The use of cannabis in medicine is something that has recently reemerged in popularity. However, for millennia, mankind has been using marijuana in medicine.
Exploring the History of Medicine and Marijuana
The use of cannabis as medicine has only found its way into the national debate in the United States and other Western countries within the past decade. However, cannabis has a long and illustrious history as a medicinal aid.
Medical Cannabis in China
Cannabis has been used in central Asia for thousands of years. Archaeological research proves that it was being cultivated in China in 4000 B.C. and Turkestan in 3000 B.C. People living in countries like India, China, parts of the Middle East, South Africa and South America have long understood the medicinal power of cannabis.
More than 5000 years ago, a Chinese Emperor is recorded as using cannabis to treat things like malaria, pains associated to arthritis, and “female disorders.” There are reports of the Chinese taking hemp and mixing it with wine to make a form of anesthesia that could be used during surgery.
Countries in Africa and Parts of India Used Marijuana as Medicine
In India, cannabis has long been used as a way to treat insomnia, stimulate the appetite of people who did not want to eat, either because of physical elements or because of psychological disorders, and help lower temperatures, curb migraine headaches and treat dysentery.
In many African countries, cannabis was also used as a way to treat dysentery, malaria and high fevers. Even today, there are tribes in Africa where women will smoke marijuana prior to childbirth.
Marijuana and Medicine in the Western World
Through the late 1700s and on through the 1800s, the Western civilization began exploring the benefits of cannabis use. However, towards the end of the 19th Century, the use of medical cannabis began to decline. This was because orally ingested cannabis had sporadic and varied effects on patients. This was due in part to variations in the potency of cannabis preparations.
Now, in the 21st Century, interest in using cannabis as medicine has grown exponentially and has resulted in the introduction of things like the medical marijuana card in Portland. People are seeing its benefits in treating everything from skin conditions to stomach ailments. As marijuana use becomes legal in more states, undoubtedly more people will be able to experience its benefits.