Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) is an annual, long, and strong fiber plant grown for its seed, which has been cultivated by mankind in ancient times. Fiber plants constitute the raw material source of the textile industry. The cultivated industrial cannabis is a sub-variety that can be grown at a height of 120-450 cm. Cannabis is known as one of the oldest sources of vegetable raw materials. So, how can cannabis be used?
Cannabis, apart from its recreational use, can be used in many sectors. Cannabis is a versatile herb that makes use of its fibers and stems, seeds, leaves, and flowers. It is used in paper, biofuel, medicine, cosmetic products, soap, fabric, the automotive industry, and many other areas. As a result of archaeological studies, remains of fabric made from hemp dating back to 8000 BC were found. Let’s look at all of the healthy and harmful ways of cannabis use together!
Cannabis and Cannabis Use in General
Cannabis is an annual plant genus belonging to the Cannabaceae family. It is a plant species that is the oldest source of vegetable raw material in the history of humanity, also called hemp, whose fibers in its stems are used in making yarn and woven fabric, and its pulp is used in making paper. In addition, cannabis is used in pharmaceutical production, biodiesel fuel production, the automotive industry, and cosmetic products.
Cannabis, whose homeland is Central Asia, is grown and cultivated in temperate and tropical regions. Cannabis is a hard, bushy, hollow stem, palmate leaf, dioecious and annual. It is harvested 120-140 days after sowing. As in flax, the fiber cells are in bundles in the bark part. Fiber production is carried out by rotting, forging, and carding processes as in flax. Fiber length is 40-45 mm. It is bright yellow or brown in color.
Cannabis (hemp) fiber is the fiber used in the production of materials such as fabric, packaging yarn, and composite obtained from the stem of an annual woody plant belonging to the Cannabinaceae family, close to nettles. Hemp fibers are durable and quite long, and because of this feature, they are often preferred in the textile industry. Cannabis is a very powerful plant and its production requires almost no use of pesticides and fertilizers.
The leaves of cannabis are used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. In addition to the leaves and fibers of hemp, its seeds are also used. Hemp seeds are used as fuel in terms of being quite oily and as food, because they are highly nutritious. When lignin material accumulates in the fibers, the elasticity property decreases. The fibers of the genus are used in coarse weaving (such as warp threads of carpets, sacks, ropes, ropes, bags, nets, tent cloth).
Its seeds are also used in soap-making and dye-making. Its seeds are one of the favorite foods of birds. Cannabis sativa is the type used to obtain oil and fiber. The type used in cannabis production is Cannabis indica. Cannabis is a female-sexual plant that is used in cannabis production and requires permission from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Livestock for its cultivation.
While the male plant is not used to obtain cannabis, it is not fully specified in the law whether a permit is required to grow it. It is a one-year, dicotyledonous and herbaceous plant grown in similar climates, blooming pale greenish flowers in July-August. Also known as marijuana weed. Their bodies are upright and hollow, and they are rough because of their thorny hairs. The general characteristics of hemp are as follows:
- Fibers obtained from hemp are healthy and antibacterial. Fabrics made from the yarn can be used in hundreds of places, including in the medical industry.
- Hemp fiber is used as insulation material in construction.
- Solid board (fibreboard) is made from hemp chipboard.
- Construction brick is made by mixing natural cement made from hemp with water and pouring it into molds.
- Brick is lighter and stronger than concrete. It is durable for 600 years.
- It is soundproof material.
- It reduces fuel consumption when you use hemp as an insulator.
- It is fire-resistant. Houses made of this material are not only healthy but also safer.
- It is very effective in drying swamps.
- It is a radiation cleaner.
- Its deep roots allow the soil to be aerated.
- It emits five times more oxygen than a tree.
- It protects forests as it is more suitable for paper making than wood.
- Its seeds are rich in omega complexes and are nutritious. The oil of the seed is good for many diseases.
The cannabis plant was gradually banned all over the world after the “Marijuana Tax Act” was enacted in the USA in the 1930s after barriers to its cultivation were introduced. It is thought that the ban was made by economic and political interest groups rather than scientifically. One acre of cannabis is a woody plant very rich in cellulose, which can provide the pulp of 4 acres of trees. The fibers, on the other hand, were used as a fiber source all over the world before synthetic fibers, which are products of petroleum by-products, became widespread throughout the world. Today, most of the pesticides in the world are used in cotton cultivation, which is used in fiber production.
Cannabis is a very powerful herb and hardly needs any medication. The vested interests leading to banning cannabis are also thought to be linked to the oil and pharmaceutical industries. Tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC), which is concentrated in the bud tops of the unfertilized plant, which is shown as the reason for the ban on female cannabis, has been used as “marijuana” since the existence of humanity, and there are many studies published in scientific journals showing its medicinal uses. The active substance does not occur in the female plant, which is in the same environment as the male plant. Today, the use and breeding of male and female species have been liberalized in many countries.
