Cannabis Sativa Essay, Research Paper
Cannabis is marijuana or any other substance derived from the hemp plant. The plant has many different uses from Hemp products to medicinal purposes. This paper will talk about the plant as a whole and it’s usefulness.
Marijuana is a Mexican slang term from the 1930’s referring to the medicine part of cannabis, which Mexican soldiers used to smoke. Nearly 70 million Americans have smoked marijuana at some time in their lives. Aside from recreational uses, the cannabis plant can be an extremely useful product. (www.norml.org/facts/index.shtml)
There are several different medicinal purposes for marijuana. Uses of cannabis are appetite stimulant, alleviating nausea, relieving stress and depression, relives menstrual cramps, and is helpful in alleviating migraines. There are medical conditions for cannabis like Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Ovarian cancer, AIDS, and Arthritis. (www.afcu.net/features/medical.html)
Until 1937, marijuana was legally available as a medicine and was used as a nerve tonic. It has been written about in books of medicine by ancient scholars and wise men. It was usually used as a cure-all drug called ‘panaceas’. There are over sixty chemicals in marijuana that have chemical uses. One example, Cannabinol, can help people get to sleep. Cannabidiolic Acid, taken from premature buds, is a powerful disinfectant. (http://cannibus.com/faqs/hemp1.shtml)
In the United States, hemp is legal to possess. Marijuana, the flowers, buds, or leaves of the cannabis plant, is not legal to possess. The seeds are only legal to possess if they are sterilized. Therefore, because you can’t grow hemp without also growing marijuana, it isn’t legal to grow. It’s possible to get permission from the D.E.A., but this is rare. (http://cannibus.com/faqs/hemp1.shtml)
There are many different uses for hemp. Hemp is cannabis produced containing very low levels of cannabinoids (THC) and is produced for industrial use. Many products can be made from hemp. Paper, textiles, building materials, paint, medicine, detergent, oil, varnish, ink and fuel are all products of hemp. Hemp can be grown in most locations and climates because it needs only moderate amounts of water and fertilizer. (http://cannibus.com/hemp/)
Cannabis produces a tough cloth called ‘canvass’. The pulp is used to make paper. The seed is suitable for both human and animal foods. Oil from the seed can be used as a base for paints and varnishes.
Hemp seed is very nutritious and a good source of protein and essential fatty oils. Leaves can also be eaten but not without a slight psychoactive side effect. Hemp seed protein is similar to protein found in human blood. The seed is very easy to digest and was once called ‘edestine’. The seed oil provides the human body with essential fatty acids. Hemp seed is the only seed that contains these oils with practically no saturated fat. It can reduce the risk of heart disease. One handful of hemp seeds a day can provide adequate protein and essential oils for an adult. (http://cannibus.com/faqs/hemp1.shtml)
Production of hemp as a fuel is very possible. The pulp of a hemp plant can be burned by itself or processed into charcoal, methane, methanol, or gasoline. This process is called destructive distillation, or ‘pyrolysis’. This hemp product would be a ‘biomass’ fuel. Hemp may be used to produce ethanol as well. (http://cannibus.com/faqs/hemp1.shtml)
Construction companies now are using hemp products. Hemp is being used to manufacture composite board. Fibrous hemp stalks are glued together under pressure, producing a board that is more elastic and durable than hardwood. High cellulose hemp hurd can be made into plastic. Hemp is now being used as filler in building construction called ‘Isochanvre’. (http://cannibus.com/faqs/hemp1.shtml)
Nonviolent marijuana offenders often receive longer sentences than violent offenders. Most Americans do not want to spend money incarcerating nonviolent marijuana offenders. Laws should be changed to allow this useful plant to be produced nationally.