Upon a noble plant…
So this article has been brewing for almost half a year now. Perhaps more. It isn’t REALLY the article that is burning in my head to write at the moment either, but apparently this one needs to go out first.
One of my original reasons for starting this blog was so that I could one day bring the good news of cannabis to so many of my friends who still live in Texas. As well as any of the other 28 some odd states that still consider it illegal, but seriously, do you see how fast the world is changing before your eyes? I live in Oregon, which was honestly never really WAS much of a prosecute state, and where cannabis became legal at a state level for recreational consumption in July of last year. Yet this whole thing is still kinda new. Apparently 22 states have some sort of medical use allowed now, because honestly, it’s medicine. As well as a vegetable. Anywho, this year TEXAS had medical cannabis legislation presented, and while it isn’t enough by far, a month ago part of it actually PASSED. https://www.mpp.org/states/texas/ See how fast the world can change?
Again, I was born and raised in Texas, and in Texas, we were taught some pretty extreme things about this plant. Of course all the television stations talked a lot about “this is your brain on drugs,” as it was the Nancy Reagan years, but I digress. My parents told me on numerous occasions that it could cause brain damage, that the stuff people had now was so much stronger than what they had in the 70s. It was drilled into us. I was an avid opponent of cannabis until as recently as 5 years ago. Passed on it when it was offered most often. Didn’t want it to mess with my brain.
But Texans DO like our drink. We are AVID supporters of the alcohol industry, and not just wine and bud light, (though I will tell you people drink incredible amounts of that atrocious stuff) but really hard liquors too. Possibly this was related to the large numbers of Europeans, specifically Irish and Scottish, which I have in my ancestry as well, but mainly its because we work. Hard. We work long hours and at the end of it, sometimes the only way to shut the brain down is with a drink or 4. For some of us way more. My personal favorite was scotch. Back in the day I used to sit and play video games, (as many of us do in our irresponsible “Tweens”) usually World of Warcraft, and just drink. 4–6 drinks some nights. Usually a beer or two, but I got through a big bottle of somewhat inexpensive scotch fairly frequently. Honestly, seemed to be what everyone else I knew was doing, parties with friends were all about the varieties of booze and on more than a few nights vomit was involved. That was normal. Alcohol is very recreational, but believe it or not, people use alcohol as painkiller down that way too. For both physical and emotional pain. Which of course we have seen on the movies and our literature for time out of mind.
We all KNOW alcohol is terrible for you. Seriously. Just pick the first thing that comes up when you Google “medical dangers alcohol” and it’s from the WebMD. You can read it yourself. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/12-health-risks-of-chronic-heavy-drinking
12 health risks of chronic heavy drinking. I will only list the first 6. Anemia. Heart disease. Cancer. Cirrhosis, Dementia, Depression. Need I go on? That doesn’t even take into account the number of people that die from alcohol related accidents annually. Which happens to be 88,000 people in the U.S. According to: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics We know this stuff.
Seriously though, Texas is kinda rough place to live sometimes. It’s either hellishly hot, tremendously humid, or halfway frozen most of the year with very few temperate bits in between. People are often cranky, and did I mention the long hours many of us work just to try to survive down there? Alcohol helps us sleep, kills the pain, helps us be social, and honestly, some of it is really, really tasty. Worth dying for? Maybe.
Back to cannabis though. Y’all know what I am going to say right? How many death’s from cannabis? According to http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Causes_of_Death#sthash.ahV6Et2a.dpbs it is 0. They do cite a study by a professor in 2006 as the source. Another interesting read is from an admittedly pro source. http://herb.co/2016/01/12/many-people-died-overdosing-marijuana/ They cite an National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) study from 2015, where apparently cannabis didn’t make the list, though prescription drugs and cocaine did. Make of that what you will, you all have probably heard most of these arguments before, and there are definitely some hot discussions on the subject and varying views, and again, that’s not really what I want to talk about, just rather a review on the state of the union, as it were.
Once again, I am from Texas, and coming around to the idea of marijuana was kinda hard for me. Most of the time, I am the guy who passed. No recrimination, no judgment. It isn’t my place to tell a person what they can or can’t do, and I did know a few proponents, let me tell you. But I value my intelligence above most things, and quite honestly, I was scared. Heard it caused brain damage. Didn’t want to take the risk, and I liked my alcohol.
Then one day I saw a video on Netflix. Oddly it isn’t on Netflix anymore, but look! Here we find it on YouTube!
