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Tracing Important Cannabis-Related Facts Throughout History

Jordan Webber

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Cannabis

Cannabis has a long history, but how far does its story go back to? Considered as a worldwide crop which is the oldest plant in the history of humanity, it is interesting to learn about the key events in the long history of the plant. Read on to find out the most important events in its story:

Hemp in the Ancient Times

If you think that marijuana only emerged in modern times, then think again. The plant has existed for thousands of years now. There were records of it being used in Ancient European, Asian and African civilizations, making it a truly global herb. Check out how it was used in ancient times.

Applications of Cannabis:

  • Spirituality and Religion

Perhaps one of the most primary uses of marijuana during this age is for spirituality and religion. Ancient texts bear witness to the religious purpose of cannabis. The Vedas of ancient India goes as far back as 2,000 BC, mentioning cannabis as one of the five sacred plants. Shinto and Buddhist literature also mentions the herb as an aid for meditation.

  • Healing

Aside from aiding in spiritual rites, cannabis was also used to treat all kinds of medical conditions. The Chinese people have a legendary leader who prescribed cannabis tea for a variety of medical conditions. This includes rheumatism, poor memory and gout.

There were also records of medical use in India, Egypt and Japan, which is implemented to treat cough, anxiety, inflammation and constipation. It was also used as an anesthetic.

As spirituality and healing are closely related in ancient times, it is important to mention that some studies assert that Jesus used hemp oil as an anointing oil to cure the sick. Researchers say that the Scriptures refers to it as keneh-bosem (or kaneh-bosm) in Aramaic.

  • Trade and Industry

In ancient times, the plant was not only consumed but also used for practical and industrial purposes. Hemp is a highly fibrous herb, making it a good crop for textiles, papers, ropes and many other industrial products.

Who Smoked the First Blunt?

This question pops up on every smoker’s mind. In fact, even non-smokers may be curious as to who discovered that this plant can be smoked and consumed. Cannabis legend and High Times editor-in-chief says that our ancestors from Bactria (now part of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) discovered the psychoactive properties of cannabis through burning the plant in caves and shelters. However, it is difficult to determine who exactly smoked the first blunt.

Earliest Evidence of Marijuana Use

Scientists believe that the crop came from Central Asia, which includes the modern-day countries that cover the ancient place that is Bactria. While Hager says that the herb came from what is now known as parts of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, other scientists say that it emerged from what is now called Siberia (the southern part) and Mongolia.

Researchers say that the use of cannabis can be traced back to 12,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest crops in the world. The oldest texts that mention the consumption of the cannabis dates as far back as 4,000 B.C. in China.

However, it is only recently when experts discovered direct evidence of humans consuming marijuana. A 2,500-year-old burial site in Western China was found to have traces of the plant with high contents of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering compound in cannabis. Theories say that it was used for ritualistic burials or for its psychoactive effects.

The Medieval Age and Cannabis

Also called post-classical age, the medieval times was another eventful time for cannabis. With the various imperialistic endeavors during this age, the world saw marijuana’s evolution in the medieval age.

Applications of Cannabis:

  • Alchemy and Herbalism

As a medieval forerunner of chemistry, alchemists experimented with what the plant has to offer. Alchemists (the medieval equivalent of modern-day scientists) used marijuana incense and other extracts from the plant for medicinal purposes. Some historians say that religious hospitals grew hemp for the same reason.

However, herbalist physicians warned people against the excessive use of the plant. These individuals believe that over consumption can lead to infertility and even serious medical conditions.

  • Creativity

A lot of writers and thinkers of the time have consumed marijuana. Even the prolific William Shakespeare was believed to have taken this herb, which may have resulted in his creative writing.

Worldwide Cannabis

The plant arrived at Eastern Africa when Arab traders came to the region in 1,300 BCE. They brought cannabis to treat various illnesses such as malaria, asthma and dysentery. Meanwhile, the Spanish Conquest in 1,500 BCE brought the plant to the Americas. The colonists used their hemp crops for industrial purposes, making ropes and textiles using its fibers.

