Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, is a hemp plant that originated from Asia. At first sight of the plant it looks quite bizarre and unusual. Cannabis can grow up to twenty feet tall with at least five leaflets that have sharp teeth like edges. Although the leaflets make the plant appear unappealing, the flower gives off a different message with its vibrant colors, ranging from light green to dark purple. Before any part of the cannabis can be absorbed into the human body it must first go through a process called “curing.” Curing is the process of drying out the leaves and flowers of the plant. Once absorbed into the body, you get a sudden feeling of relaxation and happiness, medically known as euphoria. The use of cannabis has been used for thousands of years, both medicinally, and recreationally. Use of cannabis is reported as early as 4000 B.C with the use of its strong fibers, but medicinally not until around 2700 B.C. The Chinese used it when treating soreness, constipation, malaria, and many other cases (Zuardi). Because of the ban on cannabis in the early 20th century in the United States, we have only recently made important discoveries on the use of cannabis medicinally. With exceptional amounts of evidence of medicinal marijuana being successful, voters in several states started pushing to legalize it. With this new discovery we must also realize that there are still dangers and risks, of using this drug. If medical marijuana can be used responsibly, it can help thousands of Americans who suffer from illnesses, we just need it legalized on a federal level.
“The leaves, flowers and top of the plant are covered with this sticky resin which is the source of the substance which can affect the normal working of the mind, called pot, it is said to have more than 350 nicknames. Most of these names mean the same thing, cannabis is known among its user’s as pot, hash, Indian hemp, hashish, marihuana (marijuana), bhang, ganga, charas , weed, charge, etc. . It is usually smoked in cigarettes known by users as joints, and by non-users and the press as reefers” (Schofield). “Marijuana contains more than 460 active chemicals and over 60 unique cannabinoids” (Seamon et al. 1037-1044). Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds within the cannabis such as, THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These two chemical compounds are responsible for more the majority of the active effects of marijuana.
THC is more active in cannabis than CBD; it is responsible for the antiemetic affects and pain relief. THC is also the reason you get that “high” feeling that comes after digesting the cannabis.
The last five years have shown a remarkable increase in publications on cannabidiol mainly stimulated by the discovery of its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects. These studies have suggested a wide range of possible therapeutic effects of cannabidiol on several conditions, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's...