Neat little show, has Joe Rogan in it, and that guy is all SORTS of fun. Seriously, watch his comedy, though he does cross lots of boundaries. Come on, this is the Fear Factor guy. Which, admittedly, I hadn’t watched, because you know, I played video games. Anywho, this was a neat show. Lot’s of science, and produced in a fun upbeat enjoyable fashion. Talks about history, about how cannabis was kept illegal because it challenged other industries. Specifically the tobacco industry.. Mentions some interesting facts too on that front. Tobacco kills? 480,000 annually. WAY more than alcohol. It even used that video I mentioned earlier, you know the one with the egg? “This is your brain on drugs!” Which of course I remember fondly. Only that was part of a big smear campaign on behalf of the tobacco and alcohol industry. Cause THOSE are the guys we need to trust? The study they were quoting for that campaign was flawed because they didn’t allow the monkeys they were testing oxygen for 5 minutes, only cannabis smoke. Of coursed it caused brain damage. But that’s how some people get results. Seriously, it’s a great piece of work, definitely worth an hour and a half of your time.
Of course, I am not the type of guy to take a show at face value. I am a reader, and after watching that show I started doing a bit of research. Most of what I found was saying the same sort of things the show presented. Honestly folks, it isn’t really hard to verify this stuff. Minimal knowledge of Google required, and of course, as usual I have already cherry picked a few links for you to look further, but when I am really researching stuff? I don’t stick to the 1st or 2nd page of results. One really needs to dig further. In digging further, I discovered the work of Chris Bennett.
Chris Bennett is a guy that has spent a very good amount of time researching the subject of cannabis, specifically how it was used historically, and has some pretty interesting perspectives on the subject. This guy ALSO primarily references BOOKS, which I find refreshing in this day and age, though it does make it challenging to follow up on said references. Though it can be done if one takes the time. At any rate, what I found was a series of articles written by this guy, relating to the history of cannabis use and the way it has changed humanity as we grew up alongside it. If you want to look over the whole list, apparently someone archived them here. http://zzco.org/chris_bennett/ It’s rather fascinating reading, and there is a lot of it. In searching for these articles, I also came across this one. http://cannabisdigest.ca/bennett-new-darwin/ This article includes a 2 hour video actually produced by Chris that shares much of the data that I am going to summarize.
Watched about an hour of it last night, and seems fairly thorough. So take the data however you prefer it.
Now THIS is the stuff I want to talk about, because it’s something I haven’t really seen anyone else talking about recently, yet there is a fair bit of evidence that this may be exactly how things took place. First a bit of history. I will start with this particular article: http://zzco.org/chris_bennett/smoke_in_my_i.html Again, a well referenced article. So Cannabis has been used by humans for at LEAST 10,000 years. May have been one of the first cultivated crops. Here we find that cannabis may have been at least partially responsible for humans developing the capacity for self reflection, and possibly even language. We see that cannabis was consistently used in religious ceremony, and that to ancient humans who likely did NOT have the sort of mental conversations that humans today take for granted, cannabis may have awakened the inner voice. Which possibly was the source of human’s concept of deity. For many years, people used cannabis to speak to their gods, and to gain messages from them. Of course, now at least SOME of my readers from Texas are likely getting a bit uncomfortable here. Because in Texas, for many of us, Christianity is a thing. You know, one God to rule them all, no other god’s before me? Yeah, about that.
Guess what folks? Cannabis is ALSO in the Bible. Yes, I am skipping an article, but as y’all now have the same sources I used, make of them what you will. For this is something I bet a fair few of you haven’t heard. http://zzco.org/chris_bennett/kanehb.html This article deals with cannabis in the old Testament, and its something that came out in the 1930s, oddly just before prohibition of Cannabis in the US. See, one of the big things about the way people communicated with God throughout the old testament was through priests and prophets. One of the first of which was Moses. Now, while I am aware that there is a fair bit of discussion on whether or not Moses was actually a person that wrote the Old Testament law, or more of a group of people, but for now I am going to choose to just go with the text. Because how did Moses speak to God? Anyone remember the story? Has to do with a burning bush? There we go.
