Cannabis: the Past, the Present and the Future of Wellness

What are the benefits of cannabis?

Cannabis is unique in that it balances the mind and body by activating our quite remarkable endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS plays a HUGE role in stimulating and maintaining the performance of our nervous, immune, digestive, AND skeletal systems.

The regulation of these critical processes helps bring the whole system into a state of harmony and homeostasis. In turn, an assortment of powerful health benefits are awakened throughout the body.

The exact ways in which cannabis impacts our physiological and cognitive processes depends on the cannabinoid and terpene profiles in the strain, dosage amount, and route of administration.

But, in general, some of the vast therapeutic properties and medicinal benefits of cannabis include:

  • Alleviates chronic pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  • Fights autoimmune diseases and certain types of bacteria and viruses.
  • Curtails anxiety and stress and promotes feelings of bliss.
  • Decreases cancer cell viability and growth.
  • Can either boost or mitigate appetite depending on cannabinoid profile.
  • Moderates the sleep-wake cycle and sleep-related problems.
  • Combats seizures and epilepsy.
  • Relaxes blood vessel walls and increases blood flow to the eyes.
  • Encourages bone cell growth and bone formation.
  • Regulates our body temperature and PH levels.
  • Relieves skin irritations (e.g. burns and blisters), muscle spasms, and tight knots when applied topically.

History and Evolution of Cannabis

Cannabis use and legalization in the U.S. has been a historic game of tug-of-war.

But the history of cannabis dates back to as early as 2637 BC in ancient Chinese medicine. And in Native American culture, hemp was considered a sacred root that was frequently used for spiritual ceremonies and medicinal purposes. 

When the colonists arrived in the “New World,” hemp fibers were used to make much-needed industrial products such as clothing, ropes, and sails. So the cultivation of hemp was widely encouraged. A 1619 Virginia law even required it on every farm.

The therapeutic and medicinal advantages of marijuana didn’t start to catch on in the U.S. until the late 19th Century.

During this time, cannabis was a popular ingredient in over-the-counter medications you could get at your local pharmacy.

Medicines containing cannabis remained unregulated until the Food and Drug Act of 1906. And during the Great Depression a few decades later, stigma surrounding cannabis use reached an all time high.

Attitudes towards cannabis in the U.S. have continued to change since then, progressing and regressing at different times.

It wasn’t until the late 1990’s when medical marijuana was first legalized in California and Arizona.

More recently, there’s been widespread shifts in attitudes on cannabis use across the country. Today, states are rapidly adopting medical and recreational cannabis laws.

Where are we at with legalizing cannabis today?

So far, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana. And eleven states and Washington, DC have legalized recreational marijuana for folks over 21.

Hemp has been legal in the U.S. since 2018 when the Farm Bill was signed into law.

Marijuana, however, remains illegal on the federal level.

But this may change sooner rather than later…

There are many federal and state lawmakers on BOTH sides of the aisle in favor of legalizing the current “black market” industry.

Some of the many arguments supporting cannabis legalization include:

  • The need to “heed the will of the voters.”
  • Resolving the mismatch between state and federal laws.
  • Garnering essential funding for cannabis research.
  • Improving access and product quality for patients.
  • Cost, health, and wellness benefits of cannabis compared to Big Pharma.
  • Social and criminal justice reform.

With growing bipartisan support, it seems more and more inevitable that nationwide cannabis legalization is just on the horizon.

In fact, the 2017 Marijuana Justice Act has already set the stage for cannabis legalization. The pioneering bill aims to end federal marijuana prohibition and remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.

And more recently, a number of presidential hopefuls are running on pro-legalization goals.

But with all the health and wellness advantages of cannabinoids and terpenes in the “Green Goddess” plant, it’s no wonder the tides are shifting towards legalization.Don’t forget to comment, share and Live Positive!

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