While marijuana laws are certainly becoming more progressive in the United States, draconian laws remain in place in many states. There were over 650,000 cannabis-related arrests last year alone, and 90% of these were for possession only. Despite the fact that all races seem to use at roughly the same rates, a disproportionate number of those arrested for possession are African-American or Latino. Blind justice? I think not. In fact, these arrests are not just at all.
One need not be a weed enthusiast to spot the cruelty of such laws, and the government overreach that often comes with enforcing them. For instance, Oklahoma has some of the toughest laws in the nation regarding cannabis. Take the somewhat notorious case of Patricia SpottedCrow, a mother of four who was sentenced to twelve years in prison for selling $40 worth of weed–roughly an eighth–to an undercover cop. To put this in perspective, the penalty for second-degree manslaughter in Oklahoma is 2-4 years. When you get drunk and run someone over then, by golly, you better not have any weed on you, or that’s triple your sentence!
In my home state of Texas, a first-time possession charge of even a gram could carry a $2000 fine and a jail sentence of 6 months. In 2011, a bill was introduced to reduce possession of an ounce or less to a misdemeanor. Thousands upon thousands of Texans, myself included, contacted their representatives. Our pleas fell on deaf ears–the bill was not even considered by the House. While 6 months in jail may not seem like much, the penalties can be much stricter. Possession of 10 grams of concentrate hash oil, or dabs as you might know them, can land you 2-20 years in the pen, the same that you would receive if you, say, intentionally broke someone’s wrist or nose.
I can tell you firsthand that we Texans, rural and urban alike, love our weed, and it is my hope that we can soon vote in representatives who understand the true meaning of “individual freedom” instead of paying mere lip service to the concept.
However, the long-ranging consequences of criminalization are far worse than you might imagine. The United States is by no means the only country affected.
Let’s start in our own backyard. The Mexican Drug War between the Mexican government and crime syndicates (cartels) has been raging since While this war is by no means solely about cannabis, the cartels profit abundantly from its criminalization in the U.S.. From 2007 to 2014, more than 164,000 have been killed in this war. During this time, the number of deaths from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined was estimated at 103,000.
In 2016, Rodrigo Duterte came to power as president of the Philippines. He quickly waged a drug war of his own that rages on to this day. Although the number of fatalities attributed to the crackdown vary, Human Rights Watch estimates that roughly 12,000 suspected drug sellers and users have been killed since 2016. However, this number could be as high as 20,000, the vast majority of which are poor. Of these, 4000 were killed by police, the rest by “unidentified gunmen”, most likely vigilantes such as the Davao Death Squad, emboldened and enabled by the Duterte administration. The exact number is unknown because media has extremely limited access to crime scenes and police reports.
Police rely on lists of drug dealers and users provided to them by community members, sometimes killing these suspects in the middle of the night. To date, no police officers have been convicted of the widespread abuses committed during these raids.
While this is ostensibly a war on stereotypical sociopathic drug-lords, addicts and dealers alike have been targeted, their bodies turning up under bridges or in allies with cardboard signs branding them as drug pushers.
Human rights activists and journalists have been treated as enemy agents in this war that shows no signs of ending soon. As of July 2018, Duterte himself has stated that the war will rage on, as relentless and chilling as it was when it began, telling a crowd at the presidential palace in Manila, “My only sin is extrajudicial killings.”
It is not only crime and state-sanctioned murder that increase with the criminalization of cannabis: Studies published in the peer-reviewed journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, compared opioid prescription patterns in states allowing the use of medical cannabis to those that did not. In states that allowed the use of medical marijuana, 2.21 million fewer daily doses were prescribed than in those that did not. This number is even higher in states with full legalization. Most telling, perhaps, is the study’s finding that there was a 14.5% decrease in the use of opiates when dispensaries were available to these patients. A 2014 study by Jama found that, from 1999 to 2010, states with medical marijuana had 24.8% fewer annual opioid-related deaths than those without. In 2017, it was found that full legalization in Colorado had coincided with a reversal of the state’s upward trend in opioid deaths.
When over 90 people die from opioid abuse every day in this country, I think it imperative that we ask ourselves this: What the hell are we doing? At this point, decriminalization of this pain-killing herb is a must. I am not saying that legalization of cannabis will solve the opioid crisis entirely, but it would undoubtedly save lives. After all, the DEA does not even dispute the fact that fatal overdoses from cannabis are unheard of.
The greatest danger of cannabis is and has always been its illegality. Make no mistake: The cost of prohibition is far more than heavy fines or a few months in county. The War on Drugs is a war on people.
As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun. This is certainly true in regards to hemp. As far back as 8000 BC, hemp was cultivated for textiles in Mesopotamia and beyond. Chinese literature refers to hemp cultivation in the third millennium BC. By 3000 years ago, Hemp was used for a multitude of purposes throughout the world, and not just to make cloth. The leaves, seeds, and roots of the prolific plant were used as an anesthetic during surgery and as medicine for conditions ranging from a simple cough to convulsions. There is even ample documentation of the use of hemp to ease contractions during childbirth!
The everyday use of hemp would not end until the twentieth century. And why would it? Hemp has countless uses and can be cultivated in various climates. In fact, hemp was brought to the New World by the Puritans on ships that, more likely than not, had sails and ropes made from hemp fibers. In Jamestown in the year 1619, farmers were ordered to grow hemp. In the early settler days, hemp seed was even used as a form of currency. Our founding fathers would later cash in on the crop: George Washington wrote about farming hemp on his lands and Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that manufactured hemp paper.
Nothing new under the sun.
So what happened? As part of the Cannabis family, hemp was demonized along with its cousin during the reefer madness era of the early twentieth century. Getting high off hemp is physically impossible as it does not contain enough TCH, so why was this age-old crop criminalized?
Let’s start with a media mogul named W.R. Hearst. Hearst also happened to be heavily invested in the timber trade. Hemp, as an efficient alternative to cutting down trees in order to make paper, posed a threat to the profits of Hearst and his cronies. Another influential figure who played a key part in the criminalization of hemp was none other than John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil who viewed hemp-sourced ethanol as competition.
The financial chaos caused by the Great Depression in the 1930s made it all the more crucial for the likes of Rockefeller, Hearst, and other industry titans to stamp out the competition. What do you do with a threat that you cannot outright destroy? You engage in manipulative techniques to sway opinions of the public and those in power. W.R. Hearst, with his influence in print media and considerable wealth, was in a position to do both.
Thankfully, we have been seeing great changes in regards to cannabis in recent years, changes that show no sign of slowing or stopping anytime soon as more and more states and countries see that the benefits of the plant outweigh the risk. But what does this mean for hemp?
The uses of hemp cannot be summed up in one post. The number of products that can be manufactured from this useful plant number into the tens of thousands, including food, medicine, and even building materials. However, I have outlined here eight reasons why hemp has the potential to help build a better world:
- Hemp clears more carbon dioxide from the air than most plants, thereby reducing the greenhouse effect. It does this by storing the carbon within itself for the plants entire lifespan. The carbon remains sequestered within hemp products, unable to be released back into the atmosphere.
- Because hemp is biodegradable, products made from the crop will quickly break down, returning to the earth instead of rotting away in a landfill or being dumped into the ocean.
- Because hemp is sturdy, it does a stellar job of keeping the weeds away on its own, requiring less pesticides than many other crops.
- Hemp seeds can be pressed into biodiesel and used as a fuel compatible with most forms of transportation. Fermented stalks can be made into ethanol, as well.
- Hemp is simply efficient. One acre of hemp can produce up to ten times the amount of paper that an acre of trees can. Hemp is ready to harvest within months, while trees can take a decade or more to reach maturity.
- Hemp is convenient. Not only does it grow in a variety of climates and soil types, hemp grows closely together, taking up less space and requiring less farmland. Since it improves soil health, new crops can be planted soon after the hemp is harvested.
- Hemp seeds are good for you. An ingredient in numerous health foods, the seeds are rich in the Omega-3s, the fatty acids that help prevent and manage heart disease.
- It is a non-toxic material that can be used in construction, including insulation. Its woody inner core is used with lime to make “hempcrete” which is used in building walls and structural supports. Hemp seed oil can even be used as a finish.
