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Thread: marijuana tcm?!?!?!?!!?

  1. #166
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    FIGURE 4

    Figure 4. Entry on cannabis in the Compendium of Materia Medica.

    In addition to these five representative bencao texts of different dynasties, records related to cannabis were reviewed from 84 additional pre-modern bencao texts dating from the twelfth century to the late nineteenth century. The sources included 6 bencao texts from the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD), 4 texts from the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368 AD), 32 texts from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), and 47 texts from the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911 AD).

    Most historical bencao texts that were written prior to the invention of printing in the Song Dynasty are no longer intact, but their content has been preserved in printed texts such as the Materia Medica Arranged According to Pattern (證類本草 Zheng Lei Ben Cao) from 1108 AD. Accordingly, the Materia Medica Arranged According to Pattern, which cited 25 previous historical sources in its discussion on cannabis, was selected as a representative source for pre-Song Dynasty content (Tang, 1999). An additional early source of records related to cannabis from the Treatise of the Five Viscera (五臟倫 Wu Zang Lun), a manuscript discovered in an archeological excavation at Dunhuang that is thought to date from the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), was also reviewed.

    Additionally, four thematic bencao were reviewed to investigate records related to specific geographic regions and imported medicinals. These texts include the tenth century Materia Medica from Overseas (海藥本草 Hai Yao Ben Cao), the thirteenth century Materia Medica from Steep Mountainsides (履巉巖本草 Lu Chan Yan Ben Cao), the fifteenth century Yunnan Materia Medica (滇南本草 Dian Nan Ben Cao), and the nineteenth century Illustrated Reference of Botanical Nomenclature (植物名實圖考 Zhi Wu Ming Shi Tu Kao).

    Finally, monographs on cannabis from a variety of modern materia medica compendiums were reviewed. In addition to each edition of the Chinese Pharmacopeia from 1977 to 2015, several twentieth century compendiums of materia medica were reviewed, including the Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Medicinals (中藥大辭典 Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian), the Sea of Chinese Medicinals (中華藥海 Zhong Hua Yao Hai), the National Collection of Chinese Herbal Medicines (全國中草藥彙編 Quan Guo Zhong Cao Yao Hui Bian), the Chinese Materia Medica (中華本草 Zhong Hua Ben Cao), and the Chinese Great Encyclopedia (中華大典 Zhong Hua Da Dian). Modern compilations focused on Chinese herbal formulas and ethnic minority medical traditions in Western China were also reviewed, including texts on Uighur, Yao, Miao, and Tibetan medicine. Additionally, publications from English and Chinese scientific journal databases such as CNKI, Wanfang, Google Scholar, and Scopus were analyzed based on a wide range of search terms related to Chinese medicine and cannabis in both English and Chinese.

    Approach to Translation of Technical Terms
    Preserving the traditional terminology of Chinese medicine is essential in order for translations to capture the original meaning of historical sources. In this work, a source-oriented approach to translation is utilized; in most cases, the technical terms used in translation can be cross referenced to the original Chinese using the terminology established in A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine (Wiseman and Feng, 1998). Additional bilingual term lists referenced in the process of translation include: the Dictionary of the Ben cao gang mu, Volume 1: Chinese Historical Illness Terminology (Zhang and Unschuld, 2014), the WHO International Standard Terminologies on Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific Region, and International Standard Chinese-English: Basic Nomenclature of Chinese Medicine.

    In the context of cannabis, several unique challenges relate to the translation of the plant parts used, as historical sources offer conflicting descriptions of different plant parts. In particular, historical and contemporary sources are divided regarding the botanical structures that correspond to the terms mafen (麻蕡), mahua (麻花), and mabo (麻勃), as well as terms related to the fruit or seed such as mazi (麻子), maziren (麻子仁), and mashi (麻實). In this review, these terms are preserved via a combination of English, Pinyin, and Chinese, and the implications of their historical and contemporary confusion are discussed.

    Identification of Traditional Actions and Indications That May Reflect Cannabinoids
    In contemporary Chinese medicine, fiber-rich biotypes of cannabis provide the achenes used as huomaren (Cannabis Fructus). However, as the achenes of cannabis contain at most only trace amounts of cannabinoids such as CBD and Δ9-THC (Mölleken and Husmann, 1997), the indications of the achenes are unlikely to relate to cannabinoids and their observed effects are unreliable for differentiating the historical prevalence of different biotypes of cannabis in Chinese medical applications. Similarly, Chinese medical records related to other plant parts with minimal cannabinoid content, such as the stalks and roots of cannabis, are of limited value for differentiating historical biotypes or evaluating applications that may relate to cannabinoids. Thus, the primary plant parts that can be reasonably expected to illustrate effects that relate to cannabinoids are the leaf and female inflorescence. Accordingly, while the actions, indications, and properties of all parts of the cannabis plant were reviewed in the historical texts described above, the female inflorescence and leaf formed the focus of the investigation.

    A review of the nature, flavor, actions, and indications of various cannabis plant parts in Chinese bencao reveals a number of terms that may indicate the presence of intermediate or drug biotypes of cannabis. For example, applications related to severe pain, perceived toxicity, or actions such as inducing anesthesia or hallucinations may reflect the historical presence of drug biotypes. Accordingly, the terminology associated with such effects was compared with descriptions of other drugs found in the Chinese materia medica that have known hallucinogenic or narcotic effects, such as Datura spp., Hyoscyamus niger L., and Papaver somniferum L. Additionally, the bencao literature was reviewed for other medical applications that have been associated with cannabinoid-rich preparations, including applications for conditions such as epilepsy and mental illness that may be related to the pharmacology of cannabidiol CBD rather than psychoactive cannabinoids such as Δ9-THC (Mechoulam et al., 2002; Devinsky et al., 2014).
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  2. #167
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    Results and Discussion
    Cannabis has been documented in bencao texts from the Eastern Han Dynasty (c. 200 AD) up through the twentieth century materia medica literature. All parts of the plant were recorded in bencao texts by 659 AD, but the inflorescence (mafen) and the “seed” (achene fruit) tend to appear more frequently as monograph headings than the leaf, root, and cortex (Zheng, 2008); the achenes are the only plant part that remains used in modern clinical practice. As described below, the bencao literature suggests that both drug and fiber biotypes were known in ancient China, but bencao texts never differentiated the plant into drug vs. fiber or oil varieties. Consequently, determining the implications of different biotypes on the historical applications of cannabis requires an in-depth analysis of the actions, indications, and plant parts used in ancient medical texts.

