For many centuries, different types of products have been made using hemp , including paper, textiles, canvas, and rope, among others.
However, hemp has been banned since the late 1930’s in the USA. AS a billion dollar crop that farmer’s were encouraged grow, it suddenly became a threat to the new plastics and synthetic material industry. Today, hemp is being recognized for its enormous economic, environmental, as well as commercial potential.
Benefits of Hemp
Here below are 5 benefits of hemp:
Hemp has an enormous potential for producing paper. A single acre can produce four times as much paper as an acre of trees, according to the US Department of Agriculture. In addition, hemp can produce different paper-based products, including computer paper, newsprint, cardboard, toilet paper, stationery, envelopes, as well as tampons.
Producing paper from hemp helps save trees, preserve forests, as well as wildlife habitat. In addition, making paper from hemp requires less use of toxic chemicals, leading to less environmental pollution.
– Making Textiles
Hemp is commercially used to manufacture clothing instead of cotton. Fibre from hemp is 10 times as strong as fibre from cotton. In addition, fibre from hemp is used for many types of clothing. On the other hand, hemp does not require warm climates and large amounts of water in order to grow well, unlike cotton. For this reason, it can thrive in all states of the USA. Hemp repels weed growth naturally and only a small number of insects are known to attack the crop. This means that it does not require herbicides and can also do without insecticides, or if required, only a small amount of insecticides can suffice.
In addition, hemp is capable of producing two times more fibre in one acre of land compared to cotton. The fibre is usually used for making different types of clothing, including jackets, shoes, hats, denim jeans, hats, and many others.
Building materials from hemp can substitute wood. Hemp-based building materials are much stronger than wood-derived materials.They are also cheaper to manufacture too.This means that using these materials can help minimize the cost of buildings and can also help save many trees.
-Source of nutritious high-protein oil
Seeds from the hemp plant are a rich source of high-protein oil that has many health benefits for both humans and livestock. In addition, it is cheaper to extract protein from hemp than from soybeans. Protein sourced from hemp can be flavored and processed in various different ways. Hemp oil is also used to make several different products, including nutritious cheese, butter, tofu, salad oils, as well as other foods. Nowadays, you can find these edible products throughout the country, and in Colorado, for example, where recreational weed is legal, the best Denver dispensaries are providing hemp products that can also have a psychoactive effect. You can eat it, you can smoke it and you can wear it, even build your house with it! Other uses of hemp oil include making paint, ink, lubricating oils, varnish, as well as plastic substitutes. Considering that the hemp plant is composed of 50% seeds, it can be an abundant resource.
Hemp can be an important source of fuel
Hemp is known to produce the largest amount of biomass among all the plants known to man. It can be converted into man-made coal, or clean-burning alcohol. As a matter of fact, hemp has the greatest potential of all plants on earth to produce an energy source that can be renewed and is clean as well. If hemp was to be cultivated on a large scale, it would provide all the energy requirements for the whole of the United States of America.
Hemp derived products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and renewable. Hemp also requires little effort and few resources in order to grow. It has great economic as well as environmental benefits.
Cannabis has always been associated with some myths in the history of its use. Many of these myths started in the 60s and 70s due to the scare-tactics of propaganda against its use that existed back in those years. The following are 5 marijuana myths that people tend to think are true:
-Cannabis is highly addictive
This is one of the most common myths about cannabis. However, there is nothing tangible to prove this claim. As a matter of fact, only less than 1 % of Americans smoke marijuana more than once every day. Among the heavy users, only a tiny fraction develops a semblance of dependence that requires the assistance of Drug rehabilitation services. Cannabis is not known to cause any physical dependency whatsoever; what happens is that some users are unable to break from the habit and for this reason; they may need assistance to break from the mental or psychological aspect of this habit. Cannabis in itself is not addictive like heroin or other Class 1 substances.
-Cannabis causes more damage to the lungs than cigarettes
As a matter of fact, people who smoke weed but no cigarettes are known to smoke less frequently. This certainly limits their exposure to the toxins contained in the cannabis smoke. Additionally, cannabis does not contain additives as the tobacco contained in commercial cigarettes does, which are necessary to make them stay alight or burn down faster. There is also some evidence showing that cannabis smoke does not have the same effect as cigarette smoke on the bronchial tubes. This means that smoking cannabis more frequently may not lead to emphysema.
