Cannabis is one of the oldest domesticated crops known to man, dating back as far as approximately 8,000 B.C. There are many different varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant that are used for many different purposes, all of which have great value to people and the planet.
However, most people have a myopic view of cannabis, often thinking it is strictly marijuana and used for smoking and getting high. Although this is one use of the Cannabis sativa plant, there are literally dozens of other things this entire plant can do to help revolutionize the lives of people and the health of the planet.
Therapeutic uses of cannabis
Perhaps the most newsworthy component of cannabis today is the compounds that are found in the resins of the leaves, flower, and roots of the plant. Arguably, the most popular of these compounds in cannabis is THC, which can produce a pleasurable, psychoactive effect that will vary for each individual. This, as well as the joint, muscle, and neuroprotective support, are the primary reasons many use medicinal marijuana for their health.
However, if smoking and “getting high” is not something you want to experience but you still want to enjoy the other benefits of the cannabinoids (including immune system support), then you can also get CBD oil in supplement form. A high quality, CBD-rich hemp oil will contain much less THC than marijuana (anywhere from 1/10th to 1/300th of the THC concentration) and would rarely show up on any drug tests you may need to take for employment or volunteering. A failed drug test for THC could only potentially happen if the individual was taking unusually large doses of a CBD-rich product (above 1000-2000 mg of hemp oil daily).
Industrial uses of cannabis and its effect on the environment
Incredibly, the benefits of cannabis aren’t limited to supplements. There are also many industrial uses for the plant stalk that are just starting to gain significant recognition.
The soft inner core of the plant stem, also known as the hurd, is used in the production of animal bedding, mulch, chemical absorbant, fiberboard, insulation, and concrete (also known as “hempcrete”). The bast fiber has been used to make rope, netting, canvas, carpet, biocomposites, non-wovens, clothes, shoes, and bags. Finally, the stalk has been used for biofuel/ethanol, paper products, cardboard, and filters.
This plant is also an attractive rotation crop for farmers. It helps detoxify the soil, prevents soil erosion, and requires much less water to grow than traditional crops. It also doesn’t require pesticides and can be harvested twice a year, making it much more environmentally friendly than many traditional crops. That, and the uses noted above could help slow down deforestation and excessive drilling/fracking for petroleum products in the future.
But wait, there’s an even more popular way to use this plant.
Dietary uses of cannabis
Arguably the most popular way to use cannabis is the seeds (often referred to as hemp seeds or hemp hearts). They are easy to get, contain negligible amounts of THC (no psychoactive properties due to the minuscule amounts), are cheaper than CBD, and can be easily worked into foods like smoothies, salads, and granola. When you consume hemp seeds, you can expect to gain the following nutrients:
20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids our body can’t produce; a complete plant protein
EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) — more than flax or any other nut or seed oil
Omega-3s and omega-6s, in an optimal 1:3 ratio
Antioxidants, plant sterols, and phytonutrients
Minerals such as: manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and zinc
As a result of these nutritional assets, hemp seeds can help support the immune system, cardiovascular system, brain function, skin health, and digestive health. To reap the full benefits of hemp, get the Health Ranger’s Organic Hemp Seed Oil.Try the Health Ranger’s Organic Hemp Seed Oil
Although the draconian federal laws in the USA prohibit the use, sale, and possession of all forms of cannabis, individual states have enacted legislation allowing exemptions for various uses, mostly for medical and industrial use. As of 2017, eight states have legalized the sale and possession of cannabis for both medical and recreational use (Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, and Washington), and the District of Columbia has legalized personal use but not commercial sale.
However, cannabis is legal to grow in 30 other countries, including Canada, China, and Romania. These countries are leading the way by allowing cannabis to be the saving grace of our time for health and environmental concerns, while the slow, megalithic, and draconian rule of the USA watches the cannabis revolution take place without their leadership.
Let’s hope they lighten (or light one) up and realize the benefits, before their opportunity to be heroes in this cannabis revolution goes up in smoke.