The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the first time the use and sale of marijuana were restricted by the federal government in the United States.

Five years later, cannabis was dropped from the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1942, and penalties for its possession began increasing over the next fifteen years. The Boggs Act of 1951 established strict criminal penalties, including a minimum jail sentence,  for those who were caught violating current drug laws, and in 1956 the Narcotic Control Act was passed which imposed even stricter drug control penalties

In 1970 the Controlled Substances Act was introduced, which placed all substances that were already being regulated in some manner by existing law into one of five categories. A substance was placed in a category based on three criteria: its medical use, it’s potential for abuse, and its safety liability

Upon digging into the archives of medical research, you can find studies from over eighty years ago that point to marijuana as being useful both for medical purposes and for everyday health maintenance.

A report from 1934 talks about its use “in Migraine, in paralysis agitans, in spasms of the bladder, in sexual impotence, in whooping cough, in asthma, and in other spasmodic affections…” (source)

In 1949, despite the restrictions placed on marijuana, Dr. Jean P. Davis of the University of Utah medical college made an important discovery: “drug principles isolated from the leaves of marijuana… play an important role in research on a cure for epilepsy.”

n 1840, Victorian Doctors were treating people with extracts of cannabis for many illnesses, including tinctures for treating children with epilepsy.

One of my favourite pioneers was Dr William Brooke O’Shaughnessy MD, an irish physician, surgeon, Professor of chemistry, scientist and innovator, he was a pioneer of ‘intravenous therapy’ and he is the man credited with introducing cannabis to Western medicine.

O’Shaughnessy graduated in 1829 with a Medical Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. In 1831, at the young age of 22, he investigated cholera and his early work led to the development of intravenous fluid and electrolyte-replacement therapy.

In 1833, O’Shaughnessy moved to Calcutta, India to work for the British East India Company and during his time there he developed new cannabinoid extraction techniques which he used is preparations to treat patients suffering from, cholera, tetanus, analgesia, rheumatism and epilepsy in infants.

In India, he initially studied botanical pharmacology and chemistry, publishing his first paper on medical cannabis in 1839.

In his paper “On the preparations of the Indian hemp, or Gunjah” published in the Provincial Medical Journal, London on February 4th, 1843, O’Shaughnessey relates the case of a baby just over a month old who he administered an ethanol (alcohol) cannabis based tincture.

Please remember this was written 173 years ago.

So, as you can see, the benefits of Cannabis go way back and were known quite a long time ago.