The History of Cannabis

Marijuana has been used as an agent for achieving euphoria since ancient times; it was described in a Chinese medical compendium traditionally considered to date from 2737 B.C. Its use spread from China to India and then to N Africa and reached Europe at least as early as A.D. 500.

The first direct reference to a cannabis product as a psychoactive agent dates from 2737 BC, in the writings of the Chinese emperor Shen Nung. The focus was on its powers as a medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and oddly enough, absent-mindedness. Mention was made of the intoxicating properties, but the medicinal value was considered more important. In India though it was clearly used recreationally. The Muslims too used it recreationally for alcohol consumption was banned by the Koran. It was the Muslims who introduced hashish, whose popularity spread quickly throughout 12th century Persia (Iran) and North Africa.

Marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942 and was prescribed for various conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism. Its use as an intoxicant was also commonplace from the 1850s to the 1930s. A campaign conducted in the 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) sought to portray marijuana as a powerful, addicting substance that would lead users into narcotics addiction. It is still considered a “gateway” drug by some authorities. In the 1950s it was an accessory of thebeat generation; in the 1960s it was used by college students and “hippies” and became a symbol of rebellion against authority.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified marijuana along with heroin and LSD as a Schedule I drug, i.e., having the relatively highest abuse potential and no accepted medical use. The “war on drugs” thus brought with it a shift from reliance on imported supplies to domestic cultivation (particularly in Hawaii and California). Beginning in 1982 the Drug Enforcement Administration turned increased attention to marijuana farms in the United States, and there was a shift to the indoor growing of plants specially developed for small size and high yield. After over a decade of decreasing use, marijuana smoking began an upward trend once more in the early 1990s, especially among teenagers, but by the end of the decade this upswing had leveled off well below former peaks of use.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. You have chosen a great topic to use. The medical use of cannabis is something very serious and requires alot of research. You have done a great job so far, and you have alot to work on also. Try to spice up the blog just a little bit, to get the audience more interested.

    Reply

  2. I really enjoyed viewing your blog. Alot of people overlook the positive study of marijuana and only express the negative facts about it, which are most of the tiem false attributions. Your over all layout is nice and fits your topic. You enlightened me alot with your research.

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  3. This page is helpful to me because I did not know where cannabis originated from and how far it dates back too. I learned a lot about the history of your topic and I was fascinated on the facts and information that are in this page.

    Reply

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