Marijuana

History

Marijuana originated in the middle east (Taiwan, Korea). China plays an
important part in Marijuana's history. Hoatho, the first chinese physician to
use Cannabis for medical purposes as a painkiller and anesthetic for surgery. In
the Ninth Century B.C., it was used as an incense by the Assyrians Herbal, a

Chinese book of medicine from the second Century B.C., was first to describe it
in print. It was used as an anesthetic 5,000 years ago in ancient china. Many
(*) ancient cultures such as the persians, Greeks, East Indians, Romans, and the

Assyrians for many things. These were what they used it for: the control of
muscle spasms, reduction of pain, and for indegestion. Imagine that if they
still practiced this, instead of taking an Alka Seltzer after you had mom's

Chili or Tacos, you might be sitting in the living room on the LAY-Z Boy,
smoking a joint or however they would take it. The folk medicine of Africa and

Asia have used it as an herbal preparation. A "mythical" and
"legendary" pharmacist and emperor Shen Nung thought using it as a
seditive was all right. In 2,700 B.C. that same "mythical" emperor
said it helped female weakness, gout, rheumatism, malaria, beri-beri (?),
contipation, and absentmindedness. In 1979 (A.D.) Carlton E. Turner visited

China and found marijuana was not in use in formal medical places. J. D. P.

Graham of the Welsh National School of Medicine wrote, "One not need take
to seriously the anecdotal use of it's use for many purposes in China or by the

Hindus in the pre-Christian Millennia ...and by the Arabs!" In 1890 in

England's "Lancet" said cannabis extract was good for neuralgia, fits,
migraine and psychosomatic disorders but not for rheumatic conditions. It is not
easy to tell the dosage because of the variations in potency and the
irregularity in absorbtion. The time delay before the onset of the possible
effects of marijuana lowered it's popularity as a medicine as did the
introduction of a variety of new and better medicines like aspirin, morpheine
(habit forming), chloral, barbituates tranquilizers, and when it got on the list
of drugs thought by the world community to require legal restrictions. Our first

President, George Washington, grew cannabis on his plantation. The cannabis he
grew was more fibrous and is better known as hemp. Hemp was used to make rope,
twine, paper and canvas (the word "canvas" comes from Cannabis) and
was an important crop in the american colonies. In Jamestown, Virginia it was
grown for it's fiber qualities in 1611. (Snyder, 1985) The U.S. Pharmacopeia had
it listed as a useful medicine from the year 1870 to 1941. A Pharmacopeia is
"a book of directions and requirements for the preparations of medicines,
generally published by an authority; a collection or stock of drugs." This
tells us the U.S. Pharmacopeia was an authority on the use of drugs for medical
purposes, and said that the use of marijuana for said purposes was helpful. The

U.S. Pharmacopeia last listed cannabis ("the dried flower tops of the
pistillate plants of cannabis sativa") in 1936.(Lovinge,1985,p434) That
years epitome of the pharmacopeia and the national formula described the drug
for physicians thus:"a narcotic poison, producing a mild delirium. Used in
sedative mixtures but of doubtful value. Also employed to color corn
remedies." The next pharmacopeia released in 1942 (I gather they were
relaesed every six years) did not have cannabis sativa in it. "The 1937

U.S. dispensatory said:"Cannabis is used in medicine to relieve pain,
encourage sleep, and to soothe restlessness. We have very little definite
knowledge of the effects of therapeutic quantities, but in some persons it
appears to produce a euphoria and will often relieve migrainic headaches. One of
the great hindrances to the wider use of this drug is the great variability and
the potency of different samples of Cannabis which renders it impossible to
approximate the proper dose of any individual smaple except by clinical trial.

Because of occasional unpleasant symptoms from unusually potent preparations,
physicians have generally been overcaustious in the quantities administered. The
only way of determining the dose of an individual preparation is to give it in
ascending quantities until some effect is produced. (The Book suggested using a
fluid extract - powdered cannabis in solution, 4/5 alcohol - three times a day,
starting with two or three minims.)"(Lovinge,1985,p434) Extracts,
tinctures, and herbal packages of cannabis manufactured by many drug companies,
was available in any pharmacy until 1941 when "The two main professional
directories of drugs in the United States" dropped it.(Snnyder 1985,p38) It
is still used as a medicine in the Middle East and Asia, and is completely