Medical cannabis (also called medical marijuana) is the Cannabis sativa, and, by extension, all types of phytocannabinoids for purely medical use, commonly prescribed for their antiemetics effect.
To date, given the evolution of scientific knowledge in the field of cannabinoids, the pharmaceutical use of hemp is increasingly tolerated or legal in a growing number of countries: United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and such states as Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC. This usage requires either an order or a confirmation of medical diagnosis. The rules of the drug distribution are defined within local jurisdiction: pharmacies in the Netherlands, Compassion Clubs in Canada, Buyers Club in the United States, Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain.
The history of the use of therapeutic cannabis is difficult to trace, especially because the laws regulating the production, distribution, possession and consumption are relatively recent, and the distinction between medical and recreational use is even more. Some Egyptologists indicate the reference to “medical marijuana” in ancient Egyptian manuscripts. There is also mention of cannabis in several ancient Chinese and Indians texts, especially in the Shen Nung Pen Tsao king, the oldest collection dealing with medicinal plants, attributed to Emperor Shennong. Cannabis was prescribed as an effective drug against vomiting and nausea, infectious diseases, parasites and bleeding. The rediscovery by the West of therapeutic cannabis is generally attributed to Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who in 1831 published in British medical journal The Lancet his intravenous injection method electrolytes in solution to treat cholera. His discovery made him a name in India, where he studied various traditional medicinal plants, including opium. From the late 1830s, he experimented with various concoctions of hemp and its effects on patients including rheumatism, hydrophobia, cholera, and tetanus. He published his experiences and findings after his return to England in 1841, where he brought back specimens of hemp and Strychnos nux-vomica for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Numerous articles on different species of cannabis are published in Europe and North America during the second half of the nineteenth century. The therapeutic use of cannabis and hashish was common in the United States until the 1930s, and appeared officially in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1851. It was usually prescribed as a pain reliever, sedative, antispasmodic, or antiemetic.
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