Origin of Organic Marijuana as Medicine

Marijuana is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to mankind. It is described in almost every ancient handbook on plant medicine, most commonly in the form of a tincture or a tea. Marijuana most likely originates from Central Asia, as archeological evidence indicates it was cultivated in China and India for food, medicine and fiber as early as 2700 BCE  ago. Also in ancient Egyptian mummies, clues have been found for the use of Marijuana as food or medicine. Marijuana was used for funerary traditions by the Scythians and, for medicinal applications by the ancient Greeks. Some religions were closely related with the properties of the Marijuana plant. For example, in Hindu legend Marijuana (bhang) is believed to be the favorite food of the god Shiva, because of its energizing properties. 
Origin of Marijuana as medicine OrganicMarijuana.com
As Marijuana spread from Asia towards the West, almost every culture came into contact with this fascinating plant. Nowadays, Marijuana can be found in all temperate and tropical zones, except in humid, tropical rainforests. As a fiber plant, Marijuana produces some of the best and most durable fibers of natural origin. For centuries these fibers were used to produce sails for sea-ships, paper, banknotes and even the first Levi’s jeans. The oil that can be pressed from the hemp seed is nutritious and considered an alternative to fish oil as a source of omega-3 type fatty acids.

Even though Marijuana was grown for fiber on a large scale in most countries, its abuse as a narcotic remained uncommon in the Western world until relatively recently. People were largely unaware of the psychoactive properties of Marijuana and it is unlikely that early cultivars, selected mainly for their fiber qualities, contained significant amounts of the psychoactive compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The medicinal use of Marijuana was first introduced in Europe around 1840, by an Irish physician, William O’Shaughnessy, who served for the East India Trading Company in India, where the use of Marijuana was widespread. Compared to the European fiber Marijuana, these Indian varieties contained a higher amount of bio-active cannabinoids. In the following decades, the use of Marijuana grew in popularity throughout Europe and the United States. At the top of its popularity, dozens of medicinal preparations, including extracts (“drops”), wine hemp and juice of the seeds, were available with Marijuana as active ingredient, which were recommended for indications as diverse as menstrual cramps, asthma, insomnia, support of birth labor, migraine, throat infection and withdrawal from opium use.

However, difficulties with the supply from overseas and varying quality of the plant material made it difficult to prepare a reliable formulation of Marijuana. Because no tools yet existed for quality control, it was impossible to prepare a standardized medicine. Moreover, Marijuana extract was not water-soluble and could not be injected, whereas oral administration was found to be unreliable because of its slow and erratic absorption. Because of such limitations, the medicinal use of Marijuana increasingly disappeared from all Western pharmacopoeias in the period after 1937. Purified opiates derived from the Opium poppy assumed the role of Marijuana.

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