Cannabis Sativa, as the Latin name of the plant reads, did not always carry the stigma with it as is the case today, unfortunately in large parts of the world. On the contrary, it has always played a big part in the development of mankind through the ages.

Origins

The oldest object associated with cannabis is found in the Czech Republic and is a rope of hemp from 26,900 BC. Since that time it has had a commercial, medicinal and spiritual value. The cultivation of cannabis can be traced back to at least 12,000 years ago, making it one of the first cultivated crops by humanity.

 

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< A 2800 years old Chines tomb with 789 grams of cannabis powder in a leather basket found next to the buried body.

It is believed that the cannabis plant has developed in central Asia in the Mongolia and South Siberian regions. The first cultural evidence comes from the oldest known Neolithic culture in China, the Yangshao that lived along the banks of the Yellow River. From 5,000 to 3,000 BC, the economy of Yangshao was driven by cannabis. Archaeological finds show that they used the hemp to weave clothing and produce hemp pottery with it.

The first described medicinal use dates back to 2737 BC by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung. He described the effectiveness of the plant in combating the pain of rheumatism and gout. Both the psychoactive and the hemp were widely used in ancient China. The Chinese used almost every part of the plant: the root for medicines; the handle for textiles, rope and paper; the leaves and flowers for the psychoactive effect and medicines; and the seeds for food and oil. Cannabis seeds are also found in Chinese tombs for the afterlife.

How did cannabis spread across the world

Farmers from China brought cannabis to Korea around 2000 BC and it reached India between 2000 and 1000 BC. In India, the Aryan tradition was documented in "the book of knowledge" between 1400 and 1000 BC. They worshiped the spirits of plants and animals and cannabis played an important role in their rituals. Like the Chinese, the people of India have a long history in the use of cannabis for clothing and medicine.

The first documented use of cannabis by the ancient Egyptians dates back to 2000 BC. Papyrus rolls have been found in Kemet with images of medicinal plants. It was used for painful eyes and staring and according to a Greek historian (Diodorus Siculus) it was used by Egyptian women to relieve a bad mood and worries. Cannabis pollen has also been found on royal mummies.

 

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< Seshat, the ancient Egyptian goddess of record-keeping and measurement. On her head is a cannabis leaf and flower. 

 

Cannabis was introduced in the Middle East between 2000 and 1400 BC where it was probably used by Scythians (a nomadic Indo-European group). The medicinal use was documented in a religious Persian text around 700 BC. The Scythians also brought the cannabis to Europe about 2800 years ago. The Greeks report medicinal use for earache, enema and inflammation in 200 BC. From there, cannabis was taken to Britain during the 5th century Anglo-Saxon invasions. The Spanish brought cannabis to South America in 1555.

 

How it became a prohibited product

When Mexican immigrants fled the Mexican revolution of 1910-1911 to the southern states of the US, they also brought marijuana as the Mexicans called it. White groups in these states felt threatened by these "non-white immigrants" who were put away as criminals and rapists. Their Marijuana also had to be banished. There was a strong conservative white (racist) movement with a ruthless campaign to put the use of cannabis in a bad light. Eventually there was a federal law “The Marijuana Tax Act" (1937) that banned the use and sale of cannabis. Due to the great diplomatic influence of the US and also the UK in large parts of the world and later in the UN, they managed to force a ban on the use of the cannabis plant worldwide. Almost effectively ending a 5.000 year run of cannabis as a therapeutic plant without history of illegality.

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Change in perception

Fortunately, the way people look at cannabis and its medical properties has in recent years been reflected in a more positive light by a huge increase in the number of studies that attribute medical properties to cannabis. Confirming what ancient people already knew thousands of years ago. Variety Of Cannabis fully welcomes and endorses the positive changes in governmental approach towards cannabis and its medicinal uses. and we will continue to promote the fantastic traits of this marvellous plant as they helped humanity to become what we are today.