The use of marijuana for
treating medical ailments goes back beyond the time of Jesus. In fact, it’s
first recorded use shows that in 2900 BC, it was used as a yin-yan medicine by
the Chinese under Emperor Fu Hsi and this use has been tracked by the book entitled
“Hemp: The Plant with a Divided History.”
The National Institute on
Drug Abuse, during research that took place in the 1970s, stated that medical
marijuana predates all recorded history but that its use in 1500 BC can be
established. Thus, one can see that cannabis has long been recognized as having
healing powers, and this wasn’t just guesswork. Although they didn’t have the
research facilities that are available today, the work that went on with what
little they did have showed the practical use of marijuana had positive
results, and that should be pretty convincing to skeptics.
In Egypt, one use of
cannabis that was very consistent with later findings early in the last century
was that it helped people with glaucoma. The National Eye Institute and the
Institute of Medicine argue that there is little evidence that there was an
improvement or that cannabis lowered the recovery rate of people with glaucoma,
although earlier suggestions stated that marijuana was used to lower the
pressure on the eye and that IOP (or pressure) could be lowered up to three to
four hours, by using marijuana either smoked or if administered orally, such as
in food. The jury is out on this since the study also revealed that smoking of
marijuana could increase the rate at which the heart was beating and decrease
blood pressure. Topical creams containing marijuana were not included in this
study or considered as viable.
One thing that is sure is
that marijuana had enough power to be used in a mixture with milk as an
anesthetic as far back as 1000 BC. Around the same time, it was used for
ailments that included a wide variety of ailments. In fact, people in India had
strong beliefs that marijuana helped to quicken the mind and thought the
importance of marijuana as a medicinal plant had great importance. They even
believed that it had the potential to cure leprosy.
In the year 1 AD, written
records were kept in China listing marijuana in a recipe book where it was
recommended for medical use, after being dried out. The value of the plant was
that it could be used for so many ailments and amusingly enough included the
ailment of absentmindedness.
There is a very good
historical background of marijuana shown here which backs up that marijuana has
been considered suitable for many different ailments over such a long period
that questioning its use may seem a little unreasonable. Many of the herbs used
in times when there were no real pharmaceutical cures are still used in
complementary medicine to this date.
Looking back through
records kept on the use of marijuana, some things become a little less easy to
understand. For example, while marijuana is said to relax patients and make
them less aware of the pain and able to avoid some of the side effects of
serious cancer treatments, many countries still refuse to allow its use, even
though those who do are giving their residents the freedom of choice.