History of Marijuana

 

Am I the only one who is amazed that one day, a human happened upon cannabis and its powerful medicinal qualities? Specifically, that someone, somewhere discovered that setting fire to dried cannabis flower serves as a pain reliever, can treat symptoms of insomnia, has psychoactive qualities, and so much more. How about hemp? One day someone discovered that this plant’s stalk is among the strongest fibers around. Cannabis, marijuana, weed, hemp, kush, whatever you’ve come to call this miraculous plant, has a long and complex history. While we could write volumes of books on this subject, below you will find a brief history of cannabis we have collected using various sources and our own personal knowledge of cannabis.

Anthropologists have found cannabis in cultures across the world, from 10,000 BCE Taiwan to the “Mid-Neolithic” in Zhejiang province, 1700’s India, Afghanistan and Pakistan to 18th century America. According to History Magazine, “[cannabis] traveled the world on camelback along the Silk Road.” Scholars believe marijuana originated in Asia.

Cannabis has three species: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Indica and Sativa are meant for medicinal purposes, hemp is used most often for it’s nutrient rich seeds and it’s strong fibrous stalks. It has been an important organic material to cultures around the world throughout the ages.

Because cannabis has grown alongside humans for over one thousand years, scholars debate the true origin story.  According to History Magazine, “by 2000 BCE weed was in Korea and Japan, brought by the nomadic Central Asian herding tribe the Ayrans.” Herodotus writes that people were smoking cannabis in 440 BCE in Classical Greece and Rome! In 600 CE “the Vikings had it” (History Magazine, 2018). According to Martin Booth, cannabis-as legend has it- was discovered to have medicinal properties in 1155 CE by “the founder of the Persian Sufi Hyderi sect, Haydar.” He plucked “a few leaves and chewed on them” (Booth 2004). The first to discover the value of cannabis is up for debate, but I thank goodness they did!

America has an especially complicated history with Cannabis. I’m not one to indulge in conspiracy theories, however, the evidence Brian Popko presents in his informational booklet “I Want My CBD” is fairly convincing. In the mid 1930’s, after Prohibition ended, the employees assigned to Prohibition efforts were clearly out of a job (Popko 2015). U.S. Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon found just the solution! He created the Bureau of Narcotics assigning his nephew-in-law and former commissioner of the Alcohol Prohibition department Harry Anslinger commissioner of this newly created Bureau. This is mostly a good thing-I mean who among us wants “bath salts” in the mainstream?!-that is until Marijuana got a tragic rebrand to serve the interest of a select few.

Why? Well, Mr. Mellon had financial incentive to insure that his buddy DuPont’s chemical company thrived in the cotton production and paper industry, because Mellon Bank “backed Dupont” (Popko 2015). Hemp, cotton’s fibrous competition, requires fewer pesticides during growing and makes great paper. Cotton, on the other hand, is more high maintenance in terms of pesticides and chemicals necessary to reap a harvest. In addition, chemicals made by Dupont were also involved in the Pharmaceutical companies. A natural plant to remedy an entire swarm of ailments most definitely threatened the wellbeing of Dupont and Mellon’s business ventures.

Now that Mellon had a man on the inside, his business ventures could be protected. Because of Anslinger’s track record, they could rewrite the narrative on cannabis as a narcotic. Instead of a plant that has many uses as a fiber and medicine, it was a “drug” that made users, specifically “Negroes and Mexicans (sic)” -cringe- “violent heathens” -cringe overload.

I’ve always wondered why hemp got caught in the cross fires of cannabis prohibition. Apparently, it’s because Anslinger believed his staff to “be unable to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana” (Popko 2015). That’s fair, but they could have created a permit to allow trained specialists to grow and cultivate hemp at the very least for its many many many uses as a material.

Hemp can be used as oil, paper, one of the strongs fibers (hu)man has access to, clothing, hempcrete for construction, and seeds for food rich in nutrition. Anslinger’s reasoning behind banning the grow of cannabis was sufficient enough to keep it illegal to cultivate from 1937 to today (Marijuana Tax Act 1937). Hemp, of course, was grown and used during wartime because of its value as a fibrous material. However, after that it was prohibited once more.

In the 1970’s Cannabis was made a schedule 1 drug. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “The Schafer Commission, as it was called, declared that marijuana should not be in Schedule I and even doubted its designation as an illicit substance. However, Nixon discounted the recommendations of the commission, and marijuana remains a Schedule I substance.” Because everyone knows how trustworthy and honorable Nixion was as a leader and individual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Booth, Martin. Cannabis: A History. Random House, 2004.

Burnnett, Malik Ph.D.  and Reiman, Amanda Ph.D., MSW “How Did Marijuana Become              Illegal in the First Place?” Drug Policy Alliance, http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/how-did-     marijuana-become-illegal-first-place. Accessed 19 February 2018.