-Cannabis is more potent now than in the past
This myth has come about because of the simple reason that the cannabis samples used by the drug enforcement agencies to test for potency are just a small fraction of all the cannabis on the market. The fact of the matter is that the potency of weed has not changed at all; it has remained the same for decades. In addition, there is statistical data from the 1980s that is more reliable than the data we have presently, which has been collected using today’s methods. The former data shows little or no increase in potency.
-Cannabis is a gateway drug
This myth suggests that the use of weed leads to more potent drugs. The fact of the matter is that users of hard drugs, including cocaine and heroin, are statistically more likely to have smoked weed at one point in their lives. But this is not necessarily the truth because if we compare the number of people who use hard drugs with those who use cannabis, cannabis users among the hard drug users are extremely few. This suggests that there is no real link at all.
-Cannabis kills brain cells
There is no evidence showing that the use of cannabis leads to profound changes in a person’s mental ability as this myth seems to suggest. As a matter of fact, some people can experience paranoia, fright, and panic after taking marijuana, but these effects are not permanent. In addition, if a person consumes weed excessively, he or she can suffer from toxic psychosis. However, this is not unique to cannabis alone and is quite rare too.
With the current trend towards legalization, these myths are being exposed and dispelled.
Attitudes and Economic Impact of Cannabis in Spain and Other Mediterranean Countries
Cannabis has been growing in popularity all over the world, though only a handful of nations have begun to decriminalize the drug. Many countries have strict laws revolving around any form of cannabis, while others operate on an almost “don’t ask, don’t tell” scale. When it comes to Spain, and other Mediterranean countries, it can be a bit different.
The Cannabis Situation in Spain
In Spain, it is completely illegal to smoke or sell cannabis in public areas. However, you are able to grow it and smoke it in your own home. It can be used for personal use, which is open ended similar to how it would be anywhere else. For example, if a policeman dislikes you and finds drugs, they could cause a lot of trouble for you.
In Barcelona and Granada, and some other Mediterranean areas,
the plant is sold outside of bars without any questions being asked. However, Spain is far more relaxed about it than places like Gibraltar or France. Spain’s neighbor, Portugal, hasn’t legalized yet, but they have decriminalized pretty much all drugs. Attitudes about the use and sale of cannabis vary from place to place.
Mediterranean Attitudes towards Cannabis
In general, cannabis consumption and sale is still totally illegal. However, not all Mediterranean countries are very strict about it. In France and Spain, one can smoke at home. However, if one is found in possession of more than just a gram, prosecution might be a result. Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco don’t mind letting the locals smoke hash instead of drink, though other forms of cannabis are heavily policed. It isn’t tolerated in Croatia, Greece or Italy. However, Lebanon, Bosnia, Slovenia and Turkey are quite relaxed about it all. Of course, there are many countries that have loopholes written into their legal system that allow cannabis to be sold, grown and smoked – all within the confines of the law.
How Cannabis Affects the Economy
If we consider the way that cannabis legalization has impacted other parts of the world, it quickly becomes clear that it can have a great impact on one’s economy. Nations in the Mediterranean that are struggling with debt may be able to turn their economy around by loosening the rules and introducing this brand new, growing and booming industry. Thanks to many of these nations having a loophole that allows production of some cannabis items, they have enjoyed some success.
In Morocco, hashish has been produced since early 2000s. From 2002 to 2010, the nation was the leading producer until Afghanistan took the lead in 2012. While cannabis itself is banned, they kept up the tradition of producing and selling internationally. In 2014, a draft law was proposed that would legalize, license and regulate growers to produce medicinal and industrial products.
Spain has its own loopholes worked into their laws that allow private cannabis clubs to enjoy smoking in private. There are more than 40 clubs in Spain, and some offer their members legal assistance in the event of being caught carrying. These clubs will play a major role in altering drug policies in Spain, and, very possibly, in other Mediterranean countries.
Cannabis use in South and Central America issteady and lower than North America and Africa.
Attitudes and economic impacts of Cannabis in South America-
Uruguay’s big move-
On the 10th of December, 2013, the Uruguayan President Jose Mujica passed a bill and legalized the use of Cannabis making Uruguay the first South American nation to regulate the production and sale of the drug. Marijuana users were allowed to access the drug by being permitted to grow up to 6 plants at home, forming collective licensed grow clubs with up to 45 people or purchasing 40 grams of cannabis per month from pharmacies.