Now Chris believes that this burning bush was actually cannabis, or in Hebrew, Kaneh-bosm. Say it to yourself. Hear any similarities? Often it was also shortened to simply Kaneh. And what else was it used for? Well, they made oil out of it. Holy oil, to be used by ONLY the priests, but later they also used it to anoint kings. What was in it? 6 and a half pounds of cannabis to about a gallon and a half of oil, along with myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia. It was used to anoint the priests each morning, but specifically when they needed to talk to God. Yes, THC is fat soluble and is readily absorbed by the skin. But that isn’t all they used it for. It was also apparently in the holy incense that was only to be burned before God. Think again back to the stories. How did they know when Moses was talking to God in the Tabernacle? Because God wasn’t ALWAYS there back in those days. Well, it was because of the pillar of smoke coming out of the top. Quite literally, they were hotboxing.
And what was the message that Moses received from God? How did God identify?
That’s easy. I AM. Which is one of the first steps in human consciousness. What was the old saying? “I think, therefore, I AM?” Little Descartes for you all right there. This story is really about humans and plants, not gods.
Lets take this a step further, and apologies for those who might not have been raised in the Christian faith as I was. This again was part of my path, and if your path is different, check that list of Chris’ articles I shared earlier, and perhaps you may find something of use to your own path.
At this point, many of my Christian friends, (those of you that have made it this far, congrats! I am going to blow your mind once more, then we will get down to brass tacks) are probably saying, “That’s OLD Testament, and you know we base our faith more on Jesus and the New Testament!” Yeah about that. Funny word, Christ. Technically means “Anointed one.” Yes, that means with oil.
What, you think they didn’t know the recipe? Fine, y’all can read the article. I will wait. http://zzco.org/chris_bennett/christ.html
See one of the big things that the religious leaders of his day may have been so frustrated about is that Jesus took this holy oil, and said it was for EVERYONE. Not just the priests. He even gave this oil to his disciples and sent them out in pairs, telling them that if anyone was sick, they were supposed to anoint them with the oil, lay hands on them and pray. Quite literally? It was medicine folks. Also one’s direct connection to hear the voice of God. So HEY Bible thumpers, how do you all feel about this oil which Christ commanded his disciples to use being illegal in the vast majority of our country due to it’s main ingredient?
So for those who wish to try it, here is a recipe using modern ingredients: 1/4 oz of Cannabis, 8 oz of olive oil, as well as essential oils of cinnamon oil, cinnamon leaf and myrrh. http://www.breedbay.co.uk/forums/cannabis-alchemy/201354527-holy-anointing-oil-recipe-bible.html
At any rate, I have said before that Christianity isn’t really my path anymore, so if y’all wish to read more about that, be my guest. My path today is human, and I believe that as cannabis has ALWAYS been used by humans to move forward, to innovate, to self reflect, and to speak to our gods, that it is a very good tool to use mindfully in such a capacity today.
One more thing on the subject of Christ though. I have referenced the work of Georgie Stankov in at least one of my previous articles. He is a medical doctor as well as a physicist, but he also wrote a book on the human soul. If you want to read it, you can find it for free right here. http://www.stankovuniversallaw.com/gnosis-evolutionary-leap-mankind-beginning-3rd-millennium/ Now his theory, which I personally am fond of, is that one of the reasons Christ came, (as many other sages and enlightened teachers have come over the years) was to show us what humans are capable of. Quite literally to set an example of what a fully mature human should be able to do. Of course, he also says that it takes many incarnations to get to this point. So make of that what you will. What I always liked best about the teachings of Christ is the emphasis on LOVE. It was never supposed to be about religion, only a way that humans are supposed to relate to the world around us. When we do this, miracles become part of daily life.
So anyway, this was at least some of the mental part of my journey toward understanding cannabis. I have to tell you though, it isn’t exactly an easy plant to use. Would you believe it took me over 2 years before I could actually get a reasonable dose by smoking? Another important bit of knowledge is that your experience with cannabis has much to do with 2 things. Number one is the particular strain of cannabis, which relates to the plants it evolved around and the particular terpenes in that particular strain. The second, like any medicinal product is dosing. You need enough of it in your system for it to have an effect.
First off, lets look at Terpenes, because this is one of the most fascinating things to me about cannabis. Great overview can be found here. https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/terpenes/#the-terpene-wheel Terpenes, as I understand it, are what give different plants their specific scents and flavors. It’s what makes lavender so calming. It’s what gives pine such a wholesome scent. Cannabis? Well, it has over 140 of these. Supposedly this has to do with what plants the particular strain grew up around or was cultivated close to, though I don’t believe that comes from this particular article, but the point is? It isn’t JUST about the THC. Your effect is going to depend on on which terpenes are present in the strain. As mentioned above, if it has the same terpene as lavender, which is Linalool, you are likely to find that strain more relaxing. It’s liable to make you sleepy. The article above provides an overview of like 14 of the major ones and what they do. Using websites such as https://www.leafly.com/ one can fairly easily cross reference available strains of cannabis, get an idea of the likely effect, and even access user review of how well that particular strain lives up to it’s projected effect. This is the benefit of cannabis being legal. The information allows us to choose fairly precisely exactly WHAT we are wanting to get out of our experience. Almost exactly like using essential oils or herbs, but even better. This is the way we use it as medicine.
