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A Guide Through the History of Cannabis
Angela LydonDec 5, 2023 7:53:43 AM3 min read

A Guide Through the History of Cannabis

Cannabis is now widely used and sold legally in 2023, but this wasn’t always the case. Despite its decriminalization in 23 states in the country so far, it remained controversial for a long time and even by some still today. From its origination to its various uses today, we explore the historical timeline of cannabis throughout the globe. 

Where did cannabis originate from and when? 

It may be hard to believe that cannabis has been around for thousands of years. Research shows that cannabis originated in Central Asia and China. The cannabis plant grew in these areas prior to making its way into Africa, European countries, and America. Old records indicate that the culture of marijuana was quite different than what it is today. Communities did not grow, or use weed recreationally to get a high feeling but used it for more practical uses. Medicinal cannabis was used thousands of years ago according to discovered records, and hemp plants were great material to make rope and other helpful objects. Since the cultivation of marijuana was relatively simple, it was easy for other countries to start growing it. 

History of cannabis in the United States 

As the cannabis plant expanded across the globe, it ultimately came to the United States, primarily in Eastern states such as Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Since this was a time of trade, cannabis was grown on many people’s lands and used as a type of currency. While cannabis and hemp were used in textiles, ropes, and even paper, they began to become useful in the healthcare field. 

Legal regulations of cannabis across the country 

Some may question how cannabis became illegal after so many used it for various things. Some historians suggest that the criminalization of marijuana was tied to racism in the early 1900s, as it was used mostly in minority communities at the time. Because many African Americans and Mexican communities used marijuana, the government associated cannabis with negativity. By the late 1930s, over half the states in the country had made cannabis illegal. The Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937 making marijuana possession and sales a criminal offense. Over time, cannabis was seen as dangerous due to its mind-altering abilities and potentially adverse effects when smoking it. 

Today, as more studies and advancements in science are done, marijuana has more rapidly become accepted again. In 2023, 23 states have decriminalized marijuana where Americans can use marijuana recreationally, purchase products legally at dispensaries, and even grow a certain number of plants in their residence. 

Advances in other industries and the modern-day market 

In modern-day, cannabis can be found in many products in various industries. Cannabis has made great strides within cosmetics, food, beverages, and healthcare. Using marijuana, or CBD, in various forms and methods is said to promote calmness and reduce stress and anxiety overall. Many in the healthcare industry also claim that marijuana use can help manage pain from different physical conditions. 

The cannabis industry is worth billions today and is expected to continue expanding. To learn more about the industry and cultivation, click here today:

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Tikkanen, A. (2023). Why Is Marijuana Illegal in the U.S.? Britannica. Retrieved October 31, 2023, from,illegal%20across%20the%20United%20States.