Ethnobotany is a term that refers to the scientific study of the traditional wisdom and customs of various cultures concerning plants and their medical, religious, and other uses. This includes everything from using botanicals as medicine, to using them for construction, dye, or even as religious sacraments. Of course, a lot of modern stoners would naturally have an interest in ethnobotany in general. The ethnobotany of Marijuana however, is rarely discussed in our modern world. Most people have more of an interest in smoking it, or talking about all of the different varieties and scientific facts. Today, we are focusing on the cultural history of Marijuana.
The intoxicating effects of Marijuana have been thoroughly enjoyed by humans as far back in time as anyone can remember. It was used by some of the most fascinating cultures that ever walked the earth. It has been used by many mystic, or "shamanic" cultures for centuries. When we study these cultures and look at their love for the Cannabis plant, it becomes obvious that Cannabis has done well at attracting human beings sense the beginning. By evolving to please our senses, and to nourish and protect our biological circuitry, this plant has indeed made some friends.
What is it that seduced human kind into that first inhalation of those sweet Cannabis flowers? Was it the glistening trichormes shimmering in the warmth and love of the sun light? Did the sweet earthy scent of the Cannabis call out to our senses begging for our love and attention? As fruit trees make it obvious that their fruit should be eaten, so too does Cannabis make itself known to all who encounter its sacred presence.
So, what are Shamans, and what did they use Marijuana and other entheogenic plants for? Shamans are basically spiritual doctors that utilize higher planes of existence and plants to gain knowledge and guidance in order to perform healing on all levels. Shamans believe that illness on all levels is essentially the bi-product of several things. They believe that we are influenced by both good and bad forces that exist on higher and invisible planes of existence. They also understand the importance of integrating mother nature with your diet and life-style.
Marijuana was used by Shamans just like other natural psychoactive drugs. They would consume the sacred sacrament, and utilize it in order to become in tune with higher dimensions of reality. This would enable them to work with or against good and bad forces. Marijuana tunes the user into the condition of their own mental, physical, and spiritual health. For example, people often wonder why some users experience fits of paranoia while others do not.
If you experience paranoia under the influence of Marijuana, what's happening is your higher self is bringing to your conscious mind buried dangers which you have been avoiding or ignoring. The result is a form of sudden panic because these dangers and truths can no longer be ignored. Until these problems are addressed and fixed, the paranoia will not subside. Never ignore your own consciousness, whether its unconscious or subconscious.
The ethnobotany of marijuana is important for modern research as well. When we look back at how extensive this queen herb has been used medicinally for centuries, it gives researchers specific properties to do research on. Now we all know that it's medicine, but for those who are still in the dark, the science can step in to put an end to the ignorance once and for all. Science, specifically Phytochemistry once again defends the notion of plant based medicines.
After reading this introductory article on the Ethnobotany of Marijuana, I hope to have made an influence on everyone. Marijuana is more than an intoxicant. It's a friend, a teacher, a healer, and part of human cultures sense the beginning. I want for you all to not let Marijuana loose its magic. Take the time to reminisce over the early days, and all of the fun, insight, creativity, and inner healing that Cannabis has done for you throughout your life. Integrate Cannabis into your spirituality, and don't let it become this habit that's "nothing special". Make every toke as magical as the first toke. Utilize your high to the max! Embrace the Cannabis!
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