Wine and ‘Hashish’

During medieval times, the wine was banned in the Middle East. This led the people to turn to hashish, allowing them to get intoxicated without breaking the law.

How the Modern World Perceives Cannabis

Now that we know how the herb was used in the ancient and medieval ages, we now come to our own time: the modern age. While you are familiar with how the public views marijuana today, there are several important events that can influence the future of the plant.

Applications of Cannabis:

With the debate going on regarding the usefulness of the plant, one of the first things you should know is that cannabis is used for:

  • Medical Treatments

Just like in the ancient and medieval ages, this herb is used today as an effective addition to medical treatments. However, it is essential to note that we now have a better understanding of the medicinal effects of the cannabis. We currently have deeper knowledge about the chemical compounds of hemp, especially cannabidiol (CBD), and its effects on the human body thanks to the endocannabinoid system.

With this, we know how and why the plant can reduce, alleviate, treat and prevent various medical conditions of the body. These include cancer, epilepsy, mental disorders, inflammation, pain and brain degeneration diseases, just to name a few.

  • Recreational

In the medieval age, humans used marijuana for leisure. The same is still true today, especially with the legalization of the crop in many parts of the world. Many individuals use the plant for its medicinal properties, but many others enjoy their psychoactive effects thanks to THC.

  • Lifestyle Aid

Aside from recreational usage, the herb is also popular as a lifestyle aid. The group of writers and thinkers called Le Club Des Haschischins (or the Hashish Club) in mid-19th century consumed the plant. While the medieval age has shown how it is well-used as a creativity aid through various works, it is generally used as a lifestyle aid in modern times. Many people now recognize the plant’s potential not only as medical, recreational and creative aid but also as a productivity aid and mood enhancer.

The popularity of CBD has enabled professionals, creatives and scholars the boost in energy, cognition and creativity they need to become more productive. In fact, it has the potential to greatly increase the quality of life of many working individuals.

  • Trade and Industry

The passing of Farm Bill 2018 in the United States signals the return of hemp as an industrial crop. This means that Americans will be able to enjoy hemp-derived products from oils, papers, textiles and many other industrial products.

Aside from this, there are speculations that marijuana can become an energy crop. Researchers are looking into its potential as a biodiesel source, especially as it produces a large amount. Compared to the current energy crop, soybeans, hemp can turn up to 4 times more oil per acre.

War on Drugs

One of the most important cannabis-related events in the globe is its inclusion in the war on drugs. There are drugs wars being waged across the world, aiming to eradicate the use of illicit substances including LSD, cocaine, fentanyl, and unfortunately, marijuana.

The U.S. is one of the countries that are waging these types of war. Since the enactment of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, the country has federally banned the herb. Other countries that are executing the initiative includes Mexico, Bangladesh, the Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore among others.

Cannabis Legalization

Only 2 countries have nationally legalized the herb for any use: Uruguay and Canada. However, there are a lot more others with favorable medical marijuana laws, including Thailand, Chile and Croatia. In the U.S., 33 states legalized medical marijuana, eleven of which including Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use. Meanwhile, many parts of the world are looking into legalizing the herb, getting us nearer to worldwide legalization.

Today, cannabis is one of the most widely consumed and beloved natural crops. When combined with the mounting research pertaining to the medical attributes of the plant, even legal recreational use can become possible. With its legalization in some parts and its impending legalization in others, many places across the globe will once again be able to serve its people with the goodness that is marijuana and all its benefits.

Arts & Culture

July 2019 Films Made Much More Interesting by Cannabis

Stacey Wellington

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July 2019 Films

Now that July is over and all of the films with July 2019 release dates has been launched, you may be looking forward to watching (or re-watching) these motion pictures. We picked three movies released last month which we are sure are much more interesting when watched while riding a cannabis high.

