A Historical past of Hashish and Girls's Well being


Colleen Fisher Tully March 5, 2020

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As a trophy-shaped organ that deserves such merit, the uterus does so much more than just human development. This muscle organ has its own nervous system, unique arterial networks and four types of ligaments. For 40 years (a.k.a. periods), the inner lining – the endometrium – is removed about every 28 days. It stretches to accommodate a growing fetus, contracts in active work to push the baby out, and then contracts further to shrink back to its original fist-sized shape.

All of these services of the uterus are remarkable, but they involve pain – a lot of pain – and this requires a healthy organ without complications. But like the rest of the human body, a uterus is designed with endocannabinoid receptors, making cannabis a solid option for anything that makes it sick. And for millennia, until the 20th century was banned, people have done just that.

Here are just a few of the recorded methods that cannabis has been used to treat uterine disease throughout history and how it is used today:

"Par excellence" for periods

Western doctors of the 19th century had a lot to say about cannabis and time problems. This was probably inspired by the reigning Queen Victoria, who reportedly had an evil rule.

It should also be noted that this timeframe coincides with the British Raj when zealous western doctors traveled across the Indian subcontinent and took centuries-old cannabis remedies.

periods of pain or dysmenorrhea

Although it is unfounded that she took cannabis herself, it is likely that Queen Victoria's painful periods were treated with tinctures made by her personal doctor, Sir John Russell Reynolds. After 30 years of working with the plant, he declared it useful among other things for cramps. "Indian hemp … is of great use for simple convulsive dysmennorhea."

Today, Kim Lam, scientific assistant at Apollo Cannabis Clinics when it comes to menstruation, says pain is the main reason why patients come in – and that cannabis definitely helps: “For physical cramps that occur in women, CBD is known to relax muscles and help with muscle spasms, ”she says. "Big focus on CBD here, but THC can also play a role in helping sleep and increasing the effects of CBD."

Difficult periods or Mennoraghia

Back in the Victorian era, the prestigious British Medical Journal (still in circulation today) published two consecutive letters in 1883 about treating heavy bleeding with cannabis.

The first doctor encouraged clinical trials only for period pains and wrote: "The errors are so small that I dare to call them specific to menorrhagia." The second doctor reported successes from his own practice in India, claiming cannabis tincture was "par excellence" for the treatment of major bleeding, and even boldly claimed that it helped doctors distinguish a bad period from an early miscarriage . For the latter, he said cannabis has no effect (a good thing if it's true).

Now that we know that unusually heavy bleeding (soaking a pad or tampon within an hour) can be a symptom of many different problems, from hormone imbalance to possibly cancer, it is important to see a doctor to do this find out the underlying problem instead of just treating the bleeding.


"Today we don't want cannabis to cross the placenta in any way, shape or form," says Dr. Arash Taghvai, clinical affairs manager at Apollo clinics. There are too many unknowns for the long-term health of a developing fetus. So you won't find a doctor distributing cannabis for nausea or swollen ankles – at least not in Canada and the United States. But a long time ago, cannabis was a common tool.

In his book Smoke Signals, Martin A. Lee writes that a long-standing folk remedy from Germanic regions consisted of "using branches of the powerful fiber over the belly and ankles of pregnant women to prevent cramps and a difficult birth". The ethnobotanist Dr. Ethan Russo quotes a 9th-century text from ancient Persia, Al-Aqrabadhin Al-Saghir, that mentions cannabis to "relieve uterine pain, prevent miscarriages, and keep fetuses in her mother's womb".

In the 19th century America, the doctor T.L. Wright claimed that cannabis was particularly helpful for vomiting during pregnancy, a serious condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which can endanger both the mother and the fetus (more recently by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge).

In 1862, he wrote: "I found the vomiting completely stopped by cannabis indica administered in repeated doses of three seeds every four hours until several doses were taken." But even here, cannabis is not recommended during pregnancy today.

