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By Raúl Castañeda
He cannabis It has had many names throughout history and has had different meanings for everyone.
It is a plant that has satisfied both the material and spiritual needs of various cultures, and it is believed that it was one of the first plants that humans domesticated for industrial purposes in more than nine thousand years.
With its origins in Asia, its cultivation spread around the world, adapting and evolving along with our species. This created a market that revolves around the uses of the different parts of plants and their effects on the body.
Our relationship with cannabis is reflected in different ways and at different times in which it was used to make clothing and to use its seeds for food, even in effects on the body that act as medicine.
About 1,800 years ago, cannabis was used in combination with alcohol and other herbs as a method of anesthesia before any operation.
Recently, there has been a trend in the use of herbal medicines in both developed and developing countries, also known as phytopharmaceuticals. the pharmacists are of plant origin. These substances used in ancient times find scientific justifications for their benefits beyond historical references.
Today we know that cannabis can be recommended for various conditions such as hemorrhoids, glaucoma, inflammation and pain, including some that are mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus and other Egyptian documents whose origins can be traced back more than 3,500 years.
Other cultures used cannabis regularly as part of their social and religious rituals. For example: In India there is a cannabis-based drink called “Bhang” which is part of an ancient tradition called “Holi” or “The Festival of Colors”, which celebrates the beginning of spring.
About 1800 years ago, cannabis was used as an anesthetic method before any operation / Image: Depositphotos.com
On the other hand, the Greeks smeared cannabis on wounds and applied dried leaves to the nose to treat bleeding. The most common use described in their documents is in the manufacture of extracts for the relief of local pain and inflammation.
From Asia, cannabis use spread westward through the trading network in the ancient world, intercepting various cultures that eventually made their way to the American continent. The cultivation of this plant became so important that the English and Roman colonies were commissioned to use part of their farmland for the sowing of hemp.
What began as rope in Mesopotamia more than nine thousand years ago now encompasses a market where its uses can be found in products such as textiles, fuels, pharmaceuticals, building materials, dietary supplements, and food. The list is only growing with time, and the more countries adopt loose cannabis policies, the more experienced people appear in the scientific world with advances that promise a better future for health and environmental care.
At each of these stages, cannabis adapted to the different places where it was harvested, with climate and human selection being the main factors that contributed to and shaped what we know as cannabis today. Some plants were grown to make food, paper, clothing, medicine, or ropes, while others were used for a more spiritual or recreational purpose.
In this way we see that cannabis was part of our daily lives long before it was legalized, even before it was banned. The history of this plant has shown us its versatility, which today we can divide into three main aspects: industrial use, adult use and medicinal use.