The Plant, the Entire Plant & Nothing However the Plant

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It has lengthy been recognized that resinous hashish flower tops are infused with strong therapeutic properties. However there are additionally pharmacologically lively parts in different components of the plant that shouldn’t be ignored when assessing the well being advantages of hashish.

The earliest reference to the therapeutic use of hashish dates again to 2700 BC in historical China, “the land of hemp and mulberry.” Hashish (“Ma”) was subsequently included within the Shennong Ben Cao Jing, humankind’s first pharmacopeia, which had been assembled by Emperor Shen Nung, the legendary father of conventional Chinese language drugs, who’s credited with introducing the customized of consuming tea. Ma was really useful for greater than 100 illnesses, together with gout, rheumatism, malaria, constipation, beri-beri, and absent-mindedness.

The Shennong Ben Cao Jing referred to as Ma one of many “Supreme Elixirs of Immortality.” It was stated to confer longevity and good well being. If consumed over an extended time period, Ma may “allow one to speak with the spirit mild and make the physique mild. It primarily dietary supplements the middle and boosts the qi [chi]. Protracted taking could make one fats, robust, and by no means senile.”1

When consumed in extra, nonetheless, “it could make one behold ghosts and frenetically run about.”

Seeds of Well being

In conventional Chinese language drugs, protein-rich hashish seeds figured prominently each as a meals supply and a treatment — apparently extra so than resinous hashish flower tops. The seeds don’t include CBD, THC, or every other cannabinoids. However trendy science confirms that hashish seeds are a wonderful supply of omega 3 fatty acids, that are indispensable biochemical constructing blocks for a wholesome endocannabinoid system.

A 2011 research revealed in Nature Neuroscience states: “Dietary omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal capabilities.”2 Low ranges of omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to neuropsychiatric illnesses and impaired emotional conduct.

“Dietary omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal capabilities.”

Our endocannabinoids — the “marijuana-like” compounds that bind to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, in addition to different receptors within the mind and physique — are literally derivatives or byproducts of omega 3 and omega 6 omega fatty acids. These are known as “important” fatty acids as a result of they’ll’t be produced by the physique in sufficient quantities and due to this fact have to be ingested.

However the typical Western weight-reduction plan skews closely towards corn, wheat, and different cereal grains, that are excessive in omega 6, whereas right this moment we eat a lot much less meals — fish, nuts, leafy greens — that’s wealthy in omega 3. This dietary imbalance is a significant component that contributes to many persistent illnesses. It seems that hashish seeds (commercially accessible as hempseed oil, hemp hearts or hempseed protein powder) are gifted with a wonderful stability of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

The Root of the Matter

Practitioners of conventional Chinese language drugs additionally used an extract from uncooked hashish roots to deal with infections and to assist girls throughout childbirth. A decoction made by boiling the roots may very well be consumed orally as a tincture or juice or utilized topically as a poultice.

Herbalists and healers have employed hashish root preparations to deal with a variety of maladies not solely in China however in different components of the world. The primary reference to the therapeutic properties of hashish roots in Western drugs is discovered within the Pure Histories (77 AD) by Pliny the Elder. The Latin naturalist wrote that “the roots [of the cannabis plant] boiled in water ease cramped joints, gout too, and related violent ache.”

Hashish roots are endowed with medicinal compounds which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

As is the case with hashish seeds, the roots don’t include THC or CBD or any of the so-called minor cannabinoids. Nor are fragrant important oils (which give hashish flower its full of life perfume) current within the roots. As a substitute, the roots are endowed with different medicinal parts which have analgesic and anti inflammatory properties. Numerous alkaloids and sterols distinctive to hashish roots are noteworthy antioxidants. Friedelin, a triterpenoid compound present in algae and lichen, in addition to in hashish roots, is thought to scale back fevers.

A twelfth century Persian medical textual content cited the antipyretic (fever-reducing) motion of hashish roots. And in 1542 the German doctor Leonard Fuchs famous {that a} compress made with hemp root extract can soothe infected pores and skin: “The uncooked root, pounded and wrapped, is nice for the burn.” 100 years later, English botanist John Parkinson really useful a decoction of hemp root “to chill irritation of the top or every other half.” And Nicholas Culpepper’s Compleat Natural, revealed in 1653, additionally mentions hemp roots as a treatment for irritation.3

However remember the fact that hashish is a bioaccumulator, that means that its roots can draw heavy medals and different toxins from the soil. Whereas that’s a terrific asset for cleansing up a contaminated ecosystem, it’s not what you need when rising an herb for human consumption. The place and the way hashish is cultivated are essential components that have to be thought-about to keep away from publicity to dangerous materials and to maximise the well being advantages of the plant.

