Medicinal cannabis history

Cannabis is one of the oldest known medicinal plants. 

It is described in ancient handbooks on plant medicine. Archaeological evidence indicates the plant spread from Asia to Africa and on to the Middle—East. Eventually it arrived in Europe around 500 BC. It was later used widely for industrial purposes and was integral to early shipping as hemp fibre. History states that the therapeutic use of cannabis was introduced to Europe in around 1840 by an Irish doctor called William O’Shaughnessy. While in India he observed its widespread therapeutic use. In the following decades cannabis gained a short period of popularity in Europe and the United States. Dozens 

of different cannabis preparations were available. These products were recommended for conditions including menstrual cramps, asthma, cough, insomnia, labour pains during birth, migraine, throat infection and withdrawal from opium use. At the time no tools existed for quality control and standardized preparations. Patients often received a dose that was either too low having no effect, or too high resulting in unwanted side effects. These drawbacks meant the therapeutic use of cannabis was largely taken over by standardized opium-based drugs such as codeine and morphine. Cannabis gradually disappeared from all Western pharmacopoeias. In the late fifties the World Health Organization (WHO) claimed that cannabis and its preparations no longer served any useful medical purpose.