Let’s step back JUST a bit, and take a bird’s eye view of what has happened to the Cannabis market over the past 15,000 years, and what we, the world, are in for over the next 10-20 years, as the globalization and renaissance, of Cannabis Sativa/Hemp happens, worldwide.
In the village of Bama County, China, the inhabitants currently have an average lifespan of 109 years old, and have been cultivating (the word “Sativa” comes from Latin, meaning “cultivate”), and consuming Cannabis Sativa seeds and cooking with the oil, wearing the fiber and utilizing the oil from the female plant as a medicine for various ailments, for the past 15,000 years.
This strain, Bama Yao, is the origin of the species, Cannabis Sativa, grown for fiber, seed and oil, and is a CBD-dominant plant primarily, as it was cultivated in a cool, moist climate. Because of the amazing strength of the fiber, it was quickly adopted for use in rope, sails (the word “Canvas” is derived from the word “Cannabis”), clothing, baskets, etc., as well as cooking oil and protein from the seed, so was very quick to migrate around the world, to be cultivated and utilized worldwide early in the evolution of humankind.
Meanwhile, Cannabis Sativa from Bama County, China, migrated to Thailand and southwest Asia, where the chemistry of the plant began to change due to the hotter climates, then to Afghanistan and India around 3,000BC, becoming even more THC-dominant (Cannabis Indica), and on to Morocco and Europe about the year 600-700 AD.
Then on to Africa, where slave and trade ships carried seed to South America between 1400-1600 AD, only making it to America in the form of various strains of Cannabis Sativa from South America, and Cannabis Indica from India, via Great Britain and Canada, as medicine around 1700 AD.
President George Washington was quoted to have said:
“I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so much of the St. Ioin seed, and that of the India Hemp. Make the most you can of both, by sowing them again in drills. Let the ground be well prepared, and the Seed (St. loin) be sown in April. The Hemp may be sown anywhere.”
George Washington to William Pearce, 24 February 1794
Again, because hemp was SO prolific, we used the oil pressed from the seeds to cook with and eat, as well as consuming hemp hearts (the shelled seeds) as a cereal, etc., so that our Endocannabinoid systems were supplemented with much needed Omega 3, and Omega 6 oils (the richest, best source of these oils on the planet, and that our bodies MUST have to function effectively).
This is the reason that CBD and other cannabinoids are effective in so many instances, treating so many different ailments — our bodies have co-evolved with this marvelous plant, and have become dependent on the rich source of chemicals and nutrients it provides.
We are already seeing the beginnings of the benefits of the proliferation of Cannabis in the US, with stories being published every day on the benefits of Cannabis for treating this disease or that. It is also used as a preventative supplement to protect our bodies from the various imbalances that can end up being the cause of 23 aggressive cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, etc.
However quickly it is being approved of and adopted as a valid treatment for these issues, the US is trailing Canada in a big way — this renaissance is happening far more quickly in Canada and other places on the planet.
Canada will soon WALK AWAY with the Canadian AND the US markets, much to the detriment of the US, simply because the US is gridlocked, and anything worth doing, is worth using as a political bargaining chip, and ends up getting mired and buried in politics.
Just to give a bit of perspective, in the ‘40s and ‘50s, Musicians, Artists, Hipsters and the like were all experimenting with all kinds of illegal and legal drugs, the most prolific of which was Cannabis.
By the way, I despise the word Marihuana/Marijuana, for no other reason than it’s a derogatory, false word, conjured up to disparage those that were using it, and to control the minorities that were using it as medicine for a myriad of ailments. This was a devious and despicable move that caused heartache and pain to the poor people that couldn’t afford the manufactured DRUGS that were legal…for a PRICE.
A band from New York, David Peel and The Lower East Side, actually got a record contract from Elektra Records to release an album entitled “Have a Marijuana” in 1968. Needless to say, smoking pot permeated the counterculture revolution in the ‘60s.I canvassed in 1971 to put Proposition 19, calling for the Legalization of Cannabis, on the ballot in California…and it lost.
We figured, ok, 4, maybe 8 more years, and it’ll pass.
47 years later…and, Voila…Cannabis is FINALLY legal in California…!
Now that the Farm Bill passed, we’ll see “hemp” EXPLODE across the nation. Hemp will be grown for fiber and seed, to make fabrics and cooking oil, etc. However, one of the biggest reasons for the resurgence of hemp, is the high CBD content of the plant for medicines and supplements.
The Farm Bill — a HUGE step in the right direction, right…?!?
No such luck — the powers that be in the US have already said emphatically, and with great emphasis, “CBD from hemp, or any other source, is STILL a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, PERIOD.”
The Farm Bill didn’t address the legality of CBD, and that is going to cause a huge kerfuffle — it’s going to take another 5 years, at least, to sort all of the repercussions of what the Farm Bill did (and didn’t do) for the Cannabis market.
The bright side here, is, within 5 years, Cannabis (in ALL of ITS FORMS and RATIOS) will be growing EVERYWHERE in the US, and NO ONE will know specifically what it is growing in all those fields without testing EVERY PLANT, and we will have won, in a fashion, finally.
