Very few plants in the history of humanity have had such a controversial reputation as much as cannabis has had. Although traces of its use have been found in fossils of ancient civilizations in almost every continent except Antarctica, it was until not long ago considered an illicit drug of the worst kind. Thankfully, the tides have turned in recent decades and there’s a big reason for that.
With the rise of marijuana legalization, not just in the US but around the world, science has been allowed a window into this plant’s diverse possibilities. Once considered a nuisance to crops and a common weed, we are seeing the renaissance of this herb. And yes, recreational use is one of its many applications, but the list does not end there. Far from it, actually!
Archeological findings show that cannabis was a popular choice of material when making clothes, ropes, and even paper in prehistoric Japan. Additionally, farmers in China frequently grew the crop for its oil, although it is unclear if they were aware of the health benefits it possessed, which we will talk about later.
From East Asia on, it quickly traveled with the merchants and traders down the so-called Silk Road, where people in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa go acquainted with it. You can read more about marijuana’s early continental travels here.
Fast forward a couple of thousand years later, and what do we have? The (in)famous Summer of Love! While the pot was out and about and used recreationally in many of the years after its spread, it wasn’t really the drug of choice for many. That is until the hippie movement came in the 60s and threw the green gold back into the spotlight!
Now, with fame often comes criticism, and cannabis was not exempt from that either. Many misunderstood its effects and spread misinformation about the consequences of using it. Naturally, this led to fear and panic, which not only prevented regular people from exploiting its benefits but also scientists from researching the way it functions. Luckily, a new era was about to start.
Through the painstaking work of marijuana legalization activists, the battle for this plant started to shift. First through decriminalization, with Oregon taking charge in 1973, then through legalizing medical use for the first time in 1996 California, and finally with the recreational use legalization in Colorado and Washington in 2012. As of today, only two states consider cannabis an illegal drug. However, there is a particular type of cannabis plant that’s not only decriminalized but legal on a federal level!
That’s right, we are talking about hemp. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, you might have heard all of the names we have used so far, “cannabis,” “marijuana,” “weed,” “pot,” etc., used interchangeably with “hemp.”
And while they all represent essentially the same plant, cannabis sativa/indica/ruderalis, there is a slight difference between hemp and what is commonly referred to as marijuana. That answer lies in their chemical structure.
To put it simply, cannabis has two main chemical compounds that affect the brain and body of the user. Those are THC, the psychoactive substance associated with the most common effects of marijuana: laughing, dizziness, slowing downtime, and CBD, the molecule causing the relaxation, tiredness, and hungry feeling. In layman’s terms: THC is the one that gives you a “head high,” while CBD is the one that gives you a “body high.” Find out more about the difference at this link: https://www.vice.com/en/article/7xzb7z/science-of-head-and-body-highs-weedweek2017.
“But what does that have to do with hemp?” I hear you ask. Well, hemp is simply the plant that has been carefully crossbred and engineered to have a certain proportion of these compounds. Namely, hemp is the name used for a cannabis plant containing below 0.3% of THC. What this means is that it is less likely to give you a psychological feeling of being high, but it will relax your body and give you “the munchies.”
Now, you might be wondering: who even wants to smoke weed if it doesn’t get you high? But the truth is – many people! The beneficial properties of CBD have been researched in the past few years, and the results are astounding. The health advantages of using hemp are truly the stuff of wonders.
To list a few, the amounts of vitamin E in this plant are almost enough for your daily dose, which keeps your immune system operating at its top level and lowers the risks for some scary illnesses like Parkinson’s disease. On the other hand, the omega acids in it help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of eczema, such as dryness and irritation.
These two acids are also responsible for keeping your arteries and heart-healthy via lowering cholesterol and triglycerides! Finally, the amount of fiber in hemp seeds can improve your digestion and act as fuel for the good bacteria running your digestive system. If you’re impressed, then look no further than Skywalker OG Kush for all your healthy hemp-related needs.
Some Final Words
Marijuana has come a long way when it comes to repairing its reputation and showing the world all its capable of. While we still have more to research and uncover about this miraculous plant, what we know now is more than enough to justify its use. It’s just up to you to choose which blend is right for you.