Marijuana Use in Different Cultures

Marijuana Use in Different Cultures

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that is made from the cannabis plant and when inhaled causes feelings of euphoria. It is one of the oldest known psychoactive drugs. Because it is a weed, it can be grown in a variety of climates and soils and is used worldwide. While in American culture marijuana is mostly used recreationally, internationally it has been used medicinally, as well as in spiritual and religious contexts. Its ability to alter one’s mood, perceptions and consciousness has made marijuana a popular drug worldwide. Unfortunately, this popularity has also given rise to problems with abuse and addiction, which requir professional help.

Marijuana Used Medicinally Worldwide

For centuries marijuana has been used around the world to treat everything from gout to malaria to mental stress. People in ancient China used it as an anesthetic, and it is listed as one of the 50 “fundamental” herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. People in ancient Egypt used marijuana to treat sore eyes and hemorrhoids. In ancient India, the drug was used to treat insomnia, headaches and pain, especially during childbirth. In ancient Greece, the leaves of the cannabis plant were used to stop nosebleeds, and the seeds were used to get rid of tapeworms. By the 19th century, marijuana was used by much of the western world as a painkiller, especially before aspirin was invented. While recreational marijuana use is illegal in much of the world, it is being legalized for medicinal purposes in many places, including Canada, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel and several states in the U.S.

Marijuana Used Worldwide for Religious Purposes

Because of its ability to alter one’s mental state, marijuana has been used since ancient times as a part of spiritual and religious rituals around the world. It is used in Hinduism in association with worship of the Hindu god Shiva, and smoking the drug is seen as a gift to that deity. Some Africans have a centuries-old tradition of smoking marijuana in gourd pipes in a cult-like practice. Marijuana was used as a hallucinogen by ancient Chinese shamans, and the Scythians in Greece took marijuana steam baths. The pagans in Germany used marijuana to worship some of their gods, and its use was connected with some religious festivals. The Rastafarians are well known for their use of marijuana as part of their worship of their king and to help them meditate. They see marijuana use as a way to get closer to their god.

When Marijuana Use Becomes a Problem

In many cultures throughout the world, marijuana is used for multiple purposes. In most countries, possession and recreational use of the drug are illegal to some degree, but marijuana use has been decriminalized in many places. Though it is seen as harmless by many, abuse of marijuana can be hazardous to a person’s health and well-being, causing issues such as respiratory problems and mental illness. If marijuana use becomes an addiction, it can have a devastating impact on one’s life. Marijuana addiction is a serious problem that requires professional treatment.

Do You Need Help for Marijuana Abuse?

Are you or someone you love struggling with a marijuana problem? Please don’t let cultural attitudes towards the drug stand in the way of getting the help you need. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day, so call our toll-free number now.