The Healing Herb

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Bancopuma from The Nexian provides an in depth look at one of the most widely used yet misunderstood plants on the face of the earth, featuring digestible overviews of topics such as biochemistry, neurogenesis and brain effects, creativity, health, medicine, politics, and a DIY cannabis-infused hemp oil recipe (!):

Cannabis…just say ‘know’

Cannabis is the most popular illicit substance in the world, and prior to aspirin was used in as the primary pain reliever in the Western World. It is non toxic, and is near impossible to overdose on, and deaths are extremely rare (and linked to pre-existing conditions). Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the key psychoactive compound of cannabis, has been found to be non toxic even following chronic use over the long term. The plant has many potential medical applications and an ever expanding base of research to support its use in medicine. Cannabis has a very long history of medical use, and at least 85 different cannabinoids have been identified in the plant so far. One of the interesting things that makes cannabis unique from other isolated medicines or pharmaceuticals is that there are a number of these cannabinoids with biological activity, and the total sum of their effect may exceed that of any of the individual compound acting alone.

Cannabis Chemistry

Sativa plants produce a higher ratio of THC to cannabidiol (CBD), producing a more cerebral, stimulating high, and for this reason are better suited to daytime medical use. While THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD is the primary non psychoactive compound in cannabis and is a mild analgesic and antioxidant. While it isn’t psychoactive, it does display anti anxiety effects and can decrease social isolation. Many cannabis strains have been bred to be high THC and very low CBD, which competes for the same receptors in the brain. Indica plants are more CBD dominant and more sedative in effect, and tend to be preferred for evening or night time use, and are supportive of sleep.  There has been much interbreeding between the two species, to produce varying ratios of genetics and THC/CBD rations, with some relatively balanced 50/50 strains. Higher CBD strains are less likely to induce anxiety than higher THC strains, with CBD balancing out the effect of the THC and having its own anti anxiety effects. The genetics of particular strains is responsible for the potency and THC/CBD ratio of the plant, although this is also influenced by harvesting time.

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  • Woobniggurath

    If you want to understand the medical potential of Cannabis, start by learning something about the endocannabinoid system. It is pervasive, regulating aspects of almost everything happening in the body, and pro-homeostatic. If you like the really sticky nugs of science, look for the “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – Biology” special themed issue on endocannabinoids. 2010, I think.

  • http://americancannibal.org/ American Cannibal

    Marijuana healed my hemorrhoids.

    • Matt Staggs

      You’re just blowing smoke up my ass.

      • http://americancannibal.org/ American Cannibal

        I have photographic proof.

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