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History of medicinal cannabis

Ancient times.

The medicinal use of Cannabis dates back thousands of years in various cultures.

In ancient China, Emperor Shen-Nung in 2737 BCE, who was also a pharmacist, mentioned

History of medicinal cannabis

the medicinal properties of cannabis in his book "Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing". He recommended Cannabis for various ailments such as constipation, gout, absent-mindedness, and rheumatism.

In ancient Egypt, Ebers Papyrus (1550 BCE) describes the medicinal property of the cannabis plant. The Egyptians used cannabis in suppositories to treat pain due to hemorrhoids.

"Sushruta Samhita" (600-800 BCE) ancient literature of Indian Ayurvedic Medicine has mentioned the medical properties of the cannabis plant. In ancient India, cannabis was used to treat various disease conditions such as Insomnia, headache, gastrointestinal disorders, and pain.

In ancient Greek, cannabis leaves were used to treat nose bleeds and to dress wounds and the seeds were used to treat tapeworm infestations.

Modern times.

It is widely accepted that the Irish Physician William Brooke O'Shaughnessy introduced cannabis to western medicine. He discovered the medicinal properties of cannabis in 1830 while he was in India. He conducted numerous experimental studies on the analgesic and anticonvulsive properties of cannabis. In 1840 he returned to England with a supply of cannabis plants and later on its usage spread to different parts of Europe and America.

French physician Jacques-Joseph Moreau 1845 published a book describing the medicinal property of cannabis in psychiatric illness.

In 1850 cannabis entered the United States Pharmacopeia. It was documented that cannabis is used as a treatment for Tetanus.

Declining of Medicinal Cannabis usage.

The use of medicinal cannabis declined during the late 20th century. it is mainly due to the advent of opioid medications and the difficulty in controlling the dosage of medicinal cannabis. The popularity of Opioids further increases with the invention of hypodermic needles. Since the opioids are water soluble it was easy to administer opioids using hypodermic needles.

In the United States, with the introduction of the Marihuana Tax in 1937, which imposed new rules and fees on physicians prescribing Medicinal Cannabis, the prescription of Medicinal Cannabis was declined.

In 1941 Medicinal Cannabis was removed from The United States Pharmacopeia. In 1970, Cannabis was banned for any medical usage by the introduction of the Controlled Substance Act.

Cannabis is gaining popularity.

In the late 20th century, Medicinal Cannabis again gained popularity. It is believed that it was helpful in patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and improved appetite in patients with HIV. It is also widely used to alleviate spasms in soldiers during the Vietnam War.

In 1996 California became the first state in the United States to legalise cannabis for medicinal usage against federal law.

In 2001 Canada became the first country to legalise Medicinal Cannabis by implementing new rules and regulations.

Legalizing Medicinal Cannabis in Australia.

In February 2016 the introduction of the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act, the Cultivation and usage of cannabis for medicinal and research purposes is legalised in Australia.

In Australia, the usage of Medicinal Cannabis is regulated by Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Special Access Scheme (TGA) allows Doctors and Nurse Practitioners to prescribe Medicinal Cannabis to patients who suffer from chronic disease conditions which failed to respond to conventional treatments. The usage of Medicinal Cannabis for chronic disease management is on the rise in Australia.

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