How Scientists Tested Cannabis Medicines in the Old Days

Edward Dodge

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Image via The Antique Cannabis Book
As efforts for cannabis legalization heat up, prohibitionists are quick to say that we need more research in order to know if cannabis is safe. Prohibitionists always seem to overlook that society has had a long history with cannabis and it is generally the federal government that has prevented adequate research from being done.
Cannabis use goes back thousands of years and it was a common pharmaceutical in the U.S. and Europe for a century, from the 1830s until the 1930s. Hundreds of articles were published in medical journals during the era that consistently reflect the same results we find today for medical cannabis uses, including treatments for epilepsy, digestion, sleep, pain, and more. The unpleasant effects from overdoses were well-documented in the 1800s, as well as the lack of fatalities those overdoses ever caused. Doctors were quite consistent in their views that cannabis is a fairly mild drug offering minimal toxicity, no buildup of tolerance or dependence, and overall being relatively safe.
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