History of Medical Cannabis

The Ancient History of Medical Cannabis

Cannabis has been around for centuries, with evidence of its use as a botanical medicine found in ancient civilizations such as China, dating back to 2300 BC. Called “tai-ma” (great hemp), the Chinese weren’t the only ones who had discovered its value. 

The Persians, Greeks, East Indians, Romans, and Assyrians have also documented the use of the medicine for the control of muscle spasms, reduction of pain, and for indigestion. 

In the early 20th century, cannabis was widely used as a medicine in the United States and Europe, and considered the most effective pain reliever by physicians before the invention of aspirin. 

Marijuana Tax Act of 1937

Extracts, tinctures and herbal packages were manufactured by drug companies and then made available in all pharmacies from 1850 until the 1930s. This relationship ended when the Federal Bureau of Narcotics launched a campaign to demonize the plant and its use. 

This led to the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, making it virtually impossible for physicians to obtain or prescribe cannabis preparations for their patients. However, it didn’t become federally illegal to prescribe until 1970, when it was classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Read next: What are the Health Benefits of Terpenes in Medical Marijuana?


Medical Cannabis Rediscovered

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the medical use of cannabis began to be studied again. In fact, it was the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system, a system of receptors in the body that interact with compounds found in the plant, that sparked a renewed interest in the plant as a potential herbal medicine. 

In 1980, England’s Lancet scientific journal reported cannabis extract was good for the treatment of neuralgia (nerve pain), fits (seizures), migraines, and mood disorders. 

Sixteen years later in 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis, allowing patients with a variety of conditions to access the herb with a doctor’s “recommendation” at dispensaries near them. 

Since then, over 37 states have legalized medical cannabis in some form and dispensaries have become a common trend.

Today’s View on Medical Marijuana

As a medical marijuana doctor at Rapid Referrals, I have seen firsthand the benefits of cannabis for my patients, family, and friends. Despite its long history, the use of cannabis as medicine is still a relatively new field, which means more research is needed to fully understand it. 

For now, use and possession remain illegal under federal law, despite the legalization of medical marijuana in many states. Because of this, there are many medical providers and researchers who are scared to venture into this field. 

However, as more states legalize the plant and acknowledge its research, I am hopeful that this nay-saying majority will re-evaluate its stance on using cannabis as medicine and in doing so, open more doors for patients in need.

Need Your Medical Marijuana Card?

Here at our clinic, we firmly believe that patient satisfaction is the most important factor in providing medical marijuana cards. That’s why we provide full technical support from start to finish and make it a priority to ensure each customer leaves satisfied! Additionally, because your time is valuable, if you’re experiencing any urgency with obtaining your card or accessing dispensaries just give us a call today -we’ve got you covered!

Medical cannabis or medical marijuana is for qualified patients only.

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