The history of cannabis is a long and complex one. It has been cultivated for centuries and has a varied history of medicinal use across the world.
Early cultures grew it for its fibre, and it was used as a staple crop for making ropes, clothing, and paper. It was widely cultivated in Europe and Egypt by the middle of the first millennium CE.
Cannabis has a rich history that goes back millennia. It was mentioned in Chinese medical texts as early as 2700 BCE, and a papyrus from Egypt mentions it as an anti-inflammatory treatment.
Ancient India, Greece, and Rome also cultivated and used the plant for medicinal purposes. It was regarded as a natural source of euphoria, which people believed could quicken the mind, prolong life, improve judgment, lower fevers and induce sleep.
It was also used as an appetite stimulant, pain reliever, and to reduce inflammation. It was even credited with healing cancer.
The plant was a mainstay of Egyptian medicine, where it was administered in creative ways: through the mouth, skin, eyes, and rectum. It was also used as a childbirth aid.
In England, cannabis was used to make hemp rope, a strong fiber that could be woven into clothing, bags, and sails. Its strength was important for rigging ships that traveled to the New World.
Europeans began using cannabis for its psychoactive effects, in particular hashish, after Napoleon’s 1798 campaign in Egypt. It was brought home and became popular in the 19th century, when it was used to treat a variety of ailments.
Marijuana is still made today from a wide array of different strains, and its roots go all the way back to central Asia or western China. It was likely cultivated as a plant and then selectively bred for its THC content.
Medicinal cannabis can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. Studies show that the plant has a beneficial effect in managing chronic pain, relieving spasticity symptoms in multiple sclerosis, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and fibromyalgia, as well as being an anti-emetic in treatment of chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea.
The cannabis plant contains 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most common cannabinoids found in medical marijuana. THC produces the psychoactive effects that people feel when they smoke or eat cannabis.
Medical cannabis can be administered in many ways, including capsules, tinctures, oral or dermal sprays, and cannabis edibles. It also can be smoked, vaporized, or extracted into a powder. It can also be combined with other drugs or supplements.
It has also been shown to reduce pain intensity in patients with neuropathic diseases, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This may be due to the way that THC interacts with the nervous system and triggers receptors in the brain.
In the United States, over 600,000 Americans with chronic pain take medicinal cannabis. This group includes those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, HIV, spinal cord injury, complex regional pain syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
Although the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the medicinal use of cannabis, there are some concerns. One is that it could affect judgment and coordination, which can lead to accidents or injuries. Another is that it might have negative effects on the IQ and mental function of adolescents.
There is a need for more research on the medicinal use of cannabis. The public acceptance of the drug needs to be based on clinical evidence that it has a positive impact on a wide range of diseases and disorders. It should be clearly separated from recreational use of cannabis, which can have serious health consequences, particularly in adolescents.
Cultures that Consumed It
The cannabis plant has been consumed by many cultures around the world. Throughout history, different traditions, climatic conditions, medicinal practices and historical, political, legal and economic forces have influenced the type of use that has occurred in various societies.
For example, a number of ancient societies have recorded the sacramental consumption of cannabis for both religious and medicinal purposes. In western China, for instance, a 2700 BCE shaman’s grave contained flowers and seeds of a psychoactive strain of cannabis, suggesting that the plant had been used as a ritualistic substance, perhaps for fertility, child-birth or death.
In Egypt, a cannabis mixture called shemshemet was used in medicine from the New Kingdom (ca. 2350 BCE) and later in the Roman Empire, as shown by records from Pliny the Elder, Dioscorides and Galen.
Similarly, India’s pharmaceutical texts prescribe the plant as a remedy for anxiety and other illnesses. It was also used as part of their religious drink called Soma, and is mentioned in the Old Testament as kaneh bosm, a holy anointing oil.
Although cannabis has been illegal in some countries, it is a widely accepted drug across the world and is used by millions. In the United States, it is often associated with hip hop culture and has become a common part of modern society.
In the 1990s, rapper Snoop Dogg and hip hop music fueled a resurgence in the popularity of smoking marijuana. The popular slang term 420 was born of this association, which began in the backstage area at Grateful Dead shows and eventually spread to the broader hip hop community.
A landrace is a cannabis cultivar that was developed naturally in a specific region without the introduction of modern genetics. They are often named after the ecosystems where they were developed, such as Afghani or Hindu Kush, and have unique physical and chemical traits based on the conditions in which they were grown.
They are also coveted by hash makers for their high resin production and resistance to pests and diseases. However, true landrace strains are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
The original Cannabis genus was domesticated in the early Neolithic period somewhere in Asia (researchers are not sure where). It spread to many different parts of the world, including Europe and North America.
Since then, Cannabis has evolved and become more socially accepted. It has found a diverse range of uses, from recreational comfort to multi-purpose medicine.
As the genus has spread, it has adapted to different environments, from cold and dark to warm and sunny. It has also developed a diverse array of phenotypes, resulting in the development of various cannabis cultivars.
This evolution is facilitated by the fact that these plants have a complex genome and various genes are expressed depending on their environment. This makes them highly adaptable and resilient to changing environmental stress.
In order to evolve into an improved landrace, farmers and breeders need to understand the ecological context in which they grow these plants. They must be able to determine which cultivation techniques are more reasonable for a given area and time. This includes the rational use of available technology, as well as understanding the culture and aesthetic preferences of farmers in that area.
Modern use of cannabis, also known as marijuana, refers to the consumption or use of the plant genus Cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes. The drug’s psychoactive component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other compounds found in the plant have been used for centuries as a recreational and entheogenic drug.
As with other drugs, the therapeutic potential of cannabis remains largely unexplored. Nevertheless, research suggests that cannabis preparations and pure cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of a number of illnesses, including pain syndromes and nausea.
Smoking of crude cannabis or vaporized preparations is the most common form of cannabis administration. This is because the high lipid solubility of the THC in crude cannabis allows it to penetrate deep into the lung. Cigarette smoking, however, is the most dangerous form of smoking due to its high toxicity and the increased risk of precancerous changes in pulmonary epithelial cells.
Another route of administration, the consumption of edibles, has been popularized in many countries. In India, a common edible is bhang, or “cannabis tea.” It is made by boiling cannabis in water and then adding sugar or other sweetener.
Low doses of cannabis produce euphoria, relaxation, and sociability, but high doses may cause anxiety, irritability, paranoia, sensory distortion, and even acute toxic psychosis. Long-term chronic use is not recommended, as this may result in an increase in tissue concentrations of THC, and may lead to addiction and respiratory distress.
Medicinal use of cannabis is currently legal in many countries, and a growing number of people are turning to it for relief of a variety of medical conditions. The purpose of medical cannabis use is to provide symptomatic relief, reduce the need for other medications and improve overall quality of life.