Cannabis – Cannabis Sativa: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Weed of Wild Plants

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Here in Canada, cannabis is a legal (and hopefully decriminalized someday) edible, medicinal and industrial plant. In Haliburton, we even have our own pot shop Capturing Eden.

It’s a December day as I post this, the 24th! Mary Christmas!

When Haliburton Flora was compiled, there was one cannabis sativa noted on waste ground up in the northeast corner of Haliburton county. In the Haliburton Flora entry it’s called “marijuana”, but that name is used less and less for its racist origins. (I won’t stir it up, it’s easy to research!)

Cannabis - Cannabis Sativa
Cannabis – Cannabis Sativa

Industrial and recreational cannabis are technically both cannabis sativa, and I am presuming since Haliburton Flora considered this lone plant “marijuana” it was on the higher THC side. However, I am going to cover both as this same species of plant can be cultivated in varieties for industrial uses (“hemp”) or for the edible seed (“hemp”), both of which are not highly psychoactive varieties. Or for cannabinoids, especially CBD/cannabidiol and THC/tetrahydrocannabinol (let’s call these higher THC varieties “pot”).

I wanted to make up a story of a hippie tossing their half used joint out the window back in the day being the reason our surveyors found a lonely pot plant, maybe someone on the way to Morninglory commune in Killaloe. But heat bursts the seeds. To make a long story short, this Boo Radley of weed was likely from a seed dropped by a bird who found a much larger and not-so-legal field of pot.

Around Haliburton we have a couple plants from the mulberry family: common hop and cannabis. The beer you get from the hops can cause trouble. The cannabis might cause a person to pig out on theirs or their friends couch. But it’s interesting they’re both used for good times.

Edible Uses of Cannabis (Pot)

Hemp seed has 8 of the 9 essential amino acids – it’s a protein powerhouse. Its also got omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Are recreational and medicinal varieties of cannabis seeds the same? While the seeds can be substituted, there is less research on the nutritional value of recreational varieties, and they may have low concentrations of THC.

Even Amazon carries hemp seed:

If you grow pot, or a friend does, they’ll have heaps of leaves at harvest time. Beyond the typical green leaves for smoothies, there are many “infusion” recipes for those who waste not.

Cannabis leaves can be used to make a tea that tastes like what you would imagine grass to taste like, so it’s best mixed with your favorite tea. I find it scratchy on the throat as well. Cannabinoids (including THC) are insoluble in water, so if you want this tea to be a little medicinal, perhaps as a sleep aide, you need to add something fatty like coconut oil or butter for a minor effect. But there is not much to the leaves, it’s the sticky resin in the buds where the good stuff is. However, like the seeds you can have traces in and on the surface of the leaves. “Real” weed tea will contain bud, and requires specific preparation to get the most out of it. It’s gentler than burnin’ or edibles, if interested: here’s a link that goes through that process.

The leaves contain calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins C and K.

Medicinal Uses of Cannabis (Pot)

Cannabis is primarily said to support these body systems:

  • Endocrine
  • Muscular
  • Nervous
  • Skeletal

Medicinal tags include Analgesic, Antiemetic, Antispasmodic, and Hallucinogen, Stimulant or Sedative. See Medicinal tag key for more information.

Common usage includes reducing the side effects of chemo, especially nausea. Another headline usage is for glaucoma treatment. And more and more it’s the oil for pain management I am hearing about in my own circles, whether physical pain or emotional (depression, anxiety). As with most things, it works for some people and not so well for others.

CBD-only products have been gaining popularity. But it’s argued that THC, though hallucinogenic, is too helpful to exclude. A doctor will start you out on a small dose anyway. How does it feel? With a gentle start you should just feel sleepy and in need of a snack.

Cannabis is an ancient drug, historically used for all manners of disorders. Money is being put into research more and more now, which means we’ll learn more, but we also have more vetting to do with so much money involved. Let’s be cautious in looking for good peer reviewed science.

Alternative Uses of Hemp

The low THC forms of cannabis are used for their tough (tougher than leather? maybe close) fibers, and for making a drying oil for paints. Sativa means “things that are cultivated”, and it sure was. It was probably first cultivated in ancient china over 5,000 years ago, coming to the west circa the 16th century.

I let my mind wander. Hemp products are limitless. There are building materials, fabric for clothing, hemp “plastic”, hemp paper – one meme I saw says 50,000+ uses. So much things to say.

Growing Cannabis Sativa

I don’t know about growing hemp, but here in Ontario you’re allowed 4 stout pot plants per household. There is still a lot of government regulation, as we went the “legalization” route instead of the decriminalization route smart people really wanted. I do know a YouTube channel that’ll teach you everything you need to know.


Any ingestion of cannabis runs the risk of a positive drug test.

Take it easy (stay seated, lay down) trying recreational or medical cannabis for the first while. If you get too stoned you will pass out.

And the Usual Cautions:

1) Most medicinal herbs, if edible, are meant to be eaten in moderation, even sparingly. Some require extra preparation.

2) People can be allergic or sensitive to nearly any plant; try new herbs one at a time at your own risk.

3) For medicinal use, I must recommend receiving a diagnosis and working with a reputed health care provider. I generally do not post specific treatments and dosages because I think that is best between you and your health care provider, and ideally monitored.

4) Anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding new food items to their diet.

5) Many plants have look-a-likes, and sometimes they are poisonous.

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Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada

The Green Pharmacy: The Ultimate Compendium Of Natural Remedies From The World’s Foremost Authority On Healing Herbs

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

Reader’s Digest Magic and Medicine of Plants

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