|Own your ow legal marijuana business||
Your guide to making money in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry
|Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy|
|Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs|
|Volume I - General Orientation|
The therapeutic potential of
marijuana has apparently been known since the beginning of recorded history. In
fact, marijuana was likely used for medicinal purposes even before its
psychoactive properties were tapped.
The medical history of marijuana is
closely related to its analgesic properties, as noted by Ethan Russo:
Cannabis has a history as an analgesic agent that spans at least 4000 years, including a century in mainstream Western medicine. […] The reasons lie in the remarkable pharmacological properties of the herb and new scientific research reveals the inextricable link that cannabinoids possess with our own internal biochemistry. In essence, the cannabinoids form a system in parallel with that of the endogenous opioids in modulating pain. More important, cannabis and its endogenous synthetic counterparts may be uniquely effective in pain syndromes in which opiates and other analgesics fail.
According to Russo, written documents
and ethnographic traces of medical use of marijuana have been found in many
countries. In China, a second-century medical paper reported that marijuana was
used as a surgical anaesthetic. In India, marijuana was been used to treat
migraines and chronic pain 2000 B.C. In Egypt, where most scholars thought that
marijuana had not been introduced, there is evidence that it had been in use in
medicine since the days of the pharaohs; traces of marijuana were found in the
tombs of Amenophis IV and Ramses II. Marijuana was apparently used to treat
glaucoma and labour pain. Marijuana was administered orally, rectally or
vaginally, applied to the skin, inserted in the eyes and smoked.
In Assyria, Babylonia and Arcadia,
marijuana was apparently used as an analgesic to treat migraines and menstrual
pain and for its psychoactive properties. Evidence of marijuana use to control
labour pain has also been found in Palestine and Israel. The Greeks and Romans
used marijuana for general pain control and specifically for gout and
rheumatism. In the Muslim world, there are references to therapeutic use dating
back to the ninth century.
In the mid 17th century,
western medicine discovered the medicinal properties of marijuana. A compendium
of plants published in 1640 in England made reference to marijuana being used
in the form of a paste containing essence from the plant and other ingredients.
In France, the work on hemp published by Mercandier described a number of uses:
dried and applied as a plaster, it eased the pain associated with tumours;
boiled and applied as a plaster, it helped ease the pain of rheumatism, gout
and various muscle inflammations; crushed into a powder and mixed with butter,
it soothed burns. In his classification of plants, Linnée recognized the medicinal
properties of marijuana as a pain reducer.
Medical use of marijuana became more widespread in England in the middle of the 19th century when the plant was brought back from India. Even the personal physician of Queen Victoria, Russell Reynolds, used it: he treated his celebrated patient for dysmenorrhea throughout her adult life using cannabis extract. In an 1868 paper, he wrote that unlike opiates, marijuana could be used today without causing problems tomorrow.
Between 1890 and 1940, English, Irish, French and then American physicians and pharmacists testified in different ways to the usefulness of various marijuana preparations in relieving pain. One British pharmacologist even reintroduced the smoking of marijuana in 1899, pointing out that smoking was particularly useful if an immediate effect was desired.
Marijuana is still part of the
pharmacopoeia, at least informally, of many countries in southeast Asia.
Marijuana use in India was recently described as follows:
Charas is the resinous exudation that collects on the leaves and flowering tops of plants (equivalent to the Arabic hashish); it is the active principle of hemp; it is a valuable narcotic, especially in cases where opium cannot be administered it is of great value in malarial and periodical headaches, migraine, acute mania, whooping cough, cough of phtisis, asthma, anaemia of brain, nervous vomiting, tetanos, convulsion, insanity, delirium, dysuria, and nervous exhaustion; it is also used as an anaesthetic in dysmennorhea, as an appetizer and aphrodisiac, as an anodyne in itching of eczema, neuralgia, severe pains of various kinds of corns, etc. 
It is also used in Colombia, Jamaica
It is tempting, of course, enamoured
as we are with our modern science, to dismiss these traditional uses as “home
remedies” – and the stuff of quacks. However, the fact that marijuana has been
used so long for the same types of condition, that it has sometimes been
described so accurately, that it has transcended cultures and histories, and
that modern medicine suggests that marijuana could in fact be useful in
treating the chronic pain associated with various medical conditions should
stop us from being too cynical about these “old-fashioned” uses.
Russo, E.B. (2002), “The role of cannabis and cannabinoids in pain
management”, in Weiner, R.S. (ed.), Pain
Management. A Practical Guide for Clinicians, Boca Raton, London, New York,
Washington: CRC Press.
Quoted in Russo, op. cit.,
Ibid., page 360.
Ibid., page 361.
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
Information on Alcohol
Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
|Drug Information Articles|
Taking a drug test:
How To Pass A Drug Test
Beat Drug Test
Pass Drug Test
Drug Screening Tests
Drug Addiction Treatment