It is important to distinguish between the sub species of the cannabis plant. Cannabis Sativa , known as marijuana has psychoactive properties. A second psychoactive species is known as Cannabis Indica (identified by French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lemarck) and a third and very rare species known as Cannabis Ruderalis( named in 1924 by Russian botanist DE Janischevisky).
The other sub species known as cannabis Sativa (botanist Carl Linneans) known as Hemp . It’s a non psychoactive form of cannabis and is used for manufacturing products such as oil cloth and fuel.
In 2011, research from the University of Saskatchewan announced that they have discovered the genetic attention that allows psychoactive cannabis plants to give users a high.
In the mid 19th century medical interest began to grow in the West. It was the main ingredient in several patent medicines. There were 2000 cannabis medicines prior to 1937, produced by over 280 manufacturers.
The invent of syringes and injectable medicines contributed to the decline as did the invention of new drugs such as Aspirin. Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy is credited with introducing the therapeutic use of cannabis in western medicine. He was the assistant surgeon and Professor of Chemistry at the Medical College Of Calcutta. He first conducted an experiment using cannabis in the 1930’s first on animals then on patients treating muscle spasms, stomach cramps or general pain. Draconian laws made it difficult for this wonder plant to make progress in in the ever changing medical world.
At the turn of the 20th century “Maltos-Cannabis” was widely available as a drink in Denmark and Norway. It was promoted as an excellent lunch drink especially for children and young people. Later in that century, it was investigated that smoking cannabis reduced intra ocular pressure. In 1955 the antibacterial properties were described at the University of Olomouc. Since1971 Lumir Andrej grew cannabis for his scientific research by the authority at the university and was used in the university hospital as a cure for aptha and haze.
In 1973 physician Tod H.Mikuriya published the Marijuana Medical Papers which concluded that marijuana reduces intraocular pressure , therefore preventing blindness in glaucoma patients.
Vietnam war veterans also found out that it helped in muscle spasms suffered from battle
In 1984 DR ALBERT LOCKARD and MANLEY WEST studied the heath benefits of the Jamaican community. It was discovered the Jamaicans had a very low glaucoma rate in 1987, the pharmaceutical drug CANASOL entered the market going on to receive the Jamaican order of merit.
In the 1970’s a synthetic version of THC was produced and approved for the use in the united states as the drug MARINOL in capsule form. Patients complained of violent nausea after chemotherapy. Smoking has remained the route of choice for many patients because of the difficulty of dosing in capsules. There is also a number of cannabinoids and other chemicals present in the dried plant material creates a synergy when smoked
Since 2013 and as of 2016 a review in the New England Journal of Medicine patients using Epidiolex reduced the number of seizures.