Marijuana Medicinal Production
Legitimate medical marijuana production is normally done in organic soil. Fertilizers are kept at a minimum and pesticide use is almost nil. Some producers of the only use natural sunlight. Other producers use hot lamps or artificial lighting.
In a modern marijuana producing facility up to 134 varieties of cannabis are grown. The belief is that one particular type of plant may be more beneficial to an individual patient.
From 1993 to 2003 in the United States production of medical marijuana was illegal but tolerated.
Personal visits to a production facility are not allowed, although in most cases press passes can sometimes be had by the media.
Many of the production facilities are kept secret for security reasons anyway. However, medical marijuana is grown throughout the world, normally in green houses.
Illegal marijuana is grown anywhere too—from personal stashes inside a house with heat lamps to out in the field between more traditional cash crops such as corn or soybeans. The majority of illegal marijuana comes from the Middle East and is grown in large, open fields.
Marijuana Origin and History
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76 and Sonnet 27, it had been theorized for a long time, both made reference to marijuana. Subsequently, smoking pipes were discovered in the famous author’s garden, chemical testing was done on the pipes, and indeed traces of marijuana were found.
Marijuana has a long history, way before Shakespeare’s time. In fact, marijuana has been used by almost every culture and in every part of the world. The earliest records of Cannabis date back to 6000 BC, where the plant seeds were used as food in China. Not until 1890 and the early portion of the 20th Century did countries around the world begin banning the use of Marijuana. In 1937, though some U.S. States led the charge earlier, the U.S. federal government completely outlawed the herb for both medicinal and recreational use.
Interestingly, marijuana was actually considered a crash crop in the early colony days of America—the British and French harvested the plant in colonies such as Port Royal, Virginia and even Plymouth, which is more famed for eating Thanksgiving turkey than smoking hash.
Today, many myths concerning marijuana exist. For example, by many people it is widely believed that marijuana has no medicinal properties what so ever. However, the herb does reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy treatments, helps with increasing appetites for people suffering from AIDS, assists in reducing pressure within the eye in cases of glaucoma.
Strong evidence also suggests that marijuana can help patients suffering from neurological disorders. The myth that marijuana causes severe and permanent mental illness is also widely prevalent. Though some users of can Cannabis do experience paranoia and panic attacks after usage. Toxic psychosis, however, can be caused by ingesting large quantities of marijuana, though this side effect is rare.
Marijuana Time Line
- 6000 BC: Marijuana seeds utilized as food in China.
- 4000 BC: Marijuana is used for clothing in China
- 2727 BC: Chinese pharmacies use Marijuana for medical purposes. This is the first recorded medical use
- 1200-800 BC: The Hindu text known as “The Science of Charms” lists Marijuana as a sacred plant.
- 500 BC: The Scythians bring Marijuana into Northern Europe. The herb spreads throughout the region.
- 70 AD: The Romans utilize marijuana as medicine.
- 900 – 1000 AD: Though usage of Marijuana begins spreading through Arabia countries.
- 1090-1256 AD: Hasan ibn al-Sabbah convinces followers to murder. Rumors concerning al-Sabbah’s use of marijuana to convince his followers to commit the murders abound.
- 12th Century: Marijuana becomes a popular smoke of choice in the Middle East, it is brought into Egypt.
- 13th Century: Marijuana is introduced to Africa
- 1378: Ottoman Emir outlaws eating marijuana.
- 1549: Slaves brought to Brazil plant marijuana along side sugar cane and use for recreational smoking
- 1606-1632: Marijuana is grown as a crop in the Port Royal, Virginia and Plymouth American colonies
- 17th Century: Marijuana is traded throughout Central and South Asia
- 1798: Though Napoleon completely outlaws marijuana, soldiers bring the habit to France.
- 1840: Marijuana is a common medicinal in America.
- 1890: Marijuana is outlawed in Turkey.
- 1915-1927: Marijuana is outlawed in the U.S. for recreational and non-medical uses. States to lead the charge are California, Louisiana, New York, and Texas.
