“To understand where you live today, you should know and understand the history”, Unknown
Pharmotech SA has the desire to inform the kind reader on some, not all, history background of cannabis medical consumption. We will expose the use of cannabis in the history and we will skip the legal part of the last century.
2900 BC – Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi References Marijuana as a Popular Medicine that possessed both yin and yang.”
2700 BC – Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, considered the father of medicine, Said to Discover Healing Properties of Marijuana
1500 BC – Earliest Written Reference to Medical Marijuana in Chinese Pharmacopeia, the Rh-Ya.
1450 BC – Book of Exodus References Holy Anointing Oil Made from Cannabis. ”Holy anointing oil, as described in the original Hebrew version of the recipe in Exodus (30:22-23), contained over six pounds of kaneh-bosem, a substance identified by respected etymologists, linguists, anthropologists, botanists and other researchers as cannabis, extracted into about six quarts of olive oil, along with a variety of other fragrant herbs. The ancient anointed ones were literally drenched in this potent mixture.”
1213 BC – Egyptians Use Cannabis for Glaucoma, Inflammation, and Enemas. Cannabis pollen is found on the mummy of Ramesses II, who died in 1213 BC. Prescriptions for cannabis in Ancient Egypt include treatment for the eyes (glaucoma), inflammation, and cooling the uterus, as well as administering enemas.
1000 BC – Bhang, a Drink of Cannabis and Milk, Is Used in India as an Anesthetic. Bhang, a cannabis drink generally mixed with milk, is used as an anesthetic and anti-phlegmatic in India. Cannabis begins to be used in India to treat a wide variety of human maladies.
700 BC – Medical Use of Marijuana in the Middle East Recorded in the Venidad. Persian Prophet and Philosopher Zoroaster. ”The Venidad, one of the volumes of the Zend-Avesta, the ancient Persian religious text written around the seventh century BC purportedly by Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), the founder of Zoroastrianism, and heavily influenced by the Vedas, mentions bhang and lists cannabis as the most important of 10,000 medicinal plants.”
600 BC – Indian Medicine Treatise Cites Cannabis as a Cure for Leprosy. ”Cannabis was used in India in very early medical applications. People believed it could quicken the mind, prolong life, improve judgment, lower fevers, induce sleep and cure dysentery… The first major work to lay out the uses of cannabis in [Indian] medicine was the Ayurvedic [a system of Indian medicine] treatise of Sushruta Samhita written in 600 BC… Within the Sushrita, cannabis is cited as an anti-phlegmatic and a cure for leprosy.”
200 BC – Medical Cannabis Used in Ancient Greece. In ancient Greece, cannabis is used as a remedy for earache, edema, and inflammation.
1 AD – Ancient Chinese Text Recommends Marijuana for More Than 100 Ailments.”In a compendium of drug recipes compiled in 1 AD [Pen Ts’ao Ching], based on traditions from the time of Shen Nung, marijuana is depicted as an ideogram [pictorial symbol] of plants drying in a shed. This ancient text… recommends marijuana for more than 100 ailments, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, and absentmindedness.”
30 – Jesus Allegedly Uses Anointing Oil Made with Cannabis. ”In the Bible’s New Testament, Jesus… anointed [his disciples] with [a] potent entheogenic [psychoactive substance] oil, sending out the 12 apostles to do the same [around the year 30 AD]… Likewise, after Jesus’ passing, James suggests that anyone of the Christian community who was sick should call to the elders to anoint him with oil in the name of Jesus…”
70 – Roman Medical Text Cites Cannabis to Treat Earaches and Suppress Sexual Longing. ”Pedanius Dioscorides (circa AD 40-90), a Greek physician who was a Roman army doctor and traveled widely on campaigns throughout the Roman empire, studied many plants, gathering his knowledge into a book he titled De Materia Medica (On Medical Matters). Published about AD 70 it became the most important medical tome of the next 1500 years. Irrefutably included in it was cannabis, both kannabis emeros and kannabis agria, the male and female respectively. Dioscorides stated bluntly that the plant which was used in the making of rope also produced a juice that was used to treat earache and suppress sexual longing.”