This is also why I tend to roll my eyes when I hear someone bring up in a conversation regarding cannabis, “well I tried that stuff once or twice back in college, and it didn’t work for me.” Which happens a lot, let me tell you. What I hear is, “I tried Bud Light when I was in high school, and so now I am allergic to all beer,” or “I had a glass of chardonnay once in college and I just can’t drink wine.” As if one subpar sampling of the worst possible example of a particular beverage is representative of the whole range of possibilities. Again, I live in Oregon. Microbrewing and wine making are high art around here. So why do people want to think differently about cannabis?
Think that gets back to the dosing. Again, you need a certain amount in your system to get the desired effect, and cannabis burns hot which is hard on the throat, and so smoking it is challenging. Least it was for me. Luckily, my wife has a particular talent for making edibles. That was actually my entry point. Remember I said I came around to cannabis very slowly? See, even AFTER reading all of the data I shared with you above, excepting perhaps the bit about terpenes which I only learned last year, I was still very reluctant to try it. I DID stop passing all the time when it was offered, but honestly I still preferred my scotch. Then one day I accidentally ate one of the brownies my wife kept in the freezer to help her deal with her stress. Back then I was really picky about her labeling HER stuff so this didn’t happen, but at that point the supply was low and the labeling was obscure, and that was the night my television turned 3D.
Another thing we have personally observed, though we haven’t seen much data about it, is that edible cannabis seems to get stronger over time in the freezer. This brownie had probably been there a while, I suppose. Either way, that was probably my first adequate dose. Quite literally, my eyes turned my television into a window, like I was wearing 3D glasses in a movie. It was AMAZING, I spent the night watching anime, though I also played some World of Warcraft, which was already fairly of an immersive experience. I reached a whole different level that night. It also probably only lasted a few hours, though I was feeling at least some of the effects the next day, so it was a very very solid dose. Sadly, that is the one and only time I reached that level with the TV, and while I have gotten CLOSE to that particular effect, thus far I have been unable to recreate it.
Part of that is that over time using cannabis, my priorities changed. See one of the things that many strains of cannabis will do, again at appropriate doses, is make you take a hard look at yourself. It increases self awareness, as well as body awareness, specifically when taken orally. It allowed me to see my world in a new light, opened up possibilities in my life that I hadn’t seen before. Helped me to see how to get myself and my family to Oregon, to connect the dots and implement the changes necessary. Another thing I noticed is that it enhanced my meditation, taught me how to extend my energy and share it with others, specifically for the purposes of healing. It improved my ability to do yoga, to feel my body and it’s positions. It was great for stretching, and quite honestly, I didn’t understand flossing my teeth properly until one day I did it under the influence of cannabis. Quite literally I learned to feel the SIDES of my teeth, which was something I wasn’t aware was possible before. That also was using cannabis from Texas too. Where the strain was never really known, and the quality was often debatable. Here in Oregon, where it is legal? Life is very good, and getting better.
One of the things I like MOST about cannabis is that it helps me to let go of the stresses I deal with at work, to understand that at the end of the day my focus should shift back to my family. It helps me to be creative, to make music, to play with my children. Quite honestly it makes me a MUCH better parent than without it. I am not the only person to have noticed this as well. Check this video out.
Cannabis actually helps parents to play and have fun again? Sounds like a good deal for everyone involved.
So that’s my experience in a nutshell. For those looking to investigate this plant legally, if you live in a state where it’s available, I recommend starting with edibles, because the dose is fairly predictable. It will vary between batches, but once you know how strong a batch is, then you just measure by size. Which is quite easy, and you only take what you want or need. Only issue here is that it has to be processed via your gut, which usually takes an hour to an hour and a half before you begin to feel the effect. This is why lots of people smoke it. Almost immediate effect, but doesn’t last nearly as long. My advice there is when smoking, keep your tongue in front of the shaft so you can feel the heat, and draw slowly like sipping tea. Also, if using a pipe, don’t light the entire bowl. Just a corner will do, and it keeps the green herb (which is more potent) fresh for later. Also a good idea to grind it up with a good grinder as it will burn more evenly.
