Cannabis has been used for centuries, but its access and legality have changed drastically. In the United States, cannabis was once widely cultivated and even prescribed by doctors, but its use was sharply curtailed in the early 20th century. 

Today, cannabis is slowly becoming legalized again in many states, opening up new opportunities for research and medicine. But what does this mean for patients who need access to this life-changing plant? Let’s look at the long and complicated history of cannabis and see how its status has changed.

The Early History of Cannabis

Cannabis has been used for centuries, with evidence of its use in Ancient China and India. In the 19th century, cannabis began to be widely used in the West for its medicinal properties. Doctors prescribed it to treat a wide range of conditions, from pain relief to epilepsy.

In the 1960s, cannabis began to be more widely used recreationally, particularly by young people, and its use was closely associated with the counterculture of the time. This led to increased pressure to legalize it, and in 1973, Oregon became the first state to do so. However, it was still illegal at the federal level, and in the 1980s and 1990s, the war on drugs led to increased penalties for possession and use of cannabis.

The War on Cannabis

In the early 20th century, cannabis came under attack by prohibitionists who saw it as a dangerous gateway drug. In 1937, the United States passed the Marijuana Tax Act, making cannabis illegal. The act was based on false and exaggerated claims about the dangers of cannabis, and it had a devastating impact on the industry. Cannabis was effectively pushed underground, and its use became associated with crime and violence.

The Modern Era of Cannabis

In the late 20th century, attitudes towards cannabis began to change. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis, and since then, many other states have followed suit. Today, medical cannabis is legal in 33 states, and recreational cannabis is legal in 10 states. Cannabis is slowly becoming more accepted in mainstream society, and its use is no longer limited to the underground.

The Future of Cannabis

As cannabis becomes more legalized and socially acceptable, its use will likely be more widespread. This could mean significant changes for the cannabis industry, significantly impacting public health. For example, more research will be done on the medical benefits of cannabis, and new products and delivery methods may become available. As cannabis becomes more mainstream, its stigma will slowly fade away. Patients who need access to cannabis will no longer have to hide their use, and they will be able to get the treatment they need without fear of judgment.

Laws Governing Cannabis

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level in the United States, but its use laws are constantly changing. At the state level, cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use in some states, while other states have more restrictive laws. It is vital to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations in your state to know what is legal and what is not.

Grow Cannabis at Home

Growing cannabis at home for personal use in some states is legal. However, there are often strict laws governing how many plants you can grow and where you can grow them. To grow cannabis, you need to find the right seeds, but choosing the right ones with the many different cannabis seeds can be challenging. Luckily, Mercurynews has compiled a list of the best seed banks to buy marijuana seeds, making it easier to get the best quality seeds. You can also find helpful tips on how to grow cannabis at home. Growing cannabis can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it is essential to do your research before getting started. This includes checking if it is legal to grow cannabis at home and the conditions facilitating the growth of cannabis.

How to Consume Cannabis

Cannabis can be consumed in many different ways, and the method you choose will depend on your personal preferences. Smoking is the most common way to consume cannabis, but it is not the only option. Cannabis can also be eaten, vaporized, or applied topically.

What Are the Risks of Cannabis Use?

cannabis thru the years
Photo courtesy of Rodnae Productions thru Pexel

Like with any drug, there are risks associated with cannabis use. Short-term effects of cannabis include impaired memory and judgment, anxiety, and paranoia. 

Long-term effects of cannabis include addiction, impaired brain development, and mental health problems. It is essential to be aware of the risks associated with cannabis use to make informed choices.

Cannabis has come a long way in recent years, and its status is constantly changing. It is crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest laws and research to make informed decisions. With more states legalizing cannabis, its use will likely become more widespread, meaning significant changes for the cannabis industry and significantly impacting public health.