Hemp or Cannabis in Ancient Greece and Rome

The image of an intoxicated ancient world goes against the idea that moderation was the key to life. By Dr. Alan SumlerProfessor, Modern Languages DepartmentUniversity of Colorado Denver The ancient Greeks and Romans used hemp fiber for their boat sails, ropes, wicker-work, clothes, and shoes. Although no piece of Classical scholarship has focused on hemp[…]

Ancient Peoples and Psychoactive Plants

Our early ancestors had complex relationships with psychoactive plants. By Dan Reist, Nicole Bodner, and Rielle Capler Early Humans and the Earth Like modern humans, early humans had a range of built-in desires—a desire to live in groups, a desire for fun or relief from daily struggles, and a desire to understand and prosper in[…]

Drug Addiction in the Hellenic Armed Forces in the Early 20th Century

The use of narcotics gradually emerged as a serious social problem in the 20th century. By Dr. Lazaros Vladimiros (Department of History of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Athens University), Dr. Aristidis Diamantis (Department of History of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Athens University), Dr. Apostolos Beloukas (Office for the Study of History of Hellenic Naval Medicine,[…]

Historical and Cultural Aspects of Man’s Relationship with Addictive Drugs

For certain people, addictive substances are the pillar of society – not only now, in the modern age, but also in times past. Nowadays, addictive substances (mainly drugs, but not limited to them) are used to enhance social experiences. However, in the past, such substances were often used for religious and medicinal purposes. Opium, for[…]

Opium Use in 19th-Century Britain: The Roots of Moralism in Shaping Drug Legislation

Prior to the 1868 Pharmacy Act, which restricted the sale of opium to pharmacists, opium was widely available, typically purchased at the grocer. By Dr. Stephanie NgYale School of Medicine The topic of addiction in psychiatry remains contentious, riddled with moral arguments that skew public sentiment and policy. Since the 1970s, when a “War on[…]

Kratom: Science and the Risks and Benefits of a Controversial Herb

Kratom, which has been linked to many deaths in the U.S., has been grown in Southeast Asia for centuries for tea. Why the ill effects now? By Dr. Christopher R. McCurdyProfessor of Medicinal ChemistryUniversity of Florida College of PharmacyUniversity of Florida Introduction Kratom, a traditional Southeast Asian herbal medicine from the leaves of the tropical[…]

Cannabidiol: CBD Oil For Anxiety Demystified

There have been talk of the beneficial properties of CBD oil for depression and neurosis for years. This popular cannabidiol is used in the treatment of inflammation, nervousness, has antidepressant, and even anti-cancer and anxiolytic properties. It is worth convincing yourself to him. CBD oil – a handful of basic facts Cannabidiol CBD is one[…]

18th-Century Medicinal Balsams, Gums, and Resins from the Indies to Madrid

Transporting plants and their by-products by long transoceanic voyages was a complex operation during the 18th century. By Dr. Marcelo Fabián FigueroaProfessor of HistoryUniversidad Nacional de Tucumán-UNTInstituto Superior de Estudios SocialesConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas-ISES/CONICET Introduction This paper studies the administrative, legal and scientific instructions issued by the Spanish Ministry of the Indies[…]

From Poison Peddlers to Civic Worthies: Apothecaries in Georgian England

Examining the slow transition whereby reputable practitioners differentiated themselves from ‘quacks’. Abstract Trust is not automatically granted to providers of professional services. The doctors of Georgian England were, by later standards, deficient in medical knowhow, particularly before the mid-nineteenth-century scientific understanding of antiseptics, and much satirised. Nonetheless, the emergence of a coherent medical profession indicates[…]

Masters of Healing: Cocaine and Victorian Medicine

The relationship between cocaine and medical practitioners in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain. Introduction Cocaine is often understood as one of a number of potentially addictive substances to which Victorian physicians and surgeons were regularly exposed, and tempted to indulge in. However, while cocaine has frequently been associated with discourses of addiction, this article[…]

Cannabis: The Origins and Its Use over Time

Marijuana has been in the news for quite a while, which has made many people wonder why there is so much controversy around this drug. It started with researchers wanting people to benefit from the plant as ancient civilizations did. Nowadays, it’s being used for political agendas, business, and other reasons. To get a better[…]

The Mysterious History of ‘Marijuana’ in the United States

Throughout the 19th century, news reports and medical journal articles almost always use the plant’s formal name, cannabis. By Matt Thompson Introduction Marijuana has been intertwined with race and ethnicity in America since well before the word “marijuana” was coined. The drug, my colleague Gene Demby recently wrote, has a disturbing case of multiple personality[…]

Early Evidence of Cannabis Smoking Found on Chinese Artifacts

The findings are some of the earliest evidence of cannabis used as a drug. People have been smoking pot to get high for at least 2,500 years. Chinese archaeologists found signs of that when they studied the char on a set of wooden bowls from an ancient cemetery in western China. The findings are some[…]

Brilliant Visions: Peyote among the Aesthetes

Used by the indigenous peoples of the Americas for millennia, it was only in the last decade of the 19th century that the powerful effects of mescaline began to be systematically explored by curious non-indigenous Americans and Europeans. This looks at one such pioneer, Havelock Ellis, who along with his small circle of fellow artists[…]

Rum, Hookers, and Smuggling: The Secret Story of Coolidge’s Visit to Cuba

By Christopher Woolf In 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Coolidge was known as Silent Cal, a dour New Englander; an old fashioned puritan and a dedicated enforcer of Prohibition. So what was he doing in fun-filled Havana? He had a two-fold mission: to[…]

A Brief History of the Pharmacy in the United States

Today’s status of the profession and those who practice it results from an evolution over thousands of years. Introduction The statement that “What is past is prologue” [1] appears on the base of Robert Aitken’s sculpture “The Future” outside the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. This is to remind us that we should study[…]