A Brief Overview of the History of Cannabis

Posted by High End Dabzation on 20th Oct 2021

A Brief Overview of the History of Cannabis

Here at High End Dabzation we’re fans of cannabis and we’re so stoked that states around the country are catching up with it – legalizing medicinal and recreational use, but there’s something important to remember about all this. Cannabis isn’t a new thing – the green leaves didn’t magically become useful for health in the past twenty years, and it didn’t just become an enjoyable pastime.

This time on the High End Dabzation blog we’re putting on our tweed jackets and pulling out the chalkboard – it’s History of Cannabis 101, and we’re the professor!

The History of Cannabis - Beginnings Before Common Era

While it has definitely been used for a long time previously, we know for certain that cannabis has been used by humans dating back to at least 3000 BCE. That’s where we have written history of cannabis being used for its psychoactive properties in religious ceremonies, recreational use, as well as the plant itself being used for fiber, rope, medicine, and even food!

Archaeological evidence suggests even earlier use. Hemp is believed to be one of the earliest plants to be cultivated, in Japan it’s fibers and seeds are present in archaeological sites dating back to 8000 BCE! In China, hemp was used to make clothes and as an early form of paper.

Western Civilization was no stranger to cannabis either! The ancient Assyrians used it as an aromatic and their name for it, ‘qunabu,’ might be the root of how the word cannabis came to be. Cannabis was enjoyed by the Scythians, Thracians, and Dacians, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote about Scythians inhaling hemp-seed smoke for their own recreation and as a part of rituals – nice.

Fast forward a few thousands years and cannabis is spreading across the globe! Around the early 1200’s hashish was used throughout the Arab world. It was then introduced to Egypt and into Africa by both Islamic and Hindu travellers who used the plant. In a few centuries, Spaniards brought industrial hemp with them to the New World where it has been grown ever since! When Napoleon went to war, his

Cannabis has been used across the globe dating back thousands of years of human civilization. And, for hundreds, people have tried to restrict it.

History of Cannabis Restriction & Regulation

Ever since the Middle Ages, people in power have had problems with cannabis – for a bunch of reasons, some less reasonable than others. In the 1300s an emir in Arabia Soudoun Sheikouni prohibited its use. Following the introduction of cannabis to his troops, Napoleon banned its use.

Much of cannabis use in Brazil was brought by slaves and Portuguese colonists. Shortly thereafter the government in Brazil banned its use amongst slaves. Likewise, the British Empire and the indentured workers from India that they spread across the empire with them came ganja. Shortly thereafter it was banned by the British in their colonies, specifically by the indentured Indian workers.

And so it went through much of the world, various governments and people in power leveled criminal charges against the use of cannabis for whatever reason they fancied. In America even industrial hemp was banned, some scholars point towards it being a competitor to paper which powerful businessmen didn’t want to have the competition.

All this boils down to one truth. Cannabis has been used culturally across the globe for thousands of years, and as it spread and became popular, people in power had problems. They would then start to stamp down on it to keep it out of reach for perceived problems, but really it was an extra measure of control. Only in the more recent decades have countries been willing to admit the mistake of criminalizing and demonizing cannabis use. As we have seen, cannabis use has a huge range of very real benefits for the body and mind – it’s why our ancestors were using it millenia ago!