A Sober Look at the Medicinal Benefits of Cannabis

Be honest, what comes to your mind when you hear the words cannabis, marijuana, zol, dope, ganja, hemp, pot, weed, dagga? If you don’t think illegal drug, the munchies, slow- talking and high-as-a-kite teens, hippies, junkies, rebels without a cause, and all other “morally disreputable” images attributed to the plant, then congratulations, you have survived the pervasive negative propaganda waged against the plant since time immemorial. What made things worse for cannabis was its declaration as an illegal drug the world over. Only recently has the world started waking up to the immense benefits of this perfectly natural miracle plant, which saw it being legalised in a few countries and states for medicinal and recreational use.In South Africa, cannabis was decriminalised for personal consumption by adults in private, although it is still illegal to use it outside of your private space or buy and sell it. It boggles my mind how people are allowed to have it for private consumption while they are still prohibited by law from purchasing it, but that’s a topic for another day.

We celebrate small victories, especially because this didn’t go without a fight. The challenges against the decriminalisation of cannabis went up to the highest court in the land (excuse the pun), the Constitutional Court, which lifted the prohibition against the plant in 2018.As someone who had a deeply religious upbringing, I must confess, I lapped up all the negative, one-sided talk about cannabis, which stuck with me well into my adulthood. I only seriously began interrogating my negative sentiments around the use of the herb in August 2014 when Mario Ambrosini, a member of the South African Parliament, died of lung cancer. Ambrosini had delivered an emotional plea to Parliament to consider the legalisation of the medicinal use of cannabis for people like him who desperately needed such treatment but were legally unable to access it due to the criminalisation of the plant.

This was my Damascus moment, which led me to taking the time to learn more – not necessarily about the recreational benefits of the plant, but about its medicinal benefits.HOMEGROWN RADIO’s Desirée Ndong had a chat with Bryce Grantham at the HOMEGROWN FARM in Centurion. Bryce has been growing cannabis for 19 years to discuss cannabis products produced by his company, Canna Africa. Like many people who advocate for the medical use of cannabis, Bryce has a personal attachment to cannabis. A former chef, Bryce was addicted to pain medication after surviving a car accident and undergoing multiple operations. He finally overcame his opioid addiction after using cannabis for pain relief, which also helped with his ADHD, gave him a high level of focus, and increased his ability to retain information.

Besides personal medicinal benefits, Bryce also spoke about other benefits of cannabis, such as biofuel made from hemp seeds.I am no cheerleader for the recreational use of cannabis, like smoking it so you can get high and lull yourself from deep-seated issues that you are avoiding to confront soberly. But I can vouch for the calming effects of medicinal cannabis. As someone who works in a deadline- chasing environment, I used to suffer from anxiety and occasional panic attacks. I started taking cannabis tea after a friend suggested that I try it, and I haven’t had anxiety or a panic attack ever since. I then planted the herb from seeds given by the friend. Now I occasionally ​have my cannabis tea at the comfort of my home, prepared with herbs from my own garden.

To find out more about the cannabis products available from CANNAAFRIKA Contact Homegrown Wholesale on 086 099 5147