For centuries, the cannabis plant has been appreciated for its many uses. This is especially true when it comes to its medicinal purposes. Despite the fact that there has been so much back and forth and controversy over “medicinal cannabis”, advanced science and recent research proves that cannabis can actually be very beneficial in combating various medical ailments. But to understand how we got to this point, it is important to understand the history of the cannabis plant.
A Quick History of the Cannabis Plant
It is believed that cannabis might have actually been the first plant to be cultivated — how cool is that?! The use of the cannabis plant for food or medicine can be dated all the way back to 4000 BC in ancient China. The plant was highly revered for its healing properties and was considered a “mainstay of Chinese herbal medicine.” Over time, the seeds of the cannabis plant migrated from Central Asia to the western parts of the globe where its uses broadened.
In India, cannabis was used as a spiritual aid and to combat anxiety. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptians used cannabis to treat glaucoma, inflammation, and it was even used as an enema! As for the ancient Greco-Romans, the plant was used in childbirth to alleviate labor pains. By the 1500s, the Spanish brought cannabis to the Western Hemisphere where it was used for more practical purposes such as rope, clothing, and paper. It wasn’t until the 1800s where William O’Shaughnessy, an Irish doctor, introduced the medicinal use of cannabis to Western medicine. From there, cannabis was cultivated in the Americas not only for food or fiber, but also for medicine.
Regulation and Better Understanding of Cannabis
Since the early 1900s, cannabis has been regulated for medical, recreational, and industrial purposes. By 1970, cannabis was officially outlawed and it wasn’t until the last few years that certain states have begun to decriminalize cannabis. Although cannabis has been used as medicine for years, up until the last century, no one could explain ‘why’. Being able to better understand this ‘why’ is what is putting so much pressure on reforming cannabis regulation. Who says ‘ignorance is bliss’?!
Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System
Cannabinoids are naturally produced by the body (endocannabinoids), but it’s often times beneficial to be able to supplement and support these naturally-occurring compounds. To quickly sum this up, cannabinoids are also produced by the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids). When the cannabis plant is introduced to the body, these cannabinoids can help aid the endocannabinoid system in better maintaining homeostasis. If you remember from our previous blog post, homeostasis is what makes us feel “normal”. Without the proper function of our endocannabinoid system, that is where we run into issues of ailments and disorders. That is why cannabis use can be beneficial to one’s health.
The Present and Future of Cannabis
With a long history of helping people to feel better, cannabis has done wonders in the medical department. The effects of cannabis are still being understood, but over the years it has proven to hold numerous medicinal properties. We are now able to see why cannabis is still considered a ‘miracle’ after all these years and how it is transforming back into a mainstream substance. Now, remember, there is a difference between ‘hemp’ and ‘marijuana’, but we’ll get into that at another time. For now, check out our amazing online selection of CBD products.
Cannabis-based products may not be for everyone, but for someone who is looking for a holistic and non-psychoactive alternative to their pharmaceutical or over-the-counter medication, CBD products might be the answer. Just be sure to speak with your doctor before supplementing or substituting any treatment plan.
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