Did you know that cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for over 4,000 years? And that it was actually legal in the United States until 1937? The history of cannabis is full of surprises, and in this blog post you’ll learn about some of the most interesting (and unexpected) aspects of it. From its use in ancient civilizations to its prohibition in the 20th century, cannabis has a rich and varied history that is worth exploring!
In the modern era, cannabis is becoming widely accepted. With legalization spreading rapidly across the United States, and an array of goods now for sale that contain cannabis, this substance is part of our everyday consciousness. Nowadays, people don’t think twice about looking for some cannabis seeds for sale, growing them, and putting the plants to use.
But the history of cannabis has been tumultuous. From times like now when it is readily accepted, to times when it was prohibited, cannabis has a long backstory. So here’s a glimpse at the unexpected history of cannabis.
In ancient times, cannabis was used for medicinal purposes across many cultures, including those of China, India and the Middle East. In fact, it is thought that cannabis was used as a medicine by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. The ancient Chinese even referred to cannabis as one of the ‘five grains’ – a sign of its importance. There is even a Mandarin character just to depict the word ‘hemp’.
Cannabis was also widely used for spiritual and ritualistic purposes. In India, cannabis was used during religious ceremonies, while in other parts of Asia, it was often burned as an offering to gods.
Research shows that the use of cannabis in ancient times was varied. It was used to treat a variety of illnesses, from toothaches and childbirth pains to malaria. It also served as an effective painkiller for both humans and animals too.
There are even depictions of cannabis in ancient art, such as carvings and sculptures, that offer evidence of its use in everyday life. One of the earliest depictions of cannabis in art was discovered in a cave painting in Japan, and dates back to around 5,000 BCE, which ties in with when cannabis was first cultivated in Japan. There are also a number of scientific depictions of cannabis throughout the ages, demonstrating how seriously it was taken for its medicinal properties.
Pre-1937 United States
The history of cannabis in the United States is complex. It was legal until 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, making it illegal to possess or sell cannabis. This law was largely rooted in anti-immigrant sentiment, as it was believed that immigrants were using marijuana to “escape reality” and commit crimes. Generally from the late 1800s onwards, attitudes towards cannabis began to change in the United States as people became increasingly concerned about its effects.
However, before 1937, cannabis was used for many of the same reasons as it was in ancient times. This includes treating a variety of illnesses, as well as for spiritual and ritualistic purposes. It was also used recreationally – something that is still true today in states where it is legal.
Post-1937 United States
After 1937, cannabis in the United States was shrouded in criminal activity and heavily demonized. It was associated with drug use, gangs and crime, and the penalties for possessing it were extremely harsh. This lasted until the late 1970s, when some states began to relax their laws on cannabis.
Even until legalization in recent years, the penalties for possessing even small amounts of cannabis were severe. Many people have received prison sentences similar in length to those for violent crimes.
The fact that cannabis use spread across all social classes, from the working class to the upper classes, meant that it was seen as a serious issue. The idea was that too many cannabis users could cause wide-scale social and economic problems. This is why cannabis laws have been so strict and why attitudes towards it had to change before legalization could occur.
The Present Day
Today, attitudes towards cannabis have shifted significantly in the United States. With more states legalizing it each year, it is becoming increasingly accepted and more widely used.
Cannabis is now being studied for its medicinal benefits, and an array of products are now available that contain cannabis. It has become a major industry, with entrepreneurs and investors flocking to get in on the action.
It is also being used for recreational purposes and is widely accepted as an alternative to alcohol.
The history of cannabis is fascinating, from ancient times to present day. It’s clear that cannabis has long been part of human history, and will likely continue to have an important role in the years to come. It is an example of how attitudes can change and evolve over time, and also shows the power of advocating for legalization. Ultimately, it is a reminder that nothing is set in stone and that progress can be made if we put our minds to it.
As times continue to change, cannabis will likely become even more common and accepted, with new uses and applications being discovered every day. The future of cannabis is bright, and it’s an exciting time to be part of this emerging industry.