History of the cannabis plant. Many people view marijuana as being evil. However, it has been around for centuries. Its historical value cannot be overstated as many recreational and medical users still battle with the word, ‘illegal’ in various states across the nation. However, marijuana has been globally viewed as a legal herbal plant in various regions. Let’s take a look at where this herb came from.
It is significant to make a distinction between the two most common subspecies of the plant. Sativa is the strain that most people know as marijuana that has a psychoactive ingredient, allowing its users to stay awake and upbeat. Sativa L. is what people know as hemp, which has no psychoactive effect. It is used in the manufacturing of various products such as fuel, cloth, and oil. Indica is the plant that helps people to relax and sleep.
The evolution of the cannabis plant is believed to have originated in Central Asia. The use of the plant goes back to 12,000 years. This means that it is part of the oldest cultivated plant consumed by humans. Historians indicate that back then the plant flourished in dump sites, close to where prehistoric hunters resided. Burned marijuana seeds were discovered in Siberian burial mounds as far back as 3000 B.C. In the Siberian and Chinese region of Xinjiang where noble residents were buried in tombs, large amounts of psychoactive cannabis were found in 2500 B.C.
Psychoactive cannabis and hemp were widely used as a medicinal drug in China as far back as 4000 B.C. During surgery, for example, the herb was an integral part of the administered anesthesia to the patient. Many stories have been going around that the herb was also used by Shen Nung, Chinese Emperor during 2737 B.C.
South Asia and India
Around 2000 B.C., coastal farmers in China would bring marijuana to Korea. It entered the subcontinent of South Asia around 2000 B.C. during the invasion of the Aryans. In India, the herb was popular and in fact, notably known as one of the five kingdoms of herbs.
The Movement to Europe
Marijuana was introduced in the Middle East in 1400 B.C. and 2000 B.C. by the European Scythians. Many people also believe that the Scythians were the ones that brought the herb to Ukraine and Russia since they lived in these territories for many years. The herb was brought to Germany by Germanic tribes. From there, the marijuana went to Britain during the invasion of Anglo-Saxon.
North and South America
In the nineteenth century, marijuana also migrated to different global regions, through the African continent to South America, eventually getting to North America from there. Let’s now look at how it got to the United States.
Arrival to the United States
After its movement through the pre-historic and modern worlds, in the twentieth century, marijuana finally made its way to the United States. It came to the United States by Mexican immigrants escaping from their country while the Mexican revolution was taking place. Many of the early intolerance for marijuana were veiled in racial fears of these recreational users. This was often made public by the reactionary media. The Mexicans received blame for smoking cannabis, criminal activities, and child seduction.
The laws in the United States did not recognize the herb. In fact, in 1915, it was considered illegal in Utah. In 1931, it was viewed illegal in approximately twenty nine states. Thankfully in most recent years, the herb is being embraced by several states through the legislative process, although, it is still illegal to the Federal government. To learn more about the cannabis plant and its history, visit the Cannabis Training University.