While ancient civilizations didn't exactly use marijuana to get stoned, they did use it for its medicinal effects and treatment of ailments.
In fact, the use of cannabis dates as far back as 500 BC in Asia and back to the colonial days in America when hemp was grown for use as textiles.
Yes, marijuana's healing properties have long been acknowledged, but only recently have they been brought to the mainstream and clinically tested for medical efficacy and safety.
The stigma surrounding marijuana and other cannabis products only started in the 20th century, stemming from political and racial factors. As a result, marijuana became an illegal substance and has remained so for decades.
But as we know, the laws regarding the production, distribution, possession, and use of medical and recreational marijuana have been changing. We're on the cusp of a revolution in the realm of marijuana, and thanks to all the incredible ways that the marijuana plant and its cannabinoids can benefit the mind and body, it's become more widely accepted — even by the law.
Today, the cannabis industry is exploding, and it's not showing any signs of stopping. In fact, it's estimated that the global cannabis market could be worth as much as $130 billion in as little as 10 years.
And while there will always be the typical ways to consume cannabis - including smoking, inhaling a vape pen, eating, or applying it under the tongue as an oil or on the skin as a topical - innovators and cannabis companies are always looking for new and different ways for users to consume it and take advantage of its benefits.
Not only that, but hemp is being used in revolutionary ways outside of just the health and wellness sphere. In fact, many in the cannabis industry are using marijuana to create cutting-edge intellectual property that promises to create a better, healthier world.
Here are just a few futuristic uses for marijuana that users may be able to benefit from in the near future.
Medicine for our furry friends
Lots of people use cannabis oil to relieve anxiety and pain, and even improve their sleep. But humans aren't the only ones who can stand to benefit from cannabis.
Loving owners have been administering CBD oil to their cats and dogs to alleviate ailments such as pain and anxiety. CBD's reach can even go so far as having cardiac, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and even anti-cancer benefits for animals, though conclusive results in clinical studies are still needed to solidify these findings.
That said, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the notion that CBD can be incredibly helpful for animals that may be suffering from various ailments.
To administer to pets, CBD manufacturers have come up with convenient CBD pet treats that animals are more than happy to gnaw on. The CBD is disguised quite well in treats that taste great to animals, making it a lot easier for pet owners to deliver the desired amount of CBD oil to treat whatever issue is ailing their beloved pet.
Improving our health
There are all sorts of supplements available in the wellness sphere to help consumers maintain optimal health, and hemp seeds might have a place in this world. In fact, pure hemp seeds come packed with an amazing nutritional profile, making them an ideal component to improve and sustain a healthy diet.
Two tablespoons of pure hemp seeds contain the following nutritional makeup:
Hemp seeds also have the ideal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help promote a healthy heart and immune system.
It's pretty easy to consume hemp seeds, too. Simply sprinkle them in salads, cereals, dips, or smoothies to add a nutritional punch to whatever you're eating or drinking.
A more sustainable type of plastic
Plastics that comes from natural, biological sources as opposed to petroleum are referred to as bioplastics. For example, they can be derived from things such as vegetable oils, straw, woodchips, food scraps, and so forth. And cannabis may be playing an emerging role in bioplastics.
The benefits of bioplastics are pretty obvious: namely, they leave a much less significant carbon footprint on the planet. Further, they can help to minimize our dependency on fossil fuel sources as they become increasingly expensive over time.
So, how is the cannabis plant involved in bioplastics? Thanks to hemp becoming more and more popular to be used as a raw material as a result of the deregulation of hemp in the US, hemp-based bioplastics are on the horizon.
With almost 80% of plastics that don't reach the landfills polluting and overwhelming our oceans and natural environment, the emergence of bioplastics is welcomed. But by reusing leftover hemp waste from the nutrition industry instead of using it as cattle feed, it can be recycled into a usable, sustainable packaging.
Wholesale "green packaging" supplier Best Practices Packaging has applied for patent protection and partnered with big producers of nutritional hemp products in North America to create and commercialize hemp packaging and plastics.
Hemp-based construction materials
Along the same lines as plastic alternatives, hemp-based construction materials are also becoming a reality in the world of building. Rather than depending on synthetic materials to create products for the industry, hemp-based materials are more sustainable, better for the environment, more affordable, and even better for our health.
The inner core, outer fibrous skin, and seed oil from hemp can create concrete alternatives, insulation, and wood finishes and deck stains that contain far less toxicity than traditional materials. Many companies have natural cannabis patent products in the works that promise to make the industry a more eco-friendly one.
Replacing fossil fuels
Hemp can actually be used to create two types of fuel: hemp biodiesel (made from hemp seed oil), and hemp ethanol/methanol (made from the fermented stalk).
Considering how much damage fuel can do to the planet when spilled and how much more expensive fossil fuels are getting these days, coming up with more sustainable alternatives to fuel has never been more important. And hemp may just be a reliable, viable, and cost-effective source to use to create better fuel.
Hemp biodiesel is made by pressing the hemp seeds to extract the oil. It can extend the life of diesel engines because of it's more lubricating compared to petroleum diesel fuel, and can be made from domestically produced and sourced renewable hemp seed oil. And when it's burned, it releases far less harmful toxins into the environment.
Along the same lines are hemp batteries. They work based on carbonized hemp, graphite electrodes, and CBD isolates for conduction. The fibers from hemp are able to store just as much energy as graphene.
In fact, hemp batteries may even work better than traditional lithium batteries, creating the potential to completely revolutionize the global battery industry.
Between cutting back on the carbon footprint on the earth, creating a healthier environment for everyone inhabiting the earth, and offering a more sustainable form of "clean" energy, hemp really may have so much more to offer than its healing properties. Based on continued research into hemp's applications, the innovative possibilities seem both incredible and promising.