When most people hear the word Weed or Cannabis, they imagine happy, hungry stoners, in most cases, using an illegal recreational drug. For the vast majority of people this is where their knowledge on the subject begins and ends. Cannabis, or its non psycho-active form Hemp, has been used by humans for thousands of years and is currently the number one contender for being one of the most useful plants on the planet.
Until recently, Hemp was one of the most important crops grown on Earth. The Empires that were carved out by Britain, France and Spain were rooted in Hemp cultivation. From Africa to India and South America, their locations were chosen for their Hemp growing potential. During hearings on Marijuana law in the US during the 1930’s, claims were made about Marijuana’s ability to cause men of colour to become violent and solicit sex from white women. This imagery became the backdrop for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which effectively banned its use and sale in the US and the majority of the western world followed.
The main issue here was, there was no distinction made between the psycho-active effects of Cannabis and non psycho-active Hemp. They were both made illegal to cultivate and, effectively, overnight the world lost access to a plant that had supplied the majority of Oral Medicine, Rope, Paper, Clothes, Oil, Soap, a source of high Vegetable Protein and many other uses too many to mention, for over five thousand years. The fibres are strong and highly resistant to rot. Clothes and rope made from Hemp last many years longer than from other natural fibres and the original Denim Jeans were made from, you guessed it, Hemp!
The Medical uses for Marijuana have been well known for many Millennia. The Ancient Chinese and Egyptians being at the forefront. The BBC ran a story in 2003 claiming that the anointing oil used by Jesus and his apostles to help crippling diseases, was a Cannabis extract called Kaneh-bosem, which had miraculous results. Two thousand years ago Cannabis was used to effectively treat Epilepsy and the ones administering the medicine would be perceived as miracle workers.
Cannabis contains thousands of active compounds with the main ones being THC, THCA, CBD, CBC and CBN. A quick search on the internet shows that concentrated and non-concentrated forms of Cannabis have been used effectively to treat many ailments including, but not restricted to; Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Muscle Pain, Nausea, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Tourette’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Heart Disease, Depression, Anxiety, Chemotherapy side effects, Crohn’s Disease, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, HIV-related Peripheral Neuropathy, Huntington’s Disease, Incontinence, Insomnia, Multiple Sclerosis, Pruritus, Sleep Apnea and the holy grail of all, Cancer.
In lab tests when THC is introduced to Cancer cells, they die on contact. The mutating cell is overwhelmed by the molecule and essentially commits suicide. Healthy cells are left unharmed. Scientist believe this is because the Cancer cells are larger and have more receptors and are simply overwhelmed by the THC molecule and disrupt the reactions inside the cell. There is overwhelming evidence and proof that Hemp oil, a concentrated form of Cannabis, can clear skin Cancer within 14 days, some as few as 4 days. It appears that THC assisted with other compounds in the plant, kills cells that grow uncontrollably, and that is exactly what Cancer is!
The other exciting research being conducted at present is with Epilepsy. Now rediscovered as a treatment, more powerful and successful than any other drugs on the market. Taken in its Hemp oil form, very low in THC and high in CBD, it has massively reduced Epileptic fits in children and adults. Children have gone from 400 fits a week down to just one or none. CNN ran a three part series called ‘Weed’ parts one to three. Parts one and two centered around a young girl named Charlotte Figi. Charlotte was having up to 500 seizures a week and was close to death. A special form of Cannabis was developed to help Charlotte which was subsequently named “Charlotte’s Web”. High in CBD nearly 30% and low in THC 0.3%, it has now reduced her seizures to one every two weeks. The “Charlotte’s Web” strain is now changing the lives of Epilepsy sufferers all over America.
It is interesting to consider that no one has ever died from the use of Marijuana alone, you cannot overdose on Cannabis, in fact the health concerns of Marijuana are minimal when compared to the extremely popular use of Alcohol, Cigarettes, and the ever increasingly worrisome use of Pharmaceutical drugs. What do those 3 things have in common? They are legal, almost everywhere around the world. Something is sorely missing here…
All this and we haven’t even touched on the other aspects such as the recreational use that leads to a feeling of happiness and Euphoria. The social aspect of Marijuana transcends Race and Gender. All that matters is the Weed, socialising and the exchanging of ideas. It inspires people in all aspects of creativity, from music to films and back again. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, nearly all Rappers, Scientists, Philosophers and Thinkers throughout time have attributed Cannabis as a driving force for creativity. Whenever a film is made about weed it is normally a feel good comedy, which is in stark contrast to any films made about Alcohol, Cocaine or Heroin use, that are normally dark and full of violence, death and broken dreams.
So why would a plant that has so many uses and can effectively treat Epilepsy and Cancer be illegal? The answer would appear to be the amount of personal freedom it gives us all as individuals, as we can all grow and process this plant. People who regularly smoke Cannabis report a happier and more peaceful life, spending more time in the now, and less time worrying about the stresses of life. If made 100% legal, a lot of big Corporations and Pharmaceutical companies would go out of business and for some reason the people who rule us don’t want you happy and relaxed. They want you worried about money so you will work and then they can tax you and keep their machine turning over. As Michael Jackson said “They don’t really care about us” and in this case, he couldn’t be more right.
This documentary seeks to be the ultimate Odyssey of exploration into Cannabis and its various uses starting from the formation of the Endocannabinoid system in the simple sea squirt, through to its early uses, through to the plant’s medical benefits and landing at the modern legalisation movements across the Globe. Where the billions generated in tax could be re-invested back into hospitals, roads, fire departments, scientific research, community projects and the list goes on.
HEMP TRULY IS A PLANT THAT COULD SAVE THE WORLD…… AND US WITH IT!