The partnership of Cannabis and man has existed now probably for ten thousand years — since the discovery of agriculture in the Old World. One of our oldest cultivars, Cannabis has been a five- purpose plant: as a source of hempen fibres; for its oil; for its akenes or ‘seeds,’ consumed by man for food; for its narcotic properties; and therapeutically to treat a wide spectrum of ills in folk medicine and in modern pharmacopoeias.
Plants of the Gods: The Nectar of Delight by Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hoffman takes a look at the intimate relationship humans have had with this plant for thousands of years. I had no idea how central marijuana was to Tibetan Buddhism. Schultes, ethnobotanist and, as best I can tell, father of ethno- (and recreational- and sacramental-) pharmacology passed away on April 10. I guess I didn’t notice because I had not heard of the man before I happened across Ethel the Blog’s link-packed Schultes obituary.