Check them out below.

3 Films Released in July 2019 to Watch

Midsommar (July 3, 2019)

Let us start off this list with Ari Aster’s Midsommar from independent entertainment firm A24. This independent entertainment firm has been churning out good films and TV shows for years now and Midsommar is not an exception. The movie follows an American couple on the edge of breaking up immersed in a Swedish community off the beaten path. They then find themselves in the middle of a Midsummer celebration which can only be described as something like a fever dream.

From start to finish, Midsommar exudes a feeling of excitement and anticipation, combined with aesthetics befitting an indie movie. When you watch this movie, you will find that the act of viewing the movie is a whole new experience, much like watching it while consuming cannabis. In fact, it can at times feel like the film itself is an experience waiting to happen.

So, if you are looking for an experience more unique than watching Midsommar while sober, then doing so while intaking marijuana products will be definitely up your alley. You may even find yourself easily formulating your own interpretation of the movie with the help of CBD’s cognitive enhancement effect.

The Farewell (July 12, 2019)

Another one from A24, this family drama tells the story of Billi, an American-raised woman, hesitantly deciding to revisit China, the country she called home before moving to the United States. Billi finds herself having difficulty navigating the cultural and familial landscape as her family tries to conceal the fact that the family matriarch only has a few weeks to live.

Cannabis enthusiasts who have Chinese or Asian ancestry will definitely find the representation a welcome change. As these cultures can be strict and complicated to navigate, and you find yourself getting stressed, then simply take a drop of cannabis oil or two.

Supervized (July 19, 2019)

In line with the themes tackling the elderly and their mortality, Supervized is a movie that is designed to make you laugh, enjoy and reflect. The movie shows the reunion of four former superheroes who are on the elderly side. In the golden age of superhero movies that show these powerful characters, Supervized offers a perspective depicting their lives once they reach retirement age.

It shows the struggle of Maximum Justice, Moonlight, Total Thunder and Rainbow Warrior as they cope with old age in a retirement home in Ireland. In a turn of events, the four, along with Maximum Justice’s sidekick Shimmy, reunited to fight an enemy. The film is an excellent presentation of what these mighty individuals go through in order to come to terms with their aging bodies, failing powers and inevitably, death.

If you loved the recently released Spider-Man and Avengers: Endgame, then Supervized will surely have a place in your heart. While you’re at it, you might just find yourself thanking cannabis for making the thought of dealing with old age much more bearable.

Whether you have watched these films, or you are simply longing to watch them once again, your experience can definitely be enhanced by cannabis. So, why not pre-order a copy of these films and get your marijuana stash ready to make the most out of your experience.

 

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Arts & Culture

Juneau OK’d Marijuana Use on Dispensaries, Designated Outdoor Areas

Jordan Webber

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Juneau on Marijuana Use

City officials in Juneau approved a law on Monday allowing citizens to use at licensed cannabis retailers in the city.

The recent ordinance was approved by the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly on July 22 by a vote of 6 to 2. This enables citizens to smoke and consume cannabis at any licensed cannabis dispensaries. Under the said order, customers can use marijuana indoors but will only be allowed to consume the plant at certain outdoor locations approved by state regulators.

On March this year, Alaska became the first U.S. state to authorize marijuana consumption at permitted businesses. However, due to Juneau’s second-hand smoke laws, a long debate on whether on-site marijuana consumption should be allowed has persisted among lawmakers and citizens.

In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal Open, researchers have discovered that people exposed to second-hand pot smoke could attain a positive result from a drug test.

“Alignment of tobacco and marijuana smoking bylaws, with a coherent policy approach to exposure to smoke of any kind, may result in the most effective public policies,” the study explained. “For example, bylaws forbidding smoking in indoor spaces such as bars and nightclubs and in shared outdoor spaces such as beaches or parks should be considered,” it continued.

