7 uses of cannabis you should know about
What do we think about when we hear the word cannabis?
We probably get an image of some young men and women sitting around and puffing on some “weed” or passing a bong around.
This has is true to some extent but if that is as far as we take it, then we’ll be doing ourselves a great injustice.
There is so much more to cannabis and I hope to shed more light on it below so let’s jump right in.
A brief History
Cannabis plants have been living on this planet for thousands, maybe millions of years,
and have been doing so for quite some time before man’s intervention and after.
Cannabis sativa, best known as the source of marijuana, is the world’s most recognizable, notorious, and controversial plant.
“Cannabis” in its broad sense refers to the cannabis plant, especially its psychoactive chemicals
(employed particularly as illicit and medicinal drugs), fiber products (such as textiles, plastics, and dozens of construction materials), edible seed products (now in over a hundred processed foods), and all associated considerations.
In short, cannabis is a generic term referring to all aspects of the plant, especially its products and how they are used.
Cannabis can grow nearly everywhere and anywhere as long as the temperature is not too low and there is enough sunlight and food present for the plant to flourish.
In Asia and especially in parts of Mongolia, you can see cannabis growing naturally on hillsides even covering them and across vast plains spreading onto the valley floor. I will soon be organizing “scientific trips” to Mongolia; bongs are optional 🙂
You can grow cannabis indoors or outdoors. It does extremely well in green houses and is very hardy.
This plant has traveled around the world carried by pollination, attached itself to animals that can travel long distances and even in bird droppings.
Nature has distributed this plant far and wide and in a lot of cultures, it was literally considered a weed to be thrown away.
What is cannabis sativa?
Cannabis sativa is one of the most misunderstood and attacked plants on the planet primarily being that it are the source of marijuana.
Cannabis plants vary greatly in height and can grow from between 1 to 5 meters in height depending on its environment. This plant has a stalk that grows erect, is furrowed and may have a hollow stem between the bases of the leaf stalk.
The species is commonly referred to as an herb.
Wild growing low grade ditch weed is the most common type of cannabis and it has low tetrahydrocannabiol or THC.
The seeds, foliage and twigs of this plant were commonly harvested.
Today, cannabis has been bred only material from the flowering part of the unfertilized female plant is harvested which has high levels of THC. This is what gives you a high…
Strains of cannabis have also been developed that have high levels of cannabinoids which are chemicals within the plant seed.
Cannabidiol or CBD has been found to have nutritional, therapeutic and medicinal properties. In fact, hempseed has been employed in the treatment of various health disorders for millennia in traditional eastern medicine.
This rediscovery has brought a lot of attention to this simple but potent weed.
Uses of Cannabis
About 183 million people worldwide report smoking marijuana (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).
Cannabis remains the most widely consumed illicit drug in Canada with 5 million users as of 2016 & 144 million users in the United States.
In 1999, approximately one-third of U.S. adults (76 million) reported smoking marijuana at least once. About 9% of the U.S. population reported smoking marijuana in the previous year; 5% had used in the previous month (SAMHSA, 2000).
2) Oil seed
Hemp seed oil is best stored in glass, ceramic, or glazed-metal containers. The oil should be
consumed within a short time after a bottle is opened because of degradation due to oxygen in air.
Cold storage of the oil, bottled under nitrogen, in sealed, light-proof containers, and possibly with the addition of antioxidants, will prolong shelf life. Small bottles that can be used up in a short time are recommended.
Once bottles are opened, within two, months a fishy or varnish-like smell reminiscent of linoleum, paint, or putty can result, and such oil should not be used for human consumption. Because of its susceptibility to oxidation, hemp seed oil is mostly used fresh as a salad oil or in processed foods with short shelf lives.
Cannabis is used as medicine to treat a wide range of conditions like,
- AIDS management
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Pain Relief
- Alcohol Abuse
The strain of cannabis that is used for medical purposes has high cannabidiol (CBD) vs.
Tetrahydrocannabinoil (THC) both natural elements found in the cannabis plant. The chemical compositions may be the same, but to put it simply, THC is psychoactive (it gives you a high) and CBD is not.
The research done
Biomass is the amount of plant material which can be converted to fuel, usually by gasification. Biomass is biologically produced material.
