Hemp As Medicine | A History of Hemp As Medicine Since Ancient China

Hemp As Medicine | A History of Hemp As Medicine Since Ancient China

Hemp has been a useful plant for a very long time, and only in recent history has it been turned into something to shun and stop using. Now that is starting to change, leading people who have forgotten the advantages and benefits of hemp to go looking to learn about them all over again.

Herbal medicine existed well before what we now think of as modern medicine. Simple remedies brought aid and comfort to those in need, not only in the modern sense of wanting to use this or that in order to get high and have a good time. The first recorded evidence of hemp being used in a medical sense comes from around 2700 BC. A Chinese emperor used hemp oils, and steeped tea from hemp, to act as a pain reliever. Other herbalists followed suit, and experimented with ways to use hemp to help with a variety of health issues people faced. The Romans used hemp, and so did many Middle Eastern peoples, where it was especially valued since Islam bans adherents from using alcohol.

In the western world, hemp found use as well. Industrial applications began to take shape, as the fibers of the hemp plant can be used for weaving cloth and rope. Throughout most of the Twentieth Century hemp fell into disfavor due to government action, but that is changing and hemp is coming back into general use.

Key Points:

  • 1There is a history of hemp cultivation at least as far back as 6000BCE
  • 2Pliny the Elder noted that excessive use of hemp inhibited sexual performance.
  • 3In 1996, California legalized hemp for medicinal purposes in patients with conditions such as AIDS or cancer.


Similar laws would be passed in Massachusetts and Connecticut, with the plant being accepted as legal tender in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

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