Traditional Use in Ancient India
Cannabis is well known to have been used in various ways in India for thousands of years. Written record of using cannabis as a medicine becomes apparent by the year 1050 CE, and various texts after that period provide significant detail about the effects and common usage. A particularly notable reference is from a Sanskrit text on Tantric alchemy containing about 6900 verses on herbs, yoga, and various treatment methods. This astounding work is called the Anandakanda, or “The Root of Bliss”. The text refers to a mixture of male and female cannabis as “Bhang” (pronounced similar to “bong”), and the female plant before pollination (no seeds) was called “Ganja”. It addition to listing various details of the plant including how to cultivate it, and how to prepare it, the Anandakanda states that when cannabis is added to medicine it enhances their effect. During this time in India, cannabis was consumed in various medicinal preparations, as well as being cooked into sweets and smoked in a straight clay pipe called a chillum.
Cannabis in Traditional Indian Herbal Medicine