The uses of cannabis throughout history

uses of cannabis

The plants from which cannabis is obtained have been known since ancient times. Either for their physical or chemical properties, they have been cultivated for 8,000 years for different human uses.

The vegetable fiber obtained from the plant is called hemp and is useful for the production of paper or cloth. Additionally, the seeds are rich in fatty acids and have a high nutritional content being considered “superfood”.

The main difference between plants considered industrial hemp and cannabis is their content in organic chemicals that have an effect on our body.

Cannabis, for its content in certain alkaloids, has been used since ancient times for medicinal and religious purposes.
There is evidence of this use in ancient Chinese, Indian, Arab and Greek cultures, among others. The intoxicating effects of cannabis were used for religious purposes and with therapeutic use to relieve gout, rheumatism, malaria, and pain of various origins, among other indications.

The same writings that described its beneficial use relate how its excessive administration could cause negative effects on health, so they advised its use with caution.

The medicinal cannabis (CM) Western medicine entered into the eighteenth century to multi-symptom relief. For almost a century, CM was among the medical society’s therapeutic options for relief of menstrual pain, hysteria, rheumatism, and many other indications.

In parallel, its recreational use also became popular, simultaneously creating a social alarm among the ruling classes.

At the beginning of the 20th century, cannabis was considered a substance of abuse, and its production, commercialization, and consumption for recreational and medicinal use were prohibited.

One way to better understand the role of cannabis in our history is to compare it to the use of opium, which it clearly resembles.

Like opium, cannabis comes from a plant known to mankind since ancient times.

These two plants (those of cannabis and real poppies) contain chemicals with various effects on the body (marijuana and opium respectively).

The psychotropic effects on the nervous system of these plants have been used for therapeutic and religious purposes since ancient times.

Centuries later, western civilization adopted opium and cannabis within its medicinal remedies. In fact, after opium derivatives, cannabis was the most widely used ingredient among the drugs found in the 19th century European and American Pharmacopoeia.

Parallel to its medicinal use, both opium and cannabis were consumed recreationally, causing serious health problems for its users. This finally led to these products being considered narcotic drugs, banned and withdrawn from society and medicine during the 20th century.

The health benefits of opium were previously discovered thanks to the identification of morphine and its description as a powerful pain reliever.

The benefits of cannabis are currently being described thanks to its decriminalization and legalization in countries like Israel, the United States, or Canada …

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