The History behind the Use of Cannabis Roots and Their Medicinal Benefits

Research on medical marijuana has mostly focused on the healing properties of the leaves and flowers, but of recent, new research projects focusing on the roots are being developed. History holds that the first references to marijuana consumption date as far back as 2700 b.C. in China, according one of the oldest Chinese Medicin books, Shennong pên Ts’ao ching, which mentioned the use of the roots of cannabis as a remedy to soothe pain. This book revealed that the Chinese used the entire plant for their medicinal preparations, but they paid particular attention to the roots, which required more sophisticated processin as they were first dried, then ground to powder and mixed into a paste with fresh juice pressed from the same plant.

However cannabis roots have long been part and parcel of all sorts of homemade preparations and their use as a remedy for skin rash was documented in ancient Greek medicine, and a medical article even revealed how Indians boiled roots together with other leaves to make poultices for the treatment of skin inflammations inflamed. Many recent studies have equally highlighted the painkilling and sedative properties of the cannabis roots for skin conditions such as rash and haemorrhoids.

History also holds that in addition to paste, the Chinese used the roots of marijuana for juice and ammunition. They pressed juice from cannabis roots and used as a diuretic and even to stop bleeding during childbirth. Ethan Russo a neurologist reviewed this method and concluded that “the juice of the cannabis root is thought to have a beneficial action in retained placenta and post-partum haemorrhage.”

According to documented sources, the ancient Chinese also exploited the marijuana plant to the point that they even used the roots as a component of gunpowder. The roots were dried, ground and toasted, then were mixed with bamboo roots, pine resin and other substances to form ammunition for rockets and a sort of hand grenade which was used by the military

Some Tips on Processing of cannabis roots

The production of today’s leap balms, creams and oils still use the drying and grinding of cannabis roots. The roots are first \ crashed in a mortar and pestle, then boiled in water and oil to dissolve the cannabinoids and terpenes. The resulting liquid is then separated from the water and frozenand then   mixed with bee wax -for consistency or spices.  Black pepper can be added to produce a homemade remedy for arthritis or muscle pain.

The roots can also be processed as a restorative tea following the teaching of ancient Chinese medicine.  This is done by thoroughly cleaning the roots of organically fertilized plants only following by chopping them, crushing them to powder and leaving them to dry completely. These can then be boiled in a small amount of the powder in 1L water anytime.

Cannabis roots are also suitable for making a kind of homemade beer. This can be made by boiling the powder with an aromatic substance such as cinnamon sticks, anise, etc. in a clay pot for about 12 hours and straining the liquid.  The strained liquid is left to cool and it will be ready to drink. This liquid if boiled once again, gives a dark-coloured substance perfect for tinctures.

Equally some present-day tribes still use the roots of cannabis as purgatives during cleansing just like in Roman documented texts. A  recent study by the Washington State University revealed that the Aka, a pygmy hunter-gatherer people that live in the Congo Basin consume cannabis as a way to prevent intestinal parasites,  and that marijuana preparations are customary whenever they need to keep worms at bay. A 17th century research was documented in Indonesia which revealed t cannabis roots as a treatment against gonorrhoea . Years later, the American colonists took started using cannabis roots to cure venereal disease.

As seen above with so many references to the medicinal use of cannabis roots in different times and cultures, scientific interest on these roots has been renewed of recent times, along with greater opportunities to study the properties that have been hidden underground all this time.

The hidden anti-cancer properties of cannabis roots

The medicinal properties of cannabis roots of differ greatly from the other properties of the plant.  Research has revealed THC is almost non-existent in the roots and that the medicinal properties of the roots have to do with their terpene composition. A research conducted in 1971 revealed that the cannabis roots contain a group of chemical compounds with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties. This research also revealed that the ethanol extracted from the roots contained friedelin, an antioxidant terpene with hepatoprotective effects.

The most striking of all was the discovery of a potent antitumor compound known as epifriedelanol. A laboratory test was conducted with a plant similar to marijuana known as Phyllanthus watsonii which revealed that its components successfully inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells. The extract of this Malaysian plant contained the same compounds that were found in cannabis roots that is friedelin and epifriedelanol. The experiment also detected signs of apoptosis or cell suicide. It should be noted that while regular cells undergo apoptosis when harmed or diseased, cancer cells fail to respond to self-destruction signals, therefore blocking the apoptosis process. The discovery of cannabis-induced apoptosis of malignant cells in a lab environment is thus a highly promising prospect for the treatment of cancer. The roots of cannabis contain friedelin and epifriedelanol, as well as pentacyclic triterpenes, a kind of fat-soluble molecule that has also been scientifically proven to induce apoptosis in cancer cells.

Other benefits of cannabis roots

Clinical test on marijuana has revealed that the powers hidden in the lower part of the cannabis plant goes far beyond this.  Research on Cannabis roots have also proven that they  contain alkaloids, which could be beneficial for the treatment of menopause, bronchial problems and diabetes, not forgetting the fact that hemp roots are relatively rich in CBD which is the most widely used cannabinoid in modern medicine.

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