But what about addiction? That is something I worried about as well. Another fun fact regarding cannabis is that over time your tolerance will increase, meaning you need MORE to get the same effect. BUT, if you take a break for a few days, (called a sobriety break) you can reset your tolerance and get back to getting good effect with way less product, which allows you to be more frugal with the stuff. Last one I took was about 3 or 4 months ago, and I just stopped using it for 2 weeks. Withdrawal symptoms? Negligible. I wasn’t overly sad, though my wife did complain at me a bit as I wasn’t quite as good at dealing with the stress of our business, or at letting it go at the end of the day. It really wasn’t THAT bad. Afterwards, I needed about half as much of my usual dose which had gotten rather substantial, and since then I have really tried to keep that more conservative dose for the most part.
Unless I want to meditate or pray, in which case I still use a fairly solid dose as it helps me to connect better when I am looking for direction or channeling energy for healing. Which honestly is what humans have always used this plant for. I consider it to be one of our BEST allies on this planet because another thing that it teaches us to do? It teaches us to love. To love ourselves, to love our families, to love the world around us. It also helps us to feel connected to the world around us. Which is one of the biggest truths I think we as humans have to wrap our heads around today.
One more way to use this plant is as a vegetable. You can eat the leaves raw, or juice them, and if you don’t HEAT the product, you will not get high, but you will still gain the benefit of the plant. Which is fairly substantial. Via http://chefderekbutt.blogspot.com/2015/03/marijuana-nutrition-facts-and-benefits.html it’s apparently a complete food source. All the essential amino acids, in an easily digested form. Perfect 3 to 1 ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Fresh raw marijuana has an abundant supply of nutrients like magnesium, Phytosterols, Ascorbic Acid, Beta Carotene, Calcium, Folic Acid, Fiber, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Riboflavin, Niacin and Thiamine. It’s rich in vitamin A, E, D and B12. Apparently it’s also a complete protein. People have used eating it ALONE to treat diseases to quite outstanding effect without getting high. Great video I saw a few years back, only about 15 min long.
They make a great case for how it works, as well as the benefits of growing it to feed the world as well as reversing global warming. Though this is just one of many videos on the subject. How does it taste? Well, it’s sweet if you put it in a smoothie. It’s kinda nutty if it’s in a salad. The leaf has a rather interesting texture.
Y’all also have been seeing me talk about Rick Simpson, who found a way to use cannabis oil to cure cancer, and teaches people how to do it for free. (provided you have a pound of cannabis to use) Have posted several articles on Facebook, but here is a good video.
His method uses microdosing, which again, will not get you high.
So why is this stuff still illegal? Well, politics mostly, as well as interference by the aforementioned industries, including alcohol, tobacco, as well as the prison industry. Still, all this is changing, and quickly. So for those of y’all who live in places where cannabis is STILL illegal, now you have some good information on the benefits, and I advise y’all to go vote.
Now for a little preview of what I want to talk about in my next article. Every cell in your body, pretty much without exception, you put into it’s place using material that originally came from a plant. Doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian or not, the animals we use for meat eat plants too. Every breath that you breathe you bring oxygen into your body, which a good portion of was placed into that needed format by a plant. Converted in many cases from the carbon dioxide which we exhale. Now here is the fun part. Ever hear about something called quantum entanglement?
Via Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement “Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance — instead, a quantum state must be described for the system as a whole. And how does entanglement happen? “Entanglement is usually created by direct interactions between subatomic particles.” This could be as simple as passing electrons, but certainly if an oxygen molecule passes from a tree to me, and I use that oxygen molecule in my body, then I suspect entanglement has occurred. If I eat food from a plant, using it’s molecules which it rearranged from the earth using water and sunlight, and I use those molecules to make muscle tissue or brain tissue, part of me is connected on a quantum level with that plant via said entanglement. Meaning that I am not separate from my environment, not really. It’s a part of me, and I am a part of it, and as many of us breath the same air, and eat the same food prepared from the same sources, and often from the same plants, well. I am connected to many of my fellow humans as well. More on this later.
At any rate, I appreciate all of you that have made it through this rather lengthy article, and thank you for letting me into your world for a little while. I hope that at least I have encouraged some of you to look further into the subject, and for those of you that are already enthusiasts, perhaps this may deepen your own experience.
Love and light.