Dear Allyson, I've noticed how wildly popular cannabis is starting to become, and I was wondering what your thoughts are about the relationship that our society is forming with the plant. High potency strains and concentrates are readily available. I've noticed among many of my friends who use cannabis that it affects them in a negative way. I feel that THC levels in cannabis are being increased to an excessive level and this in turn is causing people to establish an unhealthy relationship with the plant. I read somewhere that since the 1960s the average THC levels in cannabis have increased significantly due to selective hybridization, and I was wondering if human interference with the natural composition of the cannabis plant has unintended consequences. Would altering the composition of the cannabis plant through methods such as selective breeding and genetic modification have an impact on the spiritual nature of the plant? I worry that in the future cannabis may have the same fate as tobacco, a plant that was also once revered for its spiritual and medicinal properties. I'm worried that if big-business monopolizes the cannabis industry, that they will pollute the plant with hundreds of chemical additives and fillers, as they have done with tobacco, and that this in turn will adversely effect the spiritual and medicinal nature of cannabis. What are your thoughts about this issue and what are some ways that our society can maintain a healthy and balanced relationship with this plant? All the best, Michael G.
Dear Michael, Thanks for writing with legitimate concerns. Witnessing friends who use substances irresponsibly is a disappointment. The plant and it’s availability cannot be blamed when people overuse the sacrament or fall short. That is a cannabis pitfall to avoid: Don’t allow cannabis use to be an excuse for not being all you can be. There are a great many successful cannabis users. Cannabis should only be used with discernment. True, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) claims that marijuana potency, as detected in confiscated samples, has steadily increased over the past few decades. Here is an article that addresses well the complexity and misdirection of the NIH study. https://www.originscannabis.com/marijuana-potency/ It may be that a wider range of potencies are available today. In legal states, we can buy single dose edibles, for instance, with a range of THC and CBD levels clearly marked on the packaging. https://science.howstuffworks.com/marijuana5.htm Recreational cannabis is a natural substance that makes humans more peaceful. Illegal cannabis supports criminality, industrial prisons and the black market. Every scientific cannabis study sheds light on the healing properties of cannabis, even for the betterment of well people. The NFL study shows that cannabis is a neuro-protectant, with full-time users sustaining the least enduring injuries from concussions while non-users suffer the greatest injuries and heal least well. This neuro-protectant quality is now being tested in Alzheimer’s prevention. Cannabis, cultivated at the foundation of agriculture, enhances awareness, appreciation and peaceful behavior in our species. Cannabis should be available to the many, regulated like tomatoes, and everyone should have the right to grow it for personal use. Growing with spiritual intentions is pursued by caring farmers. Seeking sacrament from the purest sources, angel-providers can be found in abundance. Conscious users seek radically altruistic growers who produce virtuous offerings with exemplary intent. Love, Allyson