Marijuana illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cultural history of marijuana 

One of the most controversial and talked about topics over the course of recent human history has been marijuana and its consumption. It has been the topic of debate for a number of years now as it was always considered a drug that could be potentially dangerous to a person’s health, much like any chemical drug might do. 

All of this controversy led to the recreational use of marijuana being banned practically worldwide, and the medicinal use only available to those who were absolutely desperate for it. Today, many states in America have legalised both just the medicinal use and even the recreational use as well, making the market grow insanely and be massively successful. This has led to exciting new inventions for those with an interest in the marijuana culture, like vaporizers, electric grinders, or even electric dab rigs. While people may know these basic facts, they might not know the actual cultural history that comes surrounding marijuana, so if you want to learn more, here is some information about the cultural history of marijuana. 

Ancient times

Marijuana, also known as weed, cannabis, or pot, has an incredibly long history that could consider it to be an ancient drug. Most countries and cultures didn’t intend to grow the plant and make use of it in order to feel a high, but rather for medicinal purposes. It is said that it was most likely to have been discovered somewhere in Asia all the way around 500 BC. 

Earlier hemp plants are known to be native to Asia and are slightly different to the cannabis plants that we make use of today that have been specially grown with different strains to feel different and more intense highs. Typically, beyond its medicinal use, hemp fibre was used to make paper, clothes, and ropes and even provide food from the seeds. 

It has also been seen to have been used ceremonially with the graves of shamans in both Siberia and china having burned cannabis seeds in them, dating all the way back to 500BC

The 19th century

Moving forward with technology and research, in the early 1800s an Irish doctor who was studding in India discovered that marijuana extracts would help people with severe stomach pain and nausea who were likely suffering from cholera. Throughout the 1800s these extracts were sold by doctors and pharmacies all over Europe and the USA as treatment but there were problems that had been noticed. 

Through further research is was discovered that the source of the problems was THC, a chemical compound within the marijuana plant that has psychoactive properties. Before this discovery, marijuana was considered a miracle plant that as curing people of all sorts of ailments. 

The 20th century

Moving in to the 20th century, this is when things started going downhill for the marijuana industry with the Marijuana tax Act being imposed in 1937 as a way to heavily tax those who sell, are in possession, or use marijuana and ultimately ban the product. Later on in the 1900s there was a big stigma placed around the use of marijuana classifying it as a drug in the same category as that of heroine, LSD, and cocaine, all of which are chemical that can be harmful to the body. 

With every single part of the marijuana plant now being illegal, some people lost their means of natural medication and had to go through a lengthy process and fight in order to get the right to at least have marijuana for medicinal purposes. To this day, some places will still only allow people to buy marijuana from dedicated dispensaries and only if they have a medical marijuana card allowing them to do so. 

2021

2021 has seen the insane growth of the marijuana market practically worldwide. Today, there are states all over the US and countries around the world that have started to legalise the recreational use of marijuana. Now, because we are living in a time where technology is ever evolving and research is more easily done than ever, there are so many new and innovative ways to consume marijuana and so many different accessories available on the market for cannabis lovers to make use of and try out. 

There are many different methods of delivery from oral, to inhalation, to even topical. With all this, there are more and more health benefits being discovered almost daily making marijuana a great alternative to modern medicine and for those who would rather be using something more natural. 

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Born and raised in Detroit with four siblings. Vaughn Lowery graduated Cornell University's ILR School. He is a former Vibe Magazine Intern, Saks Fifth Avenue Executive Trainee, Aetna Account Manager, and Partner of WPI PR & Marketing. As an international talent, he has extensively worked and lived on four continents: North America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Some of his notable clients include: GAP, Marc Ecko, Old Navy, Skechers, Nordstrom, Dasani Water, Elle Magazine and L'Uomo Vogue. He is best known for his TV appearances on America's Next Top Model, Scrubs and as the exclusive Spokesperson for JOE BOXER. Vaughn's first leading film role in "The Young & Evil" was an official selection of Sundance. He's the grandson of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery; and is a prominent member of Alpha Phi Alphi Fraternity, Incorporated (Alpha Chapter).

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