Today, although marijuana is legalized mostly for its medicinal properties, many still see it as a psychedelic drug consumed solely by lazy and unproductive people. Before it became so stigmatized and outlawed, it was used for thousands of years for both medicinal and recreational purposes. During that time, marijuana wasn’t such a highly controlled substance as it is now, so consumers used it for more purposes than they do now because they had more freedom to do so. History shows that marijuana had a role in both religion and culture in many ancient civilizations across the world. The Middle Ages or Medieval Times as some scholars call it, is a prime example of a period when marijuana was used regularly.

First similarly to how it’s used and prescribed today, marijuana certainly had a role in medicine during the Medieval Times, which is the period between the fall of Rome in 476 CE and the beginning of the Renaissance in the 14th century. During this time, marijuana was said to be used by a number of physicians and herbalists. Many herbalists distinguished “manured hempe” from “bastard hempe” and recommended the former, cultivated marijuana to cure several illnesses like a common cough or jaundice. They recommended the latter for more severe medical concerns like tumors. They did warn however, that excessive use of the drug may cause sterility.