It’s a plant from the Cannabaceae family; the origins of Cannabis are thought to have started in Central and South Asia. Six million years ago, at some point, it diverged from Homulus, known as “hops”, an elemental ingredient found in beers. The oldest written record of Cannabis being used was by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C., as traditional Chinese Medicine. The first record of the plants medicinal uses date to 4000 B.C.; it was used as an anesthetic for surgeries.
Romans and Greeks knew of Cannabis as well. Herodutus, an ancient Greek historian, described the Scythians, nomads from Iran, puffing smoke of cannabis flowers to get high. In 1545, it spread by Spaniards missions, who used it as fiber, to South America, where it was known as hemp and used in rope, paper and clothing. Cannabis has been cultivated in Japan since the pre-Neolithic period for being a food source, for its fibers and as a psychoactive material. Ancient cultures did not cultivate the plant for getting high but as a medicinal remedy. In the 1830’s, an Irish doctor called Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who was studying in India, found that cannabis extracts helped to decrease stomach pain and vomiting in people suffering from cholera.
Origins of Cannabis Sativa
The difference between the three familiar subspecies of the cannabis plant are of high importance.
- Cannabis sativa: known as marijuana, one of the first plants cultivated by humans. Sativa strains tend to provide a more energizing experience, as it has psychoactive properties, having an exceptional multi-component of natural resources. Sativas are known for their invigorating mental effects. It has been used in medicine for centuries. Cannabis Sativa often produces a higher composition of THC than the other subspecies. Sativa means “cultivated cannabis”. Cannabis Sativa’s preparations are:
- Hashish: It is believed to have originated from Northern India, also known as cannabis resin and is made by compressing trichomes. Pressed hashish is solid and purified hashish is pasty.
- Marijuana: Classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, also known as cannabis sativa or cannabis indica, is used typically to get “high”. It is made from the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant which are later grinded and usually smoked or rolled up in a “joint”.
- Hemp Oil: Its the extraction of CBD taken from the stalk of a hemp plant. This oil can be added to other products like creams, lotions, drops, etc.
Origins of Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis Indica L.: Jean Baptiste Lamarck, of French origins, was the first European to classify Indica in 1785. He received samples of the plant from India prompting its name. Indica strains provide a sense of deep body relaxation and are known for their physically sedating effect. Most Indicas are a rich source of THC, CBD and CBN. Its strains are cultivated exclusively for their medicinal and psychoactive properties. It may also be the most commonly used in medical marijuana strains.
Origins of Cannabis Ruderalis
3. Ruderalis: A third major type of cannabis, cannabis ruderalis, is a wild form of hemp from Russia. The name comes from the word ruderal, which refers to the plants that colonize lands being disturbed by fire, construction or war. It is non-psychoactive, as the THC level is too low to get high. It’s widely debated whether it’s a sub-species of Cannabis but most people accept it as its own species. It’s not often discussed or used for recreational purposes. As it is a non-psychoactive, but it has been used historically to treat depression.
Origins of Cannabis – Legalization
The first limitations on cannabis were reported in the Islamic world by the 14th century. In the 19th century, it began to be restricted in colonial countries related to racial and class stresses. Cannabis finally came to the U.S.A. at the beginning of the 20th century. In the early 1600’s, the colonies of Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut required farmers to grow hemp. In the United States, marijuana wasn’t widely used for recreational purposes until the early 1900’s. Mexicans that immigrated to the United States during the tumultuous years of the Mexican Revolution introduced the recreational practice of smoking marijuana to American culture.
The Marijuana Tax Act
The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was the first federal National U.S. law to criminalize marijuana. The Act urged a tariff on the sale, possession or transfer of all hemp products, operatively forbidding all but industrial uses of Cannabis. Samuel Caldwell, a 58 year old farmer, was the first person prosecuted under this Act. He was arrested for selling marijuana on October 2, 1937, a day after the Act’s approval. Caldwell was sentenced to four years of hard labor.
The Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, a consented-passed law by the president at the time, Richard Nixon, revoked the Marijuana Tax Act and registered marijuana as a drug with no medical uses and a high potential for abuse. Marijuana was first prohibited in Utah in 1915 and by 1931 it was illegal in 29 states. In 1930, Harry Aslinger became the first commissioner of the FBN, Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and apprehended numerous attempts to make marijuana illegal in all states. The Marijuana Tax Act was placed marijuana under direction of the Drug Enforcement Agency in 1937, criminalizing possession of the plant in the whole country. In the middle of the 20th century, international coordination led to extensive measures to restrict cannabis throughout most of the globe.
The Health Factors from the Origins of Cannabis
The Compassionate Use Act
The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal uses for those with severe or chronic illnesses. D.C., 29 states and Puerto Rico and Guam permit cannabis for limited medical purposes. Since January of 2018, 9 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for recreational use; in 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to do so. Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont and Oregon are states where a doctor can perfectly well prescribe you Cannabis for medical purposes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has approved two drugs with THC that are prescribed as pills, Marinol and Syndros. They are used to treat nausea in cancer chemotherapy patients and loss of appetite in AIDS patients.
Origins Of Cannabis And U.S. Federal Law
Cannabis is still illegal under U.S. federal law and the progressive legalization of it is prone to dispute in the U.S. and the world. Some nations have began to change their perspectives of marijuana, like Uruguay, with serious action taken in order to legitimize cannabis. It is our job as insightful Canasseurs to strive for its legalization worldwide, wherever we may be. As from simply reading about it to further educate minds, to incentivizing legal actions that require our support.