Cannabis (Hou Ma Ren)
Botanical Name: Cannabis sativa
The use of cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana) by many of the world’s cultures to heal the mind and body dates back to ancient times. Here we explore the Eastern and Western history as well as the current usage of this important medicinal herb.
Below is an overview of cannabis, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of cannabis.
Western Name: Cannabis
Also Known As: Marijuana, Mary Jane, Weed, Pot
Organs/Systems: Nervous System, Stomach, Intestines
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Relaxant, Orexigenic, Antidepressant. Inhibits pain (back, injury, cramps, joint, muscle spasticity). Also treats insomnia, menopause, depression. Improves appetite, calms nerves, reduces nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy .
Pin Yin: Hou Ma Ren (Semen Cannabis sativa)
Also Known As: Fire Hemp Seed
Meridians: Large Intestine, Stomach
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Moist Laxatives. Nourish and Moisten Intestines: constipation in the elderly and weak, aftermath of febrile disease, post partum and cases of blood deficiency. Nourishes the Yin: mildly tonifies yin and primarily used in cases of yin deficiency with constipation. Clear Heat and Promote Healing of Sores: auxiliary herb for sores and ulcerations, taken orally or applied topically.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Seeds, Leaves, Buds. Dried flower buds are “marijuana”; resin is “hashish,” with various extracts collectively known as “hashish oil.” Fibers used for hemp production.
Flavors: Sweet, Neutral
Caution: Generally considered very safe. Extreme usage has been shown to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness of limbs.
History/Folklore: Societies in Euro-Asia and Africa have used cannabis as a hallucinogen since prehistoric times. In 2007, British researchers used Delphic analysis to determine that cannabis has a lower risk factor for dependence than nicotine or alcohol.
Cannabinoids, with the main one being THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive constituent in the cannabis plant), and terpenoids.
The word comes from the Greek, though it has roots in Scythian, Thracian, Persian and Modern Hebrew, the people group that supposedly used cannabis in biblical anointing oil.
The Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonians translated this herb’s name as “way to produce smoke.”
Into The West
In 1545, cannabis spread to the Western Hemisphere when the Spaniards imported it to Chile for use as a fiber.
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