Marijuana: what it seems, and does not seem.

Marijuana, as a drug or a plant, has a reputation and user experience that made many classify it as relatively harm-free. African has a long-standing history of usage of herbs as; food, flavouring, medicine, or fragrance for their savoury components. Herb has been typical of Ancient and modern African, and the divergence experienced was only in the methods of consumption and largely the advent of Modern Medicine that has concocted Herbs into Tablets and Liquid Medicine. Herbs had been the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine with usage dating back to the first century, and in India, the Ayuveda medicinal system was herbal.

However, it will be essential to investigate the plausibility of Marijuana as a Herb in Africa and its effects on the brain. In some quarters, it was a blessing and to others a curse. Africa is ascending to becoming a hub of marijuana intake in the World despite being outlawed by countries. Some see it as a lucrative industry that could make Africa rich. Lesotho has become the first African country to approve the medicinal usage of marijuana. There were decisions made to see marijuana as a source of national revenue rather than a facilitator of crime in some countries.

It would be wise to consider Tobacco and Cannabis together because they are the widely smoked plants in Africa’s sub-region. Marijuana was introduced to eastern Africa from southern Asia and dispersed widely within Africa. sub-Saharan Africa derived means of taking cannabis that includes pipe smoking, a practice that was of Africa origin, and in Asia, they consumed it orally. Smoking became a genius practice, noting, the Africa innovation of smoking cannabis later became globally accepted.

In actuality, Tobacco was an American herb introduced to Africa in the 15th century and it gets rapid widespread and popularity and Africans like always developed distinctive modes of tobacco production and use. Both plants became cash crops under colonial and postcolonial economic development efforts. Cannabis was outlawed across most of the continent by the 19th century. But Africans resisted the prohibition and went deeper and deeper in its consumption and cannabis production remains significant despite the continued illegality.

Lesotho became the first African country to legalize marijuana. Lesotho’s farmers have already been cultivating marijuana for home use, and across borders with a symbolic high level of poverty, many small-scale farmers in Lesotho grow marijuana typically among their grain crops to export to South Africa.

The gap to knowing how many ordinary people could benefit from this ratification project becomes undetermined because of the challenge to regulate the industry. That was an area where major African countries miss it.

Smoking: Shisha not Just a Flavor but a Death Sentence

Swaziland growing marijuana and export it to South Africa has kept many families off the shores of poverty despite the illegality. Malawi also felt it would be economically wise and lucrative to legalize “Chamba” (Marijuana) and it is currently legalizing the milder species.

The Zimbabwean government is also under pressure of legalizing cannabis after a Canadian firm approached the Zimbabwean government for a license to produce Mbanje, the native word for marijuana. Many thought that South African would have been at the fore of legalizing marijuana despite the continued call for its legalization from her political class and citizens. Some time ago, an ill politician pleaded with the parliament to legalize his usage of marijuana to ease his suffering from cancer. Unfortunately, Mario Oriani Ambrosini died in 2014, three years later the court ruled in favour of the home use of “Dagga”.

Noting further, the Presidential aspirant of the last concluded general election in Nigeria, Omoyele Sowore, vowed to encourage the growth and usage of Marijuana. Promised to position Nigeria as a major exporter of marijuana. If, elected as president of the country.

Unfortunately, the Africa continent has a way of turning deaf ears to a judicial decree that admitted marijuana as an illegal plant. Still weed is not yet fully legalized against the court rulings that empower South Africans to cultivate, sell or smoke Marijuana.

But what does Marijuana do to us?

Cannabis, Marijuana, Pot, weed; whatever, it is called. Let us look at this fascinating herb, its health effects, and potential concern about consuming it.
Cannabis has diverse physiological effects on the human body. Science explains how marijuana acts on our brains shortly after smoking or ingesting it. Cannabis contains at least 60 types of cannabinoids, chemical compounds that affect the receptors throughout our brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s euphoric effect. THC coordination resembles anandamide, which regulates our mood, sleep, memory, and appetite.

However, cannabinoids’ effects on our brains are to keep our neurons firing, magnifying our thoughts and perception and keeping us fixed on them. That is why when high on the substance. It is discouraged to drive, study for a test, or play sports that require coordination. Cannabinoids also affect the levels of dopamine in the brain, often triggers a sense of relaxation, stress, and euphoria. Under the influence of cannabinoids, some users experience auditory and visual hallucinations; when consumed in very high doses.

Worthy of note; the increased appreciation of the arts, produces objective effects that include;
high sense of humour and music (discernment of various music components and instruments)

Metacognition and introspection
Enhance recollection
Increased sensuality
High libido
Abstract or philosophical thinking
Disruption of linear memory and paranoid

The subjecting effect of Marijuana on its user may characteristically show the dark side of the drug, if not regulated. Instances of hallucinations, Paranoia, hearing of voices, religious delusion are all major symptoms of Psychosis. The fact that many studies have predicted that Marijuana users are at higher risk of Psychosis.

These were evidence of the numbers of mentally deranged individuals walking around the cities and towns in major African cities. From every indigent of African; seeing someone not dressed in cloth or behaves suspiciously and irritatingly at a young age.

Such a person is quickly classified as a by-product of weed or assessed by mere human observations without any medical evidence as someone suffering from a Psychotic mental-health condition. This reality became a viable weapon to dissuading youths against taking Marijuana because of the chances of being Mad.

Marijuana also possessed many subjective effects:

Enjoyment of food taste and aroma
Enhanced enjoyment of music and comedy
Distortion in the perception of time and space (where experiencing a rush of ideas)
Altered body image
Auditory and visual illusions
Dissociative, depersonalization, and derealisation state.

Cannabis smoke contains thousands of organic and inorganic chemical compounds. Carcinogens have been identified in cannabis smoke. This tar chemical could be found in tobacco smoke or cigar. Marijuana smoking was listed as a cancer agent in California in 2009. A British Lung Foundation published in 2012 identifies cannabis smoke as a carcinogen and the awareness of the dangers is less than that of tobacco.

Professor David Nutt, a UK drug expert, observes that the study cited by the British Lung Foundation has been accused of “false reasoning and incorrect methodology”. He noted that other studies have failed to connect marijuana with lung cancer, and accused them of raising false alarms over marijuana. These could be said to be true or false. This study never undermined or downplayed the chances of Psychotic mental-health conditions when Marijuana is used in large and uncontrolled quantities.

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