The researchers in the Sheba Oncology department are certainly not the first to discover marijuana’s pain-killing qualities. In fact, medicinal marijuana was used throughout ancient civilizations. The Ancient Egyptians reference marijuana frequently in their texts and used the plant to treat sore eyes around 2000 BCE. In 200 BCE, the Greeks were using it to treat earaches. Han Dynasty-era (circa 2nd or 3rd century) physician and surgeon named Hua Tuo used a hemp-based anesthetic called mafeisan to help his patients endure surgical procedures.
Even with so much history backing up the therapeutic capabilities of marijuana, scientists, researchers, medical professionals, and policy-makers are still struggling to concretely understand and support the relieving effects of the drug. Most marijuana-based products still have not received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and just over thirty countries have legalized the plant for medicinal purposes.
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