Marijuana, also commonly known as weed, pot, grass, Mary Jane, has been around for thousands of years. It was initially grown, not for its psychoactive properties but as medicine. The cannabis plant has three significant species and seven sub-species; however, there are currently three major strains; Sativa, Indica from the Hindu Cush mountains, and a hybrid of the two.
The dried greenish-gray herb comes from the plant cannabis sativa that can be rolled and smoked as joints, brewed in tea or mixed, and consumed in foods like cookies and cake (edibles).
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Marijuana contains a psychoactive chemical, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in the resin produced by leaves and buds primarily of the female cannabis plant that is both intoxicating and mind-altering. This chemical’s mind-altering property draws most people to seek its intoxicating properties and has always been associated with the hippie culture.
Even though marijuana has been used for its medical properties from as early as 2900 BC, our modern world has only just started to uncover, scientifically prove, and accept these properties as fact. Let’s dive in for a brief history of the medical uses of marijuana over the past centuries.
2900 BC China
Hemp, a species of the cannabis Sativa plant, was grown over 50,000 years ago in China and other places globally and was spun into fiber and used to make clothes and ropes. Hemp has low THC levels and high CBD, cannabinoid. The high CBD levels seem to decrease the psychoactive effects of THC inactivating it.
However, people soon found out about other strains of Cannabis Sativa. They discovered their mind-altering properties, which they used to treat various medical conditions, such as:
- Hair Loss
Medical marijuana use was first mentioned by the emperor Fu His, accredited for starting the Chinese civilization. The emperor referred to marijuana as a popular medicine possessing both the Yin and Yang, which was back in 2900 BC.
2737 BC China
In 2737 BC, the emperor Shen Neng, who is considered the father of Chinese medicine, is said to have discovered the medical properties and applications of marijuana. He prescribed medical marijuana brewed in tea to treat disorders such as:
- Memory Loss
Although treatment for most of these illnesses has been discovered, medical scientists are still looking into the medical effects of marijuana on rheumatism.
2000 to 1400 BC India
India is and has always been connected to marijuana, commonly known as bhang, for thousands of years. The Indians used marijuana for:
- Spiritual Enlightenment
- Medical Purposes
- Healing Dysentery
- Reducing Phlegm
- Reducing Anxiety
- Improving Digestion
- Removes Wind
- Improve Mental Power
Bhang is a popular drink made in India and is prepared using the paste of the buds and leaves of cannabis plants, milk, ghee, and spices. It is written in the fourth book of the Vedas, also known as the Atharvaveda’s, meaning ’science and charms’ and is referred to be one of the five kingdoms of herbs.
1500 BC China
The Chinese pharmacopeia, the Rh-Ya, is the earliest written text denoting marijuana for medical practices.
1450 BC Israel
In ancient Israel, anointing oil, in the book of Exodus (30: 22-23), was made by extracting kaneh-bosem (a cannabis Sativa strain) and other fragrant herbs into six quarts of olive oil. This mixture was then used to anoint kings and prophets before they began their leadership.
1213 BC Egypt
Cannabis pollen found on Rameses II’s mummified body is another piece of evidence indicating the use of cannabis in Egypt.
Cannabis is recorded, by Ebers Papyrus, to have been prescribed as a treatment for:
- In the Administration of Enemas
- Cooling the Uterus
- Treating Inflammations
Marijuana can be used to treat various diseases. Click the button below to get your medical marijuana card.
700 BC Middle East
Zarathustra, the founder of the Zoroastrianism religion, records in the Vendidad, which is one of the volumes of the Zend-Avesta that bhang or cannabis is one of the top 100 most important medicinal plants.
1 AD China
In a compilation of drug recipes that dated back to the era of Shen Nung, cannabis, which is depicted by the symbol of plants drying in the shed, is recommended for more than a hundred illnesses, including rheumatism and malaria.
70 AD Rome
A roman army doctor, known as Pedanius Dioscorides, traveled during Roman conquests studying different kinds of plants and came up with a book he published in the 1970s known and De Materia Medica, on medical matters.
In this book, he stated the medical benefits of cannabis as a form of treatment for earache and suppressing sexual desire. The book became a guideline for medical practitioners in medieval Europe from 100 AD until the 1500s.
200 AD China
Hua T’o, a Chinese surgeon, uses wine and cannabis resin as a form of anesthetic while performing surgeries, making the procedure relatively painless.
1621 Popular Mental Health Book
In 1621, Robert Burton, a clergyman and oxford scholar, suggested, in the book The Anatomy of Melancholy, using marijuana to treat depression. This suggestion was very influential then and still is to this day.
1840 United Kingdom
Medical Marijuana was used in the United Kingdom by Queen Victoria to treat menstrual cramps. It was also used to treat various other ailments like:
- Muscle Spasms
- Tetanus Contractions
- Inducing Contractions During Childbirth
1906 North America
Mexican immigrants introduce marijuana into the united states, where it was used for its recreational purposes. Although doctors had started to discover and write articles on its medicinal uses, it was banned and those found in possession jailed or fined. The government cut down funding for researching the medical applications of marijuana up until recently.
The use of medical marijuana is legal in thirty-three US states as of January 2019. However, several limiting laws regulate the possession and distribution of marijuana since the federal government does not recognize its use.
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The American FDA doesn’t recognize marijuana as a medical plant because there have not been enough large-scale human trials to determine medicinal marijuana’s effects on the human body effectively. However, research is ongoing, and it has currently approved two types of medications that have cannabinoid chemicals in pill form.
Cannabis has been historically and scientifically proven to have several medicinal properties that are beneficial to your health. Marijuana has been proven to reduce anxiety and help patients with PTSD to cope with their condition.