Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that is derived from the hemp plant. Three common variants of the plant exist- Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis ruderalis. Its psychostimulanting property emanates from a host of compounds particularly the compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The drug is derived majorly from the leaves and fruits of the plant. Cannabis can come in different forms due to different processing methods. From Kief to Hashish to Marijuana, cannabis takes on a variety of forms.
According to the WHO, “cannabis is by far the most widely cultivated, trafficked and abused illicit drug”. Countries that produce cannabis include: Jamaica, Columbia, Mexico, Spain, United States and the list goes on. Interestingly, countries such as the United States are still debating the legalization of cannabis!
Cannabis is a drug that has become a subject of controversy in our world today. While some countries such as Canada have passed legislations legalizing cannabis, certain countries have banned outrightly the consumption of the substance. Different schools of thought have debated the health implications of consuming the drug. Even the reggae maestro Bob Marley was an avid consumer!
A whole lot of things have been said about cannabis and its consumption. While some of them of them are true others are entirely false. Buttressing the truths and disputing the lies is the aim of this article.
Here’s what you need to know about cannabis:
CANNABIS IS MEDICINAL
Surprised? It is indeed medicinal. Cannabis has health benefits and can be used as a medicine. Importantly, it is used as an analgesic. It has been shown to relieve pain. Countries that do not permit its consumption has permitted its use as a pain reliever. Although in these countries the drug has to be prescribed by a certified health personnel.
Also, it is used in the treatment of anorexia. Anorexia is an eating disorder in which an individual loses the urge to eat. It has been found that consuming cannabis will increase the urge to eat hence its use in the treatment of anorexia. Cannabis can also be used in the treatment of nausea and vomiting.
IT HAS A HIGH POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE
Cannabis has been found to have a high abusive potential. Currently, cannabis abuse has grown more than cocaine and opiate abuse. Individuals who consume cannabis are always wont to abuse it. It is due to this that many countries of the world ban its consumption and restrict its administration.
CANNABIS IS ADDICTIVE
People who consume cannabis tend to become dependent on the drug. Cannabis use disorder is classified as a mental disorder. Individuals with this disorder continually use cannabis even when they have co-morbid conditions. Prolonged cannabis use causes changes in the consumer’s body. These changes go on to make him need higher doses of cannabis to achieve the desired effect. This is called tolerance.
CANNABIS IS PSYCHOACTIVE
Cannabis is a psychostimulant and thus induces psychosis-like effects on the consumer. Hallucinations and delirium are some of the psychoactive effects of cannabis consumption. The consumer hears voices and sees things that are not real. They can sometimes have confused thought patterns and slurry speech.
IMPAIRMENT OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
Statistics have shown that the human brain develops fully between the ages 22-27 years. Evidence has shown that cannabis consumption during adolescence may have a deleterious effects on neuronal development and cognition. An annual survey showed that 7% of high school seniors who consume so much cannabis function at a lower rate in school than students who do not.
The Rastafarians consume cannabis for religious purposes. They use it for worship. Bob Marley, a proponent of Rastafarianism publicized its use in the 1960s. the Rastafarians called it the wisdom weed and used it a part of religious rite as a means to get closer to their inner spiritual self or Jah (God).
CANNABIS DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER
Erroneously, it is thought that consumption of cannabis leads to lung cancer. This is entirely false. No study has proven that marijuana could lead or prdispose to lung cancer. In fact, cannabis has been shown to reduce the progression of cancer in certain individuals.
URUGUAY WAS THE FIRST COUNTRY TO LEGALIZE CANNABIS CONSUMPTION
Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis consumption. The legislation legalizing cannabis was passed in 2013 thus making them the first nation in modern era to legalize cannabis.