It’s hard to get rid of a stigma and when it comes to marijuana (cannabis), that stigma is deeply ingrained.
This unassuming plant has been attached to the negative connotations of cultural films, music fans of specific bands, the misconception of it being a gateway drug or something only experimented with in youth.
Meanwhile, many of those that are misinformed by these or other stigmas of marijuana often do not think twice about their own vices, albeit alcohol, pharmaceuticals or even diet.
Fortunately the tide is turning as research and public opinion bring to light the benefits of medicinal and recreational cannabis. More than half of the country now has legal medical cannabis and there are several states with fully legal recreational use. It is important that state regulators require safety and compliance testing to determine the safety of both medical and recreational marijuana. This has created a new field within the cannabis industry with marijuana testing labs like CrestmontLabs.com in Michigan.
Not Just the 1960’s
Marijuana has been used for quite some time, both medicinally and as a relaxing sedative similar to alcohol. There is evidence of its use from as far back as 2700 BC linked throughout time to many cultures including Greek, Egyptian and Persian as well as notable figures such as George Washington and Queen Victoria.
It wasn’t until 1937 that marijuana was outlawed in the US. Many believe that this was due to the end of Prohibition and that Federal agents needed another “target” to keep their jobs.
Recently, the tides have turned and by exposing antiquated, manipulated research and replacing it with unbiased, scientific findings the benefits of medicinal and recreational cannabis are finally being embraced.
The Physical and Mental Benefits
It is important to note that marijuana use should be discussed with your doctor beforehand. Like any drug, natural or synthetic, making sure your specific health history does not contraindicate with such use is essential. Marijuana has been found to be chemically non-addicting (unless overused) however if one has an addictive personality anything could become a dangerous choice.
The physical and mental benefits of cannabis are many with various claims across the entire health spectrum.
Natural News reports some of these benefits as the following (many of these claims are through non-THC use, meaning subjects used cannabis in drug form rather than “getting high”):
• It can stop HIV from spreading throughout the body.
• It slows the progression of Alzheimer’s.
• It slows the spread of cancer cells.
• It is an active pain reliever.
• It can prevent or help with opiate addiction.
• It combats depression, anxiety and ADHD.
• It can treat epilepsy and Tourette’s.
• It can help with other neurological damage, such as concussions and strokes.
• It can prevent blindness from glaucoma.
• Its connected to lower insulin levels in diabetics.
The list continues with a report by Business Insider (4/14) stating 23 health benefits of marijuana which include easing multiple sclerosis pain, assisting hepatitis C treatment, relieving inflammatory bowel diseases, improving Lupus symptoms and relieving symptoms associated with chemotherapy.
The Recreational Side
If you ask most people about their choice of something they ingest that relaxes them, you will most likely hear alcohol. It is not uncommon for many adults to mix a stiff cocktail, polish off a bottle of wine or go through a six pack of beer in the course of a week or even an evening. This may be cause for concern amongst some folks but for many it is a self-medication that has been embraced (or ignored) within most cultures.
Marijuana has been an “underground” recreational vice for many, yet admitting such would often be considered juvenile or irresponsible. There is also the fact that it is still illegal in many states and people do not want to break the law or be associated with one that does. Thankfully these laws are changing and the recreational side of marijuana is finally being accepted.
Some benefits of responsible recreational marijuana use include:
• Calms rather than inebriates the mind into possible aggressive behavior.
• Enhances sexual pleasure.
• Improves sleep without the usual side effects of alcohol.
• Can increase creativity.
The benefits of medicinal and recreational cannabis offer a new generation of young and old the opportunity to be able to take advantage of this superior botanical.
In addition, the use of hemp (the by product of cannabis) brings a whole new sustainable material to the Eco-friendly table. Hemp can be used to make paper, clothing, food and so much more; The Constitution and Betsy’ Ross’ flag were both hemp material, a popular choice at the time.
If you live in a state that offers legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana use, talk to your doctor about benefits that may apply to you.