In recent years, many mothers have come into contact with the cannabis world through the search for treatment and information, whether for their own needs or for their children and family.
That's why we, here at Linha Canabica, want to bring more and more accessible and detailed knowledge – and show how Cannabis is not a seven-headed bug.
Today, on Mother's Day, we will know a little about the history of the women (and goddesses) who explored this plant around the world. I bet you didn't even imagine this journey. Let's go?
from the ancient world
Cannabis has been with humanity for so long that we've lost count. Some estimates speak of 6000 BC, others of 10,000 BC – even records from 25000 BC have already been associated with the plant. This shows us that, unfortunately, much of the human history with marijuana may have been lost in time – it was so widespread in different societies that it is difficult to trace an exact path. It would be the same as asking “when did we start walking upright?” . Look, if there's one thing scientists agree on, it's that there's time, you see.
Magu – China (hair minus 2000 BC)
Part of Chinese Taoist mythology has survived in modern texts, and a certain woman appears hundreds of times. Called Magu (麻姑) , the entity is represented by a young girl who carries several plants - associated with immortality and the cure of all ills. Magu literally means “hemp maiden” – Ma (麻) is the ideogram for Cannabis in several variations of the language.
Unsurprisingly, the Chinese knew about hemp – particularly its use for fiber and rope. But the Chinese pharmacopoeias as early as 500-200 BC present their effects against “nausea” and “infertility”.
Like many other plants, it is likely that its therapeutic properties were first discovered and applied by women in the Neolithic period – although the dating is hazy. But the association of Cannabis with the female world and Magu continues to this day – a quick conversation with any taxi driver in Taiwan in 2021 can sum up the “goddess” story in detail.
Ishtar – Mesopotamia – (at least 3000 BC)
Depiction of Ishtar (1800-1700 BC), today in the British Museum.
Ishtar or Inanna is a figure from Sumerian and Akkadian mythology that starts out being little venerated, but quickly becomes massively present as it arrives 400-200 BC It is an entity connected to women - but mainly to the strength of combat, as would be Aphrodite in the tradition greek. They share the owl in symbology.
Whether in the Assyrian or Akkadian world, there are thousands of mentions of Ishtar and her power over fertility, sex and war. There is no separation between success in the spiritual and material world at that time, the battle is also always in the other world.
The medicinal use of cannabis in Sumer is recognized by Assyriologists, who debate more extensively about its duration rather than its presence. Even though most of the use was for making fiber, the presence of references to the plant in medical writings is no exception. And the gods also appear on these tablets.
Inanna would probably be one of the goddesses who would act on the healing and reproduction of women, referencing numerous herbs and incense. She appears as an older woman and often acts against the other gods with great insight.
Childbirth, colic and inflammation – Egypt (4000 BC onwards)
Manuscript from the Ebers Papyrus (1500 BC), Egyptian herbarium and medical manual. Marijuana appears explicitly in this text. University of Leipzig.
In Egypt, the use of cannabis specifically for mothers was a constant – at least that's what the medical texts excavated to date point out.
More than one historical document points to an accurate description of cannabis in labor and also to the cramping and nausea of pregnancy. Some manuals indicate a mixture of herbs that should be inserted into the vaginal canal to facilitate dilation and delivery of the unborn child. This pad could also be used as a form of pain relief. Even for the treatment of hemorrhoids of different origins, this technique was pointed out.
Other later texts cite the classical use of ropes and fabrics, including a certain treatment for tiredness and eye pain. Interestingly, today the treatment of glaucoma with the plant is already established and proven.
In fact, perhaps the presence of cannabis in Egypt has even more implications. A still unsolved mystery is the relationship of the goddess Seshat (linked to astronomy, writing) with her characteristic symbol, which usually appears above her head. Egyptologists still debate its meaning, which may have numerous connections. He appears in various hieroglyphics and depictions of Seshat.
Queens of England – Elizabeth I and Victoria (16th and 19th centuries)
Taking a historic leap to modern England, we find two queens of England who used Cannabis in different contexts. The first lived in the time of Shakespeare and shipping – the second in the industrial and conservative Victorian dawn .
Elizabeth does not seem to have left any heirs, demonstrated by her nickname "the virgin". Still, her reign was marked by the flourishing of Shakespearean drama, who also smoked weed like many others. It even forced all farmer settlers in North America to plant hemp for the navy, a practice of extreme economic importance.
But the really interesting story is of the other queen – Victoria (1819-1901) reigned in an era of booming global trade through colonial exploitation and industry. As a result, the first pharmaceutical medical preparations arrived in European metropolises, many of them with active ingredients from plants that were originally from the colonial conquest.
The queen appears to have experienced many period pains throughout her life that were exacerbated by pregnancy sickness – and there is a chance she was treated with cannabis.
It is speculated that the excessive pain involves, at some level, the internal marriages made between noble families, which can generate congenital problems and risk maternity. Several of Victoria's children came from her marriage to her cousin.
And for the medicine of the time, one of the answers was marijuana. The physician Sir J. Reynolds who treated the court was a staunch proponent of medicinal use at the time, as were many physicians and associations. He only worked for the crown after Victoria's 60th birthday - but it's not unlikely that before him others had prescribed a tincture of cannabis for the queen's pains. These drugs were seen as a pride of European civilization at the time, as they represented the conquest of science, the world and the “barbarian peoples”.
The health and well-being agenda for women and mothers has gained space in recent times. Even more so in the cannabis world, when products are already being developed internationally specifically aimed at the most diverse needs. Products ranging from intimate health to skin care, including creams, essences…
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