top of page

The "Good and Evil" of Cannabis in Taiwan [Cannabis Insight 2021]

Conclusion: In April 2021, the Hsinchu City police cracked down on the largest indoor cannabis factory in the history of Taiwan, seized 1,540 live cannabis plants, 7 kilograms of dried Cannabis and 880 cannabis joints, with a market value of nearly 17 million USD. For advocacy groups and individuals who hope to promote the legalization of domestic Cannabis, Minister of Law Cai Qingxiang said, "This is not in line with our national conditions." In the first part of "Cannabis Insight", we will analyze the "good and evil" Cannabis, also regarded as the cause of restorative materials and drugs. At the same time, we will also talk about how Cannabis, recorded as medication from the scripture of medicine "Compendium of Materia Medica", to a drug that most Taiwanese wouldn't bring up about.

Taiwan Actor Ke Zhendong

"Former LOL world champion Toyz Liu Weijian for drug trafficking involved in selling marijuana was detained".

"Xie Hexian was arrested for drug abuse and sentenced to another four months."

"Ke Zhendong, the famous Taiwanese actor, sentenced for two years of drug abuse."

"Jaycee Chan, Jacky Chan's son, recruited drugs for eight years."

Cannabis is a secondary drug in Taiwan. When celebrities appear in the media for smoking marijuana, they often cause an uproar.

Criminal Bureau: Cannabis cannot be legalized in Taiwan

In the first half of 2021, the Ministry of Justice seized more than 9,000 cannabis plants, the most significant number ever. The Ministry of Justice: "Declare war on marijuana," which is listed as one of the primary goals of anti-drugs, asking people not to use marijuana by any chance.

Minister of Justice Cai Qingxiang said: "It is currently impossible to legalize marijuana. So far, Taiwan does not allow the legalization of marijuana."

Wu Yiming, deputy director of the Department of Protection, said that Cannabis does not grow naturally in Taiwan. It is illegal and penalties no matter how it is planted, manufactured, transported, sold, or used in Taiwan. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

Although the Ministry of Justice has strongly expressed its stance on the elimination of Cannabis, as some countries have opened up the legalization of Cannabis, there has been more and more discussion about Cannabis in Taiwan. Among them, lawyers, physicians, and university professors have advocated opening up the use of Cannabis, decriminalizing marijuana, or legalizing medical marijuana.

Xie Hexian, a singer who promotes the legalization of marijuana, criticizes the conservative government on Facebook from time to time. Xie Hexiang even said that his songs were written after smoking marijuana. However, there are still many people in society who question and even oppose the legalization of marijuana. Professor Yang Shilong of the National Chung Cheng University emphasized that very few countries legalize Cannabis. He believes that "Once recreational cannabis is legalized, it may open up the motivation of youth drug use and accelerate the use of drugs to cause health hazards."

What's in the cannabis plant?

Some people think that marijuana is a panacea that relaxes people and relieves pain. Others believe it is a heinous drug. The reason why marijuana is regarded as "good and evil" is precise because of the role of two cannabinoids - cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in this type of plant.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Cannabis is an annual herb containing more than 400 chemical substances, including various cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol is abbreviated as THC. It has prominent psychoactive properties and is the main psychedelic component of Cannabis. Therefore, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the reasons why many countries list Cannabis as a controlled drug. But THC relieves symptoms such as chronic pain and vomiting after cancer chemotherapy and can be used for medical purposes.

Cannabidiol (Cannabidiol), referred to as CBD, is not psychoactive, so it has no mental effect. Some studies have pointed out that cannabidiol (CBD) can protect the nervous system and relieve muscle pain, anxiety, arthritis, and epilepsy. Since 2016, Kickback, a prominent American beverage manufacturer, has combined CBD ingredients with coffee and tea and launched a low-sugar and low-calorie lemon-flavoured soda, labelling its ingredients to help boost energy and relieve stress.

How does marijuana make people feel high?

How does a small plant make us high? The story starts with the human body mechanism.

