(Or maybe got too high to remember…)
Ancient Egyptians were the first to use marijuana as a treatment for tumours
The Fayyum Medical Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian text from the 2nd Century, is believed to contain the earliest record of weed as an ingredient in cancer medicine. It continues to receive significant interest as a cancer therapy today.
The earliest written reference to cannabis dates to 2727 B.C., from the Chinese emperor Shennong.
Shennong wasn’t only an emperor but a pharmacologist as well and wrote a book on medicine that included cannabis as a treatment for many conditions. According to ancient Chinese texts, cannabis was thought to be helpful for constipation, gout, rheumatism and absent-mindedness.
Emperor, ancient pharmacist, and all around pretty chill guy.
Ancient animals benefited too!
The ancient Greeks used cannabis on wounds and sores on their horses after battle. The plant was also given to humans for a variety of ailments, including ear pain and inflammation.
Weed goes west!
An Irish physician by the name of William Brooke O’Shaughnessy observed the use of medical marijuana during a trip to India in the 1830’s.
After studying it, he introduced cannabis to physicians in England as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including muscle spasms, rheumatism, epilepsy and pain. Because it was so effective, marijuana based medicines quickly spread across Europe and North America.
“Wherefore art though my marijuana pipe?” – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2
A study published in the South African Journal of Science showed that “pipes dug up from the garden of Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon contain traces of cannabis.” Honestly, I’m not surprised.
In 1937, the United States passed the Marihuana Tax Act and prohibited the production of hemp in addition to cannabis. It was unfortunately made illegal for a myriad of reasons that really had nothing to do with the substance at all. One aim of the Act was said to reduce the size of the hemp industry in favour of other businessmen involved in the government.
The United Nations’ 2012 Global Drug Report stated that cannabis “was the world’s most widely produced, trafficked, and consumed drug in the world in 2010”, identifying that between 119 million and 224 million users existed in the world’s adult (18 or older) population.