Active work

Now clinically confirmed to relieve pain, it makes sense that cannabis has historically been widely used to ease painful births. Ebers Papyrus, a passage in the ancient Egyptian medical text from 1500 BC BC, describes cannabis as medicine for active work. Roman elite women (around 600 BC to AD 500) are also said to have used cannabis to relieve labor pains.

In 1992, the remains of a 14-year-old girl from the 4th century were found in a cave outside of Jerusalem. When researchers discovered that she died at birth, they also found ashes in her abdomen that contained THC. They concluded that she was inhaling cannabis to help with the likely painful job.

Back in Victorian England, Sir Alexander Christison studied cannabis extensively and published in 1851 that it "increased the power of uterine contraction", contributed to the enlargement of the cervix, did not induce sleep, worked quickly and that "Indian hemp can often prove essential in promoting uterine contraction during lengthy work. "In 1854, The Dispensatory of the United States found that cannabis could accelerate childbirth without anesthesia, while a South African herbalist was documented as an obstetrician in 1906 by" anesthetizing his patient with a lot of dagga smoking ".

However, both Lam and Taghvai at the Apollo Clinic are certain that cannabis is not a safe option during active labor due to the unknown effects on mother and child. "Research for this is also difficult," adds Lam. "We don't want to endanger anyone."

"Organic disaster"

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Early medicine would not have known much about fibroids, endometriosis, uterine polyps, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or even cancer, and 19th-century doctors neatly summarized all uterine growth and irregularities as "organic disaster". . However, this has not stopped the treatment of mysterious uterine pain over the centuries – in the book of tabernaemontanus, a medical text from 1564 from Germany, it says: "Women who bend over due to a womb disease should stand up again after inhaling the smoke stand by burning cannabis. "

A reference by Muhammad Riza Shirwani from Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, dates from the 17th century and treats uterine tumors with hemp oil. Dr. Grailey Hewitt, former president of the Obstetrical Society of London, published a medical text in 1872 advocating cannabis for uterine cancer, painful periods, and heavy bleeding. He went on to compare cannabis to other pain relievers of the time, such as belladonna, opium and chloroform, and called "Indian hemp" a better option.

For Lam, cannabis is an effective treatment for uterine pain, especially endometriosis. "We see so many endometriosis patients using cannabis in different forms for their symptoms," she says, noting that vaginal suppositories are very popular in treating symptoms. Although clinical evidence is still limited – and suppositories are not yet available in Canada – the anecdotal evidence from patients reporting relief is encouraging. According to Taghvai, the use of suppositories will not cause euphoria because cannabis is not metabolized by the liver.


The word "menopause" was not used until 1821, when a French doctor coined the term. Previously, doctors and healers treated strange conditions that could be related to menopause, such as hysteria, furor uterine, wandering uterus and vapors. However, menopause such as sleeplessness, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness were usually not registered until later as symptoms of a major change in life.

Up to 1924, the Analytic Cyclopedia of the forgotten American medical association Sajou recommended cannabis as an analgesic for all menopause. Earlier in Boston, the doctor J.W. Farlow published his recommendations for cannabis in 1889 to alleviate more detailed menopausal symptoms: "excitement, irritability and pain in the bladder neck, hot flashes and cold". Farlow's recipe was a rectal cannabis suppository that he also recommended to unmarried women with period pain (and yet he prescribed vaginal suppositories to married women of childbearing age -?).

Today, Taghvai describes menopause as a series of conditions that affect the body due to an estrogen deficiency. "THC or CBD won't help with this hormone, but they will help with symptomology," he explains. "When patients say they have very bad days, migraines, mood swings, temperature fluctuations – all of these things can be controlled, blunted, and assisted in using cannabis-based medicines." He says that when menopause takes time, the unwanted symptoms eventually go away and need no treatment. "The body will return to homeostasis, and until that happens, cannabis can help."

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Colleen Fisher Tully is a freelance writer and editor with current work in the areas of Clean Eating, Today & # 39; s Parent, The Walrus and Local Love. She posted random thoughts on Twitter @colleenftully