Medicinal Cannabis in the 1800s.



As we learned in "Hemp's Ancient History: The One You Won't Get From a Text Book", the ancient world of the Middle East, Africa, India, Asia, and even Europe had long viewed cannabis as a valuable, often-times sacred plant. As these cultures clashed with one another, societal norms were embraced, shared, or forced upon the common folk. The fall of the Western Roman Empire ushered in what is today referred to by some, as "The Dark Ages" (called the Middle Ages by others). As a result, much of the Western World was cut off from the ancient wisdom of the East, and thus began their disconnect from cannabis culture. Most Eastern societies continued to hold their beliefs of the cannabis plant, and were not affected culturally until later - when economic forces "suggested" they do so. In today's entry, we will uncover how cannabis became a common, taboo-free topic in early American society.


Cannabis remedies found within The Ebers Papyrus. Written circa 1550 B.C

In a previous post, we discussed the founders' understanding and use of cannabis. The settlers were commanded to plant hemp in the New World in the early 1600s. By the late 1700's, at the same time Napoleon was invading Egypt, George Washington was growing a variety of cannabis cultivars, including Indian Hemp and Blossom Hemp at his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. Before him, Benjamin Franklin was using it as paper for his publications, and as rope for his side projects. Adams, Jefferson, and Madison all have their own unique relationship with the plant as well. Many of those that served as president after them, had experience using the herb medicinally during war-times.