Lifestyle

Marijuana health benefits and myths de-bunked

health-benefits-marijuana-myths-de-bunked

Note from the author on Marijuana health benefits

This article is based on the research journals published by – IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, American association for cancer research, British journal of cancer, CNN, NCBI and HERB.co

Marijuana, weed, pot, Mary Jane, ganja…, the most feared and the most illegally celebrated drug of all time, goes by many names. Interestingly, most of the stoners and hippies who smoke their way out of reality, are not really aware of the importance and the sacred history behind the plant. The cannabis sativa, scientific name of the plant, has got a long history and its usage has been reported way back (way too back) to stone age, where it was used to make ropes, really strong ones. People of ancient past used this herb for: recreational purposes, as a psychoactive agent, for performing sacred rituals, making papers and many more other stuff. Marijuana health benefits are nothing new.

HISTORY

Cannabis has got a vast and rich history. The fact that almost every major countries holds a history of cannabis usage or cannabis worship in the one way or the other adds up to the curiosity.

India

Though the drug is illegal in the country, it has always been a part of our culture and Ayurveda medicine. Atharva Veda considered as the bible of Hindu religion placed this plant among the five sacred plants, by the name bhang (Book 11, Hymn 8 (or 6), Verse 15). The lord Shiva (one of the greatest among Hindu gods) is usually associated with marijuana. Here is the picture of parvathi (Shiva’s wife and Hindu goddess) offering bhang to the lord.

The word “ganja” was thought to be originated from Jamaica, by the religion called Rastafarian, but that’s not really true, the word originates from the Sanskrit or the early Indo-Aryan language. Some believes that the word originated from “Ganges” as the flower bloomed on the banks of the holy river Ganga.

China

In the eight century B.C the first use of marijuana as a psychoactive drug was reported by a mythical emperor and pharmacist – Shen Nung. He prescribed marijuana as an ailment for possession, body weakness and, oddly, absent mindedness. Although roots of shen Nung are still not clear.

Egypt

Indications that Cannabis had been used during childbirth previously had been found in Egyptian Papyri and Assyrian tablets. It was used to cure the pain associated with pregnancy and increasing the speed of pregnancy. Egyptians also used the hemp (yet another name) for treating eye ailments such as glaucoma and cataract. Apart from its medicinal uses, Egyptians used it for making ropes and for sailing purposes.

Other countries

The ancient Greeks took the credit of the name cannabis as it is from the word “kannabis”. Herodotus wrote about cannabis bath in his text called “The Histories”. Later the oxford came into role and, yeah, it became its scientific name. The Portuguese, Spanish, British and European countries used this divine plant too. Portuguese used cannabis extracts for making wines, no wonder why their wines are mesmerizing.

Controversies

The cannabis received worldwide attention when U.S made the drug responsible for its role in the aggressive and violent behavior of its users. The survey suggest that the aggressive and violent behavior were mainly related to the beliefs and character of the drug users.

The current scenario is different. cannabis has been legalized in many parts of United States and has shown a very convincing effects. The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has increased: 18,005 full time jobs, and added $2.4billion dollars to the state’s economy last year. California got an output of $7.5 billion and added 41,000 jobs.

When I say “use” I’m not referring to anyone smoking up a full joint and floating in the higher level of consciousness. The old age question asked by many, has anyone died from smoking weed? The simple answer is “NO”.

It is believed that that a person is more likely to get addicted to coffee than getting addicted to marijuana. Cannabis, as the U.S claimed, is definitely not a gateway drug. So if you are an alcoholic or a tobacco user you are in fact, a bit more in danger.
While analyzing the death rates by overdose, death by cannabis is yet to be reported. There are lots related to alcohol and other drugs. The results are pretty transparent. There has been 25000 research paper published on cannabis usage and its long term and short term effects.

It is estimated that almost 85,000 people die of alcohol overdose, 35,000 people die of tobacco overdose

23,980 by overdose of heroin and

32,000 by other drugs annually, in the U.S alone. And marijuana overdose is again zero.

What are the Marijuana health benefits?

The answer is a long list, which i have shortened, and here it is…

AIDS and HIV:

Though marijuana couldn’t cure the disease it does helped the patients’ to get better sleep by reducing nausea and vomiting caused due to the disease. It restored the loss of appetite and helped them to gain some weight.

GLAUCOMA:

Glaucoma is a disease where there is an increase in the interlocular pressure due to inefficiency in the drainage of aqueous humor. This, if left untreated, can cause permanent blindness. Cannabis has been showed to decrease the interlocular pressure thereby curing the condition.

CANCER:

Cannabis and THC synthetics have been used to counter the nausea and vomiting frequently associated with chemotherapies for cancer. Positive outcomes have continued to emerge from the use of marijuana by cancer patients and particularly that children undergoing chemotherapy may benefit from administration of orally administered high doses of Cannabinoids.
Cancer has got a property of spreading and multiplying  (metastasis) and the gene responsible for this is Id1. The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) present in the cannabis has been proved to decrease this effect by suppressing the Id1 gene. The research papers suggests that it showed improvement in the patients with breast cancer, liver cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, oral cancer and very surprisingly lung cancer too.

ANXIETY:

The problem with anxiety and cannabis is, the THC found is responsible for increasing anxiety, if consumed in a larger quantities and the cannabinoid is responsible for decreasing the anxiety. So you can’t just smoke up and decreases your anxiety. But, yes, with proper use and right strain you can lower the anxiety.

EPILEPSY:

Those are among the most well-known marijuana health benefits but there are indeed many more.

CBD (cannabinoid) when administered to epileptic patients, there was a noticeable decrease in their seizures. The CBD seems to effect the centres in the brain responsible for excitation of motor neurons responsible for seizures.
The other diseases which can be cured by the cannabis are arthritis, depressions, mental problems, hypertension, asthma, muscle spasticity and many more….

People are unaware of what we can do with this sacred herb. This article is to not to directly promote cannabis, but to shed light on what the plant actually is and how on proper processing it could be used as an alternative for so many medicinal drugs, raw material for paper production, food material and many more. So next time when u come across the term ganja, remember it ain’t that bad.

Do you enjoyed this blog? You can give your feedback and valuable suggestions on marijuana health benefits below.

Mithun Sukumaran

I’m a physio student turned blogger, a science and psychology enthusiast, a dancer and author at “khromozome”. I specialise in writing self help stuff, relationship tips and advice, scientific facts and being a physiotherapist I can help you with your health issues too. In short a I’m a “learning mind trying to learn anything and everything possible under the sun”.

Article by Midhun Sukumaran from Skepsion

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