You can convert biomass in to any sort of energy.
World production of biomass is estimated at 146 billion tons a year, mostly through wild plant growth.
The thermo chemical process which converts organic material to fuel is called pyrolysis. This is a thermo chemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen.
Since the biomass is organic, there is no environmental pollution as found in fossil fuels like petroleum.
It can produce gasses, methanol, charcoal, acetone and other organic liquids known as pyrolitic fuel oil.
“Prohibition of Cannabis Sativa disallows the most cultivable, optimum dry biomass plant species on Earth, uniquely and immediately capable of the economical replacement of all Mankind’s use of high-pollutant, costly fuels and uranium, for energy, petro-chemical products, gasoline and plastics.” (FCDA – Federal Civil Defense Administration)
Hemp seed is one of the most popular supplements in the world.
Most people don’t know that it comes from cannabis.
Hemp is one of the easiest foods to grow in the world; it is also one of the most nutritious.
Its seeds have the highest amount of essential fatty acids in the plant world.
The seeds can be ground to make flour which can then be used to bake cakes, bread and porridge.
It is also one of the most complete foods in the world.
- Hemp seed is 35% essential fatty acid. (Omega 3, 6, 9 and GLA)
- Contains all 9 essential amino acids.
- Hemp seed is 33% protein.
- Contains an abundant source of GLA.
- Contains 6.2 x more Omega-3 than raw tuna.
- Rich in trace minerals.
- High in dietary fiber
Hemp paper was used by the Chinese from the 1st Century AD and in Europe since the 5th Century.
Prior to 1883, over 75% of the paper used for bibles, maps, books, newspaper and banknotes was made from hemp.
Depending on the climate, hemp can be harvested in 3 – 6 months as compared to a minimum of 5 – 10 years for a tree.
Hemp can produce more fiber than its wood equivalent and does not need dangerous chemicals during the pulping process; thus no chlorine (used for bleaching) is used and no dioxins are produced which are dangerous to the environment.
6) Building & Plastics
Cannabis or the hemp variety is an amazing building material.
The hemp has a high silica content which allows it to bind well with lime. This property is unique to hemp among all natural fibers.
The result is lightweight cement like insulating material weighing about 1/7 or 1/8 of the weight of concrete. Fully cured hempcrete blocks float in a bucket of water.
Hemp can be used to make bio degradable plastic. Hemp Plastics can be five times stiffer and 2.5 times stronger than polypropylene.
Unlike glass fibers, it does not pose safety and health risks. Its recoverable component comes from these natural plants and can occupy over half of its weight, up to 80 percent.
Before this century, almost 90% of rope, flags, rigging and sails were made made from cannabis.
Hemp is a great substitute for cotton as it is kinder to the environment to grow as opposed to cotton which requires a lot of fertilizer and pesticides to grow it.
It is also softer and more durable than cotton.
A pair of trousers made from hemp, or a shirt made from hemp will withstand the test of time. It is a far more superior material than cotton.
This should give you some clues as to why the fabrics industry wanted to put a stop to the cultivation of marijuana in the late 1800’s.
This can explain to you why cannabis was given a bad name as customers would buy less hemp or cannabis based products as opposed to cotton which wears out much faster so you buy more.
So there you have it!
Cannabis is being restricted in most countries worldwide, thanks to pharmaceutical companies and big oil companies who might lose a chunk of their annual profits if cannabis is legalized.
Yet it can play a major role in alleviating global warming if used as fuel as opposed to fossil fuels, it can help save trees and thus the environment if used for paper and fabric use thus saving trees.
It can also be used to treat a large number of diseases without major side effects and without using toxic drugs which do as much harm as good to a sick person.
There is already a movement going on worldwide with 7 states in the USA adopting expansive laws to legalize cannabis use.
They include Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and District of Columbia.
14 other states have decriminalized (do not treat as illegal its use); Delaware, North Carolina, Ohio, Connecticut, Nebraska, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island and Minnesota.
Countries like Holland, Australia, Cambodia, Canada and Jamaica have legalized cannabis. More needs to be done.
If you support the cause, tell a friend to tell a friend and let’s spread this message worldwide.
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