- 1928: Great Britain outlaws the recreational use of marijuana.
- 1935: China makes marijuana production illegal.
- 1936: The movie “Reefer Madness” debuts in the United States.
- 1937: The U.S. federal government outlaws marijuana for all uses.
- 1967: “Smash” an oil derived from marijuana invades California.
- 1972: U.S. Commission advises the re-legalization of marijuana.
- 1973: The last year premium marijuana from Afghanistan is available.
- 1975: The U.S. FDA allows marijuana usage for medical purposes only.
- 1988: Judge Francis Young declares a basis in history and science for medical marijuana. Young recommends marijuana be reclassified as a medical drug.
- 1995: Amsterdam coffee shops re-popularize the smoking of marijuana.
- 2003: Canada becomes the first country offering marijuana legally as a medical drug to patients.
There are two main variations of medical marijuana. The first is Marinol, otherwise known as Dronabinol. The second is Cesamet.Marinol is synthesized in a lab and sold as a prescription. It is mainly used to increase the appetite of AIDS patients and to combat vomiting in those partaking of chemotherapy.
Those that take marinol have complained of too much a high or psychedelic reaction, and the drug can cause nausea in some patients as well, neither of which is an issue with true medical marijuana since many users of medical marijuana self-medicate to just the point to take care of the vomiting, lack of appetite, or other various symptoms.
Interestingly, marinol is known to cause nausea, which is a problem for the drug because it takes at least a full hour to take effect within the body, and nausea can cause the drug not to be absorbed into the system. Whereas medical marijuana may cause nausea in some, the benefits of the plant can be absorbed into the body within a matter of minutes.
Cesamet is also a synthesized marijuana like substance. Cesamet is traditionally used for controlling nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. Though not labeled as such in the Untied States or Mexico, the drug is also used for pain management. It does not seem to have the same problems or issues associated with marinol.
Although the main kick to marijuana is a chemical known as THC, and THC is found both in marinol and cesamet, it is important to note that marijuana is a plant, an herb made of a huge number and combination of active ingredients and chemicals including cannabinoid substances.
Celebrity advocates of legalizing marijuana abound. Probably the most famous are Cheech and Chong. The pair recently finished an 18-city Get It Legal Tour. Willie Nelson sits on the advisory board of NORML, and probably one of the more outspoken celebs for marijuana reform, and Dennis Hopper is rumored to be fighting a battle with prostate cancer using marijuana from The Farmacy in Venice.
Mr. Dennis Hopper’s prostate cancer aside, marijuana is thought to cure a lot of ailments. People hail it has a wonder drug. From headaches and Alzheimer’s to the relief of side effects from chemotherapy and even helping with multiple sclerosis, marijuana seems to be able to do it all.
Research and study, however, is continuing. The main uses for medical marijuana are counter acting the side effects of chemotherapy treatments, treating chronic pain, increasing the appetite of AIDS/HIV patients, and helping relieve eye pressure in sufferers of glaucoma.
Current research is delving into everything from multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, lung cancer (ironically since smoking marijuana is a known carcinogen), obstructive pulmonary disease, and breast cancer—just to name a few.
The active ingredient in marijuana are most likely cannabinoids, of which the three most important are cannabigerol, cannabidiol, and β–caryophyllene. These major cannabinoids found in marijuana comprise only a small portion of what’s actually found in the plant.
There are fifty-seven other cannabinoids, and over three hundred different compounds found in the marijuana plant alone. To say the least, this is a very complicated plant which causes problems for researches in isolating effects of specific compounds and effects of the compounds in relation to one and another.
Marijuana is probably one of the most versatile medicinal plant in relation to methods of dosage. Most notably, the drug can be smoked. Illegally gotten marijuana is normally taken in this form, though there are some health risks associated with smoking the plant.
Marijuana can also be inhaled through vaporization. Drinking and eating the plant is a possibility too. People have even been known to make teas with the marijuana plant.
Nabilone was approved for medicinal usage in 1985 by both the United States and Canada.
