Medicinal Cannabis Extracts through History

A Journey through the historical Uses of medicinal Cannabis Extractions. Highlighting the vast medical application of Cannabis Extracts from many civilizations.

This Graphic was made to compliment the article "PhytoCannabinoid Therapeutics: A historical perspective" released in The 'Cannabis Digest' from Victoria BC, Canada. The Author also designed the graphic.

0150 BC-06-26 12:44:22

Shen Nung

legendary Chinese emperor Shen Nung (Pen Ts’ao, 2800 BCE) Shen Nung may well be a legend in Chinese folklore as the ‘Pen Ts’ao’ was compiled from ancient fragments around 100 BCE, however the recent archeological discovery of “789 grams of dried cannabis ... buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China ” adds credence to the legend. The Pen Ts’ao shares that "hemp grows along rivers and valleys at T'ai-shan, but it is now common everywhere."

0200-07-25 07:47:41

Hoa Tho

In China, who boast the earliest advancements in cannabis/hemp production (5000 BCE), Physicians beginning with Hoa-Tho (200 CE) prescribed cannabis mixed with wine as an analgesic during surgical procedures.

0400 BC-10-14 10:46:56


Greek historian Herodotus wrote of Scythian ‘vapor hotbox’ rituals around 450 BCE, “First they anoint and rinse their hair, then for their bodies, they lean three poles against one another, cover the poles with felted woolen blankets, making sure that they fit together as tightly as possible, and then put red-hot stones from the fire on to a dish which has been placed in the middle of the pole-and-blanket structure ... the Scythians take cannabis seeds, crawl in under the felt blankets, and throw the seeds on to the glowing stones. The seeds then emit dense smoke and fumes, much more than any vapour-bath in Greece. The Scythians shriek with delight at the fumes.”

0575-12-14 20:33:20

Wushang Biyou

The (570 CE) Taoist encyclopedia Wushang Biyao ("Supreme Secret Essentials"), recorded adding cannabis into ritual censers. Sinologist and historian Joseph Needham believed that the founding scriptures of the Shangqing School of Taoism were written by Yang Xi (330-386 CE) during alleged visitations by Taoist ‘immortals’, “aided almost certainly by cannabis."

0800 BC-04-25 14:59:02

Holy Anointing Oil

With the knowledge of this medicine widespread throughout Ancient Egypt it is not surprising that the leader of the Hebrew people, Moses, receives the recipe for a holy anointing oil containing large amounts of cannabis or Kaneh Bosm upon leaving Egypt. The highly revered anointing oil is later applied topically by Jesus and his followers to fight epilepsy, skin diseases, eye and menstrual problems.

0800-02-10 07:29:40


In the earliest known compendium of pharmacology in Arabic (9th Century), cannabis juice extract from the flowers and seeds is administered through the nostril to treat migraine, aching pains including uterine, and to prevent miscarriage. During this same period, the reknowned physician and scientist Al-Kindi gave the first report of its muscle relaxant properties in relation to what was known as ‘the trembling’.

1300 BC-01-01 16:06:24

Berlin Papyrus

The Berlin Papyrus prescribes cannabis as an Ointment to prepare for driving away fever and as a suppository .

1550 BC-11-09 11:35:25

Ebers Papyrus

The Ebers Papyrus records cannabis used for Obstetrics “ground in honey; introduced into her vagina to cool the uterus and elimate its heat” , further suggesting anti-inflammatory properties.

1600 BC-11-09 12:24:34

Atharva Veda

In nearby India an early Iyurvedic text, the Atharva Veda, exalts cannabis or bhanga, as one of five herbs employed “to release us from anxiety.” The ingredients of the legendary vedic holy drink Soma are hotly debated among academics. Author and historian Chris Bennett provides compelling evidence for the inclusion of cannabis in his book “Cannabis and the Soma Solution”.

1640-04-12 12:45:32

John Parkinson

One of the first of the great English botanists, John Parkinson, writes in 1640 that cannabis roots in a poultice are effective for treating tumors and other inflammation. “the same decoction of the rootes, easeth the paines of the goute, the hard tumours, or knots of the joynts, the paines and shrinking of the sinewes, and other the like paines of the hippes: it is good to be used, for any place that hath beene burnt by fire, if the fresh juyce be mixed with a little oyle or butter”

1700 BC-11-06 10:41:15

Papyrus Ramesseum III

“A treatment for the eyes: celery; hemp is ground and left in the dew over night. Both eyes of the patient are to be washed with it early in the morning.” This could have referred to a Glaucoma treatment or anti-inflammatory effects.

1800-10-28 10:17:11

Cholera, Tetanus and Bubonic plague

It is clear that in past times cannabis was used as a medicine in a diversity of ways for a wide range of conditions. Successfully treating cholera , tetanus and bubonic plague

1890-10-25 21:43:06

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria's personal physician, Sir Russell Reynolds, prescribed Cannabis for her menstrual cramps. He claims in the first issue of The Lancet, that Cannabis "When pure and administered carefully, is one of the of the most valuable medicines we possess"

1964-01-18 04:27:48

THC is synthesized

First isolated in 1964, in its pure form, by Israeli scientists Raphael Mechoulam, Yechiel Gaoni and colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,[7][8][9] it is a glassy solid when cold, and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed. A pharmaceutical formulation of (−)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known by its INN dronabinol, is available by prescription in the U.S. and Canada under the brand name Marinol. - Wikipedia

1988-03-14 14:48:58

Judge Francis Young

The DEA’s own Judge Francis Young concluded at the end of a lengthy legal process in 1988 that "Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man".

1991-05-10 00:10:07

Endocannabinoid System

In the 1990’s scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system and the receptor sites for THC in our brain. A Natural Brain Molecule is discovered that activates this system called ' Anandamide' or 'bliss compound'.

2000 BC-12-01 11:35:25

Clay Tablets of Nineveh

Clay tablets found in the ancient city of Nineveh represent the collected medical knowledge of the first two centuries BCE in Mesopotamia. These document the early use of cannabis or A.ZAL.LA as an anticonvulsant taken orally, cutaneously and as an enema.

2000-07-04 09:31:16

Inhibits Cancer

In 2000 a study in Spain showed cannabis to “inhibit the growth of tumour cells in culture and animal models.” With research breaking out in areas where cannabis laws are loosening, there is a great deal of anticipation as to the miracles of healing that phytocannabinoid therapeutics still have to offer.

Medicinal Cannabis Extracts through History

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