Medical Cannabis: A plurimillennial history of an evergreen
The history of Cannabis goes along that of humankind, as speculated based on geographical and evolutionary models together with historic data collected to date. Its medical use is several thousand years old, as attested both by archeobotanical evidence of Cannabis remains and written records found in ancient texts from the sacred Vedic foundational texts of Ayurvedic medicine (about 800 before current era [BCE]) to the first known Pharmacopoea, the Chinese “Shen Nung Pen Ts’ao Ching” (1 century BCE). In this paper, we retrace the history of Cannabistraveling through the key stages of its diffusion among the most important ancient cultures up to our days, when we are facing a renaissance of its medical employment. We report through the centuries evidence of its use in numerous pathologic conditions especially for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anticonvulsing properties that support the requirement to direct our present research efforts into the definitive understanding of its efficacy.