Flower Energy

Cultivating high-quality hashish isn’t rocket science, but it surely entails vital consideration to element. A hearty, adaptable plant that just about anybody can develop, hashish lends itself to high-tech horticulture and complicated breeding strategies designed to coax desired traits into prominence and fine-tune the standard of the excessive. The complexity of gourmand ganja — an adaptogen and euphoriant with a unprecedented vary of smells and flavors and psychoactive subtleties — has reached a degree of artistry akin to right this moment’s wine trade.

Rising the kindest bud in the end depends upon an historical gardening ritual generally known as “sexing the vegetation,” a observe that entails separating female and male vegetation of their early phases to keep away from pollination. Often known as sinsemilla (Spanish for “with out seeds”), the unfertilized feminine flower tops, oozing THC and CBD and a kaleidoscope of important oils, are what hashish is most well-known for. The sexually pissed off females produce greater buds with extra sticky, fragrant resin in an unrequited try to catch pollen that by no means arrives.

Carl Linnaeus, the daddy of recent botany, wrote about this in his 1753 treatise Dissertation on the Sexes of Crops. The eminent Swedish scientist describes rising Hashish sativa on his windowsill, an expertise he vastly loved: “Within the month of April, I sowed the seeds of hemp (Hashish) in two totally different pots. The younger vegetation got here up plentifully . . . I positioned every by the window, however in several and distant compartments. In certainly one of them I permitted the female and male vegetation to stay collectively, to flower and bear fruit, which ripened in July . . . From the opposite, nonetheless, I eliminated all of the male vegetation, as quickly as they have been sufficiently old for me to differentiate them from the females. The remaining females grew very effectively, and offered their lengthy pistilla in nice abundance, these flowers persevering with a really very long time, as if in expectation of their mates . . . It was actually a good looking and actually admirable spectacle, to see the unimpregnated females protect their pistilla so lengthy inexperienced and flourishing, not allowing them to fade, until that they had been for a really appreciable time exploded, in useless, to entry the male pollen . . .”4

Hashish has been likened to a “pharmacological treasure trove.” CBD and THC are the crown jewels of this treasure trove. They’re the ability couple of hashish therapeutics. However there are additionally dozens of secondary cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids within the shimmering feminine inflorescence, every with particular therapeutic attributes, which work together synergistically in order that the therapeutic affect of complete plant hashish is bigger than the sum of its components. From faucet root to bud, whether or not seeded or seedless, the plant is the alpha and omega of hashish drugs.


Shou-zhong, Y. The Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica: A Translation of the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. Boulder, CO: Blue Poppy Press, 1997.

Lafourcade M, Larrieu T, Mato S, Duffaud A, Sepers M, Matias I, De Smedt-Peyrusse V, Labrousse VF, Bretillon L, Matute C, Rodríguez-Puertas R, Layé S, Manzoni OJ. Dietary omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal capabilities. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Mar;14(3):345-50. doi: 10.1038/nn.2736. Epub 2011 Jan 30. PMID: 21278728.

Ryz NR, Remillard DJ, Russo EB. Hashish Roots: A Conventional Remedy with Future Potential for Treating Irritation and Ache. Hashish Cannabinoid Res. 2017 Aug 1;2(1):210-216. doi: 10.1089/can.2017.0028. PMID: 29082318; PMCID: PMC5628559.

A Dissertation on the Sexes of Crops. Translated from the Latin of Linnaeus by James Edward Smith, F.R.S., into English and revealed 1786. Cited in Lee, Martin A. Smoke Indicators. New York: Scribners: 2012, p. 22.

Martin A. Lee is the director of Challenge CBD. He’s authored and edited a number of books, together with Smoke Indicators, Acid Desires, and The Important Information to CBD. © Copyright, Challenge CBD. Is probably not reprinted with out permission.

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