The Devil’s lettuce… Dope… The filthy weed… Since the early 20th century, cannabis has had a bad reputation. It’s even been argued that the word “marijuana” was used to lend the plant a sinister, “foreign-sounding” name.
It was demonized in government propaganda and newspapers of the day – the twin efforts of wealthy interests that stood to benefit from its eradication.
Well, it’s taken the better part of a century, but in 2019 we tend to think of cannabis in different terms: revolutionary… transformative… healthful… and economic jet fuel… the investment opportunity of a lifetime.
The voices of demonization and prohibition, once all-powerful and influential, are starting to look more like the fringe, on the wrong side of history.
Cannabis’s improved image is in large part due to efforts of activists, some of whom have worked ardently to repeal cannabis prohibition since the 1970s. It’s also been helped along by research into cannabinoids initiated by Israeli scientists.
Research and experience are revealing that this little plant boasts a fantastically long list of benefits, some of which have benefited humans for perhaps as much as 12,000 years.
This goes beyond equities and fortunes. (Cannabis is highly likely to make you rich if you position yourself correctly, but there’s much more to it.)
Let’s take a look…
Improved Health Spans, Courtesy of “the Devil’s Lettuce”
Foremost among cannabis’ benefits is what it does for your health.
There are dozens of compounds in marijuana, some of which we’re just beginning to tap into. But tetrahydrocannabinol-9 and cannabidiol – that’s THC and CBD to you and I – are proving to be powerful remedies to treat pain, types of dementia, seizures, and autoimmune diseases.
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You can add to that list cannabinoids’ potential to treat concussions, help soldiers and other folks with post-traumatic stress disorder, and to simply relieve stress. CBD has also recently been found to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
These compounds are becoming a big part of a growing shift towards wellness. As we live longer, it helps our health span keep up with our life span.
People are even finding that CBD helps treat many of the same conditions in their dogs.
The net result of these benefits is a reduction in healthcare spending. In states with legalized medical marijuana, healthcare spending by the government has declined by over 10%.
Now, in addition to healing humans, it turns out that cannabis plants can also heal the planet.
The Plant Puts Land Back to Work
Hemp plants have been proven to detoxify the soil. Scientists have discovered that hemp performs what is called “phytoremediation,” which is a fancy way of saying its roots quite deep, and, when planted in polluted soil, it pulls out the heavy metals and other pollutants, leaving healthier soil.
Phytoremediation was first coined by a Russian scientist who planted hemp in fields contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
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Another study by German researchers confirmed that hemp was able to extract all kinds of nasty, toxic heavy metals, like lead, cadmium, and nickel, from a plot of sewage sludge. In 2011, a group of Italian farmers planted hemp in fields heavily polluted by a massive steel plant.
Now, the toxins settle into the plant, so the flower, seeds, and fiber are not useful for consumption… but the hemp fiber harvested from cleanup sites can sometimes have industrial uses.
One company working specifically on developing varieties of hemp for industrial cleanup is 22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII). In addition to creating strains of hemp that optimize the plant’s production of CBD, the company is also engineering novel strains to clean up and reclaim land surrounding abandoned mines and other polluted areas.
We have reported extensively on 22nd Century in our proprietary database, along with research, analysis, and ratings on over 160 other cannabis companies, all of which you can learn how to access here.
And while the positive effects of cannabis on the health of people, pets, and the environment have become apparent to many, there are other hidden but equally powerful effects from which we can profit.
Marijuana Is Transforming Local Economies Coast to Coast
The cannabis boom is revitalizing the economy.
Take Needles, Calif., for instance. The town lies along old Route 66 in the Mojave Desert. It used to be an important industrial and transportation hub on the route to and from Los Angeles.
Now this town of 5,000 is desperately in search of jobs, and marijuana legalization is providing a solution. Needles officials report that more than 81 cannabis business permits have been approved (so far), with the potential to create nearly 2,100 jobs.
Cannabis is transforming American farming as well.
While we have proof of marijuana’s use dating back to the middle of the first millennium BCE, hemp was one of the first domesticated plants cultivated more than 12,000 years ago.
Hemp plants can generate anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000 per acre in revenue for farmers. Compare that to estimates of less than $800 per acre for corn and other row crops, and you can see the potential. Even high-value crops like tobacco and alfalfa can’t hold a candle to the profits possible from well-run hemp acreage.
And while tobacco farmers are seeing falling demand for their crops, hemp is providing a desperately needed, commercially lucrative alternative.
These are all great benefits to human wealth, health, and happiness, and the relentless march toward federal legalization is only going to boost these benefits. You want to be invested in cannabis before that happens.
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