    Furthermore, although records in the historical literature that suggest intoxication or altered consciousness may help to indicate preparations with significant levels of cannabinoids, such references may overlook effects that relate to non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD, which are the predominant cannabinoids in the cannabis (hemp) varieties widely grown in China today. Consequently, indications cited in ancient texts for conditions such as epilepsy, seizures, and pain may in some cases relate to cannabinoids such as CBD rather than Δ9-THC (Mechoulam et al., 2002), making it difficult to reliably use overt drug effects as a proxy for identifying cannabinoid-related medical applications.

    Our textual analysis suggests that drug biotypes of cannabis were known in ancient Chinese medicine, but it is possible that long-term selection of fiber-rich cultivars caused drug biotypes to fade in terms of their medical importance over time. Several trends in the literature suggest that drug biotypes of cannabis were rarely applied in Chinese medicine or gradually became less prominent, including: (1) the increased prominence of the achenes and reduced prominence of other plant parts such as the female inflorescence in the bencao literature over time; (2) enduring nomenclature confusion regarding plant parts, which suggests limited practical application and experience by later authors; and (3) actions and indications in many early texts that were repeated over the centuries but had relatively little elaboration and practical application in later bencao sources.

    Prominence of the Achenes in Clinical Application
    Many early bencao texts from the second century through the twelfth century AD feature the inflorescence (mafen) as a main monograph heading with the achenes (known as mazi or maziren) presented as an addendum, but over time the emphasis gradually tended to favor the achenes. For example, in the Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu) from the late sixteenth century, ~3 times as many words are dedicated to the discussion of the properties and indications of the achenes in comparison with the inflorescence (Liu et al., 2009). By the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911 AD), many bencao texts only contained monographs on the achenes, and the inflorescence (mafen) was often omitted entirely, a practice that has carried over into modern clinical textbooks of TCM.

    Beyond the context of bencao texts, an emphasis on the use of the achenes in clinical practice can also be seen from TCM formula literature. For example, the achenes are featured as a key ingredient in the classical formula Cannabis Seed Pill (Ma Zi Ren Wan 麻子仁丸), which was first recorded by the physician Zhang Zhongjing around the second century AD and remains prominent in both clinical use and TCM textbooks in the modern era (Brand and Wiseman, 2008). According to data from the National Health Insurance system in Taiwan collected in 2003, this formula ranked #40 out of the 301 most frequently prescribed TCM formulas for insurance reimbursement, with over 10,705 kg of concentrated dry extract prescribed in Taiwan in 2003. In the same year in Taiwan, 967 kg of concentrated dry extract from the achenes (huomaren) was also prescribed for insurance reimbursement as a single-herb addition to formulas, ranking it as #140 of 353 single herb extracts by weight (Jian, 2006).

    By contrast, the inflorescence of cannabis rarely appeared in historical formulas, with the exception of a relatively modest range of small formulas that are found in bencao texts. No named formulas that feature the inflorescence of cannabis are found in the Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Medicinal Formulas (中醫方劑大辭典 Zhong Yi Fang Ji Da Ci Dian), which contains 96,592 historical formulas and features 69 formulas that utilize the achenes of cannabis as a primary ingredient (Peng, 2005). While a small number of combinations with other herbs are listed in bencao texts, the relatively small number of compound formulas that feature the inflorescence of cannabis thus suggests that the inflorescence was rarely used in clinical applications when compared with the achenes.

    Abundant bencao references to cannabis as a food and fiber crop suggest that fiber and seed production were emphasized from an early time. For example, in the Collection of Commentaries on the Classic of the Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing Ji Zhu) from the sixth century AD, the author Tao Hongjing notes that cannabis was used to make cloth and shoes (Tao, 1999). Additional references to pressing the seeds for oil and using the fiber for cloth and candlewicks are also found in later texts such as the Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu) by Li Shizhen in the sixteenth century (Liu et al., 2009). Furthermore, cannabis was frequently classified in bencao texts with other food crops under the heading of “grains,” which suggests that it had a prominent role as a food (Li, 2005). Hemp seed continues to be consumed as a food in modern China; it has a reputation as a “longevity” food in the Bama region of Guangxi province (Wang et al., 2010), and in Hong Kong beverages made of hemp seed are commonly sold in street stalls as well as in bottled products made by large companies including Coca-Cola.

    However, despite the prominence of the achenes in ancient and modern applications, contemporary and historical texts contain contradictions related to nomenclature that remain poorly resolved. Although colloquially referred to as “seeds” in both English and Chinese, in botanical terms the brown, lustrous achenes with intact shells seen in TCM pharmacies today are fruits that contain seeds under the brown pericarp.

    Confusion between the “fruit” vs. “seed” of cannabis is found in both ancient and modern sources. In the 2015 and 2005 editions of the Chinese Pharmacopeia (CP), huomaren (火麻仁) is defined as the dried mature fruit, resulting in the Latin drug name of “Cannabis Fructus” (CP, 2015). However, the name “Cannabis Semen” was featured in the 2010 edition of the Chinese Pharmacopeia, which stated its identity as the mature seed but featured a description of the fruit. In other contemporary texts such as the National Collection of Chinese Herbal Medicines (全國中草藥彙編 Quan Guo Zhong Cao Yao Hui Bian), the identity of huomaren is listed as either the fruit or the seed with the pericarp removed. By contrast, the Chinese Materia Medica (中華本草 Zhong Hua Ben Cao) and the Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Medicinals (中藥大辭典 Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian) list only the seed but feature macroscopic and microscopic descriptions that match the fruit (Editorial Committee, 1977; Zheng, 2008). Furthermore, in some historical texts it is difficult to definitively identity the botanical structures of cannabis that are referenced by traditional terms such as “fruit” (實 shi), “seed” (子 zi), “kernel/seed” (仁 ren), and “shell” (殼 qiao). This mirrors the challenges inherent in interpreting the complex terminology surrounding the terms used to refer to the female inflorescence (and infructescence) in bencao texts.

