The History of Cannabis Around the World

The History of Cannabis Around the World

Welcome to part 2 of our mini-series on how CBD became the focus of such worldwide attention. If you haven’t read part 1, please start there. If you’re back again this week, thanks for returning and keep reading.

Although our CBD comes from hemp, the history of cannabis encompasses the history of hemp in many ways.

Cannabis was being used for medicinal and spiritual purposes the world over, long before it was the most controversial plant on the planet. In fact, it is one of the oldest known agricultural crops. And its seeds were first used as a food source and its fiber used for textiles and ropes.

Hemp has been found as far back as science allows us to study. And has always been a major player in society itself. Cannabis has been used to heal, to trade, and to intimidate, and is one of the most beneficial plants that nature has given us.

History Of Cannabis: The Origins

As far back as 6000, and even 8000, BC traces of the miracle plant have been found in ancient civilizations in Asia. Hemp was used in pottery, its oil used as food and medicine, and ingested ritually by spiritual leaders of many religions.   

Chinese medicine was the first to discover the health benefits of the cannabis plant. It was found to help in the healing of malaria, gout, and with the symptoms of cholera.

Over time, cannabis moved its way to India through trade and travel. Additionally, shamans also discovered its psychoactive effects aided in religious visions. Every part of the cannabis plant was found to be useful and served a purpose.

History Of Cannabis: Hemp Has a Midlife Crisis

Fast forward a few thousand years and the mind-altering effects of cannabis have reached a peak. As a result, these effects sometimes overshadowed the medicinal properties. The psychoactive properties of hemp grew more intense, and things like hashish were discovered.

Hashish is a form of concentrated cannabis that isolates the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Unlike the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD). Armies often used hashish in battle because it has such a severe impact on the mind. And thus the little plant made its way further around the world.

From here on out, cannabis acquired a stigma and a bad reputation. While many ruling bodies ordered the growing of crops of hemp for useful things like textile, ropes, sails, and clothes, it was still the plant that altered minds and caused lunacy.

History Of Cannabis: Hemp in North America

Native and South Americans have long known of the benefits of the cannabis plant. When England began colonizing the countries, the order to grow the wonder weed traveled with the settlers.

For many decades, hemp was simply an innocuous plant that yielded good crops and could help a person feel better. The beginning of the 20th century was the end of cannabis being a simple plant.

Enter the Mexican Revolution and the immigration of Mexicans into the southern part of the United States. The European immigrants who were spreading out West did not want the competition of the southern neighbors. And those neighbors brought with them “marihuana.”

On the heels of the Industrial Revolution, and the discovery that more profit could be made with materials other than hemp, society outlawed and demonized hemp for most of the 1900s.

Before this phenomenal plant began to be reconsidered and looked at for the beneficial properties it has, decades had passed. Science and technology have given us information that we once thought unimaginable and a whole new respect for compounds like CBD.

While it is a sad mystery why a simple plant became so stigmatized, it is interesting to realize that we have lived through the revolution of such an important part of life history. 

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