Saturday, October 12, 2019

History of Marijuana :: American History Weed Medicine Essays

History of Marijuana Marijuana has been used both recreationally and medicinally for centuries. There are numerous accounts of its medicinal qualities in multiple historical artifacts. Its use dates back to 2737 B.C. when the Chinese emperor, Shen Nung, used it for medicinal purposes including malaria, gout, poor memory, rheumatism, and analgesia (Carter et. al., 2003). Eastern Indian documents, in the Atharvaveda, dating back to 2000 B.C. also refer to its medicinal use. The Jamestown settlers cultivated hemp produced by the marijuana plant. They used these fibers to make clothing, rope, and canvas because of its quality and durability. Physicians in the 19th century were prescribing cannabis as a pain reliever, an anticonvulsant, and for migraine headaches (Doweiko, 2002). Following his work in India in the 1840's William O'Shaughnessy introduced medicinal marijuana to the United Kingdom. Queen Victoria used marijuana for dysmenorrhoea during the same time period (Carter et. al., 2003). Smoking marijuana recreationally began to spread in the United States in the 1920's. It began to spread from Mexico and New Orleans up the Mississippi river. Jazz musicians, labor workers, and river boatmen were quickly taking to its euphoric effects (Gettman, 1995). Smoking marijuana also became more popular during Prohibition when more people began cultivation of the plant and importing it into the U.S. to replace alcohol (Doweiko, 2002). In 1942, marijuana was removed from the United States Pharacopoeia and the Federal Government began to criminalize non-medicinal marijuana possession and use (Carter et al., 2003). Marijuana became extremely popular in the 1960's and, today, is considered the most widely used illicit drug in the world, Canada, and the United States (Gettman, 1995). Pharmacology and Chemistry of Marijuana Cannabis is known to contain over 400 chemicals in which about 70 are classified as plant cannabinoids. The human body produces naturally occurring cannabinoids. The cannabinoids are lipophilic. Delta-8 and Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been found to produce most of the psychoactive effects of marijuana (Carter et al., 2003). Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol appears to be the most abundant cannabinoid and the main source of cannabis' impact. Cannabidiol is the second most predominantly active ingredient. It becomes Tetrahydrocannabinol as the cannabis plant matures and the T etrahydrocannabinol then breaks down into cannabinol Approximately 40 percent of the plant's resin in some strains of cannabis are cannabidiol. Each cannabis strain differs in

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