In a recent study at the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service (ICEERS), Barcelona, Spain, a sample of 419 regular Cannabis users were recruited to answer a public health survey. The participants, those who had used Cannabis at least once in the past 30 days, were compared to the general population in Catalan, Spain.
Regular users of Cannabis had better perception of health, BMI, cholesterol/blood pressure values, less presence of chronic diseases, and less physical limitations in day-to-day activities. Concerning nutrition and exercise, Cannabis users reported eating slightly more vegetables, and riding their bicycle more than the general population.
These results contradict a World Health Organization report that attempts to establish a causal relationship between Cannabis use and poor health outcomes. Prior reports also appear to indicate that regular Cannabis use produces more psychiatric symptoms, including depression, produces chronic and acute bronchitis, and triggers myocardial infarction or stroke among other issues. These results were not apparent in this Catalan sample of respondents. Rather, the cohort of regular Cannabis users reduced health care visits (25%) and reduced their use of prescription drugs (32%).
In this study, regular Cannabis users scored better than the general population on a list of health indicators. These results were obtained using validated health indicators, especially designed and used by several governments to assess population health and compare this information between countries or specific populations. Additionally, regular Cannabis users showed potential Cannabis dependence, suggesting that sustained use of cannabis for years might be associated with a risk of developing such dependence. Although 40% of regular Cannabis users wanted to discontinue Cannabis and expressed some association with sleep problems, the overall conclusion was not poor health. These findings suggest that regular Cannabis use might play a favorable role in public health, However, health behaviors and complex variables other than Cannabis use are more likely to effect public health.
It’s January and you want to garden. Well, it’s time to start thinking about this year’s Cannabis Garden. Yes, I mean growing your own Cannabis plants. Even if you don’t plan to grow your own Cannabis, if you benefit from a plant, you should know a little something about how it is made. The act of tending to live things is nourishing, productive, and addictive as you realize the sum benefits of gardening are greater than its parts. Once you get started, you may want to add tomatoes, herbs, and maybe other medicinal plants to your garden. Let’s get going!
The Benevolent Female
You must grow a female plant to produce the Cannabis flower. Flowers in the Cannabis world contain the highest content of active ingredients. Botany 101: Male plants create pollen that encounters flowers to produce seeds. If you wish to produce seeds, this is an easy task. However, most consumers are interested in the resinous oil found in the waxy crystal like trichomes of the Cannabis flowers. Cannabis flowers that grow without pollination are called Sinsemilla
Seeds or Plant Cuttings?
Your choice. Seeds generally produce stronger, more disease resistant plants. However, it’s difficult to predict whether a seed will become a female or male plant. Feminized cannabis seeds are created through a process of genetic manipulation. Essentially, the idea is to induce female plants to make pollen. Normally, only male plants produce pollen, but if you can somehow make a female plant produce pollen, then what you have is pollen containing only female chromosomes. On the other hand, cloning Cannabis or the Cannabis clone is a branch from a Cannabis plant that is cut in a such a way that it will grow into a plant itself. A cutting from a female Cannabis plant will most likely be female.
Indoor or Outdoor?
Another choice to make. Your living situation dictates this journey. It’s difficult to plant an outdoor garden in an urban environment. The impediment is most likely your neighbor. A greenhouse or closet grow allows you to establish secure barriers to your neighbors’ prying. But indoor growing produces other problems. Plants prefer fresh air and sunshine and tend to get sick indoor. You must be careful to keep the indoor space clean. Either that or learn to make a biosphere. Indoor lighting is costly and critical. The sun produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths and sun grown plants produce a broad spectrum of active plant constituents. However, if you can’t grow outdoor, do what you must.
If you just started thinking about soil, then it’s too late to make your own. It’s January. You’ll have to buy it. Hydroponic is a self-contained option that does not require soil. Make sure there are no leaks in your system. Soil is best when it’s full of life. Some might say that growing plants is really growing soil. If you are buying your soil, you will need to consider Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus supplementation. There are many who have opinions on the bests soil for growing Cannabis. Do your homework, but don’t get too caught up in it. Composting is best in my opinion.
Water is for plants like air is for humans. Rainwater and spring water are great at helping plants grow. Tap water and distilled water may not hurt plants, but you will notice that they don’t grow as tall and sturdy as the plants that were given rainwater and spring water. Too much sugar or salt in water can kill plants. Chemicals like iodine or chlorine (often found in tap water) can stunt growth. A common mistake first-time growers make is to overwater plants. A cycle of wet and dry is healthy and necessary for the roots of a plant to grow out and reach deeper into the soil. Roots pull in oxygen as soil dries and when soil is too wet, the plant can't pull in oxygen efficiently and essentially can't breathe.
Jean Talleyrand, M.D.,