Welcome to Tijuana, Tequila, sexo y Marijuana! So went a famous song by Manu Chao, one of thousands of anthems written to celebrate the beloved weed of the world.
There are countless artistic quotations dedicated to marijuana, precisely becauseits effects have always been appreciated in every time, in every culture and at every latitude. Yet despite all these appreciations, for a long time the use, cultivation, and sale of this plant were considered punishable offenses.
Only in recent years has the so-called legal hemp(CBD) been legalized in Italy, which is not considered a narcotic substance but is freely produced and sold in stores in the field since it has no psychotropic effects.
What is Marijuana
Essentially, marijuana is a dried mix of the seeds, flowers, stems and leaves of hemp, also known as Cannabis. It possesses so many nicknames, from "weed" to "Mary," and they all refer to this plant that can be taken in so many different ways (we will see them later) but predominantly it is smoked inside a cartina or special accessories.
The main purpose of taking it is to enjoy its effects, which depending on the type of plant can bring calmness, euphoria, cheerfulness, creativity, relaxation, and inner peace. We can safely say that without the presence of hemp and its derivatives, the world of music and art would have been deprived of a great source of inspiration.
The use of marijuana is lost in the mists of time, but it was certainly already being used several centuries before the birth of Christ. Even before it was revered for its psychoactive effects it was known for its pharmacological properties (medical use) and believed to be a true natural remedyagainst nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain of various kinds, including remautism.
What are the types of marijuana and the effects ?
The best known distinction among species of Cannabis is that between Indica and Sativa, and it is a definition that dates back to the 1700s. The explorers of the time were confronted with these two varieties of plants that were very different from each other (both in effect and in conformation and appearance) and thus were easier to clearly identify and catalog.
Today, the global market and the large number of crosses made between plants have made the differences between the two macrostrains less clear since there are endless varieties of them. Those who grow it have the possibility of crossing seeds of Indica and Sativa to obtain mixes capable of giving different effects.
The Indica is typical of Afghanistan, Morocco, and the Hindu Kush. These plants are less slender than the Sativa: lower, with many branches and provided with wider leaves.
We need only think of its countries of origin and their culture to imagine its effects on the mind: relaxation, invitation to meditation, feeling of tranquility and peace, cosmic harmony. On the physical level, on the other hand, we can experience muscle relaxation, reduction in the degree of stress, alleviation of pain, and increased sleep and appetite.
Talking about Sativa instead, Mexico, Colombia, but also Southeast Asia come immediately to mind. They have a more longilinear appearance because the plants are taller, with less branching, and the leaves are also more elongated and narrow. Their effect is uplifting, highly creative and euphoric, and they can be used to reduce anxiety and depression, increase alertness, take away fatigue and treat chronic pain.
This typology of Cannabis is far less well-known than the other two.
It's lush, wild nature capable of surviving in harsh conditions and its autoflowering ability has allowed it to "infest" gigantic areas: from Russia to Asia to all of Europe. It does not possess the same psychotropic potency in nature as Indica and Sativa, but its ease of cultivation allows it to be used to make great quality crosses.
There are many varieties
Behind the cultivation and seed production is a real science that can create thousands of different varieties of marijuana, each with different effects and aroma. For example, we have the LA Confidential favored for its energizing effect, the Northern Lights which promotes socialization, the Utopia Haze which gives an intense "mind trip," the Critical Kush which promotes relaxation and induces sleep.
The only way to understand which of these is right for us is to try them for ourselves, being guided by the descriptions of each variety. With experience then we will know how to orient ourselves based on the higher or lower percentages of Indica and Sativa and the country of origin of cultivation.
Moreover, there is no perfect herb for all occasions, but from time to time we will choose the one best suited for a night of partying, the one to use if we want to listen to music on the couch, the one to do yoga or the one to load up before a jog in the park.
