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Cannabis Education What’s The History Of Cannabis?

Dec 05, 2022

Have you ever been about to light up and wondered, “Where does weed come from, anyway?” Like many of our favorite substances, it actually has a long history, and studies continue to find it in surprising places.

Where Did Cannabis Come From?

The plant we know today as cannabis actually first evolved over 28 million years ago, originally found on the eastern Tibetan plateau. It’s a close cousin to hops, which we use today in brewing all kinds of beers. Although, it wasn’t quite the same as the marijuana you’d be smoking now, as studies suggest that the THC content was actually very low.

Fast forward a few million years and the plant found itself used all over Asia, for a variety of purposes. Chinese medicinal manuals from 2700 BC would prescribe it for conditions like rheumatism, gout, malaria, and other illnesses of the day. There are even records of it being suggested by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, who is widely regarded by scholars as the father of Chinese medicine.

From there, it was traded across the eastern world to Korea, India, and even down the African coast. The popularity of the herb exploded, as we can find records of it being used to treat pain, anxiety, digestive problems, dysentery, and more. It became extremely well known in India, where it was celebrated as one of the “five kingdoms of herbs” that would ease anxiety. It was also around this time that hashish or hash became well known in the Arab world, and held a spiritual significance for some Muslims.

Next, cannabis made its way around Europe through Russia, Ukraine, and Germany. Some sources even found cannabis seeds on the remains of Viking ships, suggesting that they also had a hand in moving it across the European continent.

But that’s all ancient history! How did we end up with weed as we know it today?

How Did We Get Modern Cannabis?

Our modern-day cannabis made its way to us alongside Spanish colonization in the mid 1500s. As the Spaniards settled in Mexico and South America, they brought cannabis and hemp with them to grow in the western world. It wasn’t long before cannabis moved up and into North America.

Marijuana use for medicinal purposes was pretty common in the 1800s, but campaigns to make it illegal in the USA and Canada started in the early 1900s. Over the course of the 20th century, governments cracked down on both dealing and possession, with cannabis-related arrests making up 2% of all drug-related arrests in Canada by 1961.

After an explosion in popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s, perceptions started to change and the movement towards legalization picked up some speed. Fortunately for us, marijuana was officially legalized in Canada with the Cannabis Act in 2018. Since then, dispensaries just like us have been proudly serving our community with locally grown and legal cannabis!

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