So where does hemp stand today in regards to legality? As of 2014, the Farm Bill was amended under President Obama to allow the cultivation of hemp for research purposes, keeping federal restrictions on growing hemp for commercial use in place. Despite federal law, however, seventeen state governments from California to North Dakota to Vermont have allowed farmers to enter the commercial hemp trade. Meanwhile, there is a strong movement in D.C. to end federal prohibition. In June of this year, the Senate Agriculture Committee, led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, passed a bill with provisions to fully legalize the cultivation and trade of hemp.
According to the World Resource Institute, 20,000 hectares of forests are being chopped down every day to make our goods and to clear more land. There is a Texas-sized garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean. While groundbreaking progress is undoubtedly being made in regards to attitudes towards hemp, one can’t help but wonder just why on Earth it took so long, or feel outraged at the fact that thousands of years of usage was suddenly halted by corporate greed.
When will we stop criminalizing Mother Nature?
Like most matters pertaining to the neurological disorder that is ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, this topic is tricky and multifaceted. It might surprise you to know that this disorder, affecting roughly five percent of the global adult population, includes seven subgroups, and the symptoms differ for each affected individual.
There are two main forms of the disorder, each of which is clustered around a different subset of symptoms. The first is ADD, or simply, Attention-Deficit Disorder. Lacking most of the hyperactivity associated with ADHD, ADD is typified by lack of ability to focus, poor working memory, distractibility, and a tendency to daydream. The main symptoms of ADHD, on the other hand, include fidgeting, impulsivity, risky behavior, excessive talking, and interrupting others, among others. It is not uncommon, however, for an individual to exhibit symptoms of both ADD and ADHD.
Common treatments for ADHD/ADD include Vyvanse, Ritalin, Adderall, and many others. Modern treatments include both stimulant and non-stimulant medications. However, I am not here to either condemn nor promote the use of these medications, as it is a very personal choice and one that should be solely between an individual and their doctor.
No, I am here to talk about another possible treatment, one that unfortunately has not yet had sufficient funding to be thoroughly researched: cannabis.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Such a thing seems counterintuitive, right? Even people not affected by ADHD problems will often have trouble following the flow of a conversation or the plot of a movie while stoned.
And yet, there are others who claim that the plant has served as their creative muse with storylines, guitar riffs, and poetry occurring to them in a flash. Counted among these inspired musicians are the jazz legend Louis Armstrong, rapper Wiz Khalifa (who’d have guessed?), and the late great Jerry Garcia.
And music isn’t the only art that has been touched by the ganja. Best-selling horror author Stephen King and astrophysicist and writer Carl Sagan have also used cannabis in the course of their work. So, in some way, cannabis must also provide the ability to hyperfocus. As a writer and sufferer of ADHD, I can attest that just the right amount of the herb can bring about a torrent of ideas for settings, character backstories, and dialogue. The problem is simply opening up my laptop and getting started!
But so far I have only provided you with anecdotes. How about some studies?
We’ll start with a 2014 study published in Substance Use and Abuse, a peer-reviewed medical journal, which sampled 2811 cannabis users affected by ADHD. When subjects were asked about the presence of their symptoms upon taking a break from the reefer, more users met the criteria for the hyperactive form of ADHD than for the inattentive type. Of these, the symptoms of fidgeting, restlessness, and racing thoughts actually worsened, providing evidence that cannabis works as a calming agent, easing the symptoms of the hyperactive forms of the disorder. For non-daily users, improvement of symptoms did not differ by subtype.
A much smaller study, a randomized control trial administered by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2017, studied thirty patients with ADHD. Fifteen were given a mouth spray called Sativex which contains a cannabinoid, and the remaining fifteen were given a placebo. Over the course of eleven months, cognitive performance and activity levels were tested using the QbTest, a computerized diagnostic tool assessing hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. Although the experiment found no significant difference in the cognitive abilities between the control group and the experimental group, the results indicated a significant improvement in impulsivity, hyperactivity, and even inhibition in those that had taken Sativex. The placebo group showed no such improvement. In conclusion, the results of the study seemed to indicate that adults with ADHD may represent a subgroup of adults who experience a reduction of symptoms with little cognitive impairment following use of the cannabinoid.