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    Enduring Confusion Regarding Plant Parts: Resolving Traditional Nomenclature
    One of the most significant challenges for the interpretation of bencao records related to cannabis lies in the traditional terminology used to describe the flowering tops of the plant. Three terms are prominently used in bencao texts, and different authors from different historical eras describe them in contradictory ways. These terms, mafen (麻蕡), mahua (麻花), and mabo (麻勃), all refer to the spike-shaped inflorescence of the plant, but various contemporary and historical sources interpret them differently.

    Mafen (麻蕡), which is the term most frequently encountered as a heading for cannabis in ancient bencao texts, is often defined as the immature inflorescence of the female flower or the mature infructescence of the seeded female flower (Liu and Shang, 1992; Liu, 1999). It was first listed in the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica (神農本草經 Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, c. second century), wherein the term mabo (麻勃, literally “cannabis spike”) was listed as a synonym but no physical descriptions were provided. As the text was transmitted, commentary known as Additional Records of Famous Physicians (Ming Yi Bie Lu) was added to clarify that mafen was the “rising spike on the cannabis flower,” and should be harvested on the 7th day of the 7th month (based on the lunar calendar). This harvest time stands in contrast to the achenes, which were harvested in the 9th month according to the same source (which also noted that mafen is “toxic” while the achenes are non-toxic; Tang, 1999).

    In the sixth century, the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica and the Additional Records of Famous Physicians were transmitted along with additional commentary from Tao Hongjing, a physician and Taoist alchemist who utilized different colors of ink to differentiate his annotations from the original transmitted text. Tao's comments initiated centuries of debate because he described mafen as cannabis without fruit, which clashed with previous definitions from the Er Ya dictionary that described mafen as the fruit of cannabis. Later authors disagreed about the identity of mafen (麻蕡), mahua (麻花 “cannabis flower”), and mabo (麻勃 “cannabis spike”), with some sources regarding the terms as synonymous while others regarded them as separate entities using poorly defined concepts of fruit vs. flower, leading later sources to divide them into multiple entries. Notably, Li Shizhen attempted to rectify these nomenclature issues in the sixteenth century while dividing mabo and mafen into separate monographs in the Compendium of Materia Medica, but his analysis introduced additional confusion that carried over into modern materia medica compilations and remains unresolved to this day.

    The complex debate surrounding the nomenclature of mafen has been summarized in several contemporary Chinese journal publications (Liu and Shang, 1992; Liu, 1999). In addition to the immature female inflorescence and the mature seeded female infructescence, modern bencao scholars have also proposed that the identity of mafen includes the bracts surrounding the achenes but not the achenes themselves (Chen and Huang, 2005). Prominent historical bencao authors also discussed the meaning of mafen, including Su Jing (659 AD), Su Song (1062 AD), and Tang Shenwei (1108 AD; Zheng, 2008). The author Li Shizhen summarized the disparate views advanced by earlier historical authors in the Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu) in 1593 AD, and Li's descriptions and corrections were influential in shaping the definitions established by contemporary texts such as the Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Medicinals (Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian).

    In the Compendium of Materia Medica, Li summarized the discrepancies between the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica, Su Jing and Su Song's descriptions. Li chose to follow descriptions from Wu Pu's Materia Medica (Wu Pu Ben Cao) that established synonymy between the terms mabo (cannabis spike) and mahua (cannabis flower), which were classified as acrid and non-toxic, and separated these terms from mafen, which was classified as acrid, sweet, and toxic. Thus, despite the fact that the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica listed mabo as a synonym of mafen, Li Shizhen split the two into separate entries.

    For the entry on mabo, Li listed mahua (cannabis flower) as a synonym, and cited a statement from the sixth century agricultural text Essential Techniques for the Welfare of the People (Qi Min Yao Shu) that referenced removing the males at the time that the plant produces “bo” (the budding spike-shaped flower) as evidence that “bo clearly refers to the flower” (Liu et al., 2009). Although it is unclear whether the term “bo” refers to the male or female flower in the text cited, Li's classification was later adopted by the Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Medicinals, which lists the male flower under the heading of mahua (Editorial Committee, 1977).

    In the entry on mafen, Li stated that mafen refers to mazi (the achenes or possibly the mature infructescence) with the “shell” (qiao) intact (Liu et al., 2009). Li noted that mafen was different from edible cannabis because the shell is toxic and the inner kernel is non-toxic, but his description failed to adequately clarify whether the shell was a reference to the pericarp or the bract surrounding the achene fruit. In the contemporary Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Medicinals, the term mafen is defined as the immature racemes (Editorial Committee, 1977).

    The question of which plant tissues correspond to mabo, mahua, and mafen is thus poorly resolved, as early bencao texts regarded them as synonyms but some later texts divide them by gender. For example, mahua is regarded as a synonym of mabo in the Chinese Materia Medica (Zhong Hua Ben Cao); this text describes it as the male flower but its pharmacology section refers only to Δ9-THC, which is not found in significant quantities in the male flower. In the Sea of Chinese Medicinals (Zhong Hua Yao Hai), the term mabo is listed as a synonym for mafen, which is described as the immature racemes (Cui and Ran, 1993). The sixth century author Tao Hongjing listed mabo as a synonym of mafen and stated that mafen lacked fruit (Tao, 1999), which along with the non-toxic properties ascribed to mabo in later texts may have influenced its classification as the male flower; however, no major Chinese texts have proposed that mafen lacking fruit could refer to the seedless female inflorescence.

    The wide range of different interpretations for the identity of mafen presented over the centuries suggests that many later authors were preserving previous quotations yet had little practical experience with materials such as mafen, mabo, and mahua. Indeed, the author Tao Hongjing noted as early as the sixth century AD that “mafen was rarely used in formulas” (Tao, 1999).

    Applications of Cannabis in the Chinese Medical Literature That May Relate to Cannabinoids
    The earliest historical references to cannabis in Chinese medicine are found in the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing) from the first to second century AD. This text, along with the added notes known as the Additional Records of Famous Physicians (Ming Yi Bie Lu), contains many of the fundamental statements that were repeated about cannabis in later centuries.

