Four Documentaries on Cannabis: the basics, the economics, the history, and the benefits

via chycho

A lot of documentaries have been produced on cannabis over the last few years and I have no doubt that many more will most likely be produced in the future, especially now that the battle to end prohibition has kicked into high gear.

The focus of these documentaries varies vastly, and it’s sometimes hard to know beforehand if what you are about to watch will satisfy your curiosity. There are overlaps between the works, understandably so since the central theme of all of them is cannabis, however, the ones that do standout are the ones that emphasize certain details of the story. Four of these documentaries are embedded below.

In the first we address some of the basic issues at hand by taking a tour with a very pleasant and delightful young man. The second is about the business of getting high, centered on the marijuana trade industry in British Columbia, Canada. In the third we review the history of the war on cannabis. And in the fourth we learn about the benefits of cannabis to our societies. Enjoy.

When We Grow, This Is What We Can Do

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

Grass: History of Marijuana

The Hemp Revolution

9 Comments on "Four Documentaries on Cannabis: the basics, the economics, the history, and the benefits"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Dec 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

    is this what they call
    preaching to the choir?

    • For sure, but also making it easier for the choir to find things they might be looking for.

  2. "Big" Richard Johnson | Dec 22, 2012 at 5:27 am |

    Some of us work so we can go home and drink. Some of us more than others.

    I would rather smoke.

  3. Its all dopamine. If you smoke too much it will eventually burn you out, just like any other chemical that triggers the flooding of dopamine into neuro pathways (alcohol,tobacco, caffeine, hard narcotics, sex, etc), shrinking d2 receptors due to over-stimulation. But it does have its uses and it does ease pain. Just like all medications it should not be abused and used in excess but it should be just as legal as alcohol and tobacco.

    • Ceausescu | Dec 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm |

      Nothing in cannabis physically alters any dopamine receptors or processes.

      The only dopamine dependence that might burn is caused by your own mental. You associate “excitement” and “fun” with smoking weed. If you don’t have efficient control upon these rather primitive mental processes, chances are you will burn out. But it’s no different than a gambling addiction or porn addiction. It’s all psychological. All created by your own thoughts 🙂

      However, I think that binging on cannabis significantly worsens the burning out. It’s exhausting for the physical to process cannabis when there’s not enough time between sessions. This probably builds up and creates “debt” just like sleep-deprivation does.

      Hard drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and even caffeine are physically addictive. Their active ingredients actually change the physical brain chemistry and directly affect the dopamine processes and receptors.

      There are scientists who see cannabis as having numerous uses, both physically and psychologically. Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, some even think we’re “wired” to this plant.

      • lazy friend | Dec 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

        Cannabinoid receptors are activated by a neurotransmitter called
        anandamide. Anandamide belongs to a group of chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is also a cannabinoid chemical. THC mimics the actions of anandamide, meaning that THC binds with cannabinoid receptors and activates neurons, which causes adverse effects on the mind and body. Experiments in rats show that anandamide normally inactivates another brain chemical called dopamine, which has been implicated in a number of brain disorders. Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology, and colleagues report their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

      • lazy_friend | Dec 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm |

        “Scientists have learned a great deal about how marijuana acts in the brain to produce its many effects. When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body.

        THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the “high” that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thoughts, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.

        Not surprisingly, marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that marijuana’s adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off. As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.

        Research on the long-term effects of marijuana abuse indicates some changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term abuse of other major drugs. For example, cannabinoid withdrawal in chronically exposed animals leads to an increase in the activation of the stress-response system and changes in the activity of nerve cells containing dopamine. Dopamine neurons are involved in the regulation of motivation and reward, and are directly or indirectly affected by all drugs of abuse.

        Addictive potential

        Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite its known harmful effects upon social functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities. Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which make it difficult to quit. These withdrawal symptoms begin within about one day following abstinence, peak at two to three days, and subside within one or two weeks following drug cessation.”

        All roads lead to dopamine; its clitche but it rings true. It just takes longer to burn you out because it reacts indirectly with dopamine, in contrast to alcohol and hard narcotics or prescriptions like aderall. I am cool with people using drugs to get high and have fun or feel better. But as adults they need to “truly” know what they are getting into and not just believe whatever they want to believe to make themselves feel better about doing it. I am going to start experimenting with nootropics, I am kinda bored of pot but I can see why people like it. I guess now that its kinda legal it lost its edge to me. I guess I funny like that. Pot is most definatly physically addicting, its obvious to see all the annoying pot heads calling my friend to deliver their fix FAST. Does it mean I want it to be illegal, so cops can arrest us over it? HELL NO, thats way too draconian. I want people with addictions to go to the doctor, not to jail. I want the truth about things regardless of what end of the spectrum it is in, negative or positive. Have a nice Festivus and then a very commercial Xmas.

        • Most of the adverse effects you mention from trying to quit sound more like tobacco withdrawal symptoms. I’ve been confused by this in the past by smoking weed with tobacco over extended periods, but experience none of these when I smoke it alone in a pipe. In fact I’ve used weed to assist in quitting tobacco to help me through the turbulence of the initial two or three days of upheaval.

          I also use it when I’m trying to learn something, particularly something physical where I am trying to reinforce muscle memory.

          The rest of your argument I don’t really feel qualified to comment on but some of it isn’t sitting quite right with me, and I’m quite an experienced user. Most of the ‘addiction’ to weed I’ve witnessed has been more of an abstract mental creation rather than hard physical addiction.

          ps What a beautiful picture that is of the plant. I’ve never seen it in such a way.

          • lazy_friend | Dec 23, 2012 at 8:02 am |

            I am also an experienced user. Try to fully quit smoking pot, Its not easy unless you replace it with something. When we like something a lot, we create a lot excuses for it. Like that slutty, two timing, no good girlfriend a lot of people seem to have at some point in their lives. We act like we love her but we are just addicted to the sensation. Its just a fact that pot can become physically addictive over time. I’ve smoked for years, everyday and was a serious advocate to its therapeutic benefits, but I am also one that does not want sit in denial to its adverse side effects. Neurology is damn complicated, but everything that makes you feel as good as pot does, has to be messing with dopamine at some level, either inhibiting or antagonizing. cannabinoid receptors down regulate if over stimulated creating tolerance which leads to some addiction. Nothing abused and overdosed is completely safe and beneficial. But Do I think pot should illegal regardless of its darker side? HELL NO. Do I want to tear down preconceived ideas in all subjects to reach the truth? HELL YES. You should research drugs categorized as nootropics or “smart drugs”. Most like paracitam, have very low toxicity if any and have been shown to help a lot of people increase mental acuteness, increasing motivation. Thats what I am into now. Pot is just kinda bush league. No offense enjoy your pot, as I did in all my years smoking, but also dig for the core truth behind it; if you are not too busy stuffing your face after smoking :).

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