For millennia, people have used hemp to heal.
As is true of many other plants, CBD Oil Adviser can’t be certain when it was that people first experimented with hemp as a medicine. Carl Sagan, however, believed that hemp was probably one of the first crops to ever be cultivated.
Plants are mostly first used in folk remedies. For much time, rather than being written down, these will be passed along orally. It is, therefore, likely that hemp saw use medicinally well before it was written off.
One thing you should bear in mind when you pore over this article is that historical texts might not make much distinction between hemp (which is not psychoactive) and marijuana (which is). It is, however, clear that hemp has had multiple uses for an extremely long time. While much of this knowledge has been lost because of research restrictions as well as the onward march of time, we’re now starting to reclaim it, rediscovering things about hemp.
Hemp’s use as medicine in ancient times
Our first encounter with hemp’s use as a medicine was in ancient China. Beginning circa 6000BCE, hemp was employed in the making of clothing, food, shoes, and tools. The first time hemp was written off as medicine was in 2737BCE. Then, Shen-Nung, the emperor, oversaw the use of topical hemp oils and teas to relieve pain.
Know here which CBD oil is best for pain.
He wrote of his discoveries in the early versions of the first known Chinese book about medicine, the Pen Ts’ao Ching. After that, the medicinal benefits of the flowers, seeds, and leaves of the cannabis plant were listed by other pharmacopeias. The first time cannabis is known to have been used as an anesthetic was by Huo Tuo in the second century. He noted that the plant could also be used to treat blood clots, hair loss, and tapeworms.
It’s likely that hemp has been a natural herbal medicine since the most ancient of times. China has already been covered. The Romans also used hemp for a very long period. Around 77CE, Pliny the Elder noted that hemp was very useful in pain relief and pulling insects out of ears.
He did, however, also note that overdoing things could impair sexual performance. At about the same time, Dioscorides authored a pharmacopeia that listed hemp’s medical uses. These included treatment of burns, ear pain, and stomach-related problems. By 200CE, Galen wrote again of hemp’s ability to assuage pain but added that it could cause dehydration, headaches, and stomach pain.
Cannabis was also popularly used by many folk in the Middle East, more so since alcohol was prohibited by Islam. The plant was so commonly found, it’s wholly unsurprising that physicians were very familiar with it. They knew of and wrote about the plant’s many benefits — it was diuretic, antiemetic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving, as well as having so many other useful properties.
Other regions were also known to use hemp as medicine. In India, it is described as sacred grass in the revered Hindu text, the Atharvaveda. For centuries, there have been hemp drinks and pastes, and the plants have been employed both for medicine and recreation. Ancient Greeks have been found buried with hemp. In Egypt, the Ramesseum III Papyri speak of hemp as an eyewash. Later writings would cover hemp for inflammation and pain relief.
Throughout the world and across history, it’s very evident that hemp was used to relieve pain. Check here out the best CBD oil for pain for sale.
Hemp’s history as medicine in the western world
It was travel and hemp’s usefulness as fiber that spread hemp across the world. In Europe, it was employed in the treatment of coughs and tumors. Come the 16th century, hemp was one of the leading crops grown in England. In 1533, Henry VIII ordered that farmers grow it or be fined. In that same century, the doctors Li Shih-Chen and Garcia de Orta found new applications for it — as an antibiotic and to improve appetite.
By the 17th century, hemp had arrived in North America. It could be found growing in Jamestown as well as other colonies for the creation of building materials, clothing, and sails. 1619 saw the first law passed in what is now the United States mandating that every farmer grow hemp. This was in Virginia, which was followed by Connecticut and Massachusetts. The plant could be used as money in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
At this time, Robert Burton’s work, “Anatomy of Melancholy”, suggested that hemp is used to treat mental illness. In the 18th century, two more pharmacopeias detailed the many medicinal uses of hemp: “Edinburgh New Dispensatory” and “The New England Dispensatory” included hemp for the treatment of coughs, pain, and skin inflammation.
While hemp appears in many a medical text, it’s W.B. O’Shaughnessy who is oft-cited as the person who led the way in making the plant popular in the West. A surgeon and professor of the Medical College of Calcutta in the 19th century, he conducted experiments on adults, children, and animals using cannabis indica.
He wrote of hemp’s analgesic (pain-relieving) effects as well as its ability to relax muscles. Under his care, patients suffering from cholera, hydrophobia, rheumatic diseases, and tetanus were all given hemp. Although it wasn’t always an effective treatment, O’Shaughnessy believed it provided hope, counteracting the adverse emotional effects that illness sometimes produced.