    The original text of the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica ascribes the following properties to mafen: “Flavor: acrid; balanced. Governs the five taxations and seven damages, benefits the five viscera, and descends blood and cold qi; excessive consumption causes one to see ghosts and run about frenetically. Prolonged consumption frees the spirit light and lightens the body. Another name is mabo” (Tao, 1999). To this base description, the Additional Records of Famous Physicians adds that it is “toxic,” and is used to “break accumulations, relieve impediment, and disperse pus” (Liu et al., 2009).

    Many authors have interpreted the statement “excessive consumption [of mafen] causes one to see ghosts and run about frenetically” as evidence that mafen had drug effects due to the presence of cannabinoids such as Δ9-THC (Chen and Huang, 2005). Additionally, the reference to “relieving impediment” from the Additional Records of Famous Physicians refers to a traditional category of conditions that typically result in pain and restricted movement, which may also relate to cannabinoids such as CBD or Δ9-THC.

    These original statements were repeated in many later bencao texts, and have likely influenced the properties listed for mafen in contemporary Chinese texts. For example, the Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Medicinals states that mafen “dispels wind, relieves pain, and settles tetany” (a traditional disease category associated with severe spasm). According to this text, it is indicated for conditions traditionally known as “impediment patterns” (typically manifesting in pain and restricted movement), gout, withdrawal and mania, insomnia, and panting and cough (Editorial Committee, 1977). Additionally, in the 1935 text Illustrated Analysis of Medicinal Substances (Yao Wu Tu Kao), the ancient statement that cannabis descends blood and cold qi was interpreted by the author Yang Huating as an indication that mafen quickens the blood. Yang recommended mafen (which he regarded as the female inflorescence) for a variety of conditions including headache, menstrual irregularities, itching, convulsions, anemia, and dry cough (Editorial Committee, 1977). However, despite these twentieth century publications that summarize traditional indications using contemporary descriptions, only a few texts offered new information or applications for mafen between the sixteenth century and Yang's 1935 text (Zheng, 2008).

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    Applications for Pain

    Several applications of cannabis for pain in Chinese medicine may relate to cannabinoids. As noted above, the first reference to mafen for pain is found in the Additional Records of Famous Physicians from the sixth century AD, which notes its use for “relieving impediment” (impediment is a traditional disease category that is also known as “bi” or “painful obstruction”; Wiseman and Feng, 1998). Some authors also speculate that an early anesthetic formula known as “mafei powder” (ma fei san) developed by the famous physician Hua Tuo around the turn of the third century AD contained mafen (at the time, the name mafen is believed to have shared the same pronunciation as the characters in the formula name; Chen and Huang, 2005). However, any link between cannabis and Hua Tuo's formula is purely speculative, as the original ingredients of the ancient formula ma fei san are lost.

    In another application related to pain, the Tang Dynasty physician Sun Simiao (581–683 AD) recorded that the leaves of cannabis could be crushed to extract their juice, which was used to treat unbearable pain due to fractured bones (Chen and Huang, 2005).

    By 1070 AD, the Song Dynasty text Illustrated Classic of Materia Medica (Tu Jing Ben Cao) included a quotation from a previous source titled Formulas Within a Small Box (Qie Zhong Fang) that referenced a preparation of cannabis for severe pain that inhibited movement (Su, 1994). In the original recipe, the preparation method specifies that the seeds of cannabis are soaked in water, then the sediment is collected from the bottom of the water, stir-fried until aromatic in a silver vessel, and ground into a fine white powder; this is then boiled with alcohol and taken internally on an empty stomach (Su, 1994). It is indicated for “bone marrow wind toxin” with pain that prevents movement; the text says that even in severe cases, “by 10 servings the suffering must be alleviated; its effect cannot be surpassed” (Zheng, 2008). This prescription was repeated in many later texts under the name “cannabis seed wine” (da ma ren jiu) under entries for the achenes (Editorial Committee, 1977); however it differs strikingly from other preparations of the achenes because it is used for severe pain. If the achenes were soaked in water with the bracts intact, it is possible that the preparation method described would yield cannabinoids, as broken resin glands from the bracts would sink in water; when this sediment was stir-fried, THC acids would be decarboxylated into bioavailable THC, which would then be efficiently extracted when boiled with alcohol, as in the original preparation. Nonetheless, while cannabinoids offer a plausible explanation for the unusual effects and preparation methods used for this formula, such an interpretation remains purely speculative in the absence of confirming evidence.

    The first well-documented application of cannabis in an anesthetic formula in China appeared in the text Heart Text of Bian Que (Bian Que Xin Shu, 1127–1270 AD). The flower of cannabis (under the name mahua) was used internally in combination with datura flower (Datura spp.) as an anesthetic to decrease the sensation of pain when moxa cones were applied (Dou, 1992). This remedy was known as “sagacious sleep powder” (shui sheng san). The source text notes that it induces a stupor-slumber in which the person experiences no pain and is not harmed. The same combination is repeated in the Compendium of Materia Medica in the sixteenth century, which contains an additional recipe for wind disease with numbness that combines cannabis flower (mahua) with wild aconite root (caowu; Liu et al., 2009). By the seventeenth century, the text Reaching the Source of Materia Medica (Ben Jing Feng Yuan) reported that cannabis flower (mahua) can treat hidden wind within the body, and records further that it is used as an anesthetic, noting that it can be used to painlessly apply a stone needle to swollen welling-abscesses (Zhang, 2011).

