a hippie and if you are against it, you are considered a conservative. In this article, we will explore the historic use of Cannabis, some of its benefits, and its potential future in the American Society.
What is Cannabis
Cannabis is a natural plant that grows in various parts of the world. It is part of Cannabis sativa plant species which also includes hemp. The plant’s chemical composition varies depending on the strain. Cannabis typically contains the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and the non-psychoactive compound CBD. It is normally grown for its flowers which are most used for medicinal or recreational purposes. However, it can also be used for industrial purposes, such as making hemp fiber.
Historic Use of Cannabis
People all over the world have used cannabis since the ancient civilizations. It was used for various purposes from Asia to the Middle East. This plant was used in China as a medicine to treat a wide range of ailments, such as gout, rheumatism, and malaria. People used it in religious and spiritual ceremonies in India and they considered it as a sacred healing herb. In the Middle East, it was used differently as a source of fiber for textiles, and it was also used as a medicine. It was only during the colonial era that the plant was introduced to the Americas, and it was used for fiber and medicinal purposes.
It wasn’t until the early 20th century that cannabis became an illegal substance in many countries. Those countries banned the use of cannabis because they attributed crimes to its use and had concerns about its potential abuse
Benefits of Cannabis
In recent years, researchers have conducted multiple studies on the benefits of cannabis. Some of these research findings suggest that cannabis has a wide range of potential health benefits such as:
- Pain relief: Cannabis could help to reduce pain and inflammation which are associated with conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer
- Anxiety and depression: this plant could help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Nausea and vomiting: it could help to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
- Appetite stimulation: Cannabis may help to increase appetite and reduce weight loss associated with conditions such as HIV/AIDS and cancer.
- Epilepsy: Cannabis may help to reduce the number of seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy.
- neuroprotection: Cannabis has neuroprotective properties that may be beneficial for treating neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis
Future of Cannabis in the United States
The future of cannabis in the United States is looking bright. With more states legalizing its use for both medical and recreational purposes. In 2020, five states voted to legalize cannabis in some form, bringing the total number of states with legal cannabis to 36.
Additionally, the House of Representatives passed the MORE Act, which would federally decriminalize cannabis and provide for its regulation, although the bill has yet to be passed by the Senate.
Cannabis was heavily stigmatized and criminalized in many countries in the early 20th century. This ancient plant used in so many different countries in the ancient civilization for its medical, recreational, and industrial purposes might regain its old usage. Several countries and states have legalized this herb for both its medical and recreational use in recent years. Research continues to explore its health and economical benefits. The history of this plant is still being written and its future looks bright.