Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Medical Use of Cannabis Among the Greeks and Romans

This article, which contains a complete survey of the sur-viving references to medical cannabis in Greek and Latin literature, up-dates the last serious treatment of the subject (Brunner 1973).Though it eventually became commonplace, cannabis seems to havebeen largely unknown to the Greeks in the fifth century BCE, when Herodotus wrote his description of the hempvapor-baths used by the ancient Scythians, which constitutes the earliest reference in Greek literature.

While its use in medicine is not attested until the first century CE, it was evidently well established by then. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder records several medical uses, but comparison with Greek writers suggests that he is sometimes mistaken, and there is no secure evidence for the medical use of cannabis by the Romans. Greek writers, on theother hand, report the use of cannabis in treating horses–especially fordressing sores and wounds–and in treating humans.

More at Scribd