Up until that time, however, nobody thought twice about cannabis, which was readily available at pharmacies, and could be freely grown by anyone without fear of arrest or imprisonment. It was only when "reefer madness" suddenly hit the scene and started to spread like a plague that this miraculous, seed-bearing plant was deemed "evil" by government entities that, right around this time and not coincidentally, began pushing synthetic pharmaceuticals as the "new" medicine.
By making cannabis "illegal," governments of the West paved the way for Big Pharma to take over and declare its poisons as the only safe and effective medicine out there – "medicine" that, in some cases, was derived and synthesized from the very same cannabis plant that, under Schedule I designation, was deemed to have no legitimate medical use.
"Banned in England, Canada and the U.S. in the 1930s, medical cannabis represents the first casualty in a war against natural medicine waged by the pharmaceutical industry," writes Dr. Jeffrey Dach, M.D., for GreenMedInfo about the history of cannabis.
"Even today research efforts are suppressed by our own government. Over the last two decades, there have been major scientific breakthroughs in cannabis research outside the U.S. in Israel, Spain, Italy and Brazil. These breakthroughs have made cannabis 'the wonder drug of the 21st century.'"
It wasn't until Dr. Raphael Mechoulam from Israel came on the scene that cannabis began to shed its reputation as a "deadly drug." Widely considered to be the greatest cannabis researcher of all time, Dr. Mechoulam was the first to identify tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in cannabis back in 1964 – and the rest is history.
Dr. Mechoulam is also credited with identifying the first endogenous, or produced by the human body, endocannabinoid, known as Anandamide, in 1992. Anandamide is a sanskrit word that appropriately translates into English as the word "bliss."
Perhaps not surprisingly, Dr. Mechoulam discovered that a variety of other plants had also been targeted by Big Pharma at the very same time that drug companies were producing synthetic imposters from their primary active constituents. Two of these that you're probably familiar with are the coca plant, from which cocaine is derived, as well as the opium plant, from which heroin and other opiates are derived.
"The three major illicit drugs derived from plants were then (at the beginning of my career), and still are, opium, coca and cannabis," stated Dr. Mechoulam when asked why he chose to devote his entire life to studying the biochemistry of cannabis.
"Morphine had been isolated from opium early in the 19th century and structure elucidated in the 1920s by Robert Robinson. Cocaine was isolated from coca leaves in the middle of the 19th century and structure described by Richard Willstatter in the last decade of the 19th century. I believe that the cannabinoids represented a medicinal treasure trove which waits to be discovered."
As enraging as it's sure to be, the sordid history of cannabis and how it was taken away from the people in exchange for synthetic pharma pills is fascinating, and you can read more about it at GreenMedInfo.com.
You can also learn more about the anti-cancer benefits of cannabis by reading this article.
Sources for this article include: