Sidarta Ribeiro: benefits of marijuana – 11/18/2023 – Marcelo Leite

Sidarta Ribeiro: benefits of marijuana – 11/18/2023 – Marcelo Leite

The girl next to her has a tattoo on her left forearm that says: “Sapere aude”. A lapse of memory requires consultation of the collective memory in silicowhich informs the forgotten translation for the Latin couplet: “Dare to know”.

Proverbs usually encapsulate wisdom accumulated over generations, they hold the smoke of truth. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. In this sweltering spring, a double dose of smoke can help clear your mind’s eye.

First, the smoke from Cannabis. Finding out about marijuana and its potential health benefits is of interest to everyone. Who doesn’t have or know someone with depression, anxiety, insomnia, pain, cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s?

Whether through biomedical research, with its deified randomized and controlled clinical trials, or through the anecdotal experience of sufferers and their relatives (the most appropriate adjective would be “traumatic”), marijuana is overcoming prejudices. And why ippon.

This is Sidarta Ribeiro, a neuroscientist who has risen to prominence as a public intellectual, a status not always welcomed by luminaries of normal science and their advisors in the press. It is in the book “As Flores do Bem – The Science and History of the Liberation of Marijuana”.

Two warnings to navigators are in order here. One: I cultivated close relationships with Siddhartha, which began as a source of information and evolved into a source of friendships. Two: we have the same publisher, Fósforo, which launched in 2021 my “Psychonauts – Travels with Brazilian Psychedelic Science”, with his preface.

Your book is of public benefit. It backs up with abundant scientific references and touching reports the properties of the CBD and THC sisters (analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-ischemic, antiemetic, antibacterial and antidiabetic properties of marijuana) obscured by a wall of structural racism, failed prohibitionism and good-natured behavior academic.

In the social imagination, marijuana is marked as a drug for black and poor people. Although consumed by white people of all classes, there are those who firmly believe that liamba is at the root of the supposed indolence and violence attributed to favelas and peripheral areas.

The work lives up to its well-known title “As Flores do Bem”. There are references to the studies and explanations about why promising research does not advance further, particularly in a demophobic country like Brazil. The biggest drawback of the book is that it will not be read by cultivators of moral panic.

Another clarifying smokescreen currently covers much of the Amazon. Although deforestation fell 42.5% in the first seven months of the year, compared to the same period in 2022, fires are raging.

It seems contradictory, but it isn’t. Debris from clearings during the fateful Bolsonaro years were no longer incinerated, due to excess humidity. With the unprecedented drought in the biome, land grabbers — the first link in the chain of Amazonian devastation — are rushing to set fire to the biomass, now more flammable in dry air.

The smoke of truth does not give rest even to those who have their eyes wide open. As Meghie Rodrigues narrated in Nature magazine, Brazilian ecologist Erika Berenguer, from the University of Oxford, a student of the forest’s vulnerability to fire, was chased away by it.

Berenguer was in the Tapajós region when she found herself surrounded by smoke, day and night. She had to abandon field work for ten days. “I was more out of breath than when I had Covid,” Rodrigues said. “This is collective poisoning.”

We burn fossil fuels and forests, fueling the furnace of the greenhouse effect and El Niño, which push the Amazon rainforest to a point of no return in the drying spiral. Blind people playing with fire.

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