    Applications That Relate to Mental Effects or Mental Illness

    A variety of historical sources describe mental effects from cannabis or applications to treat mental illness. In some cases, these applications may reflect cannabinoids, as CBD has been researched for anti-psychotic effects (Mechoulam et al., 2002) and some of the mental effects described may be related to the effects of cannabinoids such as Δ9-THC. As noted above, the early statement that “excessive consumption causes one to see ghosts and run about frenetically” is often regarded as a sign of mental effects (Liu and Shang, 1992). In the sixteenth century Compendium of Materia Medica, Li Shizhen repeated this statement and added a previous recipe that states: “for those seeking to see ghosts, take unprocessed cannabis [the text says “cannabis seeds” (sheng ma zi) but lists the recipe under the entry for mafen], acorus rhizome (shi chang pu, Acorus spp.) and dysosma (gui jiu, Dysosma spp.) in equal parts and form into pellet pills. Take one pill every morning facing the sun and after 100 days one will see ghosts” (Liu et al., 2009). Additionally, in 973 AD, the Materia Medica of the Kaibao Era (Kai Bao Ben Cao) quoted an earlier author from the eighth century with the statement that “cannabis causes happiness in the heart” (Zheng, 2008).

    Other early quotations suggest that mental effects were observed from the use of cannabis. For example, in the sixth century Collection of Commentaries on the Classic of the Materia Medica (Ben Cao Jing Ji Zhu), the author Tao Hongjing noted: “adepts (likely referring to Taoist alchemists) take cannabis flower (mabo) with ginseng and know of things that have not yet come” (Tang, 1999). In the Compendium of Materia Medica in the sixteenth century, the author Li Shizhen regarded this as “an overstatement,” instead stating that the combination of ginseng and cannabis allows one to “know the affairs of the four directions” and treats forgetfulness. The Compendium of Materia Medica also noted that the leaf of cannabis was indicated to treat malaria and was said to induce a state of drunkenness (Liu et al., 2009).

    In addition to mental effects observed from the use of cannabis, historical bencao texts featured applications for cannabis in the context of mental illness. The first appearance of these applications dates to the seventh century text Formulas Worth a Thousand Gold (Qian Jin Fang) by Sun Simiao (Tang, 1999), which stated that cannabis treated wind-withdrawal, a traditional category of disease that relates to mental illness (Wiseman and Feng, 1998). Similar indications are ascribed to the same quote from Sun Simiao by Li Shizhen in the Compendium of Materia Medica, which lists wind-withdrawal and “the 100 diseases” as indications for mafen. By the Qing Dynasty, the seventeenth century text Reaching the Source of Materia Medica (Ben Jing Feng Yuan) stated that cannabis flower (mahua) treats “120 types of malign wind” as well as itching, and expels all malign wind and blood; it was also indicated to treat lack of free flow following menstruation. These quotations may have inspired the actions listed for mafen in twentieth century texts such as “dispelling wind” and treating mania-withdrawal (a traditional category of mental illness in Chinese medicine).

    In some cases, it is possible that actions that were ascribed to mafen in twentieth century Chinese texts were acquired from Western applications of cannabis. For example, the 1905 text Pharmacognosy (Sheng Yao Xue) by Li Chenghu stated that cannabis treated agitation, hysteria, spasmodic cough, and nerve pain, while the 1935 text Illustrated Analysis of Medicines (Yao Wu Tu Kao) by Yang Huating added many new indications such as mania-withdrawal, convulsions, and insomnia that were not previously discussed in historical texts (Editorial Committee, 1977).

    In the case of traditional actions seen in contemporary Chinese medical texts for mafen such as settling tetany (a traditional disease term associated with severe spasm and convulsions; Editorial Committee, 1977), it remains unclear whether this action is related to assimilation of Western medical theories in the early twentieth century or whether it is derived from traditional indications for wind and wind-withdrawal. In ancient times, the line between “withdrawal” (dian) as a mental disease sometimes overlapped with the concept of epilepsy (dian xian), which is characterized by seizures and is associated with “wind” in traditional Chinese medical theory (Wiseman and Feng, 1998). However, the historical record provides insufficient detail to ascertain whether the seventh century indications for cannabis in the context of wind-withdrawal overlapped with epilepsy or seizures, or whether the meaning was primarily limited to mental illness and/or erratic behavior.
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    Conclusion
    In recent years, cannabinoids such as CBD and Δ9-THC have attracted increased attention in the context of modern pharmacology and popular Western culture, yet little research has been done to explore the historical applications of cannabis in Chinese medicine. Given China's long history of hemp cultivation and its rich body of un-translated medical literature, it is surprising that little academic attention has focused on exploring the ways in which cannabis was used in Chinese medicine. The importance of cannabis as a fiber and food crop in ancient China, combined with the extensive use of the achenes in medicine, makes the Chinese historical record particularly valuable.

    Bencao literature opens a window into the history and culture of ancient Chinese medicine. As all parts of the cannabis plant were recorded in bencao texts, the Chinese medical literature can help to clarify many details about the historical applications of cannabis in Chinese medicine, as well as providing clues into the historical prevalence of different biotypes as ancient Chinese farmers gradually selected superior varieties for fiber and seed crops. The significant differences in how cannabis has been employed in Chinese vs. Western medicine likely relate to differences between drug and fiber biotypes as well as cultural factors, but thus far minimal research has focused on exploring this issue. Similarly, minimal attention has been given to the topic of CBD in Chinese medical history, as even fiber-rich biotypes of cannabis that were not associated with drug use may have had potential therapeutic applications related to CBD. While this modest review can only scratch the surface of the Chinese medical literature of cannabis and the questions it raises, it is hoped that further research will help to further elucidate these questions using a multidisciplinary approach.

    Author Contributions
    EB: Primary research and manuscript creation. ZZ: Expert review, source suggestions, revisions, and feedback.

    Conflict of Interest Statement
    The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
    continued next post
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  6. #171
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    Continued from previous post

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    Keywords: Cannabis, Chinese medicine, historical changes, bencao, cannabidiol

    Citation: Brand EJ and Zhao Z (2017) Cannabis in Chinese Medicine: Are Some Traditional Indications Referenced in Ancient Literature Related to Cannabinoids? Front. Pharmacol. 8:108. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00108

    Received: 24 October 2016; Accepted: 21 February 2017;
    Published: 10 March 2017.

    Edited by:
    Giuseppe Esposito, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
    Reviewed by:
    Anastasia Karioti, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
    Rajendra Karki, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, USA
    Copyright © 2017 Brand and Zhao. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

    *Correspondence: Zhongzhen Zhao, zzzhao@hkbu.edu.hk
    This publication is just what this thread needed, so I posted all of it.
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  7. #172
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    Nice find.

