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How Was Cannabis Used as a Medical Treatment and Healing Ingredient Throughout the Centuries?

One of the trendiest things these days is to talk about cannabis and cannabis oil in relation to their medicinal uses. In actuality, using it as a natural aid for everything, from psychological treatment to anesthesia, is well-recorded throughout human history.

So, rather than stumbling upon something new and novel, it would seem that modern humanity is rediscovering cannabis’s lost medicinal secrets.

And that’s not just an idle theory; there’s a ton of evidence to back this up.

Here are some examples of cannabis and cannabis oil’s medicinal uses throughout history: 

Pain Relief and Recreational Use

Stretching all the way back to the Neanderthals, archaeologists have found evidence of cannabis use for both recreational and medicinal purposes.

The latter can be inferred from the presence of other medicinal herbs where cannabis seeds or residue are located. Some of the earliest evidence of cannabis use ever in human history helps establish humanity’s long and enduring relationship with the plant and its byproducts.

Hua Tuo Chinese Medical Doctor

Anesthesia for Surgery

A surgeon in China named Hua Tuo, who practiced somewhere between 140-208 CE, is the first person to have recorded cannabis’s use as anesthesia for surgery.

To make this concoction, he would grind down the cannabis plant and then mix the powder with wine.

In fact, the word mázui 麻醉, or anesthesia, borrows an element from the character combination for cannabis, máfén 麻蕡 or mábó 麻勃, thus establishing a kind of link between the use of cannabis and anesthesia.

Other reported uses for cannabis in ancient China include everything from constipation relief to battling hair loss to dealing with blood clots and even as a cure for tapeworms!

Religious Ritual

Over in nearby India, cannabis has an even more detailed and lengthy history with uses ranging from health-related to religious rituals and rites.

One philosopher even theorized that a spirit lived within the “bhang” leaf (a form of cannabis) and, the theory goes, it is this spirit that imbues the plant with its wide-ranging beneficial qualities.

Treatment for Wounds

Cannabis use wasn’t just relegated to humans, either, as there is ample evidence that the Greeks used it to treat wounds on their horses.


Other Medicinal Properties

A mixture of wine and cannabis seeds that have soaked in it for some time is recorded as having multiple uses including treatment for pain in the ears.

Dried cannabis leaves, in particular, as well as the seeds, were prized among the Greeks for their specific properties with the seeds being seen as having especially potent medicinal properties.