Cannabis appeared in history as early as 10,200 years ago, in Okinoshima, Japan. Some pollen-dating even suggests that cannabis may have been an early hop variety that evolved to have high THC levels, to cope with extreme environments. Some of the earliest written records from China, document most uses as, primarily, medicinal; highlighted in Pen-ts’ ao Ching, the first Chinese pharmacopeia. In the 17th century, cannabis made its way into Western culture, pioneered by Irish physician, William O’Shaughnessy and Italian doctor, Raffaele Valieri. Valieri would suggest to his patients smoking hemp for symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain, migraine and asthma, based on his studies of the findings of William O’Shaughnessy’s earlier work, in India.
In 1925, the world’s relationship with cannabis began to shift, with the International Opium Convention banning cannabis for anything other than medical and scientific uses. The United Kingdom soon outlawed cannabis, in 1928 and, within a decade, the U.S. followed suit. Recently, more countries have begun to legalize cannabis, including Canada and some American states. In 2019, New Zealand, too, deemed hemp appropriate for human consumption and legalized medical cannabis consumption in early 2020.