 

Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

Aug. 2, 1937, ch. 553, 50 Stat. 551

 

Popko, Brian. I Want My CBD. Iwantmycbd.org Publications, 2015.
Rosenthal, Ed. Marijuana Growers Handbook: Your Complete Guide for Medical and Personal Marijuana Cultivation. 2010.

How to Pass a Drug Test

Drug tests. Many of my friends who abstain from cannabis do so because their government jobs require random drug tests. But, what about those who use marijuana medicinally, and appropriately? Certainly they shouldn’t lose their jobs like many already have, because they are using medicine legal within their state! No matter your situation, we’ve done our homework so you don’t have to. Here’s our quick (relatively) and easy guide to passing your drug test for cannabis.

How Do I Prep My Body?

*Queue fitness montage*

  •      Stop consuming cannabis (a no brainer)
  •      Burn fat!

o   Eat right and exercise

Unfortunately, the more fat cells you have the longer THC lingers in your system. So it is work the lifestyle change for a couple of weeks.

People with less body fat will be able to pass a drug test faster

o   If you’re applying to jobs, ProfofPot suggests you begin cutting your body weight preemptively so that THC has less fat to adhere to.

To pass his drug test, my friend has to work out, eat right, and abstain from smoking, depending upon his regular use before his t-break, he could pass a drug test in 1 or 2 weeks. This is because he has a naturally low body fat percentage.

o   If my friend had a higher body fat percentage, it would take him almost twice as long to pass his test, because THC would have more fat cells to cling to.

Going to the sauna won’t work, because THC adheres to fat, not water weight. Sorry, you have to burn fat to pass a test. It is the only way (that I know of so far).

How’s This Work?

When you smoke, your lungs absorb THC within 10-15 minutes. This is why smoking hits faster than edibles. The next hour, “THC is metabolized in the liver by microsomal hydroxylation and oxidation catalyzed by enzymes of cytochrome P450 (CYP) complex” (Sharma, Murthy and Bharath, 2012).  When professionals mention metabolism in this context, they really mean the break down of cannabis in the bloodstream, they don’t mean the metabolism that keeps you looking fit. For instance, I have a pretty fast metabolism, but that won’t help my body metabolize any THC.

So, once THC is metabolized, where does it all go?  

Well, an hour in to smoking, your body will have dispersed the THC to your organs for processing/ breakdown and fat cells. According to the National Institute of Health, “More than 65% of cannabis is excreted in the feces and approximately 20% is excreted in urine.” The majority of THC in your body is eliminated in about five days, without you ever lifting a finger! But there is still a small trace amount in the body.  This trace amount is the problem.

It is well known that the trace amounts of THC are stored in the body’s fat cells. According to NIH, “Cannabinoids can be detected in saliva, blood, urine, hair and nail using various analytical techniques, including immunoassays.” Apparently “urine is the preferred sample because of higher concentration and longer detection time of metabolites in it” (Sharma, Murthy and Bharath, 2012). Because of this, the most effective way, and the only way I personally found valid enough to warrant a post, to prepare for a drug test? By burning fat.

 

Works Cited

Sharma, Priyamvada , Murthy, Pratima and Bharath, M.M.. National Institute of Health. Fall 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570572/. Accessed 28 April 2018.

Prof of Pot. http://profofpot.com/body-fat-thc-cannabis-drug-testing/. Accessed 28  April 2018.

What is a T-Break?

T-break is short for tolerance break. It’s slang for when cannabis consumers who smoke, so regularly that the body requires more cannabis to get high, abstain from smoking. This break allows the body to reset by removing cannabinoids from the system.

Have you found yourself going from half a joint a night and feeling it, to multiple top shelf dab rips and feeling only a slight buzz? Well, many others have told me they feel you! Perhaps you should consider a t-break!

While it does help to rotate strains when you notice you may have acquired a higher tolerance, sometimes reducing consumption or abstaining for a certain period of time all together can get you back to consuming less cannabis, yet feeling just as high.

Reasons to T-Break

1.You’ll save money! It pains me to consider how much money I spent on weed when my tolerance is high. I try to take tolerance breaks to reset when I notice this happening.

  • You can save the money you would’ve spent on weed for an upcoming trip, or your ever looming retirement fund!

2. The emotions of taking a t-break will make you a stronger person. I didn’t see too much literature on this particular aspect of taking a tolerance break, however, from first hand experience and from friends who’ve shared this same side effect, I’ll warn you. Not having the extra dopamine from THC, if you’re used to it daily, can cause you to feel sad, mad, or in general bad.

