History of Marijuana Medicine

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Marijuana Medicine has long been debated in the United States.

Marijuana has long been debated in the United States as to what medicinal effects it has if any; in other countries however the medicinal powers of this plant have been known for centuries. The first recorded use of medicinal marijuana trails back nearly ten thousand years in ancient China and Taiwan. The early Chinese were known to administer cannabis as an anesthetic. The power would be ground into a fine powder and mixed into wine to be consumed before conducting surgery. The Chinese word anesthesia literally means cannabis intoxication. It was believed the Chinese used a strain of indica rather than sativa. Cannabis, or Marijuana, was one of fifty different herbs used in Chinese medicine which was prescribed to treat a large number of diseases and symptoms.

There are reports of cannabis being used medicinally in ancient India as well. Doctors there quickly realized the effects of cannabis and used it as a treatment for insomnia, headaches, as well as gastrointestinal disorders and the most common use, pain. The ancient Greeks would dress wounds and sores on their horses with cannabis and the dried leaves of the marijuana plant were often used to treat nose bleeds while the seeds were used to remove tapeworms. Even Islam found the medicinal powers of cannabis in the form of anti-inflammatory and even anti-epileptic as you see many states opening up to toady.

More recently in the 19th century the medicinal use of marijuana found its way to the western world, where more than 2000 cannabis medications were available prior to 1937. These medicinal products, unfortunately, declined in use as injectable medications were developed as well as the advent of aspirin. William O’Shaughnessy was an Irish Doctor who is credited for bringing cannabis medication to the western world who began to experiment with cannabis in the early 1830’s. He also used cannabis like many others in the past as an anti-convulsing agent. This shows a long and vast history of cannabis use to support treatment of those with seizures.

In 1964 a Doctor by the name of Albert Lockhart and Dr. West began to study the effects of cannabis use on Jamaican communities. He noticed that these individuals had an unusually low glaucoma rate and found that local fishermen were washing their eyes out with cannabis-infused liquid extract in belief that it would improve their eye sight.

More recently in the 1970’s a synthetic of THC was developed in the United States with the FDA granting its use under the name Marinol. This was a single capsule meant to be swallowed, though patients complained the capsules were too difficult form many cancer patients to swallow. In addition to this it was hard to administer a proper dose as it took far longer to feel the medicine working in a pill form that it does when inhaled.