Hemp has been helping people heal for millennia.

Like with many plants, we can’t be sure when people first began experimenting with hemp for medicinal purposes. That said, Carl Sagan believed hemp was likely one of the first crops cultivated.

Most plants are used first in folk remedies. These aren’t necessarily written down for a long time, passing down via oral traditions. There is a good chance that hemp was used medicinally long before the effects were recorded.

One thing to keep in mind as you read this is that there isn’t necessarily a lot of distinction between hemp and marijuana in historical texts. What is clear, though, is the long history of using hemp for multiple purposes, researching its effectiveness on a variety of symptoms and maladies. While we’ve lost a lot of this knowledge due to research restrictions and the passage of time, we are finally beginning to reclaim and rediscover new things about hemp every day.

HEMP AS MEDICINE IN ANCIENT TIMES

Ancient China is where we first encounter medicinal use of hemp. From around 6000 BCE on, hemp was used in tools, clothing, shoes, and food.

It wasn’t until 2737 BCE that there is written evidence of hemp as medicine. Emperor Shen-Nung developed topical hemp oils and teas to aid in pain relief. He wrote his findings in the first editions of the Pen Ts’ao Ching. Later on, other pharmacopoeias would list the medicinal effects of flowers, leaves, and seeds of the cannabis plant. Hua Tuo was the first person on record to use cannabis as an anesthetic in the second century. He notes that this plant can also aid in the treatment of blood clots, tapeworms, and hair loss.

Hemp has likely been used as a natural herbal medicine since very ancient times. The first

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