The list of diseases and health disorders that respond to marijuana as medicine is almost endless. From nausea and pain to glaucoma and epilepsy, dozens of conditions can be treated with the drug.
Most of these uses probably seem very new. We’ve only talked about marijuana and nausea for a few decades, right? Or is it wrong? Here is a list of five of the diseases the ancients treated with cannabis. Some are surprisingly familiar.
Labor and Childbirth
Until modern times, childbirth was an especially risky experience for women. Many died giving birth, and treatments for the pain were primitive at best.
But in ancient India cannabis provided relief during labor. Which makes sense: Even today, we know the drug is effective in treating many types of pain. Though rarely used in childbirth today, cannabis gave many ancient mothers a respite from the suffering it entails.
The ancients had very little to work with in the way of anesthesia. Surgical operations were incredibly painful and often resulted in severe psychological trauma for patients.
As long as 2,100 years ago, the ancient Chinese began using cannabis as anesthetic. It was crushed into a powder, mixed with wine, and consumed immediately before surgery. As in childbirth, it was used to reduce pain.
Even in modern times, tapeworms and other parasites wreak havoc on the public health. Many die from infections, while others may suffer for months or years. Naturally, the problem was much worse in ancient times.
The Greeks used cannabis to treat the pain and discomfort caused by tapeworms. They believed eating seeds from the marijuana plant would drive worms from the body. They were wrong, as far as we know, but the drug still probably made life a little more tolerable for victims.
Modern scientists have only recently stumbled upon marijuana’s ability to reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy, especially children. CBD, one of many chemicals in the plant, quiets over-activity in the brain, making convulsions less frequent.
The Arabs allegedly used cannabis for the same effect. We don’t know much about the ancient use of cannabis in the Middle East, but we know the ancient Arab world used it as medicine. That purportedly included epileptic conditions.
Cellular inflammation is now widely believed to be one of the leading causes of heart disease, cancer, and countless other disorders. We have only recently discovered this, but the ancients beat us to the punch by centuries.
The ancient Greeks used pot to reduce inflammation, external and internal. Cannabis seeds were steeped in water or wine, and the resulting extract was applied to inflamed skin and other areas.
Medicinal weed had many other uses in the ancient world. What’s most amazing is how often we use it for the same reasons. If nothing else, this means marijuana is no fluke when it comes to medical relief.