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Cannabis: The untold story - Part 1

mhtbmFeb 3, 2019, 1:14:45 PM

"The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world." - Carl Sagan

Forgive the obvious, but some people forget said, " cannabis is a plant." It is nothing more than a shrub, which grows in the most adverse conditions - from the Asiatic desert to the rainforest, and reaches 4 or 5 meters high in a few months.

In the formal and scientific environment marijuana is known as Cannabis Sativa, a name given in 1735 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, the creator of the scientific classification system of species.

Cannabis Indica, discovered by another illustrious biologist, french Jean Baptiste Lamarck, precursor of the theory of evolution, is a lower and frondous Asiatic variety. it is seen by some biologists as another species; by others as a subspecies of Sativa.

Like many plants, cannabis has two gender, male and female. In some cases, some feet may have both gender structures.

The flower of the male produces the pollen that fertilizes the female. When this happens, the flower of the female fills with seeds that will guarantee the next generations.

But when the female is not fertile, she saves energy that she would spend on seed production. 

With this extra energy it produces and excrete a large amount of resin composed of a few dozen different substances.

Among them is a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the THC.

THC is a sunscreen. Its chemical structure has the property of bars the harmful solar rays.

He also has another property: that of sticking to some molecules in the walls of animal neurons.

These neuron molecules that bind to THC are known as cannabinoid receptors.

When the bond occurs, the receptors operate subtle chemical changes within the cell - so subtle that scientists cannot tell exactly what they are.

In 1992, a researcher named Ralph Mechoulam argued that the thesis that man evolved with cannabis, after all, there is in the brain, a receptor specially designed to bind to THC, was wrong, as the receptors would serve to bind another molecule, the one he named Anandamide.

Ananda in Sanskrit means happiness.

Cannabis began his days on Earth somewhere in central Asia, probably between the Caspian Sea and the Himalayas.

The man planted and took advantage of the cannabis.

The seeds were very nutritious.

If the stem is rich in Resistant Fibers, and have long promoted the raw material for the manufacture of fabrics and papers.

Sails from the boats were all from Hemp.

The Bible and other documents and Scripture were written with Hemp.

Man could not do without such a useful plant - that is why the nomadic peoples of Central Asia of 10,000 ago carried cannabis seeds at every shift.

Unlike other plants grown long ago, such as wheat, cannabis had no difficulty in proliferating without being sown by human hands. 

Where the seed fell, it grew.

It's no surprise that he gradually conquered the world.

The first concrete record of the ancient consort between man and cannabis are rope marks printed in pieces of a clay pot contacts at the archaeological site of YUAN-Shan, present-day Taiwan.

The vase is 12,000 years old, and the rope is made of hemp fibers.

From Central Asia to China.

The ancient Chinese knew the plant's healing power.

The proof is Pen Ts'ao Ching, the first known Pharmacopoeia in the World.

The authorship of Pen Ts'ao Ching is attributed to the legendary emperor Shen-Neng, the "divine farmer", considered by tradition to be the mythical founder of Chinese medicine, and he would have written the work in 2737 b.C.

In India, for millennia, grass is an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine. But over there, the role of marijuana was much more central than in China. 

To the point that the Bengal region received that name because of cannabis.

Bengal comes from Bhang la, " Land of marijuana".

For Hindus, marijuana is the god SHIVA's favorite food.

For the Mahayana tradition, one of the main currents of Buddhism, Buddha spent six years eating only one cannabis seed a day.

From India cannabis has migrated to the Middle East.

She was already present in the region when Islamic expansions began.

With the Prohibition of alcohol by the people of Mohammed, a discussion began about whether marijuana should also be banned.

In the XIII century it was common for Arab poets to write in favor of marijuana.

For centuries, the Islamists consumed the Marijuana of the famous Narguiles.

The Arabs had contact with Black Africa to the south and there marijuana also prospered.

In this continent, cannabis has maintained its psychoactive, medical and religious uses.

The Greeks used a lot of Hemp on their ships.

It is known that they were also aware of the psychoactive powers of cannabis, from the accounts of the historian Herodotus.

Herodotus says that the Scythians, the people of present day Turkey, used to put up the tent, heat a stone in the fire and then throw a huge amount of cannabis on it.

This was the first account of the psychoactive use of cannabis in the Occident.

Strangely, there is little reference to its psychoactive use before the 19th century.

Perhaps this is due to the possibility that European cannabis has low levels of THC.

Because in Europe, cannabis was mainly grown by its fibers.

