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The legalization of marijuana, first for medical purposes and then for recreational use in some states, has triggered a number of researches regarding the benefits of marijuana use. It is indeed not an exaggeration to say that there is now much literature on the subject with much more on the way. We must say, the influence of the legalization of marijuana has contributed much to the evolution of marijuana as well. We've witnessed much changes in the way marijuana used to be some time ago and the way it exists these days. In this article, we'll look into the evolution of medical marijuana in the last four years.
Before we begin, let us see what evolution actually is.
What is evolution?
You must remember Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution that you studied in school. In this theory, Darwin explains how organisms possess features that they presently have. The most famous example is of the evolution of man from the ape. Apes started adapting themselves to the changes in the environment, and this eventually led to the formation of human beings over millions of years.
One of the basic principles of evolution is the survival of the fittest. This means that any organism, be it an animal or a plant, survives if and only if it can adapt to the changing environment (this change may be natural like global warming, or even artificial like humans creating new breeds). This is the reason why animals that lived millions of years ago aren't alive today.
One of the questions that the researchers could consider should be whether the marijuana plants underwent evolution or have they been the same for decades?
Evolution of Marijuana Plants
Without any doubt, we can assertively say marijuana has retained much of its basic properties, but has undergone a lot of changes in the mode of consumption, cultivating, creating hybrids, etc., which has brought in some of the constitutional changes in it.
For example, marijuana is one of the medicines for fitness. People use marijuana in the form of Canadian steroids for muscle building. Plus, marijuana enhances the experience of exercise because of its pain-relieving quality.
Why does marijuana undergo evolution?
Like any other organism, marijuana is inevitably in the competition to survive on this Earth. So, it has to imbibe in itself certain qualities that make it the fittest for survival.
There have been many changes in marijuana right now. There have been changes in the area of cultivation, creation of hybrids like the white rhino, and creation of types of indoor auto-flowering marijuana seeds, as well as the kind of demand that exists, etc.
The mode of marijuana consumption has also gone a tremendous change from smoking pot to using vapes, extracts, CBD-infused medicine, and even CBD treats for dogs.
All these changes in the marijuana scenario have actually caused many modifications in the marijuana plant itself. These changes are in fact hereditary; i.e., the plants pass on these changes to the next generations.
With this in mind, let us now see how marijuana has changed over the years.
Evolution of Marijuana
Here are a few changes in marijuana that have taken place thanks to human intervention.
1. Change in the Amount of the Components
In marijuana, there are a number of components called the cannabinoids like cannabidiol, THC, etc. Cannabidiol is known mostly for its therapeutic effects and THC for its psychotic effects.
Recent research has actually shown that marijuana is witnessing an increase in the amount of THC along with a decline in the amount of cannabidiol.
CBD or cannabidiol is actually known for its therapeutic properties and to treat problems like cancer, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. It also has antipsychotic properties that counter the occasional psychotic properties of THC. This means two things: The highs from smoking weed have not altered (or declined), and second, medical marijuana patients are not getting much of what they are looking for.
In this way, marijuana is increasingly becoming more fit for recreational use than for its medical use. This is, in fact, good news for people who buy weed online for recreational purposes.
Luckily, there is not much change in the ratio of CBD to THC to other components over the years.
2. Change in the Potency
Potency is one such area where there is much change when it comes to marijuana. Potency has increased in the past four decades. The potency of marijuana used to not normally cross 10 percent of the actual quantity. Now, it has gone up to three percent in certain varieties.
More shocking news is that there is not much difference in the constituents, no matter what marijuana is used for. Both recreational and medical marijuana have almost the same amount of CBD and THC, no matter what the physical properties of the plants are.
This, in fact, makes it very difficult to extract the right amount of the required compounds in the right state, making it more and more difficult to determine the correct dose of the medicine. As a result, people may consume more than what is required.
3. Increasing Contaminants
Marijuana buds, though beautiful to look at, reveal a lot of "dirty" secrets when put through a biological assessment. In fact, most of them are covered with fungi. There is also butane present on some plants. This butane is used to produce "wax," which refers to marijuana with high potency.
There are also many natural microbial growths on marijuana because, ultimately, it is a plant. Much more research is needed in this regard to determine if these microbes cause any health issues and to determine to what extent (amount) they can be present in a sample of marijuana.
These changes also call for a thorough revision in the labelling and marketing of cannabis products like indoor auto-flowering seeds, be it medicines or even recreational marijuana products. We, as consumers, must always be educated before consuming. The consumers, the growers, and the sellers must all be aware of what their product contains. This calls for more research.
Nancy is a blogger who loves to write, especially in the cannabis vertical. She has written many informative blogs on other verticals, too.