CBD History 2700 Years Ago
About 2,700 years ago, in Persia, a spiritual teacher named Zoroaster penned a sacred text of about 10,000 plants.
As you can read about in this more incredibly detailed history of cannabis, Zoraster interestingly included hemp at the tippy-top of his compendium. Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, also recommended cannabis extracts.
Cannabis also has links to Christianity – specifically through the Ethiopian Coptic Church, which is held to have been established by St. Mark (the guy in the New Testament of The Bible) in AD 45.
The Copts claim that the use of marijuana as a sacrament descended from a Jewish sect called the Essenes (the folks who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls).
According to the Coptic Church, cannabis played an important role in early Christian and Judaic rituals, specifically as a sacrament burned in tabernacles, to commemorate important occasions such as communication with God on Mount Sinai by Moses, and the transfiguration of Christ.
Era of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria’s physician and one of the world’s leading doctors of that era, Sir Russell Reynolds, prescribed medicinal cannabis for the Queen’s menstrual cramps, for which CBD still works fantastically today.
When writing about medical marijuana in the first edition of the British medical journal The Lancet, Reynolds proclaimed that cannabis is “one of the most valuable medicines we possess.”
Another widely hailed physician at the time, Sir William Osler, used CBD for migraines with excellent results.
The father of French psycho-pharmacology, Dr. Jean-Jacques Moreau de Tours, used the cannabis plant to treat depression, another condition still widely treated with cannabis in the modern era.
Later, during the Revolutionary War, soldiers were paid with cannabis, and presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson encouraged farmers to grow more hemp to produce more rope and paper, as well as clothing and ship sails (which dates back to the Egyptians using hemp sails on their Nile boats 3,000-4,000 years ago).
During WWII, American farmers were also asked to grow as much hemp as possible.
What is Hemp used for?
Anything that can be made of plastic can also be made from hemp, which can reduce exposure to phytoestrogens and other chemicals in plastic and other synthetic compounds.
Hemp plant fibers are long and tough, and can be woven into a soft cloth that wears well and has fewer of the herbicides and pesticides associated with other modern cloths like cotton.
Even copies of the Declaration of Independence used to be written on hemp paper, since it doesn’t yellow with age like other papers do.
As you’ve probably already heard, the hemp plant itself is a highly useful plant, and every part of it has been used to make a wide variety of products, including biofuel and medicine.
Biofuel made from hemp seeds is far less expensive and more effective than ethanol derived from corn.
If there weren’t so many federal restrictions, growing hemp would highly benefit any agricultural state, but unfortunately most states must pay an absurdly high premium to import hemp seeds.
And of course, as you’re probably aware, both THC and CBD seem to be immersed in a constant struggle of medical legality that I simply don’t have the time to address in this post.