The consequences of occasional consumption
It is now well established that occasional marijuana use does not lead to health harms. Modest use does not lead to addiction or other discomfort. As with anything, the principle of not overdoing it applies, because pleasurable things can always lead to psychological dependence, but this applies to alcohol, sweets, playing cards, video games and shopping: that is, any opportunity for recreation and escapism.
What are the benefits?
Without disturbing the increasingly popular medical use of cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain, generally the greatest benefit can be seen at the level of reducing anxiety, depressive attitudes, and stress levels. The recreational use of marijuana gives those moments of creative recreation that allow us to recharge our energy and better resist the negativity of life.
We could call it an outlet valve, helping us to reconcile sleep, improve concentration, increase appetite, and generally take greater pleasure in the activities we do, even in simply thinking or playing.
Are there any side effects and long-term effects?
As we said before, exaggeration is always to be avoided. Using excessive quantities of marijuana every day and for many years can lead to memory problems, temporary coordination difficulties, the possibility of developing schizophrenia or heart and respiratory disorders (the latter are more related to smoking).
We always like to reiterate, however, that "no one has ever died from marijuana," which is unfortunately not true with regard to alcohol, cigarettes, junk food, and many other freely available products that have not met with as much hostility from governments.
How is marijuana used?
The herb can be smoked, drunk, eaten, taken sublingually. There is no unique way to take it although smoking it is definitely the most popular method.
Smoking: cartridges, pipes, bongs
The best-known way to use marijuanaconsists of smoking it like a cigarette, perhaps mixed with tobacco, inside a wrapper. To prevent the burning of the paper, one can use special pipes (there are of all materials, shapes, and sizes) or bongs, which are ampoules containing water, which has the characteristic of retaining the most harmful smoke molecules.
In recent years we are seeing a big boom in vaporizers. These are electronic devices to be loaded with weed, which is heated to the ideal temperature to be smoked without combustion. This prevents the formation of toxic substances and enhances the aroma of the plant without generating the classic lingering stench of smoke.
They are also sometimes prescribed by doctors in cases of anxiety or insomnia. They are vials containing oil extracted from Cannabis that is taken by dropper, applying a few drops under the tongue.
You could write entire cookbooks on marijuana recipes. Cookies, treats, doughnuts: anyone who really loves this plant has tried eating it at least once in their life. The difference with smoking it is in the duration: the effect comes more gradually but can last much, much longer and be particularly strong.
So if a friend invites you to taste a slice of his " space cake " freshly baked, make sure you have no plans for the next few hours.
Tisane, infusions and decoctions are the most popular way for people who love hemp but can't stand the idea of smoking it. Usually marijuana leaves are mixed with Lemon Balm, Lavender, Chamomile and have a relaxing and calming effect.
How can marijuana be grown?
Since several years, precisely since 2016, it has also been possible to grow marijuana in Italy in a perfectly legal way and without incurring any risks and penalties. Whether your cultivation is outdoor, indoor or in a greenhouse, the important thing is that it is legal hemp (CBD), that is, with low content of THC.
Growing CBD marijuana at home
Because it is not exposed to external adversities and pests, you will not have to worry about climate and sunlight so you will have the opportunity to grow year-round. Without Mother Nature's spontaneous help, you will have to recreate the most suitable environment for your plants with artificial lights, fertilizers and special equipment for indoor growing.
Growing CBD marijuana outdoors
If the place where you intend to start your cultivation is sun-kissed and enjoys a mild climate, the outdoor choice is definitely the most natural and well-known. You will have the opportunity to create much larger plantations than indoors, but you will have to pay close attention to pests, pollutants and the weather.
Growing CBD marijuana in a greenhouse
A mix between growing indoors and outdoors is to set up a greenhouse, also called a greenhouse. This is basically putting up a transparent structure that can both let in natural sunlight and exert a defense against wind, rain, and other climatic discomforts.
An advanced greenhouse allows sunlight to be assisted with artificial light systems, air recirculation systems, and intelligent irrigation.