(Scientific Name: Cannabis sativa)
Marijuana is one of the world’s oldest economic plants. Besides providing the material hemp, hemp, for a lucrative cordage and cloth industry, it has been a valuable medicinal drug. The ancient pharmacopoeias of China, going back more than 2,000 years, listed marijuana, and the plant found favor around the world for its ability to ease pain, induce sleep, and soothe a variety of nervous disorders. Usually the leaves or seeds were taken, but in medieval Europe physicians prescribed the root to alleviate the agonies of gout and other painful diseases. Mixed with oil and butter, the root also made a salve for burns caused by the new import of the Orient gunpowder. Today marijuana is under investigation as a treatment for asthma and certain types of glaucoma and as a means of controlling epileptic seizures and the nausea caused by radiation therapy and cancer chemotherapy. Although marijuana’s use as an intoxicant is not only widespread but socially acceptable in much of Africa and Asia, it has serious drawbacks. The extent of which marijuana can be physically or psychologically damaging remains a subject of discussion, but there is no dispute that it can be harmful, with a real danger of psychological, if not physical, dependence. Possession of the plant is illegal. The plant usually on abandoned lands, ditches, stream and river banks. The plant is believed to have been grown originally in the Caucasus mountains in Europe, northern India, and Iran. Today this plant become a common weed in the pampas of North and South America, thus causing a lot of social problems to countries in these continents. The plant in these regions are no longer cultivated for hemp fiber but for illegal drug trafficking. The plant is a vigorous annual with an erect stem measuring three to ten feet tall. The leaves are hairy and divided with five to seven long, toothed leaflets. The male and female flowers are small and greenish, and borne on separate plants. Flowers of this plant blooms from June to October.
USES OF MARIJUANA
The plants contains tetrahydrocannabinois (THC’s), which induce euphoria and exhilaration, dull pain, and acts as a sedative and anti-pasmodic substance. In ancient China as early as 2,000 years ago the plant was already used as an intoxicant, pain-reliever, inducing sleep to people suffering from insomnia, as a suspension of deviant behaviors caused by various nervous disorders. In Europe, marijuana leaves and seeds were used by the medieval physicians as sedatives and preservatives. Later the physicians discovered, the roots were prescribed to alleviate the agonies of gout and other painful diseases like cancer. In fact it has been recorded in history that one of those spices searched by the European, causing them to explore the East in search of the “land of spices” was marijuana. It was also written in history that the galleon trade which existed between Manila and Acapulco carried marijuana as one of the priced merchandise for European discovered, that marijuana mixed with oil and butter, the roots of which was made as a salve for burns caused by the imported gunpowder from the Orient. Today marijuana is under investigation as a treatment for asthma and certain types of glaucoma and as a means of controlling epileptic seizures and the nausea caused by radiation therapy, kidney dialysis and cancer chemotherapy. The fiber which can be extracted from the stalk of marijuana, is used for rope, twine, and coarse cloth, while the seeds are an ingredient of many commercial birdseeds. Painters used hempseed oil to mix colors and as varnish. The plant marijuana is regarded in modern days as wonder plant. It has a lot of curative uses but excessive used of it cause addiction and less reaction to the...
Bibliography: Grolliers Encyclopedia. Gallery of Medicinal Plants , 2001: Grolliers Publishing Inc. California, USA.
Panopio, Isabel and Realidad Santico Rolda, Society and Culture: Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology. 2002: JMC Press, Quezon City, Manila Philippines
Dangerous Drug Board. 1990 Annual Report.Clinard, Marchall B. and Mier, Robert F. 1989. Sociology of Deviant Behavior. 5th ed. New York: St. Martin Press.
Zarco, Ricardo M and Associates. 1992. A study on Drug Use Among College Students. Commissioned Research First Phase 1991-1992. Narcotics Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. (Unpublished Paper)
Please join StudyMode to read the full document