The drug assists in alleviating nausea caused by chemotherapy when other more mainstream drugs have failed. In some AIDS patients, there is a definite related weight loss problem, and the drug Marinol has been used in the United States since 1992 to increase appetite.
In 1985, Marinol was approved both in the United States and Canada to combat vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Sativex which has only been approved in Canada for helping with the pain associated with multiple sclerosis and pain associated with various cancers.
All three drugs derive from the marijuana plant, and are taken orally in pill form. There are current debates on whether the pill form of marijuana is the best dosage method.
Some camps suggest smoking is the best intake form, though the official stance within the United States is that smoking medical marijuana can lead to lung cancer as well as other lung related conditions. The method of vaporization, it is assumed, negates any ill effects through smoking the herb.
Marijuana Claims and Cures
Some pretty wild claims have bee made about the cure-all ability of the marijuana plant. A New Zealand group even purports that the herb can cure Mad Cow Disease, stopping the build-up of BSE prion toxins. The New Zealand group cites a French study done with mice and sheep. Interestingly enough, the study did not make it clear as to whether marijuana cured Mad Cow only in cows or humans or both.
Marijuana in of itself does not cure anything. Marijuana does alleviate pain as does aspirin and ibuprofen. Marijuana also alleviates nausea as does Dramamine and Pepto-Bismol. In cases of nausea caused by chemotherapy regiments, marijuana is more effective for some patients than other mainstream drugs on the market. Marijuana can help with reducing ocular pressure for those suffering from glaucoma, but traditional, mainstream drugs exist in the market place for this use too.
Marijuana is not special. It has just as many side effects and causes just as many problems as any other drug on the market, for instance, aspirin is a great headache reliever, but can cause internal stomach bleeding. Marijuana also helps symptomatic health related problems, but so don’t a lot of other natural and manufactured drugs.
As with any drug, the individual is left with what works best for him or her. A doctor should always be consulted in these matters. It is absolutely advised not to go out and purchase illegal or street marijuana because there is no way of verifying the quality of product or the purity of the product one is receiving.
There are six typical ways to take marijuana into the body.
By far, smoking marijuana is the most common intake method. The effects are almost immediate and allows the user a very precise control over the amount of the dosage. Smoking in general is not a healthy option for the lungs.
Smoking the marijuana flowers as opposed to the leaves reduces the marijuana dosage amount needed to smoke, and the use of a water pipe or bonk cools the smoke and reduces and a lot of the toxins created by burning.
When people think about eating marijuana, the immediate image that comes to mind is sitcom television when someone on the show bakes a plate of “brownies” and the person not intended to eat the marijuana treat ends of eating them.
The marijuana brownie, however, is a very traditional method of dosing. The plant can also be baked into cookies and occasional users will pair the drug with mashed dates into a candy like substance. Eating marijuana slows the effects of the drug, but can also increase the strength of the effects. Controlling dosage amounts sometimes takes a learning curve, especially if the user has been more familiar with the smoking method.
marijuana is a herb and can be made into a tea just like any other herb. After boiling the water, steep the marijuana for at least an hour and a half. A teaspoon of butter can be added for taste. The same drawbacks and problems associated with eating marijuana are go for drinking the marijuana as a tea.
A tincture is a medicinal extracted in alcohol. At home, this process is normally done with vodka. Once the mixture has been strained, it can be drank almost like cough syrup.
Marijuana is sometimes used as a compress to relieve pain, much as Ben Gay or other ointments are used. To make a marijuana compress, simply follow the recipe for tea, soak a cloth in the “tea” and apply to relieve pain. Normally takes about thirty minutes or so to work.
Manufactured synthetic drugs
Manufactured drugs such as marinol can be taken orally. It is important to never smoke any synthetic marijuana drug.
Legal medical marijuana in the U.S. is available only through a prescription written by a practicing medical doctor. A user can not obtain medical marijuana through the Internet, and the drug’s legal status is different from country to country and from U.S. State to State.