Immediately before the War Between the States, the third edition of the U.S. Pharmacopeia included hemp extract. So did the U.S. Dispensatory, People knew that hemp relieved pain and induced sleep. It was suggested for a selection of health conditions that ranged from convulsions to depression, gout, and neuralgia. By the close of the 19th century, the research of Dr. J.R. Reynolds showed it to benefit asthma, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), migraines, and tics.
A pharmacy in Cuba that dates to colonial times. In the West, hemp was frequently used as medicine, with extracts of cannabis found in the average doctor’s pharmacopeia.
When the 20th century kicked off, the use of hemp as medicine declined due to the emergence of opiates and introduction of the syringe. Nevertheless, medicines such as Chlorodyne — a combination of cannabis and morphine for the treatment of stomach problems — increased in popularity. Besides that, cannabis was often present in folk remedies and snake oil cures, as well as other drugs.
With the commencement of the War on Drugs, cannabis was forbidden, meaning patients who used it for medicinal purposes were usually out of luck. In the 1970s, extracts and synthetic cannabis drugs were created to assist in the treatment of nausea that results from chemotherapy for autoimmune conditions and cancer.
Hemp was also used in the treatment of glaucoma. In this decade, the United States first saw the idea of the legalization of medical marijuana in such places as New Mexico and New Orleans. Although these programs were of benefit to people ailed by cancer, glaucoma, and other illnesses, DEA restrictions often made them short-lived.
In 1996, medical marijuana was legalized in California for a variety of conditions that included cancer and HIV/AIDS. Arizona followed soon after. By the early aughts, Canada had also legalized medical marijuana. While research into cannabis, hemp, and marijuana is under a tight leash in many countries, this last decade has seen more medications that use these plants. A wonderful example is Nabiximols (aka Sativex), a CBD/THC spray for the treatment of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Now that’s reefer madness: the War on Drugs
Attitudes toward cannabis changed rapidly in the 20th century, going from fascinated to fearful. 1906’s Pure Food and Drug Act started to tightly constrain the use of cannabis by placing limits on interstate and foreign traffic. This same law would later create the Food and Drug Administration. By 1931, cannabis use was prohibited by California and other states. Mexican immigrants were often targeted under the 1906 act.
Much of the general public was turned against cannabis by the 1914 Harrison Act as well as the media, with one example being the film “Reefer Madness”, which is now truly infamous for its ignorance. Hemp and marijuana were treated as one and the same by the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. By then, marijuana was forbidden legally by more than 20 states. In the Second World War, however, application of these laws was reduced to help to produce hemp for the war effort.
By 1970, cultivation of hemp and marijuana was prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act. The cultivation of hemp was permissible by states, but, as is true of dispensaries in states where weed is legal today, farms might receive an unforeseen visit (a nice term for “raid”) from the DEA. Cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which has drastically limited research into in for almost half a century.
Becoming reacquainted with hemp for medicinal purposes: CBD oil and more
Due to the severe limits imposed by the War on Drugs, research into cannabis has been undertaken at but a few universities in the United States. There are harsh rules governing who is able to conduct research, what funding they can use, and even what kinds of cannabis can be studied. There have been successful studies into the use of cannabis to treat HIV neuropathy, MS spasticity, spinal cord injury, and pain and handle sleep.
Vials of CBD oil in a row. CBD is a nutritional extract that comes from hemp. Only in the last few years has science started to reacquaint itself with the benefits of medicinal hemp and cannabis.
President Obama signed the Farm Bill in 2014, helping to eliminate a subset of the issues that surround the growing of hemp so that now, hemp cultivation is permitted in 30 states. That number can be expected to grow.
Research into CBD has been afoot for more than 20 years. It has been found to have a very impressive impact on anxiety (check out here what form of CBD oil is best for anxiety), cancer, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia (fatigue and chronic pain in the muscles and tissues around the joints), inflammation, insomnia, pain, posttraumatic stress disorder, seizures, and many more. Studies are currently underway into the effects of CBD on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, strokes, and multiple sclerosis.
Alas, current and past restrictions into research on hemp have meant relief of the symptoms of these conditions has been delayed. A considerable amount of knowledge into the medicinal properties of hemp has been lost over the years. Many people have missed out on the benefits hemp might have offered thanks to restrictions, laws, and stigma.
What is, however, good news, is that this data is now being rediscovered, and our knowledge of the medical properties of hemp is being improved.