From Hemp to High: Notes on the Uses of Cannabis
Cannabis, often referred to as “weed,” “pot,” and “marijuana,”, has typically been stereotyped as the drug of choice for stoners, hippies, rastafarians, and the like. However, there’s more to cannabis than the psychedelic high or out-of-this-world experiences. In fact, the plant does have more wholesome medicinal and practical uses.
The cannabis plant itself is used to make hemp, which can be refined to make oil, paper, rope, wax, and even fuel. Hemp is a durable fiber that can be interwoven with cotton, flax, or silk to produce strong textiles. Hemp seeds can be consumed as a food, or else serve as animal or bird feed.
Cannabis can also be consumed for its medicinal effects; studies have shown that the drug can act as an analgesic that helps treat ailments such as glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, brain and breast cancer, and asthma, among others. While the consumption of cannabis as a medicinal drug does have certain limitations to discourage recreational use, some U.S. state laws allow enough room for its uses in alternative treatments. Indeed, proper and responsible use of this herb has allowed many patients to enjoy some measure of pain relief and, correspondingly, a better quality of life as they seek recovery.