A Sample List of Countries
- Albania – illegal
- Argentina – legal
- Australia – illegal
- Austria – illegal
- Belgium – illegal
- Bolivia – illegal
- Brazil – illegal
- Bulgaria – illegal
- Canada – decriminalized
- Chile – decriminalized
- Colombia – decriminalized
- Comoros – illegal
- Czech Republic – decriminalized
- Denmark – illegal
- Dominica – illegal
- Ecuador – decriminalized
- Estonia – illegal
- Finland – decriminalized
- France – illegal
- Germany – decriminalized
- Greece – illegal
- Hungary – illegal
- Iceland – illegal
- Indonesia – illegal
- India – regulated by government
- Iran – illegal
- Israel – illegal
- Jamaica – illegal
- Japan – illegal
- Lithuania – illegal
- Luxembourg – illegal
- Republic of Macedonia – decriminalized
- Malaysia – illegal
- Mexico – decriminalized
- Montenegro – illegal
- Netherlands – decriminalized
- New Zealand – illegal
- Norway – illegal
- Pakistan – legal
- Paraguay – illegal
- Peru – legal
- Philippines – illegal
- Poland – illegal
- Portugal – decriminalized
- Romania – illegal
- Russia – illegal
- Saudi Arabia – illegal
- Serbia – illegal
- Singapore – illegal
- Sri Lanka – illegal
- Sweden – illegal
- Switzerland – illegal
- Republic of China – illegal
- United Arab Emirates – illegal
- United Kingdom – illegal
- United States – decriminalized
- Ukraine – illegal
- Uruguay – legal
- Venezuela – decriminalized
- Vietnam – illegal
Legality by U.S. State
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
U.S. States Pending Legislation
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
Marijuana Side Effects
Unfortunately, there are quite a few side effects with marijuana use, and the majority of these side effects are worse with inhalation as opposed to ingesting.
Only after just a few minutes of inhaling marijuana, the heart increases its beat rate from around seventy to eighty beats per minute to anywhere from ninety to a hundred beats per minute. The heart rate can actually double in some users.
After the heart beat increases and the THC from the marijuana makes its way into the brain, the user can experience sounds and colors in a very intense way.
Visual & Psychological Effects
Time seems to be distorted, and moves slowly. The mouth becomes dry, and sometimes the user begins craving food or drink. Once this high passes a slight depression can occur, though most likely he or she may only feel tired or sleepy. In some cases, use of marijuana can cause panic attacks and anxiety.
Long term side effects include the inability to create memories, to remember existing memories, and inhibits concentration.
Probably the most frightening side effect that one study suggested is the increased likelihood of a heart attack within the first hour of having smoked a joint. Marijuana is an addictive substance, and many detractors of its use tout the Gateway Theory.
The Gateway theory states that marijuana use will lead to the abuse and addiction of other harder, illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin. There is no substantive evidence to back up the Gateway theory other than incidental and case studies.
Purchasing marijuana illegally is easy enough, but the street price varies from region to region and even from individual areas within a region. A dime bag is also no longer only ten bucks, and there is a premium placed on higher quality marijuana—almost like buying wine or coffee, except in the case of marijuana, if one gets caught, there are at minimum some legal fines that’ll need paid on top of the original purchase.
On average though, an illegal marijuana buyer will spend roughly between one hundred fifty dollars to two hundred fifty dollars per ounce of marijuana. In Europe, the cost is much cheaper—only two to fourteen Euros per gram, which is about $71.12 to $ 497.84 in U.S. dollars per ounce, all dependent upon the quality of the marijuana, of course.
In the U.S., marijuana is ranked as the number four value crop and averages around three thousand dollars a pound. It is easily a thirty-six billion dollar industry. Not surprisingly, the smuggling and supplying end of the market is where most of the money is spent.
Legally, acquiring medical marijuana is not cheap. In Canada, the marijuana treatments run anywhere from $4000 to $9351 per year. This, of course, does not include the upfront cost of the visit to the prescribing doctor, which is the only way anyone can get medical marijuana legally.