Mankind has a very long history with the cannabis plant, which has been cultivated for thousands of years for its use as medicine, food, fiber, fuel, building supplies, clothing, paper, and so much more. Hemp rope was found in ancient pottery dating back to 10,000 years ago, and there is evidence of cannabis seeds being used as food in China in 6000 BC. The first documented reference to cannabis as medicine was in 2727 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen Neng.
From its origins in central Asia, cannabis spread to the rest of the world. The plant made its way to the American colonies in the early 1600s and became a popular crop. America’s Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson even grew hemp, which was used for textiles. The ropes and sails of the sailing ships and vessels at the time were made of hemp/canvas. Canvas, in fact, comes from the word cannabis.
It was only until recent history, about a hundred years ago, that the cannabis plant was declared illegal in the United States. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was the first federal U.S. law to prohibit the production of hemp and cannabis. Thirty years later, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 repealed the Marijuana Tax Act and classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug with no medical uses and a high potential for abuse.
But, public opinion about the cannabis plant and its varied used is evolving again. In 1996, the state of California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use by people with severe or chronic illnesses. Today, 29 states, including Florida, have legalized cannabis in some form.
At Tetra Health Centers, we understand the powerful medical benefits of cannabis, and we are committed to removing the stigma that surrounds it.