The Long History of Medical Marijuana

18 Dec
2017

Have you ever found yourself wondering about the History of medical marijuana? For as long as you can remember, marijuana has been considered as psychedelic drugs which are associated with hippies. At its most negative picture, marijuana is closely associated with stoners. It is the gate to drug addiction, as they often say.

With so many bad press surrounding marijuana, people tend to see it negatively. It doesn’t matter if the use of marijuana has been legalized in many states in America. The stigma in the society leans towards addiction than medication. But who would have thought that in other parts of the world, marijuana has actually been used in medicine?

Not only that, outside of America, the use of marijuana in medicine is actually dated to thousands of years ago? Yes, this fact may come off as a surprise to many of you. But physicians in the ancient and medieval era mixed cannabis into their herbal teas or incorporate it into their medicines. They did so because they believed in the healing power of cannabis.

Incorporating cannabis into teas and medicines were incredibly effective in treating various ailments and pain. This standard practice may not end up well with the law due to the control surrounding it. Back in the day, cannabis was not heavily controlled. The United States, for instance, lists cannabis under the same category of drugs such as heroin and LSD.

Marijuana in the ancient world

In the ancient China, it all started with hemp. This variety of marijuana plant was one of the most common agricultural crops known to men. It was harvested for its fiber, oil, and high protein seeds, until the locals found its healing power. It might not have the same effect that alters the mind such as other variety, but it was powerful nonetheless.

Around the 2737 B.C., Chinese emperor Shen Neng was recorded to be the first ancient leader to ever accept marijuana medicine. Not only did he accept it, he also personally prescribed marijuana tea to treat various ailments. Marijuana tea was then widely used to treat ailments such as poor memory, rheumatism, gout, and malaria.

Marijuana use was then spread to its neighboring country, Japan and then other parts of Asia such as India. Up to this date, the use of marijuana in this region is not restricted to medicinally. But also recreationally, religiously, and even spiritually. Marijuana continues to be incorporated into beverages such as milk and tea, and even turned into sweets in India.

In 1550 B.C. there was a written record in the ancient Egypt that mentioned marijuana’s anti-inflammatory benefit. This was followed with another study in 100 B.C., in which Ancient China noted the usefulness of cannabis. Yes, every part of the plant could actually be useful for medicines. From the seeds and leaves, to the flowers.

Marijuana in the medieval era

Throughout the Middle East, cannabis which was referred to as Hashish was immensely popular. It was initially used recreationally, where the locals turned it into cigaret and smoked it. Once its health benefits was learned, however, Hashish was soon incorporated as traditional medicine. Not only in the Middle East, the use of Marijuana reached European countries as well.

While marijuana did not have any religious or spiritual ties in Europe, it was actually used medicinally. From 100 to 1000 A.D., marijuana was the most common alternative medicine used in European countries. This alternative medicine was widely used by the locals to treat jaundice, tumors, chronic coughing, and many more. However the dosage was controlled as it was believed to cause sterility.

Marijuana in the modern era

Hemp variety was first brought into the United States by the Spanish. However it was brought in solely for its practical purposes. It was not until the late 1700s did medical journals in America mentioned about its healing powers. Hemp seeds were initially used to treat incontinence, inflammation, nausea, as well as rheumatism.

Later in the 1906, addiction of morphine, opium and heroin became rampant and the country had crisis due to the issue. By the 1937, the ban was enacted and it was not until recently did the government start to backtrack on their stance on marijuana. Further research of its health benefits did help the shift in History of medical marijuana and currently up to 23 states have legalized its uses.