At one time the tomato was consider to be poisonous. For more than 200 years in Europe tomatoes were thought to cause sickness and death. There were called “poison apples.” The truth of the matter is that the Europeans of that time use pewter plates that had a very high lead content. The acid in tomatoes leached the lead out of the plates and caused many cases of lead poisoning, leading to sickness and many deaths. In how many foods today do you find tomatoes?
Marijuana, or cannabis sativa, has received much of the same rap from the early 20th century until recently. One government agency classified it as “a potentially addictive drug with no medical benefits.” This lead to draconian laws and enforcement.
Fortunately, our medical establishment has discovered and recognized that this hemp plant (it has commercial value for making rope and hemp products) has potentially marvelous medical benefits. This mirrors the fact that cannabis has been used for thousands of years for medical purposes, the first recorded use being in China in 2727 BC, over four thousand years ago!
Cannabis has been legalized in more than half the USA, and it won’t be long before the medical benefits are recognized by the entire country.
Medical cannabis is now cultivated for treating health problems. As marijuana, cannabis is a mixture of green and brown leaves, crumpled and dried. This form is usually smoked as a cigar or cigarette or in a pipe. It is also mixed with food and consumed. Using vaporizers for medical cannabis is popular because less harmful chemicals are consumed when cannabis is inhaled rather than smoked. Other cannbinoids are available as nasal sprays.
Cannabinoids are the psychoactive elements in cannabis, 20 of 80 of which are being studied for medical applications. Cannabinoids act upon receptors in the brain producing a variety of responses.
CBD is a cannabinol, a nonpsychotropic substance that has the potential of treating cough, nausea, inflammation, congestion, convulsions and some cancers. It has benefits in treating depression, anxiety, psychosis and psychiatric conditions.
Medical cannabis has been used to stimulate the appetite of AIDS patients, as well as an antispasmodic, anti-emetic and analgesic to relieve pain in cancer. Also, to treat nausea, vomiting and other medical problems. Symptoms that are
helped by medical marijuana include: chronic pain, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia pain and pain from rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps with spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients.
Research is currently being conducted to study other symptoms to be helped with medical marijuana, most notably Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorders, anorexia nervosa, dementia, epilepsy and Tourette Syndrome. It has also been show to help with cell damage in diabetes and can lower intraocular pressure in this dreaded disease. It has even been linked to preventing deaths!
The story of the tomato shows how an inaccurate appraisal can mislabel a natural substance that ultimately shows up in almost all cooking around the world. So must our medical community continue to establish the medical worth of a hardy plant that has been shown to benefit many people attacked by medical problems. The benefits of the medical application of cannabis far outweigh any biased concerns of an uninformed public.