It seems like science only recently has started to acknowledge the benefits of cannabis — especially when it comes to medical marijuana policies. We all know this has been a long time coming, but most people would be pretty shocked to find out how long it has been ready to happen.
Marijuana remedies from history's annals show that this plant has been a cure for just about everything at one point or another. Here are some of the most surprising remedies we've seen in historical literature.
One of the first marijuana remedies from history comes from Ancient China, when Emperor Shen Neng prescribed tea made from cannabis as a medical cure for gout, rheumatism, and malaria. The use of cannabis for medical purposes quickly spread to Taiwan, where it became a staple for many classic cures.
Cannabis also cemented its legacy as one of the 50 Fundamental Herbs of traditional Chinese medicine, which means it is considered to be the foundation of many different cures — and a crucial ingredient to help realign one's body.
Many marijuana remedies from history groups stem from Ancient China's literature and libraries. Some of the remedies that it was used in include:
- Hair loss
- Tapeworm (This was done by mixing cannabis with rice wine.)
- Joint pain
- Post partum depression
- Aconite poisoning
In 200 BC, China also became the first country to use cannabis as a form of anesthetic. So, it's safe to say that marijuana's pain relief perks have been well-known for around 2200 years.
If you thought China's love of medical marijuana was a fluke, think again. According to the Eber Papyrus, which was written around 1500 BC, cannabis was a major remedy ingredient back then, too.
Among other remedies, historians found out that Ancient Egyptians would use hemp suppositories for hemmorhoids and used marijuana as a cure for tired eyes. So, medical marijuana always was a sight for sore eyes — even before it became a glaucoma treatment.
Ancient India happens to have many marijuana remedies from history that are still recognized today. Though they were very aware of the more psychoactive aspects of cannabis, Ancient Indian records also showed that they used cannabis for more than just a relaxing time.
The most common marijuana-based remedy from this culture? Pain relief, specifically during childbirth. One Indian philosopher actually extolled the use of bhang, also known as cannabis paste mixed with ghee and spices, by saying:
"A guardian lives in the bhang leaf. …To see in a dream the leaves, plant, or water of bhang is lucky. …A longing for bhang foretells happiness. It cures dysentry and sunstroke, clears phlegm, quickens digestion, sharpens appetite, makes the tongue of the lisper plain, freshens the intellect and gives alertness to the body and gaiety to the mind. Such are the useful and needful ends for which in His goodness the Almighty made bhang."
Medieval Europe and Middle East
Most of the cannabis cures from the ancient world still continued well into the Middle Ages. In Europe, people began to start using cannabis for a number of different treatments as well. Most commonly, it was used as a remedy for dysentery, tumors, and jaundice.
By the 1500s, the Spanish had created a huge industry on hemp farming — but it was mostly for practical purposes. So, rather than it being a medicinal plant, it was often used for rope, clothing, or similar goods. Either way, cannabis was very much an accepted plant.
1700s and Beyond
By the 1700s, the medicinal properties of cannabis were widely known and accepted. Scandinavians would use it in a drink to help ease pain and nerves. Pharmacists would make tinctures as a remedy for pain, melancholia, and skin inflammation.
It's said that even Queen Victoria used cannabis as a way to alleviate pain from pregnancy. So, it's safe to say that marijuana remedies from history are probably at least somewhat reliable — even if Big Pharma says otherwise.