Cannabis herb or drug? That is a question of much debate. Merriam – Webster defines herb as:
“a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season – a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities.” This definition really answers the question.
Cannabis is a seed producing, flowering plant that dies off at the end of a growing season. There are many varieties but three species, Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis. Hemp is a variety of the Sativa species which has different values not generally associated with medicine.
Some may bring up the point that the DEA has marijuana listed as a Schedule 1 drug. That means, according to the DEA, cannabis has NO medicinal benefits. The United States of America used cannabis in medicines to treat numerous medical conditions until the 1900’s. Illnesses including mental disorders, gout, cholera, hydrophobia, and insomnia. The cannabis herb was also used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma by smoking it. Even more recently, studies suggest that inhaling either the smoke or vapor could help patients with COPD. The THC component has shown signs, in laboratory tests, to even kill cancerous tumors.
What are Drugs
Drugs, according to Wikipedia, are any substance other than foods that when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, absorbed via a patch on the skin or dissolved under the tongue causes a physiological change in the body. A pharmaceutical drug is a chemical substance used to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose a disease or to promote well-being. These definitions may be boring but help us to understand the plant called cannabis.
Based upon these definitions and findings we can conclude that cannabis is an herb with drug-like qualities. The concern that marijuana has psychoactive effects should be no reason to keep it from those that choose to use it. Caffeine is found in countless beverages as well as chocolate also having the psychoactive properties in it. I see no value in banning caffeine, do you? Yet caffeine has no real medicinal value. Your comments and questions are always welcome. Please share your thoughts.