There are Cannabinoid receptors in everyone's body. Scientists have discovered that the two primary receptors that bind to cannabinoids in the human body are type I cannabinoid receptors (CB1) and type II cannabinoid receptors (CB2). CB1 is widely distributed in the central and peripheral nervous system, while CB2 is mainly manifested in the immune system. Cannabinoids will activate these two central receptors and then affect people's psychological and physical functions.

Physician Lai Yanhe said that THC belongs to "Partial Agonists". After humans take Cannabis, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will connect to the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) and type 2 cannabinoid receptors in the body. Body (CB2). When THC activates CB1 and CB2, there will be a mechanism to start the subsequent molecular delivery chain, releasing Dopamine, which makes us feel excited and happy, which is the key to "high".

However, Lai Yanhe also emphasized that the current medical community's response to "Hi" is not caused by a single mechanism. We can only say that THC is the beginning of this series of peak experiences after smoking marijuana.

Cannabinoids from plants are called Phytocannabinoids, but in fact, we also have endocannabinoids in our body, which are naturally produced by cells in the body. In addition to taking marijuana, under certain circumstances, the body also releases endocannabinoids, which makes us feel "hi".

In 2015, German scholar Johannes Fuss and others published a paper, "A runners high depends on cannabinoid receptors in mice". They found that many long-distance runners or amateur runners have experienced Runner's high-that is, in the process of running, they feel happy, fatigue and pain reduced, etc. Scholars point out that this is related to the production of endocannabinoids in the body during exercise, related to CB1 exposure.

The history of Cannabis

According to historical records, as early as 2737 BC, the medicinal value of marijuana was discovered by the medicine god Shennong, and it was recorded in the "Shen Nong's Materia Medica".

Li Shizhen, the doctor in Ming Dynasty, recorded Cannabis in "Compendium of Materia Medica": "Cannabis is also known as hemp, and it is planted everywhere. Hemp is peeled and harvested. There are males and females. Hemp has narrow and long leaves, shaped like motherwort leaves, seven-leaf or nine-leaf on the branches, delicate yellow flowers and ears in May and June, then fruit. It is as big as coriander seeds. It can be peeled to make oil, and its stalks are white and ridged. Hemp fibre can be the heart of a candle."

Chinese medicine believes that hemp seeds moisturize the intestines and laxatives, nourishing and tonic. In herbal tea shops on the streets of Hong Kong, hemp tea is sold as a beverage, and they are legal.

The Indian "Vedas" also praised cannabis drink as the holiest liquid, bestowing human well-being. Ancient Indians believed that Cannabis had the functions of making people feel energetic, prolonging life, and assisting in falling asleep.

Cannabis History in the American continent

Cannabis has a long history of being a medicine, but 100 years ago, the government took many actions. Cannabis was considered a drug banned by everyone and banned by all states in just a few decades. Because of discrimination, U.S. cannabis has become a national ban.

The revolution broke out in Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century, and a large number of Mexican immigrants poured into the United States, and at the same time, introduced the cannabis culture to the states of the United States. The behaviour of some new immigrants has caused fear among residents, believing that after taking marijuana, people may commit crimes.

In Texas, local police often label marijuana as "demon" and "immoral." Local newspaper reports in the Louisiana city of New Orleans emphasized that drug criminals would use marijuana to seduce school children and turn teenagers into "addicts."

Since then, the fear of Cannabis has increased throughout the United States. In October 1915, the Utah State Assembly passed the first cannabis law in American history, becoming the first state to ban Cannabis. This wave swept across the United States in just over a decade. In 1931, 29 states had legislated to ban marijuana.

At the same time, the Great Depression plunged the U.S. in 1929. The tide of unemployment increased the dissatisfaction and discrimination of domestic whites against Mexican immigrants to another level. Even the movie and other cultural leads joined the ranks of anti-marijuana.

In 1936, the movie "Reefer Madness" was released. This classic stigmatizing marij