Cannabis: A Lost History

Cannabis: A Lost History

2018, Drugs  -   23 Comments
Ratings: 7.80/10 from 71 users.

With the ongoing debates regarding its legalization in the United States, cannabis remains a relevant topic of interest in our modern times. This relevance is by no means a new phenomenon. As illustrated in the enlightening documentary "Cannabis: The Lost History", the plant has played a key role in many aspects of society for thousands of years.

This history dates back to the year 50 B.C. Ancient Chinese texts from that time herald the plant's medicinal benefits when treating gout, rheumatism, infection, inflammation and over one hundred additional ailments. Cannabis also proved fundamental in the production of China's clothing, as well as their dietary regimens and burial practices.

The versatile plant was also embraced across the east. Ancient Indian and Iranian religious texts are replete with references to hemp; in some instances, it served as their chief sacrament. It was an important element in the birth of Buddhism as well.

The film goes on to explore the implementation of cannabis in Egyptian and Greek culture, its enigmatic presence within the pages in the Bible, and the complicated relationship it has endured in the U.S.

The medicinal use of the plant was widely accepted in western culture for many years. That all changed with the formation of the American Medical Association. The guidelines they set forth largely scoffed upon the long term efficacy of herbal remedies, and inspired a campaign that sought to alter perceptions of cannabis in the mainstream. Publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst led these efforts as he spread a steady stream of panic-inducing propaganda. Marijuana, as it was now called, was no longer considered a source of benefit for people, but one of menace.

In its depiction of current circumstances, the film spotlights the many societal issues surrounding our ongoing relationship with cannabis, including mass incarceration, racial disparities, and well-funded anti-drug campaigns.

The film encapsulates a wide range of history into its 65-minute running time as it veers from the sun gods of ancient religious rituals to the hysteria brought on by the exploitation film Reefer Madness. Narrated in great detail and an appropriately laid back tone, "Cannabis: The Lost History" shows a tremendous knowledge and reverence for its subject.

Directed by: Chris Rice

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23 Comments / User Reviews

  1. fg

    @heather I have never had a ED problem , 40 yrs smoking and still firing rounds off without any troubles . You need to get your facts right . ED mainly occurs from unhealthy diet to much fatty acids in the blood etc, or your ole man just has lost his attraction for you , I know not the why but , Ed doesn't come from THC.

    @Juan it is all hemp just different strains , Hemp is the main thing rope and clothing was made from during the past . Hemp still has thc active just very low levels .

  2. Juan Dough

    What i don't get is why no one seems to be paying attention to that other non-euphoric, non-medicinal cannabis plant hemp. Henry Ford knew what he was doing. And if that makes no sense to you, bone up on your research.

  3. StonerX

    @Heather--- Sources please. And no personal experience does not count.

  4. nick kearney

    Fantastic insight into the past use of pot , its role in history and today. Please contact TV3 in New Zealand to get the documentary screened. We love pot, and need to bring it to the fore , in the face of P. Great work.

    1. chris rice

      Nick, I am the director of this documentary. If you've got contact info for someone at TV3, I'd be interested. Let me know!

  5. barb

    The background music is very annoying and the narrator's voice is monotone but the history and info is interesting and thorough. I couldn't see the whole film as the background music is awfully nerve wracking. good luck

  6. Heather

    People who are pro for Marijuana never address the fact that it brings on early erectile dysfunction in men. Even earlier than normal smokers. In my own family and most of my aquaintances we are only factory fodder types, but hard workers but our offspring who smoke marijuana are lazy slackers and have become introverts. They all seem to have a strong tendencies not to go out and never seem to allow a grandparent or grandchild relationship. They seem to think it is their right to live on the dole and not a privilege. I believe cannabis oil is helpful in seizures and should be grown by governments and administered by prescription only by doctors. The oil used in the bible was olive oil. Olive oil was used as a source of light as well as cooking. The olive tree was revered and grown every where through out the Mediterranean and Europe

    1. Al Frey

      Where is your proof? Show me where you get your information. What are your credentials? If your going to spread your propaganda at least have valid proof. I feel you need to educate yourself before you type your ridiculous claims that hold no truth. FYI new studies out that say cannabis can help with sex and as a 44 year old man that has consumed cannabis on a daily basis for 15 years my hard on never fails me not even after multiple sex sessions. My girlfriend is very satisfied.

    2. Al Frey

      A new Stanford University study found people who regularly use marijuana have about 20 percent more sex than those who abstain.

      Men who smoked pot daily had sex about 1.3 more times per month as those who are infrequent users and those who abstain. Women who smoked pot every day had sex about one more time per month than those who never use cannabis and those who are infrequent users.

      "Marijuana use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency and does not appear to impair sexual function," researchers concluded.

    3. charles

      Heather..... At 80 years of age it's getting a little difficult now to get an erection, so I'd say someone is putting you on. Cannabis is truly one of the world's great plants, anyway you look at it...... and nothing is safer, you can't find a death. It's the other stuff, the prescription stuff that your doctor prescribes you that has such a high death rate associated with it. And the cannabinoid system is a part of our bodies...... go look it up. Would you believe your government is lying to you?

    4. Deb

      That just sounds like millennial, gen z behavior to me.

    5. Za

      Prove it I’ve been smoking 16 years never have I had Ed unless I’m not attractive to you anymore different story I’m pro recreation all day

  7. HonestlyTho

    T. L. Anderson: Actually it's more likely there isn't a causality there, it would seem that schizophrenics who smoke weed still act like schizophrenics, and are just likely to smoke earlier, and are generally more like to self medicate.


    Alcohol was killing me and was affecting my nervous system, I used marijuana to relieve me of my demons and stop my stuttering in which my body and mind was suffering, I will never drink alcohol like I used to and now would rather have a cone and get activated than get drunk and stupid. May the lies on marijuana eventually be exposed and the truth accepted .

  9. Idamedia Smith

    Cannabis will not become legal because it helps the jails out in most states.

  10. jim james

    I'd have to be stoned to enjoy that music...............

  11. bakunin

    Why is it that filmmakers allow really bad music to be used to get in the way of the narration. It is so dumb.
    Very good information, much needed.

  12. AlanF

    Sounded like the narrator had smoked a bit too much.

    The history was interesting but obviously some of the Hindu stuff was suspect.
    I agree it is disgusting it is illegal in every sense. Money wasted on jailing kids. Don't have any interest in using it, but it does have medical purposes.

  13. Rhyno

    Very good. I feel that our Government has been in control of this and many other issues that are illegal just because their agenda requires it and not because of a threat to "We the People".

  14. T. L. Anderson

    Beware, though; smoking of anything is not good for you, and there may be a relationship between marijuana consumed in youth and the development of schizophrenia in some vulnerable individuals. Future advances in medicine, including genetic testing to reveal individual vulnerabilities, as well as teasing out the particular chemicals within cannabis for medicinal purposes, will likely make this herb trustworthy and useful in medicine.

  15. Awesomeness

    The background music really sucks, and is totally distracting.

  16. greg poirier

    Hey Nancy: Just say "I'm dead".

  17. corynski

    Finally, a documentary film about cannabis that omits all the hysteria and nonsense..... how amazing! And it appears that I have the first comment regarding the film..... Yes, I am pleased to hear a discussion and to see such a beautiful film regarding one of the most important plants in the world. Just think of the thousands of years of hunting and gathering peoples who likely used it for medicinal as will as spiritual reasons. Surely it hasn't always had such a tortured existence as it has lately here in the twentieth century.... hopefully once again it will be respected.