Another small study, this one involving CBD, the non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, was done at the Nova-Institute in Germany in 2015. Like the NCBI study, this one also involved thirty participants. All were sufferers of ADHD and had discontinued traditional medication due to side effects or ineffectiveness. Of the thirty, all had experienced an improvement in sleep and concentration, as well as a decrease in hyperactivity and fidgeting after having ingested CBD oil. So if you are not looking for the psychoactive high that comes with THC, CBD oil is a possible option for you.
You might be wondering exactly how this works. For this, we look at the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the central nervous system in mammals, and are involved in the regulation of multiple processes, including appetite, pain, mood, and memory, among others. This system plays a regulatory role, meaning it aids in maintaining homeostasis, or equilibrium in physiological processes. It is believed that an imbalance of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, among others, is the root cause of ADHD. Therefore, if the endocannabinoid receptors are sufficiently stimulated by the use of cannabinoids, the plant or its extracts might work by “balancing out” these chemicals, thereby relieving the symptoms of ADHD.
None of this is to say that a joint a day keeps the ADD away. As previously stated, there are multiple types of the disorder and symptoms present differently in each individual. Finding the right strain for your symptoms and then zeroing in on just the right dosage will take some time. I, for one, am still on that journey, but knowing how difficult ADHD can be to live with, I think it’s a worthwhile search.
We are watching history take place as cannabis prohibition comes to an achingly slow end. As the old laws go up in smoke, researchers will be given more liberty to further study the medicinal uses of the plant. Time will tell what treatments await discovery in this beautiful little herb we all know and love, but for now we wait–something we ADDers know all too well can be torturous!
Cannabis and hemp, a close cousin to cannabis, have a long history, with hemp being used for textiles and food in such far-flung places as China, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. The flowers of the plant were used in everything from medicine to religious ceremonies, such as that of Zoroastrianism, a Persian religion predating Islam. Ganjha was mentioned in Indian Vedic texts dating back to the second millennium BCE.
As you can see, the use of cannabis is as old as civilization itself, if not older. In fact, until the 1900s, hemp production was encouraged by the US government in the making of ropes, clothing, and other everyday items. Cannabis extracts were sold openly in pharmacies until the early 20th century for the purpose of treating a variety of ailments including headaches and digestive disorders.
So why is it that, in some places, possession of even minuscule amounts can be grounds for an arrest and a possible jail sentence?
For that, we will need to go back to the year 1910 and the Mexican Revolution. The start of the revolution saw a massive wave of immigration from Mexico into the southwestern states of the US. The plant became associated with these newcomers who were far from welcomed by all. Different in appearance and language from most of the U.S. population, the immigrants were a convenient scapegoat for the troubles of the time.
In fact, prior to 1910, cannabis was never referred to as “marijuana”. Branding it by its Spanish name served the dual purpose of demonizing both the drug and the Spanish-speaking migrants flooding into the southwestern portion of the country. These newcomers, some of whom used the herb recreationally, were painted as deviant, immoral, and even violent. It was even said that the plant could give the user superhuman strength!
Regardless of the baselessness of these beliefs, the scare campaign worked: by 1931, cannabis had become outlawed in more than half of the states in the country.
Part of the reason the push for this new prohibition was successful was propaganda. After the successful start of the prohibition regarding alcohol, attention turned to narcotics which were seen as a serious threat. Mary Jane, a mostly unknown entity that had been unfairly stigmatized, was swept into the same category as cocaine and opiates. Of course, there was no evidence that the plant could dramatically alter one’s personality or even kill them, but the power of the press to sensationalize should never be underestimated.
These campaigns would continue well into the 1920s and beyond. Stemming from fear of the demographic changes that were taking place, allegations continued that the drug caused insanity and death. One example of such is a 1927 New York Times article claiming that a mother and her four children had become irreversibly insane after ingesting the marijuana plant.
This prejudice would intensify in the 1930s with the start of the Great Depression. During times of economic hardship, people search for a scapegoat for their suffering which often turns out to be a racial or ethnic minority. In this case, fear and mistrust of Mexicans grew along with unemployment.