79 – Pliny the Elder Writes about Medicinal Properties of Cannabis Plant. ”Pliny the Elder, an ancient Roman nobleman, scientist, and historian, author of Naturalis Historia (79 AD), [writes] that ‘The roots [of the cannabis plant] boiled in water ease cramped joints, gout too and similar violent pain.'”
200 – Chinese Surgeon Hua T’o Uses Cannabis Resin and Wine as Anesthetic. Chinese surgeon Hua T’o performed surgeries such as “organ grafts, resectioning of intestines, laparotomies (incisions into the loin), and thoracotomies (incisions into the chest)… rendered painless by means of ma-yo, an anaesthetic made from cannabis resin and wine.”
800-900 – Cannabis Used as Medicine in Arabic World by Some, Labeled “Lethal Poison” by Others. ”Cannabis was used medicinally across the Arabic world in Roman times, applied to a wide variety of ailments (from migraines to syphilis) and as an analgesic and anaesthetic. The great ninth-century Islamic physician Rhazès… prescribed it widely; a contemporary, the Arab physician Ibn Wahshiyah, warned of the potential effects of hashish which he wrote was a lethal poison.”
1500 – Muslim Doctors Use Marijuana to Reduce Sexuality. ”After the 1500s, once Islam spread to India, Moslem doctors used the Persian theories to guide their use of cannabis. Their applications tended to stress the late effects, rather than the early ones, so they used it, for instance, as a means of reducing sexuality rather than increasing it.”
1538 – Hemp Used During Middle Ages. ”During the Middle Ages, hemp was central to any herbalist’s medicine cabinet. William Turner, the naturalist considered the first English botanist, praises it in his New Herball, published in 1538.”
1578 – Chinese Medical Text Describes Medical Uses for Marijuana. ”A Chinese medical text (1578 AD) [Bencao Gangmu Materia Medica, by Li Shizhen] describes the use of marijuana to treat vomiting, parasitic infections, and hemorrhage. Marijuana continues to be used in China as a folk remedy for diarrhea and dysentery and to stimulate to appetite.”
1600s – William Shakespeare May Have Smoked Cannabis. ”Thackeray et al. reported in the South African Journal of Science the results of chemical analyses of plant residues in ‘tobacco pipes’ from Stratford-upon-Avon and environs, dating to the early 17th century… The pipe bowls and stems had been obtained by Thackeray on loan from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon. Several of the pipes had been excavated from the garden of William Shakespeare. Results of this study (including 24 pipe fragments) indicated Cannabis in eight samples, nicotine (from tobacco leaves of the kind associated with Raleigh) in at least one sample, and (in two samples) definite evidence for Peruvian cocaine… Thackeray (unpublished manuscript) suggests that Shakespeare preferred Cannabis as a stimulant which had mind-stimulating properties.”
1611-1762 – Jamestown Settlers Bring Marijuana to North America. ”The Jamestown settlers brought the marijuana plant, commonly known as hemp, to North America in 1611, and throughout the colonial period, hemp fiber was an important export. Indeed, in 1762, ‘Virginia awarded bounties for hemp culture and manufacture, and imposed penalties on those who did not produce it.'”
1621 – Popular English Mental Health Book Recommends Cannabis to Treat Depression. English Clergyman and Oxford scholar Robert Burton suggests cannabis as a treatment for depression in his influential and still popular 1621 book The Anatomy of Melancholy.
1652 – Herbalist Nicholas Culpeper Writes about Medical Uses for Hemp. ”The great British herbalist Nicholas Culpeper (1616–1654) wrote in his  The English Physitian (sic) that hemp extract ‘allayeth Inflammations in the Head … eases the pains of the Gout … Knots in the Joynts, [and] the pains of the Sinews and Hips’. Culpeper’s preparation probably had little psychoactivity as native cannabis grown in northern latitudes has relatively low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.”
1745-1775 – George Washington Grows Hemp. ”[George] Washington’s diary entries indicate that he grew hemp at Mount Vernon, his plantation, for about 30 years [approximately 1745-1775]. According to his agricultural ledgers, he had a particular interest in the medicinal use of Cannabis, and several of his diary entries indicate that he indeed was growing Cannabis with a high Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content – marijuana.”
Page from George Washington’s diary dated Aug. 1765.
