Cannabis has been used for
medicinal purposes for centuries. The word
"cannabis" is derived from Cannabis sativa, the
name of the marijuana (hemp) plant.
Cannabis as a medicine was common throughout most of the world in the 1800s. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin. Modern medical and scientific inquiry began with doctors like O'Shaughnessy and Moreau de Tours, who used it to treat melancholia, migraines, and as a sleeping aid, analgesic and anticonvulsant.
By the time the United States
banned cannabis (the third country to do so)
with the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, the plant was
no longer extremely popular.
Marijuana is made from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. The potency of marijuana depends on the method of preparation. Ganja is about three times more potent than marijuana, while hashish is five to eight times more potent.