This decade would see the creation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, headed by Harry J. Anslinger. Although this newly formed department would not commit to federal legislation, it pushed states to criminalize this new boogeyman, now blamed for everything from unemployment to deviant behavior.
Initially averse to the criminalization of cannabis due to the difficulty of enforcement, Harry J. Anslinger was able to encourage the passing of anti-narcotics legislation. Testifying before Congress, he read off a number of cases involving rapes, arsons, assaults, and murders, all supposedly committed under the influence of pot. So it was that in 1937 that the Marijuana Tax Act was passed by a Congress largely uneducated on the issue. Without media interest, the public as a whole was kept in the dark about these proceedings.
Furthermore, Anslinger worked to discredit research that disproved his views that cannabis caused violence and encouraged information that reinforced them. The 1936 film, Reefer Madness, would draw from Anslinger’s ideas, which included, “Reefer makes darkies think they are as good as white men” and “marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes”. However, this distortion of facts would not end with Reefer Madness and would continue into subsequent decades.
Fast-forward to the 1950s. Under the Eisenhower administration, the Narcotics Control Act of 1956 set mandatory sentences for drug-related offenses, including marijuana. A first offense now carried a minimum sentence of up to ten years! There was no distinction between cannabis and other drugs such as cocaine or opium; all were dope and were therefore considered dangerous.
Much changed in the 1960s, both politically and culturally. An awakening of sorts swept the country, and the face of cannabis changed from the scheming, murderous gangster to that of the doe-eyed flower child, often a white college student from a middle-class family. Although this so-called epidemic of drug use made front page news, few were interested in jailing college kids for something that seemed relatively harmless. By now, even Anslinger had conceded that the penalties for possession were too harsh.
In 1968, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics would merge with the FDA. President Nixon was sworn in the following year and almost immediately recruited journalists for a propaganda campaign of his own. Nixon also enlisted help from TV executives who would insert anti-drug themes into popular television shows such as Hawaii Five-0. During this administration, powers of law enforcement were extended and anti-drug agencies were placed directly under White House control. In 1970, marijuana was labeled as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it could not be used legally for any purpose, medicinal or otherwise.
In 1973, a report was released by the Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, calling for an end to the new prohibition. Although Nixon himself had appointed the members of this commission, he refused to accept this report in public. He even threatened to fire the director of the Narcotics Treatment Administration if he did not keep the plant criminalized.
Nixon’s domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, would later attest to the real reasoning behind the Nixon administration’s desire to clamp down on facts and keep stringent penalties in place: “The Nixon White House had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” Ehrlichman is quoted as saying. “You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be black or against the war, but we could get the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and the blacks with heroin. By criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt these communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up meetings. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Nixon’s War on Drugs would gain steam in the years to come. Ronald Reagan had not supported decriminalization as governor of California and would continue to support harsh penalties during his time as POTUS, starting with his signing of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act which raised federal penalties for dealing, basing penalties on the amount involved. The fear-mongering would continue with anti-drug ads on TV, the establishment of D.A.R.E. in schools, and Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign.
It would not be until 1996 that the chains would start to fall off at a painfully slow pace when Prop 215 in California would allow for medical use for patients with cancer, AIDS, and other terminal diseases. More states made such concessions in subsequent election cycles.
Here we are in 2018. By now, nine states have legalized cannabis for recreational use.
Medical marijuana is allowed in more than half of the states. Yet many conservative representatives continue to oppose legalization, citing family values and morality as their reasons for doing so. Although the idea that cannabis is a gateway to harder drugs has been thoroughly debunked, this argument refuses to die. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated plainly, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
However, there are also a number of former opponents of legalization, such as former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who profess to having “evolved” on the issue as they cash in on this booming industry. It is my belief that once our traditionalist governors and congressmen see the money being raked in by states that have embraced the green trade, they too will evolve.
With each election cycle, we are watching history in the making as more and more dominoes fall. As you have seen, prohibition is rooted in racism, greed, and fear. I, for one, think that it is high time to do away with those laws forever, don’t you?