    Thanks for posting.
    Dr. Dale Dugas
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    All for Use
    Nothing for Show

  8. #173
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    Just passing it on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mor Sao View Post
    Nice find.

    Thanks for posting.
    Thought you might like that. Fascinating read, yes?
    Gene Ching
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  9. #174
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    Did Cannabis Use Tarnish Bruce Lee's Legend in Hong Kong? | MJ NEWS ASIA

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  10. #175
    I dont know how you fellows, but i treating myself with it for a while

  11. #176
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    This is an old discovery, but a decent overview.



    18 NOVEMBER, 2017 - 18:56 THEODOROS KARASAVVAS
    High Times in Ancient China: 2,700-Year-Old Marijuana Stash Found in Shaman Grave

    A 2,700-year-old stash of whole marijuana plants was uncovered in an ancient tomb in northwest China. If marijuana aged like wine, the rare “artifact” may be one of the most wanted objects for all the pot smokers around the world, but according to the researchers, the weed had decomposed over the years and no one would feel any effects if they smoked it today.
    Plant Placed Next to a Dead Caucasian Shaman
    A team of archaeologists, led by Hongen Jiang from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, found nearly two pounds of a dried plant that was still untouched after “hiding” for thousands of years underground. According to a study published in 2008 in the Journal of Experimental Botany , the green plant material found inside a 2,700-year-old grave from the Yanghai Tombs excavated in the Gobi Desert, turned out to be the oldest marijuana in the world. Interestingly, according to the archaeologists, the plant was placed near the head of a blue-eyed, 35-year-old Caucasian shaman among other objects like bridles and a harp to be used in the afterlife.


    The tomb of the Chinese shaman where the oldest package of marijuana in history was found. ( Brazil Weird News )

    The fact that the plant had a chemical known for psychoactive properties called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase, or THC, made scientists speculate that the man and his community most likely used it for medicinal and recreational purposes. According to professor Dr. Ethan B. Russo of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Botany, someone had picked out all the parts of the plant that are less psychoactive before placing it in the grave, therefore the dead man probably didn’t grow his hemp merely to make clothes.


    Left: Hemp fiber from the Cannabis sativa plant ( CC BY SA 3.0 ). Right: Chinese hemp fiber paper, used for wrapping not writing, excavated from the Han Tomb of Wu Di (140-87 BC) at Xi'An ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

    Archaeologists Initially Thought Marijuana was Coriander

    Initially, the researchers thought the dried weed was coriander. After spending ten months getting the cannabis from the tomb in China to a secret lab in England, the team of researchers realized they were wrong. They put the stash through “microscopic botanical analysis”, including carbon dating and genetic analysis, and discovered the herb was really pot.
    The exceedingly dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, making it easier for scientists to attentively investigate the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its characteristic odor. "To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," Dr. Ethan B. Russo wrote in the published paper.


    Photomicrographs of ancient cannabis. (A) Photograph of the whole cannabis sample being transferred in laminar flow hood. (B) Photomicrograph of leaf fragment at low power displaying non-glandular and amber sessile glandular trichomes. (C) Higher power photomicrograph of a single sessile glandular trichome. (D) Low power photomicrograph of a cannabis achene (‘seed’) including the base with a non-concave scar of attachment visible. ( Russo et al. )

    History of Marijuana

    Despite the tomb stash found in China being the oldest found so far, this isn’t the first time that archaeologists have discovered remains of the notorious plant. Marijuana, also known as cannabis or pot, has a long history of human use. The majority of ancient civilizations, however, didn’t grow the plant to get high as people usually do nowadays – they used it as herbal medicine. Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites. The substance has also been referred to by authors such as the famous Greek historian Herodotus, who described the Scythians inhaling the smoke from smoldering cannabis seeds and flowers to get high.


    Seshat, the ancient Egyptian goddess of record-keeping and measurement with a colorful cannabis leaf over her head. ( History with a Twist )

    The cannabis or hemp plant originally evolved in Central Asia before people introduced it into Africa, Europe, and eventually the Americas. Hemp fiber was used to make clothing, paper, sails and rope, and its seeds were used as food. Because it’s a fast-growing plant and very easy to cultivate (plus it has many uses), hemp was widely grown throughout colonial America and at Spanish missions in the Southwest.

    In the early 1600s, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut colonies required farmers to grow hemp. These early hemp plants had very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effects. However, it is believed that that some ancient cultures knew about the psychoactive properties of the cannabis plant and may have cultivated some varieties to produce higher levels of THC for use in religious ceremonies or healing practice.


    Cannabis sativa plant. ( CC BY AS 3.0 )

    Locally Grown Marijuana with a High Content of THC

    The 2,700-year-old stash of marijuana found in China appears to strengthen the aforementioned belief, as it was found to have a relatively high content of THC - even though the sample was too old to determine an accurate percentage. Additionally, scientists could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as archaeologists weren’t able to find any pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman. However, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ancient people inhaled cannabis; they just didn't use pipes until the advent of tobacco. It’s very possible that the earliest inhalers of cannabis smoke did so by accident. Perhaps when throwing it on their campfire they found the fragrance pleasing to the nose and then discovered its effects on the mind.
    So, what do we really learn from this 2,700-year-old rare find? Some of our ancestors – regardless of geographical location – knew more than we may think about the effects of inhaling pot. And probably some of them loved getting high, just like some of their descendants still do today!


    ‘Smokers hearts’ by Gabriel Ferrier, 1887. ( Public Domain )

    Top Image: China has a very long history of marijuana use. Source: Edibles

    By Theodoros Karasavvas

    References
    Dattatreya Mandal (2017). The World’s Oldest Known Stash Of Marijuana Was Found Inside A 2,700-Year-Old Grave. Realm of History. Available at: https://realmofhistory.com/2017/05/1...rijuana-grave/
    Lane Tr (2015). World’s Oldest Weed Found In An Unexpected Place. Herb. Available at: https://herb.co/2015/12/08/worlds-ol...xpected-place/
    Seshat is an intriguing reference because potheads will call smoking sessions 'sess' for short sometimes. If they were more literate about their own history, Sesh would make for a better reference.
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  12. #177
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    Yeah, we're legal for recreational use in CA now...