Here in the US, we are at LEAST, FINALLY reaching a tipping point where, whatever the local laws are, as well as the Federal restrictions, we are free to do whatever we want as individuals without much fear of repercussions for growing a few plants, smoking a few joints, or vaping as much as we desire.
But let’s get back to Canada. Canada has a clear head-start on the US. They have already scaled-up their hemp production, and are now quickly ramping-up the production and processing of Cannabis for consumption, and many companies are selling and shipping directly from the web. They will easily dominate the Cannabis market in the western world — for a time.
Great Britain legalized hemp production in 1993, but have placed such restrictions on licensing that there are currently estimated about 2000 acres of hemp growing in Great Britain, compared to 33,000 acres throughout the UK.
Russia’s production of hemp has dwindled to about 1500 hectares for the entire country, being replaced by synthetic fiber for all applications where hemp was previously used.
It’s said that North Korea grows industrial hemp for use, in, well, just about EVERYTHING.
We don’t know anything for sure, as it is the most heavily embargoed country in the world, but really, that’s the point. BECAUSE they are so isolated from world markets, it has utilized hemp since ancient times, and still does, even making biodiesel out of it to power their vehicles…!
Of course, this is mostly conjecture, with information cobbled together from a myriad of sources outside of North Korea, since so little information comes out of that country.
Chile has begun to ramp-up hemp production, being a valued crop for 500+ years, since the Conquistadors utilized it for sails, rope, clothing and textiles. There is a current resurgence of hemp farms, and Chile has plans to develop a thriving natural fiber business, as well as the utilization for oils, medicines, biodiesel, etc.
There are many countries around the world embracing the new resurgence of Cannabis cultivation, production and uses.
Countries like Uruguay have recently made all Cannabis and derivatives legal. Colombia has followed suit, making medical Cannabis legal, and these two countries are poised to EXPLODE onto the scene, since they are the two largest LEGAL producers in the world, outside of Canada.
However, let’s talk reality, and the current, established markets for hemp production.
More than 70% of the world’s hemp is produced in China. 70%, which is 2/3rds of the world’s supply of hemp.
All it would take is a simple shift in genetics, and they could not only be the largest producer and supplier of CBD, fiber and oil to the world, but could eclipse the worlds’ THC-rich Cannabis supplies. By introducing a new bevy of cultivars, China could very quickly become the world-leader in medical Cannabis exports to other countries, depending on the evolution of federal and international laws.
For example, Oregon is currently pursuing licensing to be able to export Cannabis products to states that have already passed laws allowing Recreational/Medicinal Cannabis, but are having trouble developing/keeping their production up enough to satisfy supply.
The problem is, China has NO INTEREST in Cannabis as medicine, ironically, since they are the largest producer of Cannabis on the planet, but they see it as a real threat to their youth, and they don’t see any value in it, medicinally.
Just last month, at the 61st United Nations CND (Commission on Narcotic Drugs) meeting, the World Health Organization have been “reviewing” the findings on Cannabis for 3 years now, and have recommended the de-scheduling of Cannabis. After all of this, the CND announced that “the findings on Cannabis were kept confidential”, announcing no release date for those findings.
What WAS released was this:
“During the session, a representative from China expressed the most vociferous objections to de/rescheduling. “Globally, cannabis is not used as a frontline clinical drug and it can be completely replaced by other drugs. We are worried that if we relax the control on cannabis, we most likely would send the wrong signal to the international community and mislead the public, especially the youth.”
“Russia, Pakistan, and ASEAN (Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam) all backed China’s objections.”
So you see, a very LARGE segment of the world is not even CLOSE to where Canada, the US, Great Britain and the UK, Mexico and some of the South American countries are currently at, with regards to Cannabis clemency.
All of this information is VERY disappointing, and we need to come to grips with the fact that our fight to legalize Cannabis in ALL its forms, for all of the uses and benefits it can provide is FAR from over, and it will be quite some time still before we can fly anywhere in the world with our preferred blend displayed proudly in our vest pockets, purses and carry-ons.
However — PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF…ALWAYS.
The MAJOR upside of all of this is, CBD, THC, and other trace cannabinoids will PERMEATE/SATURATE our lives, more than ever before, and that can ONLY be good for humankind.
The continued support for Cannabis throughout the US, will continue, and the proliferation of Cannabis throughout the US, Canada and Mexico, will force the cost of CBD and other cannabinoids to drop, and, very soon, everything you eat, drink or rub on your body will contain this magic elixir, and much-needed supplement.
Also, we will see a surge in plant-based medicines, as the deep research into this largely overlooked miracle plant has proved SO beneficial to humankind. Most medicines to date from Pharmaceutical companies were either fractionated from existing plants, or synthesized after discovering the compound occurring in nature.
It’s time to begin embracing the miracles produced by the Earth to HEAL us, and stop letting large corporations undermine our health and well-being, by telling us “they know what’s best for us”.
By Fred Delisio
Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 139