A Brief History of Cannabis in America - Shop CBD Kratom

A Brief History of Cannabis in America

Cannabis is a plant rich with history and diverse uses, and has been cultivated in America for centuries. The origins can be traced back to its introduction by early settlers and its subsequent integration into various aspects of American society. From its early uses in textiles and medicine to the evolving laws surrounding its cultivation and consumption, the story of cannabis in America is fascinating.

Coming to America

Cannabis’ introduction to America can be attributed to the early European settlers who brought the plant with them as they established colonies. Hemp, a variety of cannabis, was one of the first crops cultivated by the settlers due to its versatility and usefulness. Hemp fibers were used to make clothing, ropes, and sails, making it an essential commodity for the growing colonies and future nation.

Cannabis and wellness in early America

As the 20th century approached, the uses of cannabis expanded beyond textiles as cannabis found its way into American medicine. Early physicians recognized the potential therapeutic properties of cannabis and prescribed it for various ailments. The cannabinoids found in the plant were commonly used as a pain reliever, sedative, and anti-inflammatory agent. Its medicinal uses continued into the 20th century, with cannabis tinctures and extracts being widely available in pharmacies. Cannabis also began to be used recreationally, with its psychoactive effects being sought after by some individuals. The recreational use of cannabis gained popularity, leading to the emergence of cannabis culture in America.

Regulating a plant

The evolving laws surrounding cannabis in America have played a significant role in shaping its perception and use. In the early years of America, cannabis was widely accepted and cultivated. However, as the 20th century progressed, attitudes towards cannabis began to change.

During the end of the 1920’s and the beginning of the 1930’s, racist propaganda and moral panic surrounding cannabis were also used to influence public opinion. By 1930, anti-drug campaigns driven by people like Harry Anslinger, the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, fueled concerns about crime and addiction associated with cannabis use. Public sentiment was manipulated through racially charged narratives which portrayed cannabis as a destructive substance primarily used by ethnic minorities to corrupt the youth. This was made evident with propaganda, such as the film “Reefer Madness” in 1936, helping to further stir hysteria and garner support. Anslinger also began referring to the cannabis plant as Marijuana, or Marihuana, in an attempt to reinforce the plant’s “foreign” identity, and association with people of color.

The first significant shift in cannabis laws came with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937, which imposed strict regulations and taxes on the cultivation and sale of cannabis. One key aspect contributing to this law was the growing competition from emerging industries such as textiles, paper, and pharmaceuticals. Some argue that influential individuals associated with these rising industries saw cannabis as a threat and lobbied for stricter regulations and prohibition to eliminate competition. This marked the beginning of the criminalization of cannabis in America. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 further classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug, alongside substances like heroin and LSD, making it illegal at the federal level.

In more recent times, there has been a significant shift in attitudes towards cannabis leading to changes in laws across different states in America. Starting with California legalizing medical marijuana in 1996 followed by other states adopting similar measures over the years.

A critical milestone in the legalization of hemp occurred with the passage of 2018 Farm Bill. This bill, officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, was signed into law on December 20, 2018. It legalized industrial hemp production and removed it, and many helpful cannabinoids, including CBD, CBG, THC, and more from the list of controlled substances under federal law.

The future of cannabis in America

As attitudes towards cannabis continue to evolve, the future of cannabis in America is uncertain but promising. The growing body of research supporting the potential medical benefits of cannabis has led to increased acceptance and legalization efforts. The cannabis industry is experiencing significant growth, creating jobs and generating tax revenue in states where it is legal.

Let CBD Kratom be your guide

Cannabis is an amazing plant filled with potential benefits for the mind, body and soul, and helped build our nation (literally). Stop by one of our 60+ locations throughout Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, and let our Doyens help you learn more about cannabis and our full line of wellness products. You can also shop online and schedule some one-on-one time with one of our experts from the comfort of your home.



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