Agricultural Cannabis Use
The agricultural use of cannabis provides many useful end products. The fibers obtained from the stems of hemp are stronger than those obtained from cotton and linen. However, since it is coarser, it is mostly used for making rope, rope, twine, twine, tether, rope, and fishing net. It is also used in the production of durable materials such as sacks, sails, tent cloth, car, boat, wagon, and military ball covers, pouches, and special papers such as banknotes and cigarette paper. Underwear and summer fabrics are woven from finer hemp fibers.
After the fibers are removed, the remaining straw residues can be used as fuel. Apart from these uses, hemp fibers are also used in construction and insulation materials. Cannabis oil obtained from its seeds is used as a lightening oil as well as in the production of Arabic soap, varnish, varnish, paint, cosmetic products. The pulp leftover from the de-oiled seeds is used for animal feeding. Extracts obtained from cannabis seeds constitute the raw material of the pharmaceutical industry. Its seeds can be eaten as a snack or used as bird feed.
Hemp, which has a wide range of uses from pharmaceuticals, paper, biofuels, fabrics, cosmetics to soap production and the automotive sector, is an alternative plant in every field where petroleum and petrochemistry are used. It has superior features that are added every day. Transnational corporations and governments that profit from petroleum-based industrial products oppose cannabis production and proliferation as it threatens their earnings and raison d’etre.
Today, we see that China is the largest producer and exporter of hemp in the paper and fabric industry in the world. Canada is the leader in cannabis seed products. In addition to being at the forefront of the use of industrial cannabis in Europe, and mostly in industries such as automobile and construction, this plant is benefiting from this plant. Again, Germany, England, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and Russia are among other countries producing hemp.
America, on the other hand, lags behind Canada and China in cannabis production due to its changing policies and approaches in different periods regarding the production and use of this plant, but it has started to come to the fore with its large R&D and production investments in recent years. Nearly half of the 69 cannabis varieties registered in Europe to date have been developed in the last 10 years, and most of them are industrial-type cannabis strains containing a low percentage of the cannabis active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The seeds, stems, and leaves of cannabis, one of the oldest plants used as raw materials in human history, are still used today; It has many uses such as food, beverage, medicine, cosmetics, personal care, textile, paper, and building material. On the other hand, while scientific studies indicate that 1 acre of cellulose-rich cannabis production can produce pulp equivalent to 4 acres of trees, it is implied that hemp farming can be effective in protecting forests with this feature alone.
However, the news coming from countries that are increasing their production capacity day by day in the face of demand in the market is also a sign that the opposite of the data shared above may occur if a careful and controlled national policy is not followed. So much so that due to the increasing demand, high yield potential, and ease of production, especially regarding the cannabis plant, which has been widely cultivated in the state of California; There are much news in the last year that it causes the destruction of forests, forces water resources based on excessive consumption and endanger the wildlife in the region.
Cannabis Use in Healthcare
Cannabis use is often accompanied by the use of other drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) stated that 4% of adults in the world use cannabis, while this rate is 11% (36 million people) in America. Apart from its recreational use, cannabis can be used in healthcare as well.
It is known that the continuous use of cannabis or its derivatives causes many short (acute) and long-term (chronic) disorders or diseases. Since cannabis is generally used with tobacco and its smoke is inhaled, its effects on the respiratory system are also high. While it causes respiratory tract diseases and diseases with inflammation in the acute period, it has been found to cause head-neck and lung cancer in chronic use.
Cannabis has effects on the cardiovascular system such as myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, cardiomyopathy, and stroke. In addition, it was observed that the rate of heart attack increased 4.8 times in people who regularly consumed cannabis compared to those who did not use it. Again, with continuous use, there is a decrease in testosterone secretion, sperm production, and sperm motility in men; In women, it has been found to decrease egg quality.
However, the mechanisms of all these changes have not yet been fully elucidated. On the other hand, many types of research are carried out for the use of drugs containing cannabinoids, the active ingredient of cannabis, especially in the treatment of neurological and psychological disorders. The active ingredients in cannabis are called Phyto (plant-derived) cannabinoids and have been detected in many plants other than cannabis today.
In addition, these substances are produced synthetically in a laboratory environment, but their trade is done on a limited basis due to ethical reasons. Substances that produce cannabinoid-like effects are also produced by our body and are called endocannabinoids. It has been observed that these substances increase in cases of intense physical activity and create the psychological effects of cannabis use.
It has been proven by science today that it has a share in making a person feel happy when doing sports. Especially plant-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is effectively used orally to prevent/eliminate nausea seen during and after chemotherapy applied in cancer treatment. For example, the FDA-approved drug Marinol, whose active ingredient is a synthetic cannabinoid, is used to prevent appetite loss/increase the feeling of hunger, regulate sleep, and prevent nausea after HIV and chemotherapy.
Cannabis Can Be Used Medically for Serious Illness
Sativex oral spray, which is a standardized cannabis extract, has been widely used in the reduction of spasticity caused by neuropathic pain and muscle spasm in multiple sclerosis (MS). Cannabinoids are used in neuropathic pain, arthritis, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches that occur outside of cancer and MS. Short-term health risks associated with the medical uses of cannabis and cannabinoids include dry mouth, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea, and confusion.