Medical cannabis, currently legally prescribed in 30 states, has long been used to treat insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, PTSD, tremors, and a plethora of pain disorders. Another common and little-known use of this wonder-drug is that of combating the symptoms of premenstrual symptom, or PMS.
PMS is a cluster of symptoms that include cramping, pain or discomfort in the back, joints, breasts and muscles, mood swings, water retention, increase in appetite, fatigue, irritability, and an inability to focus, among others. While these symptoms are not present in everyone, over 90% of menstruating women report one or more of the aforementioned symptoms.
Although information pertaining to the historical use of the plant for this affliction is scarce, cannabis was widely prescribed for menstrual cramps during the Victorian Era, with even Queen Victoria herself making use of nature’s most well-known remedy.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, has well-documented analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. For those monstrous monthly cramps that plague so many of us each month, there is hope. Topical solutions and concentrates containing CBD are available if you do not wish for a psychoactive high. However, if you would like a touch of euphoria to brighten up your day, tinctures and concentrates are an option for those who do not wish to ingest the herb the traditional way.
Although the analgesic properties are reportedly stronger in THC-heavy strains versus CBD, high-CBD strains such as Ringo’s Gift or Cannatonic have been reportedly beneficial in the relief of monthly menstrual pain. This is thought to work by suppression of inflammation as well as relaxation of the muscles of the uterus.
Lavender is an excellent go-to strain for menstrual cramps; this indica is high (no pun intended) in sedative properties. It is also quite beautiful to look at it, but that is neither here nor there. Dynamite is an indica strain popular for its pain relieving qualities and citrusy taste. A High Times favorite, it is known for its ability to “melt the pain away”, as well as assist with nausea and insomnia that accompany many cases of Premenstrual Syndrome.
Headaches are another common symptom of PMS and can negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life, at times becoming so severe that the only option is to lie in a dark room, isolated from sound and other stimuli. Cannabis has a long history of alleviating headache pain, dating all the way back to the medical texts of ancient Assyria. Unfortunately, research into the effects of cannabis on headache pain halted with the spread of propaganda and the ensuing criminalization in the past century, but with more recent and progressive legislation, such as the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018, more data is sure to become available from the medical community in the days to come.
The mechanism by which ganja works on headaches is unknown, but the endocannabinoid system, a system of transmitters and receptors responsible for maintaining an environment of stability within the body, are thought to suppress activation of pain receptors, thereby reducing or eliminating pain altogether. It may also relieve headache pain by decreasing intracranial pressure; smoking is the most effective way to achieve this as this is the fastest method by which the effects of cannabis may take effect within the body.
In one Colorado pharmacological study regarding cannabis as a treatment for migraine headaches, the frequency of the migraines decreased by an average of over 50% with the use of medical cannabis over the course of 4 years. 103 of 121 patients reported a decrease in the pain caused by the migraines.
A study of 9 California clinics reported relief in up to 40% of patients using medical cannabis for headaches.
Purple Kush, a hybrid strain well known for producing a relaxing high, even numbing the pain entirely in some, has a stellar reputation for relieving the discomfort of migraines as well as even the most stubborn menstrual headaches. If you are looking for pain relief with minimal psychoactive effects, ACDC is a strain containing about 15% CBD with a negligible amount of THC.
ACDC’s medicinal properties extend beyond head pain, however. Mood swings, a symptom that anyone who is not an automaton has been familiar with at some point in their lives, can disrupt a person’s life as surely as the more “physical” symptoms, like cramping, fatigue, or joint pain, and can be just as hard, if not harder, to combat.
For this, there is hope in the form of strains such as Frank’s Gift. This sativa-dominant strain, a phenotype of Skunk Haze, is high in CBD and remains a trusted friend of countless medical marijuana patients. Aside from its beneficial effects on physical discomfort, if provides a mood boost which some describe as “euphoric”, quieting negative thoughts as it relaxes body and mind. The woody aroma can act as a calming incense, separating you from the irritability and agitation that rises to a crescendo during that time of the month. Cannatonic, Harlequin, and Blue Dream are other strains known to reduce stress, boost energy, and alleviate the depressive symptoms that precede and accompany the dreaded visit with Aunt Flo.
