Cannabis and history - Page 2

10 women of yesterday, today and for the ages who left their marks on cannabis culture

10 women of yesterday, today and for the ages who left their marks on cannabis culture

We often portray marijuana use in history as exclusively male, but nothing could be further from the truth; from ancient medieval herbalists, to society today, cannabis has been used to enhance women's well-being through the centuries.

And, while we still have a lot of work to do with regards to the legality and stigma surrounding this plant, today we introduce you to 10 famous and historic women who used cannabis to change their lives and those of others, thereby playing a crucial role in bringing its many benefits to light.

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The Vavilov Institute, the first seed bank in history

The Vavilov Institute, the first seed bank in history

In the heart of the city of St. Petersburg, just behind Saint Isaac's Cathedral, there is a building whose tsarist-era ministerial façade belies the importance of the collection housed behind its walls. Within, stacked under vaulted ceilings and in long hallways, wooden cabinets hold the seeds of hundreds of thousands of plant varieties, many of which have disappeared from their original habitat or growing areas. This is the Vavílov Institute, an institution already hailed as "the guardian of lost plants", a nickname that perfectly illustrates the role it plays as a defence against the new threats to global biodiversity posed by climate change, industrial agriculture, and globalisation.

More formally known as the Vavílov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR), this institution was founded in 1924 by botanist and geneticist Nikolai Vavílov, one of the first scientists to recognise the importance of conserving plant genetic resources. The institute is the oldest seed bank in the world and houses a priceless collection of more than 400,000 samples of different plant species. It is arguably the largest (and oldest) collection of plant genetics in existence, primarily in the form of meticulously catalogued seeds from all parts of our planet.

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What was the first thing sold online? Cannabis, of course!

What was the first thing sold online? Cannabis, of course!

When we think back to the early days of computers and the internet, we often imagine very primitive machines and systems that took hours to send a simple email. But it turns out that, from the very moment of genesis of the network of networks, there was one thing that people made sure could be bought and sold: cannabis.

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History of cannabis prohibition

History of cannabis prohibition

As we have already seen in earlier articles such as our post on the history of cannabis cultivation, the relationship between humans and this plant dates back millennia. Since time immemorial, this relationship has been characterised by humanity's exploitation of the various facets of cannabis use, from the social or recreational to the medicinal, not forgetting the textile and industrial, religious or spiritual uses.

However, since ancient times, this relationship has also been marked by the desire of some to prohibit its use, often as a simple tool to increase the control that the ruling classes hold over other, less favoured, classes of society. Today we invite you to delve into the history of cannabis prohibition and learn in more detail how it came to be established, practically on a global level, during the 20th century.

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Mexico and marijuana

Mexico and marijuana

Mexico is certainly one of the New World countries with the strongest tradition in cannabis cultivation and consumption. Sharing borders with the United States to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the south, this wonderful nation is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and enjoys such disparate climates that it’s possible to go from a desolated desert to a luxuriant rainforest brimming with life, in a matter of a few hours.

In fact, (although, as we will see, it's a widely contested theory) according to many sources, Mexico is the place where cannabis first arrived in the Americas. From there, it quickly spread both north and south, and to the Caribbean Sea islands off the east coast of Mexico. In this article, we take a deeper look into the history of this ancient plant in this beautiful land, which recently has been taking huge steps towards full regularization, and could become an example for many others.

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Spiritual, religious, and traditional use of cannabis

Spiritual, religious, and traditional use of cannabis

Since mankind first used cannabis it has always been considered as a holy or spiritual plant, thanks to the altered state of consciousness brought on by its consumption. For many religions, sects and creeds across the globe, the cannabis plant has become integral to the way rituals are celebrated and to the observance of religious tradition. We hope you enjoy this Alchimiaweb blog article where we'll take a look at a some of the most prominent religious, spiritual and traditional uses of cannabis.

Jamaica, Rastafarians and Cannabis

The Rastafarian faith began in Jamaica during the 1930s, created partly by Leonard Percival Howell who is considered the first Rastafarian in history. It was born partly from a social movement on the part of Jamaica's black working-class in rejection of the dominance of the white colonists and the middle-class, serving, in particular, to give pride back to the black people of Jamaica, the descendants of the slaves brought to the island.

The Rastafarian doctrine is not particularly strict and its followers often adapt it depending on how they personally perceive it. Some Rastafarians believe that Jesus Christ came back to Earth, reborn in the form of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I and as such consider him a representation of God (Jah) on Earth. The Rasta doctrine promotes or praises a return (spiritual or physical) of all black people to Africa and believes that Ethiopia represents Mount Zion or the Promised Land.

