The medicinal uses of cannabis are illustrated in the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum by several displays which include original medicine bottles, apothecary kits, and even a box of prescription cannabis from 1925, complete with its original herbal contents!
The discovery of the medicinal properties of cannabis is undoubtedly linked to humankind's earliest utilisation of the plant: eating the highly nutritious seeds. Cannabis seeds develop inside pollinated female flowers and these flowers are also the richest source of the plant's medicinally valuable and psychoactive cannabinoids (THC among them). Thus, it is likely that, the therapeutic benefits of cannabis were the next properties of the plant to be discovered by humans.
Both of these important properties were available to early humans, even from uncultivated cannabis. From this point on, cannabis became one of the most widely used medicinal substances in the world. This remained so until the 1930s when the sudden prohibition of cannabis led to a fifty year hiatus in its use as a medicine. In recent decades there has been a rediscovery of the natural advantages offered by cannabis in the a treatment of a wide range of diseases and disorders.
Modern research continues to uncover yet more therapeutic applications for cannabis. The human brain contains cannabinoid receptors for the endocannabinods naturally produced by the body.
More recently, receptors for these endocannabinoids have been identified in the gut, spleen and throughout the human body. It has been discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating and protecting the human brain and body, which opens a world of new possibilities for treatment.
Legislation in many countries has been revised to allow cannabis to be prescribed as a legitimate medicine, although there is still a long way to go before full advantage can be taken of the healing properties of this remarkable plant.