Now that on-site consumption of cannabis has been approved in Juneau, many believe that this could eventually lead to a considerable decline in the number of people illegally smoking marijuana in public places.

“If you don’t like marijuana smoke, you should be for this ordinance,” Assemblymember Wade Bryson said during the meeting. He is one of the many members who voted for the approval of the ordinance.

Among the other assembly members who supported the on-site consumption ordinance include Maria Gladziszewski, Carole Triem, Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, Rob Edwardson, and Michelle Bonnet Hale.

On the other hand, Mayor Beth Weldon and Assemblymember Mary Becker voted against the measure.

“If I had my way, it’d be nowhere, but I do not have my way,” assembly member Becker said.

Prior to the voting, Mayor Weldon has presented an amendment that would only allow cannabis vaping at designated outdoor areas, but it was later removed from the measurement, High Times reported.

“If California can figure it out, Juneau can figure it out, too,” assembly member Gladziszewski noted.

However, many business owners in Juneau’s legal marijuana industry believes that the recent on-site consumption ordinance goes too far and is even more restrictive than state law.

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Arts & Culture

3 Magic Realism Works that Give a Marijuana High Feeling

Stacey Wellington

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Magic Realism

For cannabis enthusiasts, recreating the feeling of a marijuana high is one of the best feelings in the world. This is true especially if you are able to replicate the exhilaration, creative rush and wonder that the plant has to offer. If this is what you are looking for, then you might want to look into magical realism.

What is Magic Realism and how does it relate to cannabis?

Magic realism is basically the telling of reality in a magical way. It is also known as magical realism and marvellous realism. In many forms of art, especially in literature, this movement is known to produce masterpieces that are grounded in reality but infused with hints of magic.

 Often, the act of experiencing these types of cultural products are described as being “dream-like.” The same description can be given when explaining the feeling of a marijuana high. Not only can the plant give a magical feeling, but also a stimulating and invigorating sense. 

Works of Magical Realism for Cannabis Enthusiasts

If you are intrigued by this literary movement, here are some works that can give you a feeling similar to what the plant provides:

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia

First on our list is Colombian writer and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Gabo is known to write in different styles, but his most celebrated work is One Hundred Years of Solitude, known as one of the hallmarks of magic realism.

This complicated novel tells the story of the Buendia clan in the fictional town of Macondo across various generations. With exaggerated descriptions, creating a mystical quality to the setting and story, this novel will surely capture the attention of cannabis lovers.

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende, another Latin American writer, is also known for her magical realist works. Like Gabo’s Solitude, The House of the Spirits is a multigenerational story about the Trueba family. With social, historical and political underpinnings, this will tickle the fancy of marijuana-lovers who love historical family drama.

Now, this seemingly normal plot turns magical realist when you come across the psychic abilities of some characters. Not to mention the exploration of the concept of destiny and the ghosts of dead characters! If that does not sound fun to read when consuming marijuana, then we don’t know what is.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

With the casual use of the term Kafkaesque nowadays, we bet that you have read or at least heard of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. This tells the story of a salesman named Gregor Samsa woke up from a nightmarish stupor only to find himself transformed into a gigantic insect (some say cockroach, some say beetle).

This surreal event combined with the mundanity of his actions is a great indication of marvellous realism. From waking up late to cleaning the place, all the while wondering if he is still himself, Gregor was indeed stuck in a Kafkaesque (and a magical realist) situation.

As a cannabis enthusiast, you may find yourself wondering the same philosophical things, especially with the cognitive enhancements’ marijuana provides. What does it mean to be yourself? What is the self, even? You can definitely consume the plant and ponder about these things. Just make sure that you do not consume too much of the plant or you might end up like Gregor.

Marijuana high is certainly a good feeling but being able to experience it in the literary works you consume is a whole new level of awesome. Plus, you can enhance your experience by reading these works while consuming the plant!

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