Source: Library of Congress (accessed Aug. 31, 2011)
1774-1824 – Thomas Jefferson Grows Hemp at Monticello. ”Thomas Jefferson did grow hemp [as noted in his farming diaries from 1774-1824], but there is no evidence to suggest that Jefferson was a habitual smoker of hemp, tobacco, or any other substance. Some have pointed to a supposed reference in Jefferson’s Farm Book to separating male and female hemp plants as evidence that he was cultivating it for purposes of recreational smoking; no such reference exists in Jefferson’s Farm Book or any other document, although George Washington did record such a thing in his own diary…”
Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, 1774-1824, page 95.
Source: Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2003
1799 – Napoleon’s Forces Bring Marijuana from Egypt to France. Napoleon invades Egypt with forces that include a scientific expedition team. In addition to discovering the Rosetta Stone, the team brings cannabis back to France in 1799. The cannabis was investigated for its pain relieving and sedative effects in Europe and became more widely accepted in Western medicine.
1840 – Medical Marijuana Comes to United Kingdom via William O’Shaughnessy and Reportedly Used by Queen Victoria for Menstrual Cramps
“Cannabis was reintroduced into British medicine in 1842 by Dr. W[illiam] O’Shaughnessy, an army surgeon who had served in India. In Victorian times it was widely used for a variety of ailments, including muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, rheumatism, and the convulsions of tetanus, rabies and epilepsy; it was also used to promote uterine contractions in childbirth, and as a sedative to induce sleep. It is said to have been used by Queen Victoria against period pains: there is no actual proof of this at all, but Sir Robert Russell, for many years her personal physician, wrote extensively on cannabis, recommending it for use in dysmenorrhoea [menstrual cramps]. It was administered by mouth, not by smoking, but usually in the form of a tincture (an extract in alcohol). Cannabis extracts were also incorporated in many different proprietary medicines.”
1840s – Marijuana Becomes Mainstream Medicine in the West. “In the 19th Century, marijuana emerged as a mainstream medicine in the West. Studies in the 1840s by a French doctor by the name of Jacques-Joseph Moreau [a French psychiatrist] found that marijuana suppressed headaches, increased appetites, and aided people to sleep.”
1850 – Marijuana Added to US Pharmacopeia
Cover of the 1851 United States Pharmacopeia. “By 1850, marijuana had made its way into the United States Pharmacopeia [an official public standards-setting authority for all prescription and over-the counter medicines], which listed marijuana as treatment for numerous afflictions, including: neuralgia, tetanus, typhus, cholera, rabies, dysentery, alcoholism, opiate addiction, anthrax, leprosy, incontinence, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, insanity, excessive menstrual bleeding, and uterine bleeding, among others. Patented marijuana tinctures were sold…”
Page 50 of the 1851 United States Pharmacopeia
1889 – Article in The Lancet Outlines Use of Cannabis for Opium Withdrawal. “In 1889, an article by Dr. E. A. Birch in The Lancet, then as now one of the world’s leading medical journals, outlined the application of cannabis for the treatment of opium and chloral hydrate withdrawal symptoms: the mixture reduced the opium craving and acted as an anti-emetic [drug that is effective against vomiting and nausea].”
1893-1894 – Indian Hemp Commission Mentions Several Medical Uses of Cannabis. ”Concern about cannabis as an intoxicant leads the government of India to establish the Indian Hemp Commission of 1893-1894 to examine the question of cannabis use in India.” The report mentions the use of cannabis as an “analgesic, a restorer of energy, a hemostat, an ecbolic [to induce contractions], and an antidiaretic.” Cannabis is also “mentioned as an aid in treating hay fever, cholera, dysentery, gonorrhea, diabetes, impotence, urinary incontinence, swelling of the testicles, granulation of open sores, and chronic ulcers. Other beneficial effects attributed to cannabis are prevention of insomnia, relief of anxiety, protection against cholera, alleviation of hunger and as an aid to concentration of attention.”
After, in the USA began the war on cannabis, we skip the motivations. Today in almost all the country, medically speaking, is legal. if you want to reed all details on cannabis history, you can find the entire and detailed history on our source: www.procon.org. You can find also, all the detailed source of each testimonial with pictures and precise source.