  • When scheduling a t-break, try and keep busy. I t-break while on vacation, before a jam packed day with friends, or before anything I look forward to that can distract me.
  • Hit the gym, grab coffee with a friend, or go for a walk. Do anything at all!
  • Establish boundaries from the get go. My rule was cold turkey for two weeks, day one I ended up smoking half a bowl before bed. This made me rethink my approach.
    • Instead of cold turkey for five days, I’m reducing dramatically my consumption and taking four days this week off. Next week I will reevaluate, until I regain the habit of smoking only on the weekends.

3. It’s easy to allow marijuana to overtake your life, as is the same with happy hour drinks after work every night or binging junk food on the couch parked in front of the TV. A t-break allows you to gain new perspective. On your life, on your cannabis use. It changes the experience of smoking to be mindful while consuming, and it reduces the risk of abuse.

4. A t-break can offer a chance to prioritize passions in your personal life. Do you find yourself using cannabis as a tool or a medicine? If not, is it impacting your productivity? If so, it seems that it is definitely time for a t-break. Just as you probably wouldn’t go home and get wasted every night after work, class, or your retirement activities that occupy your day, it isn’t great to get blazed and veg out every day. I found myself skipping the gym to come home and smoke. This isn’t the lifestyle I want to live, so I’m on my t-break.

  • On that note, alert your friends and partners you need positive reinforcement to keep you motivated to break!
  • Keep your cannabis out of reach, that’s often a first mistake.

5. Shocker! It’ll take less cannabis the next time you smoke to get you to the next level. This is great news for nights out when you’re passing a blunt with your buddies, or only have time for a few quick puffs.

 

Have your own reason to T-break? Post in the comments below!

 

What the Weed? Cannabis 101

 

What is weed?

Devils grass. Ganja. Mary Jane. Endo. Marijuana you smoke comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Like most of us, cannabis thrives in a tropical, warm, temperate climate. 

How does it work?

THC, or delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol, is the main cannabinoid in marijuana.

A Cannabinoid is defined as “any of a group of closely related compounds that include cannabinol and the active [components] of cannabis.” Read: nature’s active ingredients. 

THC is a chemical compound that connects with receptors in the brain, that gets you trucked up.

Another cannabinoid you may have heard of recently is CBD, or cannabidiol. CBD counteracts the negative effects of THC (think anxious, paranoid high) and treats a whole slew of ailments in its own right, from arthritis to seizures. CBD, unlike its fellow cannabinoid THC, is not psychoactive. This means you won’t get high off CBD alone, but if you’re looking for a medicinal alternative, CBD is most likely just for you!

Why do people smoke?

Or consume cannabis?

Well, it can be used as medicine, pain reliever, an alternative to alcohol in terms of recreation. Depending on the strain, it can be used as an appetite inducer and sleep aide.

Some people, currently and historically– im talking 1,000 years ago historically- have used cannabis as a tool to gain insights, access a new form of prayer to God, and to attempt to attain spiritual enlightenment. The Buddha sustained himself by eating a single hemp seed every day for goodness sakes, cannabis is everywhere. And it had been for a long time.

Terpene to… what?

Have you ever noticed how each strain of cannabis has its own distinct scent? That is because each strain has a different terpene profile. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis, they are the aroma profiles that allow you to smell, for example, a pine tree and other plants.

When I’m smoking, I use the scents of different strains to predict the type of high. A hint of lemon? I know that I’ll probably feel uplifted and giggly more than a grape/ berry scented flower. The difference each strain offers is nuanced, however if you’re mindful, the differences are there for you to explore. The differences are important for medical marijuana in particular, because some strains help users sleep, others cause a more energized high.

Can I consume without Smoking? You know it!

Now a days Cannabis can be consumed with a multitude of methods! I love the vape pen filled with oil. Other ways to level up include (but are not limited to) grinding marijuana flower and putting it in a glass piece, rolling the classic joint or a blunt-which is when you gut out a cigar and replace the disgusting (yeah, that’s a hint of bias you just detected!) tobacco with cannabis. Tinctures made from alcohol extracting the cannabis, infused drinks, bath products that allow THC to be absorbed by the skin, the list goes on! Edibles are a fantastic way to replace smoking for those with asthma or other lung issues.

So if you’re a savory person there are edibles for you, if you’ve got a sweet tooth there are brownies, lollipops, gummies, and a plethora of options available for you to level.

I personally have not explored hash, but humans have been making and consuming hash for hundreds and hundreds of years. It is made from the resin of a cannabis plant, finely ground and pressed into small, dark blocks.

The methods of consumption, thanks to American legalization ~slow as it may be~ are evolving and growing. I’ve even seen a marijuana cigar wrapped with THC crystals (so… straight, concentrated, THC), resin, and flower! Who knows what the market will dream up with next?!