Most, if not all, of modern medicines, grew their roots quite literally from early botany. Though the practice of using herbs and tinctures for healing today meets with skepticism and wry grins from Western culture, but this was not always so. For millennia, the “ancient Chinese secrets” of holistic medicine were regarded as highly advanced. Now, with essential oils, the advances in scientific studies of the body, and cannabis, they have regained their validity.
Chinese medicine and cannabis
Cannabis is known as “Ma,” in Chinese, meaning “help, cannabis, & numbness.” To understand just how far back the medical history of cannabis in China goes, here are just a handful of references.
- Approx 2,737 BCE: Tales of the Red Emperor Shen Nung state that he introduced the plant along with many others into medical use. He is considered the ‘patron’ of all herbalists and apothecaries
- Approx 2698-2205 BCE: Yellow Emperor Huang Ti supposedly invented acupuncture needles, and wrote the Nei Ching, or Chinese Canon of Medicine. This text outlined the use of cannabis and other plants for ailments
- 1 AD: The oldest herbal pharmacopeia on record, “Pen Ts’ao Ching” detailed many uses for cannabis in Chinese medicine
- 140-208 AD: Hua Tuo becomes the first medical practitioner to use cannabis in conjunction with acupuncture to numb patients during surgery
- 700 AD: The world’s oldest stash of psychoactive cannabis dates to this time, found in 2008 in the tomb of a shaman in remote China
In addition, the Chinese goddess Magu (literally: “hemp maiden”) carries the association of longevity and the elixir of life.
Cannabis and acupuncture
The healing capabilities of both of these medical avenues seem to spring up in the same era, and for good reason. Acupuncture uses needles placed just under the skin to balance the flow of chi, or energy, in line with a system of points known as Meridians. While this might sound “hokey,”
The practice known as “cupping,” or moxibustion actually uses herbs directly. Traditionally, the healer would heat the air in the cup by burning mugwort and cannabis. Then, the healer put the cup on the skin, and a vacuum created suction. This would “pull illness and toxins” from the body. The two practices combined can use needles with burning herbs or oils on top.
Acupuncture boasts many success stories of helping people free themselves from addictions, lose weight, and regain health much like cannabis. If you live in a legal state, you should see if your acupuncturist is trained in cannabis medicine.
Cannabis is widely used to increase the effectiveness of many forms of holistic healing. Combining it with acupuncture might be the perfect combination.
Have you used acupuncture for healing or quitting smoking? Have you used cannabis with it? Tell us about it on social media or in the comments below.