The Old Testament Prescribed Cannabis Oil as Sacred Ritual – Medical and Legal History of Marijuana – Timeline of Key Cannabis Historical Events

Marijuana is Mother Nature’s most interesting plant. Botanists with associated expertise, naturopathic doctors, and a growing array of other doctors worldwide are beginning to realize what our ancestors have known for thousands of years, that cannabis is one of nature’s gifts still severely misunderstood and under-appreciated.

Key legal and medicinal events include the following:

  • 2900BC – Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi (ca. 2900 BC) noted that Cannabis was very popular medicine that possessed both yin and yang
  • 2700BC – Emperor Shen Nung [considered the Father of Chinese medicine] confirms marijuana’s healing properties
  • 1500BC – Earliest written reference to medical marijuana in Chinese Pharmacopedia
  • 1450BC – Holy Book of Exodus references cannabis infused holy oil as sacred ritual
  • 1213BC – Ancient Egyptians used medical cannabis – Cannabis pollen found in the mummy of Ramesses II. Prescriptions for cannabis in onAncient Egypt include treatment for the eyes (glaucoma), inflammation, and cooling the uterus, as well as administering enemas
  • 1000 BC – Bhang, a cannabis drink generally mixed with milk, is used as an anesthetic and anti-phlegmatic in India. Cannabis begins to be used in India to treat a wide variety of human maladies.
  • 700BC – Cannabis listed as most important medical plant in the Venidad, one of the volumes of the Zend-Avesta, the ancient Persian religious text written around the seventh century BC purportedly by Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), the founder of Zoroastrianism, and heavily influenced by the Vedas of India, lists cannabis as the most important of 10,000 medicinal plants.
  • 200BC – In ancient Greece, cannabis is used as a remedy for earache, edema, and inflammation
  • 30AD – Jesus believed to use anointing oil made with cannabis and tells disciples to do same with others
  • 1538AD – Hemp oil praised by leading herbalist: During the Middle Ages, hemp was central to any herbalist’s medicine cabinet. William Turner, the naturalist considered the first English botanist, praises it in his New Herball, published in 1538
  • 1611AD – Jamestown settlers bring hemp to America: The Jamestown settlers brought the marijuana plant, commonly known as hemp, to North America in 1611, and throughout the colonial period, hemp fiber was an important export. Indeed, in 1762, Virginia awarded bounties for hemp culture and manufacture, and imposed penalties on those who did not produce it.
  • 1621AD – English clergyman and scholar promotes hemp for depression: English Clergyman and Oxford scholar Robert Burton suggests cannabis as a treatment for depression in his influential and still popular 1621 book The Anatomy of Melancholy.
  • 1774AD – 1st US President and founding father grew hemp – as much as 30% of his farm output: Thomas Jefferson did grow hemp [as noted in his farming diaries from 1774-1824], but there is no evidence to suggest that Jefferson was a habitual smoker of hemp, tobacco, or any other substance. Some have pointed to a supposed reference in Jefferson’s Farm Book to separating male and female hemp plants as evidence that he was cultivating it for purposes of recreational smoking; no such reference exists in Jefferson’s Farm Book or any other document, although George Washington did record such a thing in his own diary…”
  • 1840AD – Marijuana became mainstream medicine in western cultures: “In the 19th Century, marijuana emerged as a mainstream medicine in the West. Studies in the 1840s by a French doctor by the name of Jacques-Joseph Moreau [a French psychiatrist] found that marijuana suppressed headaches, increased appetites, and aided people to sleep.”
  • 1850AD – Marijuana officially listed as wide use medicine in US Pharmacopeia: “By 1850, marijuana had made its way into the United States Pharmacopeia [an official public standards-setting authority for all prescription and over-the counter medicines], which listed marijuana as treatment for numerous afflictions, including: neuralgia, tetanus, typhus, cholera, rabies, dysentery, alcoholism, opiate addiction, anthrax, leprosy, incontinence, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, insanity, excessive menstrual bleeding, and uterine bleeding, among others.
  • 1906AD – US federal government begins regulation of herbs and medicines eventually making marijuana an illegal controlled substance by the 1950s due to conspiracy of conflicting business interests from Big Pharma, to alcohol (post prohibition), to government penal system unions and workers, to criminal lawyer associations:  In June 1906 President Roosevelt signed the Food and Drugs Act, known simply as the Wiley Act… The basis of the law rested on the regulation of product labeling rather than pre-market approval to prevent the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes.

For a more comprehensive timeline with images click here to read an excellent piece researched and written by the Marijuana Investment Company. Read more on the history of use and other related topics by visiting other articles and pages throughout

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