There is something to be said for medicines that have been used for thousands of years and survive the test of time. Although cannabis is not a widely-accepted treatment in the United States today by law, it has become synonymous in some senses with herbal folk medicines to supplement other health practices. This article from The Star via The Canadian Press sheds new light on this ancient medicine.
While research in the US is still severely restricted due to unsympathetic policies and aggressive DEA agendas, a new study by American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo as published in the Journal of Experimental Botany was inspired by a discovery of a 2,700 year old tomb in China. The tomb of this 45-year-old shaman contained not only the usual gifts for use in the afterlife, such as a bow and arrow, a harp instrument, and a wooden bowl, but also the oldest ever discovered stash of marijuana was gifted in the holy man's tomb.
The finding indicates “that cannabis has been used by man for a variety of purposes for thousands of years.” Marijuana was likely being administered to tribe members by the shamans themselves, says Russo. This finding is not such a big surprise to many of us, including Dr. Russo, a full-time consultant with GW Pharmaceuticals, the producers of a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex, which is approved in Canada for multiple sclerosis and cancer-related pain.
What has changed over three thousand years? Not much, except for more damaging policies made by governments despite medical professionals and scientists speaking out for the research. According to the International Herald Tribune, the United Kingdom's House of Lords recently moved to toughen laws on marijuana by reclassifying the substance as more dangerous, and raising jail sentences from 2 to 5 years.
Even when we look back in time, governments seem to be simply going backward in their policies toward cannabis, not forward.
Bethany Moore and the whole campaign team