    ...the streets reek of pot. Even more so than before. And it reeked a lot before.

    How are things in Maine, Massachusetts, & Nevada? Pungent too?

    California Expands Marijuana Dispensary Capabilities
    25 DECEMBER 2017



    Recreational marijuana will be legal in California on January 1, joining states like Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The plant is already legal for medical use in many states, and legalization has prompted much research in the field. Studies conducted by doctors from the New York University of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston find that marijuana may be effective for seizure control, noting that “marijuana use may be a beneficial adjunctive treatment in some patients with epilepsy.” [1] This augments earlier research on the benefits of marijuana, including findings published in the The National Academies Press (1982). [2]

    Permits
    Local permits are required for recreational-use dispensaries in California. Oakland, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Shasta have already prepared permits for immediate implementation, and San Francisco and Los Angeles are expected to join the group in short order. Smoking marijuana will be prohibited in non-smoking zones, and use while driving will remain illegal.

    Edibles
    Access to safer and controlled forms of ingestion, including oral consumption, is expanded with legalization; this has taken a somewhat interesting culinary direction. Marijuana mints, boutique chocolates, pretzels, candies and more are gaining widespread popularity. An advantage to legalization is control of dosage. Many marijuana treat manufacturers strictly control and label the exact quantity of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the chief psychoactive component) in each bite.

    HealthCMi Policy
    The Healthcare Medicine Institute’s position is that the incarceration of individuals for growing, harvesting, and owning herbs is unethical and a tremendous burden on society. Marijuana is but one of many herbs with issues of such legal status. Many other safe and effective herbs are not legal. Even when supported by extensive research, curative claims are barred for the majority of herbal medicines that are legal. However, not all regulations are without merit. Restrictions on invasive or endangered flora and fauna have helped to preserve biodiversity.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine
    The history of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) documents longstanding use of marijuana. It is the seeds that have been extensively documented. Huo Ma Ren (cannabis seed) is used to moisten the intestines of patients with constipation due to blood or yin deficiency. To relieve constipation, Huo Ma Ren is often combined with Hu Ma Ren (flax seed) and Yu Li Ren (bush cherry pit) in decoctions. Huo Ma Ren is also used for clearing heat and promoting the healing of sores (clearing heat refers to inflammation reduction in TCM). Huo Ma Ren (also known as Ma Zi Ren) is found in the following herbal formulas: Run Chang Wan, Ma Zi Ren Wan, Da Ding Feng Zhu, and Zhi Gan Cao Tang.

    Huo Ma Ren is included in herbal formulas for cases of large intestine fluid deficiency. This form of yin deficiency is indicated by constipation with dry, hard stools with dry mouth, bad breath, blurring of vision, or fatigue. Dehydration, blood loss, alcoholism, and fevers may cause fluid deficiency of the large intestine. Common forms of blood loss include heavy menstruation or sufficient blood loss during childbirth to cause amenorrhea. Kidney yin deficiency leading to jin ye deficiency in the elderly is also a common presentation. The TCM treatment principle is to lubricate the large intestine and tonify blood. TCM dietetics indicates that an increase of water, vegetables, fruit, honey, black sesame butter, and oatmeal consumption helps to lubricate the large intestine.

    Huo Ma Ren is termed a moist laxative in TCM. This is distinct from stronger laxatives that are termed harsh expellants in that moist laxatives are nourishing and may be used long-term without depleting the constitution of patients. Use of Huo Ma Ren was first documented in the Divine Husbandman’s Classic of the Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing), written approximately between 300 BCE – 250 CE. Numerous commentaries on the use of Huo Ma Ren in clinical case histories and medical texts have been written since that time. Indeed, the medical use of marijuana has a long track record of safe and efficacious applications, both internally and for topical use.

    Scope of Practice

    Many states include herbal medicine within a licensed acupuncturist’s scope of practice. This is because the system of Traditional Chinese Medicine is comprised of several medical modalities: herbal medicine, acupuncture, bone medicine, movement arts (e.g., Qi Gong, Taiji), dietetics. Some states prohibit herbal medicine as part of an acupuncture license or education (e.g., Illinois) while other states have stringent educational requirements to ensure consumer safety and exacting standards of implementation.

    Notes
    1. Mortati, Katherine, Barbara Dworetzky, and Orrin Devinsky. "Marijuana: an effective antiepileptic treatment in partial epilepsy? A case report and review of the literature." Rev Neurol Dis 4, no. 2 (2007): 103-106.

    2. Institute of Medicine. 1982. Marijuana and Health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi.org/10.17226/1894
    Gene Ching
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  13. #178
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    Cynthia Calvillo

    I'm copying all the marijuana references out of the MMA & Drugs thread and making this new Marijuana & MMA thread, and copying it to the marijuana tcm?!?!?!?!!? thread for good measure as this topic sometimes borders on medical usage. She's Californian, where pot is now legal recreationally.

    Doping violation due to marijuana use leaves Cynthia Calvillo facing suspension
    The UFC strawweight failed an in-competition test relating to her defeat to Carla Esparza last month.
    6 hours ago 2,621 Views


    Image: Jeff Brown

    THREE WEEKS SINCE she suffered the first defeat of her career, Cynthia Calvillo has been hit with another unwelcome development.

    The 30-year-old Californian (6-1), who was beaten by Carla Esparza via unanimous decision on 30 December, failed an in-competition drug test for Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] in relation to the UFC 219 bout in Las Vegas.

    Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol is “a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish”, according to a UFC statement. Calvillo has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA] for being “above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL” for the substance.

    In order to determine the sanctions that will subsequently be handed down, Calvillo will now be subjected to an adjudication process which will be carried out by both USADA and the Nevada Athletic Commission.