The use of these substances as drugs is an issue that has been on the agenda in recent years, but some problems have been encountered during the use of these drugs. The dose of the active ingredient of cannabis should be adjusted very well, that when the dose is applied below or above the required dose, the disorders that occur in the direct use of the cannabis plant have also been observed in the patients.
For example, cannabinoid-based drugs produced to help obese patients lose weight were withdrawn because they developed neurological disorders that could lead to suicide in patients. For this reason, it is necessary for scientists to conduct many experiments in the laboratory or on animals in drug production of these active substances, and these drugs must be approved by organizations such as the American Ministry of Health (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), which has a say in the world.
The use of cannabinoids in cosmetics is increasing day by day. In this area, very low doses of cannabis seed oils are added to moisturizing creams, especially in order to soothe the skin. Upon the detection of the negative effects of cannabinoids, the use of antagonists that stop or reverse the effects of cannabinoids against these substances has come to the fore.
Since cannabinoids are known to affect memory and memory in the short and long term; Studies are underway to use antagonists to strengthen memory or to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s. They are thought to be a remedy for the treatment of various cancers. Here again, the adjustment of the dose is of great importance. In order to rule out the effects of cannabis-derived substances on the central nervous system, drugs containing active substances should be developed in a way that does not cross the blood-brain barrier.
To summarize, besides the health hazards of using cannabis as cannabis, there is also evidence showing indirect health benefits. However, it is clear that more research is needed to fully determine the public health implications of rising cannabis use. For example, many scientists and health organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS), support the need for more scientific research on the use of cannabis and cannabis drugs to treat medical conditions.
However, there is a barrier to these studies. Namely; cannabis and anti-drug organizations impose strict conditions on researchers working in this field, preventing cannabis and cannabis research. If you live in a country where the medical use of cannabis is legal, you and your doctor should carefully consider these factors and their relationship to your illness and health history before using this medicine. For example, while there is some evidence to support the use of cannabis for pain relief, you should definitely stay away from cannabis if you have a history of mental health problems.
Cannabis Use Disorder
If cannabis use is exploited, it may cause cannabis use disorder. The color of cannabis is in shades close to green-brown and in a form resembling dried leaves. Its active ingredient is delta-9 tétrahydrocannabinol (THC). When smoked and smoked, it starts to show its effect within 10 minutes, and within 30 minutes, the THC rate in the blood reaches its maximum, and its psychological effect lasts between 2 and 3 hours.
When consumed orally (in cake, biscuit), its effect occurs a little later (between 30 and 60 minutes) and its effect can last 3 to 5 hours, or even up to 10 to 12 hours depending on the dose used. The most important factor in choosing cannabis is that it is portrayed as an innocent, non-addictive substance. However, contrary to what is known, cannabis causes serious problems in the short and long term and creates addiction. Under normal circumstances, cannabis is used in anticipation of its effects such as relaxation and happiness.
However, its effects may vary depending on the personality of the user, his current psychological state, the way of use, the amount of use, and the ambiance of the environment used. Cannabis (marijuana) often increases the emotional state prior to use. Therefore, these intensified emotions can be positive as well as negative. The physical and mental effects of marijuana use include:
- Dry mouth
- Enlarged pupils and redness of the eyes
- Increased heart rate, change in blood pressure, relaxation of muscles
- Movement disorders and dizziness (especially when standing up)
- A drop in body temperature (feeling cold)
- Circulatory problems and vomiting (in case of a bad trip)
- Differentiation of the state of consciousness, hypersensitivity to light and music
- The state of being cheerful, irresistible desire to talk and laugh (in case of a good trip)
- Relaxation, calming, feeling of relief (in case of a good trip)
- Deterioration of time perception, decreased reaction time
- Attention and concentration problems
- Anxiety, panic, restlessness, thoughts of losing your mind (in case of a bad trip)
Things to Know About Cannabis Use Disorder
Although it is said that cannabis is an innocent substance that is not addictive, there is both psychological and physical dependence. Symptoms such as palpitations, insomnia, restlessness, sweating are physical symptoms that occur when reducing or quitting cannabis. Psychological dependence is manifested in an irresistible desire to use cannabis, users do not realize they are at this point until they reach this point, and they think they can control their use. While the symptoms of physical dependence disappear within 7-10 days, psychological dependence lasts longer, and may even trigger resumption after quitting.
- Cognitive Problems
Neurological studies show that people who use cannabis for a long time develop problems with learning, attention, concentration, and memory.
- Fertility and Pregnancy
Studies have shown that long-term cannabis use affects fertility in both men and women, and also has negative effects on the development of the fetus.
Symptoms such as social apathy, isolation, and loss of motivation have been observed in long-term cannabis users.
- Psychiatric Disorders
Marijuana use poses a risk for depression and psychosis, especially if it is prolonged and started at a young age. It affects the formation and progression of these diseases.
- Respiratory Problems
Marijuana use increases the risk of respiratory ailments and cancer.
- Cannabis Addiction and Psychological Support
Psychotherapy can be beneficial in substance use-related disorders, in areas such as coping with withdrawal, building a new daily routine, and developing problem-solving skills. Meeting with a psychologist may allow you to better cope with this process.
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