But after the Senate had signed the law, the government body responsible for the regulation of the Cannabis market was underfunded, cops continued to harass growers and the plan for buying from pharmacies was barely executed. The President postponed the implementation of the new law to 2015 and according to it all buyers, growers and sellers of the drug had to be residents of Uruguay, of 18 years age or older and registered with the authorities. It has been a deliberate choice by the authorities to license 2 companies to commercially grow 2 tons each of cannabis, which is expected to fall way short of the Uruguayan cannabis market demand of 25 tons.
Cannabis trade in other countries of Latin America-
In 2005, in Chile, private and public cannabis use was formally and legally decriminalized by the government. However, in 2014, the Country’s authorities allowed the growth of medical cannabis only after authorization by the Chilean Agricultural Service. In 2015, the Supreme Court in Chile legalized the private and collective cultivation of cannabis, and the sale of prescribed medication derived from marijuana is set to be allowed from December onwards in pharmacies.
The Country’s House of Congress has also propped a bill set to pass in 2015 to allow citizens to grow limited amounts of cannabis for medical and recreational use.
Since 1994 in Colombia, the possession of 20 cannabis plants and the personal consumption of meagre amounts of cannabis with a maximum of 22 grams has been legalized but its sale commercially remains illegal. In 2009, Argentina’s Supreme Court passed a bill decriminalising personal use and consumption of even small amounts of cannabis. The act of growing and selling bulk quantities of the drug is punishable by law, public use is accepted and the use of medical cannabis is not legislated but accepted.
In Brazil, possession or planting of cannabis or and other illegal drugs carries penalties of education and community services as the consequences of drug usage. Sale, cultivation or possession in larger amounts is categorized as drug trafficking and charges of a significant fine and 5-15 years of prison are handed down.
Latin America’s authorities have long since followed in the footsteps of North America and Africa in their regulations for Cannabis trade while precisely implementing policies that guarantee prevention of problematic and abusive cannabis consumption, education of society for its harmful consequences and contribution in fighting against organized crime and drug trafficking. The Cannabis management and control Institute in Uruguay, IRCCA, currently maintains a secure database of cannabis workers and consumers and regulates state control of the drugs market. The government is also planning to launch a campaign regarding potential risks of cannabis usage to educate its citizens.
As time goes by, it appears that researchers have just come up with some new ways marijuana and its main ingredient THC could be used in order to benefit mankind. According to the researchers, there are some diseases that could be cured with THC, and right now, we are going to list them for you, and tell you a bit about them, and how they can be cured.
Okay, marijuana can’t really cure the Alzheimer’s disease, but according to some studies, it can severely slow down the advancement of this terrible disease that attacks the memory center of the brain. According to Kim Janda from the Scripps Research Institute, TCH could slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s, by blocking the enzyme in the human brain responsible for blocking amyloidal plaque, which kills the brain cells and allows the disease to move forward.
The Canadian medical Association Journal has published that marijuana could ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which is a huge thing for all those who are suffering from this disease, due to the fact that these symptoms can be extremely painful. Thirty patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis were studied and it was shown that these patients did not respond to other treatments, but have felt less pain after taking marijuana. This happens due to the fact that the THC from this plant binds to some of the receptors in the human nerves, which causes the relief in pain. Also, it was shown that this plant could help with muscle spasms.
Inflammatory bowel diseases
The world is full of people who suffer from various inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, and according to medical research, these poor patients could be helped with medical marijuana. The research was conducted by scientists from the University of Nottingham, who discovered in 2010 that some chemicals in marijuana, such as THC, can help our bodies by interacting with the body cells that are important for the gut function and the responses in the immune system.
It is already known all over the world that marijuana can help people cope better with pain, and it can even completely alleviate it. Also when you combine it with the fact that it helps you sleep, you get something that is great for all those people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. It was discovered by researchers that after giving these patients marijuana, they sleep better and more easily, and this occurs only two weeks after taking this medicament.
Medicinal marijuana has been officially used to treat people who suffer from Lupus, a terrible and debilitating disease. As this disease runs its course, the body starts attacking itself, and no one really knows why it occurs. However, the good news is the fact that there are some chemicals found in marijuana that improve the patients´health and ability to combat this disease. Besides that, marijuana not only helps with the pain and nausea, symptoms of this disease , but with similar symptoms experienced by those under going chemo- or radio-therapy for cancer.