Cannabis: The Most Important Vegetable On The Planet

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“If cannabis were discovered in the Amazon rainforest today, people would be clambering to make as much use as they could of all of the potential benefits of the plant. Unfortunately, it carries with it a long history of being a persecuted plant.” ~ Dr. Donald Abrams, Chief of Hematology Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital

Approximately 106,000 Americans die yearly from prescribed medications, according to the American Medical Association. Even more frightening, preventable medical errors account for a staggering 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year — and is considered the 3rd leading cause of death. “It’s equivalent to 2,000 commercial jets taking off each year knowing that they don’t have enough fuel to complete their journeys,” notes Peter Edelstein M.D. “Would you allow your spouse to board one of those planes? Your friend? A stranger?”

Good question. Increasingly, people in the West are seeking out treatments that work harmoniously with the body, instead of against it — in other words, they’re walking away from the medical establishment and all its mishaps, mistakes and pharmaceutical drugs. A case in point is cannabis, especially in its raw form.

A Rich History

Marijuana is one of those plants that, to many, conjures visions of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids and hippies in a drugged-out daze. But it wasn’t always this way.

“The ancient Chinese knew of marijuana’s pain-relieving and mind-altering effects, yet it was not widely employed for its psychoactive properties; instead it was cultivated as hemp for the manufacture of rope and fabric. Likewise, the ancient Greeks and Romans used hemp to make rope and sails. In some other places, however, marijuana’s intoxicating properties became important. In India, for example, the plant was incorporated into religious rituals. During the Middle Ages, its use was common in Arab lands; in 15th-century Iraq it was used to treat epilepsy; in Egypt it was primarily consumed as an inebriant. After Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt, Europeans began using the drug as an intoxicant. During the slave trade, it was transported from Africa to Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. Marijuana gained a following in the U.S. only relatively recently. During the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, cannabis was freely available without a prescription for a wide range of ailments, including migraine and ulcers,” Roger A. Nicoll and Bradley N. Alger remind us in Scientific American.

Even American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson declared: “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”

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