Hemp is a plant that comprises three subspecies, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis and is the most useful plant that grows on planet Earth. Man discovered cannabis more than 5,000 years ago. The oldest cannabis product site dates back to 12,000 years ago and lies in the area of present-day China. It is a versatile plant that can be used entirely. Hemp fibers were already used in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt and were added to clay bricks for reinforcement. Until the 20th century, hemp was widely used all over the world, and it is very popular in Slovenia, as well.
Interestingly, until 1880, all school textbooks were made from cannabis. By 1850, as much as 80% of all paper, rope, fuel and oil were made from cannabis, and by 1820, 80% of textiles were made from it.
Cannabis contains cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and some other compounds. In medicine, cannabis is used in the form of buds, extracts and synthetic analogues of active ingredients. Historical records of the use of cannabis for medical purposes date back to 2737 BC.
Cannabis indica originates from Central Asia and was one of the first psychotropic drugs to be used before the development of drugs, and has been used by traditional Chinese medicine for more than 5,000 years. Due to its ingredients, it acts as an analgesic, antiemetic (against vomiting) and anticonvulsant (against cramps), stimulates appetite and acts as a muscle relaxant. Since 1954, cannabis has been sold freely in pharmacies in Western American countries.
Cannabis became illegal when it was included in the list of illicit drugs in the United States in the 1930s, which also includes drugs such as heroin and cocaine, and in 1937 its ban / prohibition began. The unwavering father of the cannabis ban was Harry Anslinger, who was the first director of the Federal Office of Narcotics and a notorious opponent of cannabis and its products. She was declared a very dangerous drug and blamed for insanity, violence and crimes that occur due to cannabis use. The fact is, however, that cannabis was dangerous primarily to the oil giants, the alcohol and tobacco industries, and especially to larger chemical and pharmaceutical corporations.
The versatility of hemp has been known for a long time, it is industrially interesting mainly due to its rapid growth, yield and versatility. The seeds are used to produce the oil we use in cooking, they can be used to produce protein and flour. Stems and fibers are used for textile and construction purposes. The leaves can be used to make excellent teas, flowers or. the tops and hemp pollen are mainly used to obtain hemp extracts / extracts / tinctures, which are rich in cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
Cannabinoids are already highly researched worldwide, the number of published scientific publications on the subject has jumped exponentially in recent years, and publications are supported by clinical studies and in most cases have positive effects and the results also proven.
Terpenes are another very important group of ingredients in addition to the cannabinoids found in cannabis. Terpenes are compounds that are present in all essential oils, are well known especially in the world of aromatherapy and herbal medicine, and in combination with cannabinoids their effect is increased ("entourage" effect). Terpenes are primarily concerned with well-being. In recent years, more and more people and groups have been involved in research into the effects of terpenes and the combination of terpenes with cannabinoids.
The third group of compounds contained in cannabis are flavonoids . This area is not yet as highly researched as the area of cannabinoids and terpenes. High levels of flavonoids are found in honey, royal jelly, propolis and other products that bees collect and extract from pollen and plant resins and are then processed by humans. Flavonoids are plant dyes that protect plants from microorganisms as they are powerful antioxidants.
All cannabinoids found in cannabis are phytocannabinoids. The human body contains endocannabinoids, which take care of our endocannabinoid system. This system is composed of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. Two endocannabinoids in particular are very well researched, namely anandamide, which is an analogue of THC, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which is an analogue of CBD, but there are undoubtedly more species that can be found in our body. Two receptors have been discovered so far: CB1 and CB2, with different distributions throughout the body. The CB1 receptor is most abundant in the central nervous system, while the CB2 receptor is more evenly distributed throughout the body. The enzymes involved in this system take care of the proper formation and breakdown of cannabinoids and thus enable the optimal functioning of our endocannabinoid system. The diversity of receptor sites indicates how important endocannabinoids are for everyday bodily functions.
Most cannabinoids have no psychoactive effects, they have a positive effect on our body and immune system. Terpenes in combination with cannabinoids are characterized by a synergistic effect, which increases their "entourage effect". The best known and researched are the cannabinoids cannabinol (CBD), which is a psychoneactive cannabinoid, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of the few cannabinoids with a psychoactive effect. More and more research is focused on exploring terpenes and their synergistic effects.
One recent study by German researchers, as well as countless studies by research groups around the world, has shown that cannabis and cannabinoids boost the immune system. The terpenes present in cannabis, however, take care of our well-being and take care of our feelings.
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