The Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures. The oldest known written record on cannabis use comes from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C. The first written record of the plant in South Africa is by Jan van Riebeeck, who ordered officers of the Voorman to purchase “daccha” in Natal for trade with the Khoikhoi.
Cannabis and its psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, are considered incredibly safe for human consumption. There has never been a death recorded from the use of cannabis. In fact, many studies show it is physically impossible for a human to die from a Cannabis overdose.
The documented use of Cannabis as a safe and effective therapeutic botanical dates to 2700 BC. Between 1840 and 1900, European and American journals of medicine published more than 100 articles on the therapeutic use of cannabis. In fact, cannabis was part of the American pharmacopoeia until 1942, and is currently available by prescription in Canada, the Netherlands, Israel, and Germany.
Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana/medical dagga, is cannabis and cannabinoids that are recommended by doctors for their patients. The use of Cannabis as medicine has not been rigorously tested due to production restrictions and other governmental regulations. Limited evidence suggests Cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and reduce chronic pain and muscle spasms.
Modern research suggests that Cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief — particularly neuropathic pain — nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis work together synergistically to help protect the body against some types of malignant tumours.
Cannabis can be administered through a variety of methods, including capsules, lozenges, tinctures, dermal patches, cannabis edibles, and vaporizing or smoking dried buds.
The diagrams below show the cannabis/dagga effects each species may produce.
A hybrid or Sativa/Indica cross may produce a combination of effects.