In conclusion, there is ample evidence that the inevitable cramping, headaches, mood swings, and fatigue that precede and accompany the Crimson Tide can be substantially reduced or altogether alleviated by one of humanity’s oldest herbal remedies. It is my hope that a clinical trial spanning the course of several thousand years might offer the wary and skeptical a measure of reassurance. Perhaps with this trusted panacea, what is often an unpleasant and even agonizing time can be made bearable. With careful and meticulous use, it might just be over before you know it! I think that it’s worth a try, don’t you?
Top 5 Reasons Why Cannabis is Superior to Pharmaceuticals
Using cannabis medicinally dates back thousands of years. Humans beings have recognized the plant for its many benefits since its usage by ancient Chinese emperors.
From Parkinson’s Disease to Psoriasis; Cancer to Multiple Sclerosis; the list of ailments cannabis can help to treat is near endless. Many of the harsh symptoms shared across the board by these diseases, like pain or nausea, are usually treated by a variety of pharmaceuticals. The case for choosing marijuana over prescription drugs is vast. Here we will discuss just five reasons why cannabis is the better option.
Less Side Effects
Those dealing with chronic diseases have enough going on without having to worry about a slew of additional effects being brought on by their medications. Some cancer drugs, for example, bring on episodes of severe nausea. Marijuana can help to bring back cancer patients’ appetites. It can also help with pain and other lasting effects of the illness without the need for additional prescriptions that could in turn just cause more side effects.
One particular disease that cannabis is great at treating is anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most overprescribed ailments currently afflicting the United States. Benzodiazepines are doctors go-to answer for those with the troubling problem.
Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults filling a prescription for a benzodiazepine increased from 8.1 million to 13.5 million, while the total quantity of pills given out through prescription more than tripled in number, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. This means benzos are being prescribed more, and taken more.
This is likely because benzos can be extremely addictive – a problem you won’t run into with marijuana. Although you might instead become “addicted” to your favorite kind of munchy.
When we speak of prescription drug usage, the topic of overdose deaths has to follow.
According to the US Department of Justice’s 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment, “every year since 2001, CPDs, specifically opioid analgesics5 have been linked to the largest number of overdose deaths of any illicit drug class, outpacing those for cocaine and heroin combined.”
In its entire known history, marijuana has never been the cause of a single overdose death, since you can’t technically overdose on it. The biggest problem you’d have to worry about here is possibly ingesting so much that you fall asleep.
In some cases, marijuana may actually better treat some diseases.
In a recent study on cancerous mice, researchers found that a combination of CBD and chemotherapy actually led to longer lives than treatment of just chemotherapy on its own. The study was conducted on mice with pancreatic cancer.
This particular form of cancer has seen little progress in treatment in the last 40 years and the five-year survival rate is still at about 5 percent, according to the study. The researchers used a combination of CBD and GEM (one of the most common medicine in treating Pancreatic Cancer) and found survival rates tripled compared to the mice given just GEM alone.
Take on Big Pharma
One of the greatest reasons to choose cannabis over prescription drugs is the great challenge it proposes to the pharmaceutical industry. In 2016, the US share of the global pharmacy market was valued at over $446 billion. This is money that goes straight into the pockets of shareholders and is very rarely turned back around into communities.
On the other hand, Colorado is a great example of how tax revenue on marijuana can be used to fight other social issues such as homelessness. In fact, the total revenue was just under $250 million in 2017. This money was used to fund all kinds of social government programs and is likely to continue to increase in future years.
Wouldn’t it make more sense if the bigger number was going towards the more moralistic distribution? With more states looking to follow this example, this could be an actual reality.
As if all this weren’t enough, the list of reasons why cannabis is superior to prescription drugs can continue to include things like reduced gang violence and less cost to government healthcare with programs such as Medicaid.
Current data published in JAMA Internal Medicine, has shown that states who have easier regulations on marijuana tend to also have lower prescription drug use. So maybe the answer is more de-regulation and the choice will be clear to many others.
Whatever your choice, please be safe and don’t abuse any drugs.