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The Farmacy Cannabis Lecture Series delivers small in-depth doses of cannabis education. Each session will feature cannabis experts who provide valuable information and insights to make better-informed cannabis consumers.



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Join California's top cannabis rewards program! Earn and redeem exclusive rewards at all Farmacy and Pottery locations. Plus, receive exclusive deals, offers, and early access to new releases from your favorite brands!

Farmacy Lecture Series

The Farmacy Cannabis Lecture Series delivers small in-depth doses of cannabis education. Each session will feature cannabis experts who provide valuable information and insights to make better-informed cannabis consumers.



cannabis through history

Cannabis Through History

Cannabis has been used for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes for thousands of years. Despite its controversial legal status in many parts of the world outside of its legalized status for dispensaries in California, cannabis has a rich and fascinating history that spans across cultures and continents. From its earliest recorded use in ancient civilizations to its current role as a rapidly expanding industry, cannabis has played a significant role in shaping human history.

Ancient Use of Cannabis

The earliest known use of cannabis can be traced back to ancient China, where the plant was used for both medicinal and spiritual purposes. The Chinese character for cannabis, “ma,” dates back to at least 2700 BCE, and references to the plant can be found in ancient Chinese texts such as the Pen Ts’ao Ching, a medical text from the Han dynasty.

In India, cannabis has been used as a spiritual and medicinal herb for centuries, and is still used today in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The ancient Hindu text the Atharva Veda, written around 1500 BCE, mentions cannabis as one of the five sacred plants, and the god Shiva is often depicted holding a cannabis plant or smoking a cannabis pipe in Hindu mythology.

Cannabis was also used in ancient Egypt, where it was valued for its medicinal properties and was considered a symbol of strength and power. The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text from around 1550 BCE, describes the use of cannabis for pain relief, as well as for treating inflammation, digestive disorders, and other ailments.

cannabis through history

Cannabis in Middle East and Europe

As cannabis use spread across Asia and the Middle East, it eventually made its way to Europe, where it was used for medicinal and recreational purposes. In the 19th century, cannabis was widely used in Western medicine for its pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and sedative properties.

The Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who served in India during the 1830s, was instrumental in introducing cannabis to Western medicine. O’Shaughnessy conducted extensive research on the medicinal properties of cannabis, and found that it was effective in treating a variety of conditions, including pain, spasms, and epilepsy.

In the early 20th century, cannabis use became increasingly popular in Europe and North America, particularly among artists, musicians, and other bohemian subcultures. Cannabis was also used as a recreational drug by jazz musicians and other countercultural figures, and was associated with a sense of rebellion and nonconformity.

cannabis through history

Cannabis in the United States

The use of cannabis in the United States can be traced back to the colonial era, when hemp was grown for use in textiles, paper, and other industrial products. In the 19th century, cannabis was widely used in patent medicines and other over-the-counter remedies, and was available in pharmacies throughout the country.

However, in the early 20th century, attitudes toward cannabis began to shift, fueled in part by racist and xenophobic sentiments. Cannabis use was associated with Mexican immigrants and African American jazz musicians, and was seen as a threat to white society.

In 1937, the federal government passed the Marijuana Tax Act, effectively outlawing cannabis in the United States. The law imposed a steep tax on cannabis sales and required anyone who wanted to sell or use cannabis to obtain a license from the government.

The criminalization of cannabis had a profound impact on American society, particularly on communities of color. The war on drugs, which was launched in the 1970s, led to mass arrests and incarceration for nonviolent drug offenses, disproportionately affecting communities of color.

Cannabis in the 21st Century

In recent years, attitudes toward cannabis have begun to shift once again, as more and more states have legalized the use of medical and recreational cannabis. As of 2021, 36 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis, and 15 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis. This shift in attitudes toward cannabis has been driven in part by growing evidence of the plant’s medicinal properties, as well as by changing cultural norms and a desire to reform drug laws.

Today, cannabis is used for a variety of purposes, from treating chronic pain and other medical conditions to enhancing creativity and relaxation. The plant’s active compounds, known as cannabinoids, have been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects, including pain relief, anti-inflammatory properties, and the ability to reduce anxiety and depression.

One of the most well-known cannabinoids is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. THC works by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, producing a range of effects including euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception.

Another cannabinoid, cannabidiol, or CBD, has gained popularity in recent years for its potential therapeutic benefits. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce psychoactive effects and is believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anxiolytic properties. CBD has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, from anxiety and depression to epilepsy and chronic pain.

While cannabis use remains controversial in many parts of the world, the plant’s long history and growing body of research suggest that it may have a valuable role to play in human health and well-being. As more and more people turn to cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, it is important to continue to study the plant’s effects and to explore its potential as a source of healing and inspiration.

Conclusion

Cannabis has a long and complex history, shaped by cultural, social, and political factors. From its earliest use in ancient China to its current role as a rapidly expanding industry, cannabis has played a significant role in shaping human history.

While cannabis use remains controversial in many parts of the world, growing evidence suggests that the plant may have a valuable role to play in human health and well-being. As more and more states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, it is important to continue to study the plant’s effects and to explore its potential as a source of healing and inspiration.

Ultimately, the future of cannabis remains uncertain, and much will depend on continued research, advocacy, and political action. But as we look back on the long and fascinating history of this plant, we can see that cannabis has always been a part of human culture and that its story is far from over.

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Check out the Farmacy Cannabis Lecture Series for free cannabis education on a variety of topics from leading experts.

The Farmacy family of cannabis shops has welcomed residents of California since its first store opened in Santa Barbara. The mission of the Farmacy family is to provide a warm, welcoming environment while educating customers on the benefits of cannabis use. This is achieved by offering experientially-centered, knowledgeable customer service and providing educational materials along with carefully curated product choices. The Farmacy name has become synonymous with outstanding customer service and trustworthiness in the cannabis industry throughout California, quickly gaining a loyal customer base. With consistently top-notch retail experiences and products from exclusive brands, it’s no surprise that the Farmacy has become one of California’s premier stops for all things cannabis.

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WARNING: Smoking cannabis increases your cancer risk. Use of cannabis or cannabis products during pregnancy exposes your child to delta-9-THC, and other chemicals that can affect your child’s birthweight, behavior, and learning ability. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/cannabis.