There is no surprise that marijuana made it to a pharmacy map that was released in the 1930s depicting the kinds of plants you could expect to find in pharmacy medication at the time. This map indicates the different types of plants that were used by pharmacists of the time including different types of seaweed from the Atlantic up to the famous cannabis sativa plant.

This map is an indication of the kind of care and love that went into producing medicines that began as plant material. However, over the last century so many people have been incarcerated for the use, possession and sale of the cannabis sativa plant. The attitude has certainly changed since this map was released, but we are now making a journey back towards medicinal plant material for human consumption.

Medicinal plants are nothing new

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Human beings have been using plants as medicine for thousands of years now, and despite the fact that we now incarcerate people for using cannabis, plant material is still used in making pharmaceutical drugs in modern times. In fact, most of the medicines available in pharmacies began once as plant material that was then refined through chemistry and biology to make a very potent pharmaceutical drug. So in fact, almost all the drugs sold over the counter today began as plant material. But of course, we have refined them down so that they no longer look, smell or taste like the plant that they once were, and they even carry some dangers associated with them, too.

It’s no surprise that marijuana has made it to this medicinal map, as human beings have found a way to use marijuana as medicine for thousands of years. During the last century, it has been completely shunned by society, while pharmacists go on trying to increase their knowledge of how to use plant material in the making of pharmaceutical drugs. But, in the last decade, we have made a move towards natural medicine that has not been so refined like pharmaceutical drugs, such as the marijuana leaf for example, which requires next to no processing in order for its medicinal benefits to be enjoyed.

Pharmacists relationships with plants diminishing over time

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During the 30s, 40s, and 50s, pharmacists began producing chemical drugs that did not begin in plant material, therefore synthesizing chemicals completely in a laboratory. Once upon a time, this process of synthesis began with the plant material, to continue refining it down to concentrated versions of its constituent parts. Nowadays, pharmacists are working harder and harder to fabricate new chemicals, and, as a result, are losing their relationship with the medicinal value of plants.

This all began with the beginning of synthesized aspirin and penicillin, and although we cannot deny how powerful these two medicines have been to people, we cannot deny how this process has diminished our understanding of plants, including cannabis.

The map released by the National Wholesale Druggists’ Association is an example of how connected our pharmacists were to medicinal plants once upon a time, not needing to look any further than the plant itself for the medicine that people needed. There is no doubt that our ancestors would tell us that we are going the wrong way when it comes to making drugs, and we should be looking more towards the plants than the laboratory.

Moving back to medicinal plants

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The modern era seems to be making a journey back towards medicinal plants rather than refined or synthesized chemicals. We can see this simply through the amount of people who are now treating their cancers with cannabis oil and other marijuana products. More and more people want to choose a natural way to treat their illnesses, becoming aware of just how much safer it is to do it this way compared to pharmaceutical drugs.

We should be taking a leaf out of the book of our ancestors, perhaps we should be taking a map from it, to rediscover the healing power of plants without the need to synthesize dangerous chemicals to maintain our health.

What’s your opinion on the move modern medicine has made these days? Share your thoughts about natural medicine on our social media page, or in the comments below.