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The origins of blunts

The origins of blunts

Nowadays, it’s very usual to see someone rolling or smoking a cannabis cigarette wrapped in a tobacco leaf, as the popularity of this type of papers has skyrocketed over the last few years, thanks partly to the publicity - direct or indirect - given to it by many celebrities and figures from different backgrounds. In addition to this, as many of you might know, there are blunts with a wide range of aromas added to them, so apart from altering the smell of the content, they also make it considerably less of a giveaway.

However, this type of rolling leaf is a relatively novel product, since blunts go back decades to when people used to roll cannabis in tobacco leaves, or strip a cigar and use its outer cover as rolling paper. Today we are taking a closer look into the history of blunts, on a journey that will take us from the Caribbean in the 19th century to the cannabis dispensaries and clubs of the modern age.

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Thai sticks and cannagars

Thai sticks and cannagars

During the 1970s, the American cannabis scene discovered a new and revolutionary product originating from an exotic land: the Thai Stick. And while nowadays it might seem impossible, back then cannabis was a taboo subject in American culture, and very few people cultivated their own plants. In contrast, most of the weed they used came from the overseas market, particularly Central America and the Caribbean, but a large share of this marijuana cargo originated in Asia.

The explanation is simple: at the time, many hippies embarked on an adventure - that became known as the Hippie Hashish Trail - to visit some of the world's biggest cannabis and hashish producers, from Morocco to South East Asia, through countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, among others.

Naturally, drug-trafficking networks were soon established between all of these countries and the US as the cargo destination, mostly created by young American "tourists" with great entrepreneurial talent and very little interest in what could happen to them if they were caught.

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Cannabis in Afghanistan

Cannabis in Afghanistan
Landscape Mountains Rocky Rocks Afghanistan Valley

Afghanistan is a landlocked country in central Asia, wedged between the western foothills of the Hindu Kush and the deserts of Iran, is a country with one of the greatest traditions of cannabis cultivation and, more specifically, of hashish production. Since it is believed that cannabis originated thousands of years ago on the slopes of the Himalayas (home of the largest mountains in the world), today it seems obvious that this was one of the first places where this plant was cultivated in a controlled manner, although even now there is still some confusion as to what kind of varieties have been traditionally grown in this area, as well as the "emergence" of the Afghan genotype, or in other words, what we now refer to as Afghan varieties.

What is clear is that Afghanistan is one of the cradles of cannabis and especially of hashish, with a tradition that today represents what would probably be the world's oldest in terms of the development of hash. In addition, and according to the UNODC, in recent years Afghanistan has become the world's largest producer of this resin concentrate, surpassing Morocco and seeing the cultivation of cannabis gradually displace that of another traditional crop in the Golden Triangle area, that of opium.

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Origins of cannabis cultivation

Origins of cannabis cultivation

Where did cannabis originate?

Mankind and cannabis have maintained a close relationship throughout the History. Although scientific and archaeological evidence allows us to estimate the date and place where it originated, it is difficult to establish its exact place - and time - of origin.

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Origins and evolution of Moroccan hashish

Origins and evolution of Moroccan hashish

Origins of Moroccan hashish

Despite Moroccan hash is often considered an ancient, traditional product by many Europeans, the truth is that hashish culture in Morocco is relatively young, especially when compared to traditional producing countries of this cannabis concentrate. Indeed, while hashish production in areas like Middle East and Central Asia dates back centuries, this technique had not been used in Northern Africa until the second half of the 20th century, when Western travellers from the "Hippy Hashish Trail" brought the dry sieving technique to Morocco from Lebanon and Afghanistan.

These travellers - most of them coming from the USA - visited countries where cannabis, hashish, opium and other drugs were traditionally produced, enjoying the freedom that one could find back then in some places of the world. Lebanon, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India - and Kashmir - or Nepal were compulsory stops in this amazing and exotic route. That's where some of this travellers were taught about ancient techniques to produce dry sift, which were then improved to achieve industrial production levels. Soon after, some of these travellers visited Morocco and taught the locals about how to make hashish from cannabis plants and how to prepare it for export.

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History of the medicinal use of cannabis

History of the medicinal use of cannabis

Cannabis or marijuana has been accompanying mankind for more than 10,000 years, which has found the myriad of uses of this plant, either at recreational, medicinal or industrial level. The first evidences of cannabis were found in Asia, so it is not strange that the first written references we have about cannabis come from this area, especially from China and India.

Although the first traces of the use of hemp date back to about ten thousand years before Christ, the first written reference to its medicinal use is found quite later, around the year 2737 BC. Still, it isn't difficult to imagine that the therapeutic traits of cannabis had been discovered discovered rather earlier.

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About this Cannabis Blog

This is the official blog of Alchimia Grow Shop. This blog is intended exclusively for the use of adults over the age of 18 years.

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