The cannabis plant has so many uses and almost all parts of its anatomy can be used to fulfill some kind of function. The flowers of the plant are the most appreciated and widely used, often to generate psychoactive effects when smoked or ingested in edible form. The cannabinoid-rich resin of these flowers is also exploited to make medicinal products such as oils.

The leaves of the cannabis plant are high in nutrients and can be used in salads and juices. The seeds are packed with healthy fats and protein, making for a powerful superfood. Even the stalks and stems are used on an industrial scale to make fibres, rope, canvas and more. One part of the anatomy that may seem quite neglected, perhaps because it is out of sight most of the time, are the roots.

Cannabis roots serve numerous vital functions that keep plants alive and well. To start, they anchor the plant into the soil to keep it upright. They are also responsible for the uptake of water and nutrients, keeping everything healthy and thriving. Roots can also form symbiotic relationships with fungi in order to maximise nutrient uptake efficiency. The roots also take part in respiration.

When it comes to harvest time, the roots shouldn’t just be thrown away. Although they can and will add nutrients to a compost pile, they have exciting functions that far exceed this purpose.

Roots Nutrients Breathe Cannabis plant

THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS ROOT USE

Although it's not common to hear of people using cannabis roots much these days, they have a rich history as a medical substance. Chinese texts dating back to 2700 BCE discuss the use of cannabis root as a medicine to reduce pain caused by broken bones and surgeries. The text describes how roots would be dried, then ground to form a paste. The roots were also said to be juiced or boiled to make a tea that was apparently used as a diuretic, to stop bleeding during childbirth and reduce pain from minor injuries.

The exploitation of cannabis root throughout human history does not stop there. A Roman historian by the name of Pliny the Elder is reported to have written about the medicinal use of cannabis around 79 BCE. Although some remain sceptical of Pliny as an accurate source, he detailed that raw cannabis root could be used for the treatment of burns. He also mentions the ameliorative potential of cooked cannabis root on joints and in some cases, gout.

In the not-so-distant past, an English physician by the name of William Salmon wrote about cannabis root in the 18th century. Salmon mentioned how cannabis root could be employed in the treatment of sciatica and joint pain.

CANNABIS ROOT AS A MEDICINE

Cannabis root has not undergone extensive scientific research at this point in time. However, there are anecdotal accounts of using it for a variety of medical conditions.

It is reported that chemicals within the roots may play a role in protecting the liver. A compound called friedelin was isolated from the roots and is considered to be a free radical scavenger with liver-protective properties.

Other compounds isolated from the roots of the cannabis plant named pentacyclic triterpene ketones are associated with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

Cannabis roots also contain small amounts of choline. Choline is a macronutrient that is involved in numerous biological processes, including nerve function, boosting energy levels, and brain development.

cannabis roots recipe

CANNABIS ROOT FORMULAS

Cannabis root can be infused into a tea or tincture and can also be made into a balm used in attempt to heal wounds and burns. Powdered root is used in poultices to sooth certain skin disorders.

Some companies and dispensaries have started exploring the domain of the cannabis root and have begun making and stocking cannabis creams.

A WARNING

Although cannabis root does seem to include some possible health benefits, the alkaloids in its contents may be toxic when used in excess. If you are planning on using this root, it is worth consulting an expert or doctor before taking regular or large doses.

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