Cannabis inspired beliefs, trends and movements from all around the world

Published May 17, 2019 10:40 a.m. ET
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Despite the fact that legal marijuana use across society today is a relatively new and exciting concept, it has been used and enjoyed for literally thousands of years. Starting from long before any type of plant specific laws even existed. Different cultures from around the world have historically used the marijuana plant for smoking, teas, tinctures, ointments, vaping, edibles, religious sacrament, spiritual connection, and so much more. There is even an entire religion that still exists today, that is based around the values of Christians while being combined with marijuana use as a way of creating a feeling of community.

Since people have long enjoyed smoking weed, or grinding up marijuana plants for various uses, it’s no surprise that worldwide trends, beliefs, and movements have all shifted to accommodate and reflect on the importance of the cannabis species. Here are five weed inspired beliefs, trends, and movements that are still well and alive today.

1. Marijuana use as a medicine

The oldest, and perhaps, most influential and inspiring of all the cannabis themed movements here is the move to use the marijuana plant as a medicine. The absolute oldest confirmed reference to cannabis being used as medicine dates back to 2900 BC. It includes a statement from the Chinese Emperor who refers to the marijuana plant and its medical uses being superior in strength, efficiency, and accessibility at the time. Today, we have hundreds of companies who are vying for a top spot in the lucrative medical marijuana product market with products like Sativex, and THC capsules to heal pain and treat other uncomfortable and often debilitating symptoms in patients. With many more on the horizon, as further cannabis research ensues.

2. 420 holiday

The origins behind the term 420 are very different than those that reference political protests. 420 is believed to have been started by a group of teens in the 1970s who used it to secretly call each other's attention to their weekly gathering which searched for an abandoned pot plant every week after school. Although, as far as we can tell, April 20th has since then, been a popular day and time for stoners to gather. Originally it began as a public protest of cannabis laws which had been in place for decades. As marijuana use became more popular, people all over the world began to protest it’s illegal status by hosting large peaceful gatherings full of smoking weed and advocating for the cause. Now that cannabis is legal in many parts of the world, these types of protests have turned into more commercialized celebrations that companies are more than happy to encourage as they cash in on their existence.

3. Marijuana festivals

Cannabis themed festivals sound an awful lot like 420 gatherings, but the two are mutually exclusive because of one essential difference. Some of the world’s longest running marijuana festivals are more based on religion and connection with those who have come to pass. For example, India has one of the longest running cannabis themed festivals in the world, and its purpose is meant as a form of celebration as well as one of religious sacrament. They believe that marijuana use allows for a closer connection to the gods, and a better chance at experiencing a divine interruption. This old tradition, as well as 420 protests,  have been slowly combined and elaborated on resulting in one massive commercialized celebration of the marijuana plant that takes place all over the world, even today.

4. Cannabis edibles

The oldest marijuana edibles makers that we are aware of started in India making Bhang which is a popular cannabis infused tea that is used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Eating marijuana in India dates back as far as 1000 BCE, and it is believed to be even older still. This tea slowly evolved into much more elaborate infused concoctions resulting in the wide range of cannabis edibles and recipes we now have available today. This trend doesn’t seem to be losing steam either, with Canada set to legalize edibles in October of 2019 it seems that everyone wants in on this incredibly powerful method of ingestion.

5. Smoking weed

Smoking weed is the oldest known use for the marijuana plant, and it’s been done for centuries by people all over the globe for both medicinal and recreational purposes. One of the oldest most popular referenced is peace pipes that the native American used as a tool in important debates, conversations, and gatherings. Nowadays, cannabis is used very much in the same way, with both medical and recreational reasons behind the 18% of the population that enjoys a little buzz from time to time.

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