Sol Solomon: Natural relief for pain and stress in trying times

For the Monitor
Published: 5/16/2020 10:00:07 AM

Those who enjoy marijuana are especially grateful to have it available during the pandemic. Without this natural stress reliever, it would be much tougher for many to weather the current lockdown, let alone the past three years of persistent insanity from Washington.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are open in most states, and in some, recreational sales are considered “essential” services. In our own state, liquor stores are open but recreational marijuana remains illegal.

I wonder again why this beneficial plant is still not fully accepted. Marijuana remains classified as a Schedule 1 Drug by the federal government, the same as heroin and cocaine. Despite this significant impediment, the popularity of hemp-derived products is skyrocketing.

The recent widespread embrace of CBD has been nothing short of remarkable, opening the eyes of the general public to the myriad uses of the hemp plant in addition to getting high. The unconditional success of CBD products cuts across all political persuasions and societal classes. Concord has its own store specializing in CBD.

If a pharmaceutical company invented a product that relieved pain, anxiety, insomnia and convulsions, and stimulated appetite, it would be proclaimed the wonder drug of all wonder drugs. They would charge through the nose for it. But because they can’t patent the use of hemp, Big Pharma shows little interest, despite its many salutary properties.

It won’t be long before recreational marijuana is legal nationally and hemp products of all types become even bigger business. Pot is attracting imbibers of alcohol away from their brews as the onus of illegality is lifted. Alcohol and tobacco companies have concocted designer drinks and vaping to keep consumers interested and away from the new green competitors.

Sophisticated growing and breeding techniques have raised the THC content of marijuana to levels many times stronger than in the olden days. Edibles offer similar results for those who prefer ingesting their high. Why be sedated in a sloppy way with alcohol when you can relax in a celebratory way instead?

Varieties of pot are now being developed based on the particular emotional and mental qualities of different terpenes. Soon there will be specific blends to enhance listening to music, enjoying a meal, taking a walk in the woods, for anxiety, and for going to sleep. There will be large displays at every pharmacy and grocery store.

There are good reasons humans have been enjoying the hemp plant for thousands of years. Our endocannabinoid system contains special receptors for pot. It turns out we are hard-wired to make good use of this plant.

The widespread acceptance of cannabis is happening at the same time we are shifting from fossil fuels. As a renewable resource, the humble hemp plant can help turn around major portions of society for the better. The fact it is also an effective stress and pain reliever that enhances the capacity for joy makes it one of the very finest gifts in Nature’s apothecary.

(Sol Solomon lives in Sutton.)




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