Cannabis: 5 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About Its History

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Although recent years have been historical in terms of cannabis laws and acceptance. The plant has been around for centuries and humans used it for various things. We have just started to discover the medical side of cannabinoids however, they have been there for a long time. The plant has a rich history closely linked with humans and civilization. Here we have a list of five things about cannabis history that will surprise you.

1. Treatment of Asthma:

Although we are just finding out about the medical uses of cannabis its been used to treat various things throughout history. Modern studies show evidence that marijuana was used to cure various ailments about 5000 years ago in Romania.   We also see references for medical cannabis in Chinese Pharmacopoeia dating back to 1500 BC. Indians also used cannabis in the form of Bhang.

Surprisingly people in ancient history, smoked cannabis as a treatment for Respiratory Issues. Historians show evidence that physicians in the past recommended smoking cannabis as a remedy for asthma. People in South Asian regions of the world in the 1900s used cannabis to address bronchitis and asthma. Contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis expands the airways in the lungs therefore, ameliorating asthma issues.

2. US Patent on Cannabis:

The US Division of Health and Human Services got a patent doe CBD as a  neuroprotectant. The patent, US6630507B1, filed on April 21st, 1998 read that, “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation associated diseases.”


Despite the fact that the US government admitted the medical uses of cannabis more than 22 years ago the plant is still a controlled substance in the US. However, the recent wave of legalization has opened new chapters of cannabis history.

3. THC the Truth Serum:

While smoking a joint might now make you honest the scientists really had to test it out. In the 1940s during World War II, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), decided to explore various controlled substances as potential “truth serums”. Being controlled substance cannabis was also on the list.

Extensive tests were performed on war criminals and prisoners during this time. They found out that THC was great for relaxation but did not work well as a truth serum. Later on, intelligence agencies discovered LSD as the best truth drug during investigations.

4. Cannabis-derived Pharmaceuticals:

The first study of cannabis as a medical drug was done on patients suffering from epilepsy. During this trial, each patient received a dose of CBD daily. The results of this study are also very interesting. After four months of medication, all of the patients had lesser seizures. In addition, about half of the patients stopped having seizures at all.

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However, at the time this study did not get much appreciation. That was mainly because of the negative stigma associated with the cannabis plant. However, modern research has once again proved the plant beneficial for health.

5. Shakespeare and Cannabis:

The famous English author despite being a creative magician also loved cannabis. While we don’t know if his creative wonders area results from smoking weed. We do know that he did for certain enjoy cannabis once in a while. There is concrete evidence that Shakespeare smoked cannabis from the study of residue in his pipes. Shakespeare used these pipes throughout his lifetime.


Although cannabis has an extremely scandalous past it is mainly because of false values held by people. One thing that recent elections have proved in the US is that people are more aware of cannabis now than ever.

Alan Bert: