The cannabis industry in the United States and across the world continues to expand at a rapid pace. Canada, Jamaica, Argentina, Spain, The Netherlands, even Russia have either decriminalized cannabis for personal use or legalized recreational use, growing and the sale of cannabis. There are many other countries and regions where legalization and decriminalization are happening as well. As the world becomes more accepting of cannabis and begins to remove the stigma, we should take a closer look at the history of cannabis.
Much of the reasoning behind the legalization of cannabis deals directly in the history of cannabis. Cannabis is not something that hippies discovered for the first time during Woodstock. The use of cannabis in medicine can be tracked as far back as 5,000 years ago to Asia. It showed up in the Americas with the first European settlers because of it’s textile uses. Below is an excerpt from “A Complete History of Marijuana, According to Scientists” found at Marijuana Moment.
Before its medical properties became known, the fibrous plant was commonly used for textile manufacturing. Archeologists have discovered “sophisticated plaited basketry” based on cannabis at Czech Palaeolithic sites, for example.
“In fact, it has been referred to as the oldest known cultivated fibre plant and even today it is used as a constituent of fishing nets,” the researchers, who are from Italy and Sweden, wrote.
There are a couple schools of thought on this topic. But from a “Western-centered viewpoint,” researchers generally believe that natural events caused the plant to be accidentally burned, inadvertently revealing its “psychotropic nature.”
There’s certainly room for debate on this, but the researchers said that the timeline started about 5,000 years ago in China. The so-called “father” of Chinese agriculture, emperor Chen Nung, included the plant in the first Chinese pharmacopeia. That text said cannabis was prescribed for “fatigue, rheumatism and malaria.”
Marijuana didn’t show up on American shores for thousands of years after it was first discovered. It was “not known in the Americas until the ar
rival and settlement of the first European colonists,” according to the researchers. “During this period [cannabis] was used primarily for the strength and the resistance of its fibres.”
Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus coined the term “Cannabis sativa” in the middle of the 18th century, the researchers wrote. Subsequently, French naturalist Jean Lam
ark distinguished between Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, writing that the former was a European plant and the latter came from “Indian origin varieties.”
This snippet of the history of cannabis tells us that it has been around a long time with many uses and possible benefits. What the history of cannabis also tells us is that we are likely only scratching the surface as to what the full benefits of the plant are. Due to the Schedule I status of Cannabis, which makes it a controlled substance in the United States, there has been limited ability for scientists to study cannabis. Legalization of cannabis allows for scientists to take the history of cannabis and use modern scientific testing technology and knowledge to understand the plant and its benefits better. At S2S Insurance Specialists, we not only want to help you with your risk management needs, but we are also cannabis legalization advocates. A better understanding of the history of cannabis, the benefits of cannabis and the legal implications of cannabis, assists us in helping our clients in this complicated field. Contact Eric Rahn today for your cannabis business risk management needs.