A Brief History of Cannabis
Man’s association with Cannabis goes back over 12,000 years. Cannabis has been used prolifically by just about everyone that came into contact with it. This one distinct plant was being used in all walks of life from clothing to healing and so much more in between. By the end of the nineteenth century, Cannabis was the most diverse plant known to mankind.
Archaeological evidence of Cannabis
Archaeologists have discovered artefacts dating at least this far back in many parts of the world. Ancient hemp rope, hemp fibre handles on pottery and pouches containing seeds are just an example of the many discoveries they have made.
Cannabis 5,000 years ago
Cannabis first appeared as a medicine 5,000 years ago (2,737 BCE). Emperor Shen Neng of China is credited with the first use of Cannabis Tea to treat many ailments including rheumatism and malaria symptoms. It should however be noted that Historians are still arguing whether Emperor Shen Neng actually existed.
Some 3,000 years ago Cannabis is first mentioned in writing. Bhanga, as Cannabis is called in India, appears in text written in Sanskrit. Cannabis also makes it into the bible under its Hebrew name, Keneh Bosem. It appears in Exodus as an anointing oil although again this is another fierce bone of contention between historians.
Cannabis in modern civilisation
As time has progressed, so has the documented and archaeological evidence of the uses of Cannabis. Virtually all modern civilisations used Cannabis in one way or another. Most used its fibre, canvas comes from the word Cannabis and was used to make early sails for ships. The Chinese made paper, Hindus used it widely in textiles, but also as a medicine and for spiritual enlightenment. Greeks, Romans, Persians and just about any other civilisation had their own array of practical uses for Cannabis.
Moving in to the 20th century, everything was about to change. In 1937, the American government introduced the Marihuana Tax Act. It is worth noting at this point that Marihuana is the Mexican word for Cannabis. Basically, all Cannabis goods were now levied with an extra tax at their point of sale. Soon after Cannabis was classified as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it has high potential for abuse and no medicinal benefits.
For the last 80 years, Cannabis has remained an illegal narcotic across most of the world.