Cannabis, The Miracle Plant.
A Little History
Why was cannabis made illegal all over the world? For centuries it was used for medicine. Antique doctor's bangs still show up with jars labeled Hash. Usually they are empty while other jars are still full. It was used in religious rituals, including being an ingredient of oils used for blessings and baptisms.
So what happened? Well, in the roaring twenties Jazz clubs were king, and apparently in 1930 the head of the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics Harry J. Anslinger decided black and Hispanic men were using weed to seduce white woman, so it had to stop.
But Cannabis had already been a restricted drug since 1906 in most states, following similar restrictions all over the world that started in 1800 when Napoleon made it illegal when his men started smoking hash after they invaded Egypt.
In 1923 Canada made heroin and other drugs illegal. At the last minute, withoiut any debate, at the request of the US, they added Cannabis. Almost no one in Canada even knew what it was, particularly the government. Hemp had been used for ever for plumbing and rope making. Yet they went along with it and banned both hemp and thc rich cannabis as a narcotic, which it isn't.
In 1925 the united nations decided to ban opium, heroin, etc. Due to the US, at the last minute they all added cannabis to the list.
Why was hemp banned as well? Another factor was the wood and paper industry lobby. At the time there was talk about hemp replacing wood for paper. They lobbied hard against it.
Then the government and our health officials lied to us and told us it was dangerous, had no medical value, that it was highly addictive, it was a gateway drug, and it could destroy your brain and change your dna leading to deformed children.
All that, yet due to it being illegal no one was allowed to research it! So how could they know? It was all lies.
To me, it's the duty of a government to research everything and anything, let alone natural plants they want to ban. How ridiculous.
And their lies were so transparent. In 1969 I was working for National Health and Welfare. I asked a doctor if he was in favor of legalizing pot. He said no. It was dangerous. I asked why. He said he didn't know, exactly. But it has 500 different chemicals in it so it had to be bad somehow.
I said: really? From experience we know why alcohol is dangerous. It's ruined lives and killed people. We know what's wrong with heroin, speed, cocaine, etc. It's obvious. But how many people has weed killed? Pretty much zero. You don't even get a hangover, So shouldn't it be obvious that it's not even as dangerous as alcohol?
He said: "No. There has to be something wrong with it." Needless to say I wasn't impressed. And that remained the excuse for not legalizing it right up to the time of legalization in Canada. When asked, the conservative party said: "It's illegal for a reason. It's dangerous." But couldn't elaborate as to why.
Is it addictive? No. That is to say, anything you like can be addictive. Coke, coffee, you name it. I've been smoking hash and weed for 50 plus years almost every day. But if I go on vacation to Cuba or Dominican, I abstain for the two weeks I'm there, and hardly miss it. Try that if you're addicted to heroin.
Is it a gateway drug? No. As a teenager I tried almost everything with caution, and hash was one of them. I dumped everything else including alcohol, and just kept smoking hash and weed because of all the benefits it gave me.
In fact, I used it once to help cure a friend of alcoholism. As for deformed kids, I had 3 kids the doctor said were in the ten percent of the most healthy in their age class.
So is it for anyone? No. There are people who are allergic to it, as to anything else. And for some who have mental issues like schizophrenia, it can make it worse, or better, or bring it on. Everyone is different. But for me it's been a god send dozens of times.
As I said, as a teen age hippy I started taking drugs like lsd, mushrooms, etc for mind expanding spiritual reasons. At 13 I found a place in Toronto where I could buy lsd from a guy who made purple microdots. I bought 100 dollars worth at 10 cents a hit. At home the price was 2 dollars a hit. So I sold 100 dollars worth and kept the rest.
I took it for almost a year every day. Eventually I had enough and decided to quite. No problem, except for the nightmares and feeling like I was rotting from the inside out. I felt empty inside and was afraid to go to sleep.
I told an older friend that I had really messed myself up and was considering telling my parents and seeing a shrink. He said: "wait. Smoke a joint before you go to bed. You won't have those dreams anymore." So I tried it, and guess what; it worked. I was amazed.
It also helped my teenage anger, which I hated but couldn't stop. I fell in love with hash. It helped me in so many ways. It gave me inspiration when playing music etc.
When I got the flue and couldn't hold down even water, I smoked a joint, got hungry, my stomach settled, and I could eat again without throwing up. And my love just grew. And through the years it kept helping me. But the biggest thing it did was save my daughter's life.
My wife was pregnant. At about 3 months she started getting really bad morning sickness all day. I took her to the hospital and they gave her some drugs. We went home and waited. The drugs weren't working. A week later she was projectile vomiting and bleeding. I took her to the hospital again. They told us she was going to miscarry, and sent us home. I was pissed.
I took my wife home, got the best weed I could find and practically forced her to smoke a couple joints. Guess what. She stopped vomiting, was able to eat again and stopped bleeding. My daughter just turned 40.
No medical value? What a lie that was.
Super Drug, Super Food?
And now that it's legal we're finding out it has the potential to be a super drug. More research is needed, but it looks like it can even cure some forms of cancer. We know it's great for some forms of pain, and even epilepsy. It may prove useful in treating dementia. The list goes on and on.
Why? All those 500 chemicals. The endocannabinoid system is part of our body. We make a lot of the chemicals in cannabis. This system regulates a wide range of processes all over our body and brain. So even if you never smoked it you have cannabinoids in your body.