In addition, we have seen that THC appears as a protection against the sun. 

No wonder, in the cold European climate, they cannabis didn't need it so much.

The lack of reference to the use of marijuana as a psychic drug in Europe may also have a religious explanation.

Christianity condemned medicine with plants.

The witches, persecuted and burned during the Inquisition, nothing but they were traditional healers, usually of Celtic origin, who used herbs, many with psychoactive powers, to treat people.

But that did not prevent marijuana from becoming the largest agricultural product in Europe in the Renaissance period.

The main books, after the Gutenberg Revolution, were printed on hemp paper.

The paintings of the art geniuses were made on hemp canvas.

Canvas, the word used in several languages to refer to "screen", is a Dutch corruption of the Latin "ĉannabis".

The great navigations were engulfed by hemp candles.

There were 80 tons of hemp, counting the candles, ropes and clothes on Christopher Columbus ' boat in 1496.

In other words, cannabis played a crucial role in the discovery of America, ironically as we will see later.

The Spanish and Portuguese crown already ordered the planting of hemp in the 16th century.

In mexico, the Indians, who had a long history of using psychoactive plants in rituals, with cactus peyote, easily incorporated marijuana.

In 1798, Napoleon's troops conquered Egypt. 

Among the reasons The Emperor ventured into Africa, he probably intended to destroy the hemp plantations, which supplied the powerful navy of the enemy England with cloth.

This version is disputed by some historians. For them, the reason was another.

High-ranking French officers who were in command in Egyptian lands were highly involved with Egyptian culture. 

They smoked hashish, married the Egyptians, and in Napoleon's view this would be an unforgivable weakness.

A decade later, the same Napoleon would invade Russia, in retaliation to Tsar Alexander have, in the opinion of the emperor, broke a treaty with France and made trade with England.

The main product sold by the Russians to the English people was hemp.

And it was the Napaleon Bonaparte that promulgated the FIRST LAW of the modern world Banning Marijuana.

But the Egyptians ignored it. Europeans learned about drugs and became fashionable, mainly among intellectuals.

The hashish is replacing a Champagne, said Theophile Gaultier in 1845.

The painter Eugene Delacroix and the poet Charles Baudelaire also became adherents.

Alexandre Dumas described luxuriant parties smoked hashish in the count of Monte Cristo in 1845.

Already as an input for industry, hemp was extremely widespread around the world.

In addition to the fabrics, more than 80% of the papers came from hemp.

Including the first version of the declaration of independence of the United States of america.

Oil is extracted from the seed used for the manufacture of paints.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, two of the Founding Fathers of the American nation, planted marijuana.

When the 20th century began, therefore, the relationship between Homo Sapien and Cannabis Sativa was of relative peace.

The plant represented the world's leading agricultural culture.

It's hard to believe the situation was about to change so radically.

In 1929, the American government aired a silent film in the cinemas in which a Mexican was killed for using marijuana cigarettes.

The message was clear. Mexicans and marijuana as a problem.

Since World War I, the country had established itself as a power, and attracted a great migratory flow.

Half a million Mexicans had crossed the border of Great River since 1914, running away from a convulsing country and looking for a chance to make a living.

Their relationship with the Americans was difficult and it got worse with the work and the money.

The Puritan families of the South did not like those noisy people with huge whiskers and hats, and habitation seen as immoral.

Among the habit was smoking marijuana.

They say Pancho Villa's troops, who shook the structures of power in 1910, were supporters of marijuana.

Then the famous verses " La cucaracha / la cucaracha / no puede caminar/ porque no tiene / porque le falta / maryjuana que fumar.

After the film, rumors began that marijuana left Mexicans with superhuman strength, an unfair advantage in job disputes.

That added to the information that marijuana induced to promiscuous sex.

To complete the picture the country had banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in 1929.

The famous law Prohibition.

Under pressure from the temperance leagues, groups with strong religious inspiration, who wanted to build an alcohol-free America.

The result: the price of the drink tripled, the quality fell and the marijuana was slowly gaining adherents.

Mostly ex-slaves, unemployed, bohemian, circus performers, thieves and prostitutes.

Taken by them, he climbed the Mississippi from New Orleans to Saint Louis.

Another novelty took the same course: a musical style called Jazz.

The jazzists were adherents of the first hour, they said, increased their musical sensitivity and improvisational capacity.

They loaded the marijuana into New York, The New Mecca of Jazz.

Part 1


Denis Russo Jornalist author of the book Maconha by Super Interresante