    The UFC’s statement on the matter reads:
    The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Cynthia Calvillo of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation involving Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol (“Carboxy-THC”) which is a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, stemming from an in-competition sample collected in conjunction with her recent bout in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 30, 2017, UFC 219: Cyborg vs. Holm. USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Calvillo, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. Because the Nevada Athletic Commission was the regulatory body overseeing the fight in Las Vegas and has licensing jurisdiction over Calvillo, USADA will work to ensure that the Nevada Athletic Commission has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of Calvillo’s potential anti-doping violation. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
    In April of last year, UFC middleweight Kelvin Gastelum was handed a three-month suspension and had his win against Vitor Belfort overturned to a ‘no contest’ after he failed a test as a result of marijuana use.
    Calvillo made her UFC debut in March 2017 and embarked on a 3-0 run with the promotion prior to her defeat to Esparza. She is currently ranked eighth in the women’s 115-pound division.
    Gene Ching
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  14. #179
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    The Green Moon

    It boggles my mind that some people actually fell for this hoax. The era of fake news is so devastating.

    Happy 420.

    WILL THE MOON REALLY GLOW GREEN TONIGHT?
    BY KATHERINE HIGNETT ON 4/20/18 AT 5:52 AM

    The internet has once again come down with a case of viral infection. Or this time, reefer madness. If social media is to be believed, the Moon will glow green in the sky tonight, bathing us all in light reflected from Uranus.

    According to Snopes.com, the "green Moon" is a hoax originating on social media in 2016. A post originally claimed the Moon would turn green on May 29 (which it did not). Then, the original post was hijacked and the date changed to April 20, presumably reflecting what has become unofficial National Weed Day. The last known green moon supposedly took place 420 years ago, the post stated.

    A comment from the original poster alleged the Moon would sit just four degrees from the planet Uranus, which reflects blue-green light. The Moon would supposedly reflect the light coming from the planet and itself glow green.

    Unfortunately, Uranus will not bathe the Moon in its eerie hue this evening. According to Earthsky.com the Moon will appear about half a sky away from Uranus. Even if it did appear closer to the Moon when looking from Earth, it’s actually much too far away to be able to light up the surface of the Moon. Depending on the solar system’s orbital gyrations, Uranus can sit between 1.6 billion miles and nearly two billion miles away from Earth.


    A plane flies in front of the Moon, January 1, 2018. Uranus will not bathe the Moon in a green hue on April 20.
    TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS

    Originally intended as a joke, this post has taken on a life of its own, spawning new iterations in 2017 and again this year.

    It’s not entirely clear how the number 420 became associated with cannabis culture, but a number of suggestions have been put forward over the years. Former High Times editor Steven Hager told the New York Times that the date is inspired by the daily 4.20 p.m. pot-smoking ritual of a group of San Rafael High School students in California.

    According to Snopes.com, a Grateful Dead concert flyer detailed 420's high school origins. Back in 1990, another High Times editor, Steve Bloom, told magazine staff about the flyer. They started using the phrase shortly after.

    Another popular suggestion is that 420 is either police radio code for cannabis smoking or the penal code section for pot use in California. Snopes debunks both of these claims, as well as claims 420 recognises the death date of Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or indeed, Janis Joplin. None of these performers died on April 20 of any year.

    Even though it won’t glow green, it's certainly still worth gazing up at the Moon tonight. A sliver will be illuminated as our satellite passes through its waxing crescent phase. Stargaze for long enough and you might just catch a shooting star as we are just two days from the peak of the ongoing Lyrids meteor shower.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #180
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    From Cannabis Now


    Cannabis & Traditional Chinese Medicine
    Reconnecting patients with time-honored healing.

    By Sara Payan Published on May 14, 2018

    You don’t hear a lot about cannabis use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but the plant has a long history with the practice. Known as da ma in Chinese medicine, cannabis is considered one of the 50 “fundamental” herbs of TCM.

    The Chinese goddess Ma Gu, a name that literally means “hemp maiden,” is associated with longevity and the elixir of life and the Chinese term for anesthesia is composed with the Chinese character that means hemp.

    Hua Tuo, a Han Dynasty physician, is credited as the first person to use cannabis as an anesthetic, by mixing the dried and powdered plant with wine for use internally and externally. By utilizing this preparation (known as ma fei san) in conjunction with acupuncture, he was able to perform surgeries and control the pain of his patients.

    It is also believed that moxibuxtion — the burning of dried plants next to the skin to stimulate circulation — originally utilized both mugwort and cannabis.

    In modern TCM, cannabis or hemp seeds are are often used to treat constipation. Additional uses include relief for menstrual cramps, anxiety, dry cough, asthma and spasms.

    Cannabis is said to strengthen the Yin, but is rarely used on its own because using cannabis alone is considered unhealthy and toxic in TCM, as it may cause imbalances in the body.

    TCM practitioners do believe however, that excessive cannabis use can cause a deficiency of vitality, overtaxing the liver and costing the body its Yin energy.

    Recent studies show that acupuncture also manipulates the endocannabinoid system, increasing endogenous cannabinoid CB2 receptors to upregulate opioids in inflamed skin tissue. A 2009 study showed that inflamed skin tissue treated for pain relief with electro-acupuncture had a statistically relevant increase in anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced in the human body that binds to the same cell receptors as THC. These studies suggest that combining therapies present in TCM with cannabis use could be successful in treating imbalances in the endocannabinoid system.

    A Century of Humiliation

    You may be asking, “If TCM uses cannabis in its practice, why is cannabis use illegal in China?” The answer is colonization and the Opium Wars.

    In the mid-19th century, after the defeat of the Qing Dynasty, the British forced China to legalize opium, creating a generation of addicts and weakening the strength of the country. The British government purposely encouraged the opium addiction in order to force trade in China’s ports and weaken the country’s economic foothold in the world — and to make money off opium sales. After Britain gained influence in the country, both the United States and France used China’s weakened state to leverage their power and demand access to its ports for trade.

    After decades of healing after the Opium Wars, today’s TCM practitioners are increasingly more willing to partner with their patients and have informed conversations about cannabis use in daily life. One example of this is the fact that the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at CIIS in San Francisco held a symposium in last year to help better educate practitioners about the medical applications of cannabis and how it might fit into therapies with their patients. This class, which was open to acupuncturists, shows that along with a resurgence of cannabis incorporation in TCM, the curiosity, inquiry and enthusiasm to learn more about this plant has never been more evident.

    Originally published in Issue 28 of Cannabis Now.
    Mugwort = moxa in this particular article
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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