But the miracles of this plant don't end. It's also now considered a super food. You can eat all parts of the plant. Leaves and buds have nutrition like kale, spinach, etc. Lots of vitamins minerals, fiber, etc.
But the seeds are just the best. In 100 grams of hemp hearts there are thirty two grams of protein. That's more than meat or eggs or anything else. Not only that, it's what they call complete protein, which means it has all nine amino acids that our bodies can’t make on their own.
100 grams of cannabis seeds also contains 4 grams of fiber. Lots of Vitamin A, B6, folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, zinc, and more than 100 percent of your daily requirements for manganese.
You can eat all parts of the plant including the buds without getting high as long as you eat them raw/ uncooked. Cooked, thca turns to thc, which is why smoking gets you high while eating it raw doesn't.
What else can you do with it? I already mentioned making rope, paper, food, medicine, etc. You can make cloth, soap, and so many other things, including just feeling good in your own skin. It's a miracle plant.
And to think, it's been illegal for almost 100 years due to greed, stupidity and racism. But now its back. All praise the great god Hashish.
Again, getting high isn't for everyone. There are two different basic types of cannabis: Indica and Sativa. Indica is the one used for sleep and a potent high. It contains higher concentrations of CBN. CBN is what THC turns into when it starts to degrade.
Smoking it is great, though it may give some people a bit of paranoia. I always put it down to it being illegal, but that's not always the case. Never the less, I always just smoked another one to cure it. Doesn't work for everyone.
Eating too much of it can cause super dry mouth, nausea, and dizziness. Don't worry, though, you won't die even if you feel like you might. Eat too much and you'll vomit some of it back out. It's often not the greatest trip, but that's as bad as an overdose goes.
Indica makes great hash, though. Some of the best in the world when it came from Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. The bud is sticky with resin making a natural black hash when the buds are rubbed in your hands. And yes, that's how it's usually made in Afghanistan, at least All in all, it's best smoked. It can put a real smile on your face.
For young people the issue is often becoming a couch potato. As a kid I had to train myself to just get out and do what needed doing, high or not. For some it's not easy.
Sativa, on the other hand isn't nearly as resinous. it's hash comes in Green from Morocco, and Blond, Red, and Brown from Lebanon. Hash or weed It gives you energy and is uplifting, particularly when eaten. But it's always good to start at a low dose and see how it goes. I'd recommend no more than 50 to 100 mg THC for beginners. For most with experience, 200 mg is going to be more than enough. I have to take 600 to 1000 mg to get "over the top" so to speak. But I've been using for 50 plus years. Yes, you do eventually lose all the effects like red eye, getting the munchies, feeling tired, etc. And it takes more to get high.
Best not to smoke or eat every day to get high, or quit for a while a few times a year. Also, stay away from pure extracted THC, particularly for medical use. Best to go with full bud extracts. One reason for paranoia from certain strains is lack of CBD and other chemicals. They all work together, even for getting high.
But anyone knew that, for years people were trying to grow plants with more THC and little to no CBD.
That's why it's better and much cheaper to make your own eatables. If your weed is 20 percent THC then it has 200mg per gram/1000mg. All you need to do is decarb it. Some has as little as 10 to 15 percent per gram for shake with sugar leaf etc. But some has up to 30 percent. The average more affordable stuff is 18 to 24 percent. Find out what you have so you can make the exact dose you want/need.
It's easy. You get a thermometer for the oven. Make sure it is set to no more than 225 degrees f. Then crumble your bud, not too fine, and then put it in an open baking pan/bread pan etc. Put it in the oven for 30 min. Let it cool, and use it in anything as is. Smoothies, salads, mixed with hot oatmeal etc.
There are many ways to decarb. You can do it water. You can put it in a bag and the put it in water boiling at no more than 225 f for half an hour. But you don't need a bag. You can just put it in water at 225 f. THC is not water soluble. It's oil soluble. So the water won't have THC in it when done. You'll still need to eat the buds.
If you want to make tea, add coconut oil, olive oil, or butter to the water when you boil it. Again, at 225 f for 30 min. Then you can remove the bud and drink the tea.
It can take from 30 minutes to 3 hours to feel effects. They last from 4 to 8 hours.
The reason for 225 degrees is that it preserves all the cannabinoids. And it's the safest most effective process I've found. If you decarb at too high a temperature it will taste really bad. If it burns, you can forget about it. It should be light to medium brown when finished, definitely not black.
The reason for cooking bud is to turn THCA (THC acid} and CBDA into THC and CBD. So even if you're after CBD you won't get any in the raw buds. Plants only grow THCA and CBDA. The acid portion will go away with age. But that can take a long time once harvested. It is rare, but possible if you have a very high acid content in your stomach that you may convert fresh bud yourself. But it's ultra rare and unlikely.
Uruguay was the first to legalize recreational use in 2013. Canada followed in 2018. But starting in 2001, at least 50 countries have legalized medical Cannabis, and or decriminalized possession of small amounts.
We're not there yet, but it's encouraging. Maybe someday, after covid, I'll be able to legally smoke weed in Cuba. LOL... I can only hope.
Ron Hooft (author) from Ottawa on February 22, 2021:
Thanks so much for reading, and for your comments.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 21, 2021:
This is a very informative article with so many facts I did not know. Thanks for sharing it.
MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 20, 2021:
Very interesting article. Learned a lot