Cannabis Sativa, more known as marijuana, is a hemp plant that grows almost all over the world. Cannabis plants are best known today as a strong psychoactive agent, but for many years they were collected because of their fiber. Sturdy fiber of marijuana was used in the manufacture of clothing, ropes, and rigging. Also, for a few centuries in many countries the plant was used for the purpose of fogging the mind. In the beginning of our century, in the United States psychoactive power of the plant was discovered. After that, the plant was collected due to its psychoactive effects. The term marijuana comes from the Portuguese word marihuana, which translates as intoxicating.
The first evidence of the use of marijuana belongs to the period of the Stone Age. Archaeologists from Taiwan have found pots, made presumably from the cannabis plant. The earliest evidence of cannabis use in pharmacological purposes was prescribed to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung. Shen Nung was the mythical Chinese emperor and the doctor, who had knowledge of the medical use of marijuana plants. It was used at that time in China because of its soothing properties.
Marijuana quickly spread from China to all neighboring Asian countries. It was especially popular in India, where it was used for religious purposes. Atharvaveda, one of the earliest written records of Indian Hinduism, includes marijuana among five secret plants.
In ancient times, the use of marijuana as an intoxicant anywhere outside of India and China is not recorded anywhere. Much later, the use of marijuana spread to the Middle East and North Africa.
In the 19th century, marijuana started to be used in the Western world due to the written description of its action. In the UK, the use of marijuana has spread thanks to William O’Shaughnessy, an Irish physician. In India, he watched the medical use of cannabis and described it in his writings. In France, the proposal to use marijuana belonged to Dr. Jaco Moriah, who suggested that cannabis can be used in the treatment of mental disorders. Subsequently, the use of marijuana and its effects have been described in details by many French authors. Probably one of the most notable was Theophile Gautier, who was introduced to marijuana by Moriah. Gauthier vividly described his visit to the Club of marijuana, which in the 1840s situated in Paris in a luxury hotel.
Due to the fact that the stories about marijuana were ugly and repulsive, the spread of the drug use in Europe has been slow. Marijuana became widespread in Europe only in the 1960s, when it was again brought by travelers from the United States.
Cannabis Sativa, more known as marijuana, is a hemp plant that grows almost all over the world. Cannabis plants are best known today as a strong psychoactive agent, but for many years they were collected because of their fiber. Sturdy fiber of marijuana was used in the manufacture of clothing, ropes, and rigging.