date: 02 June 2020

Whilst we may never know exactly when humans first started cultivating and using cannabis, we do know that it’s been a part of our history for centuries. And sometimes, to really appreciate something, we need to look into its past. So, we’re looking into hemp’s history; before the CBD oil, CBD gummies and CBD industry that we know today.

Henry the Hemp King

Henry VIII is probably best known for his multitude of marriages and the – largely – dishonourable ways he enabled himself to have six wives. A less known fact is, in the mid 16th Century Henry VIII required all farmers to sow a quarter of an acre (about 1000m2) of hemp for every 60 acres of land they owned. Whilst this may not seem like a huge imposition, hemp was no easy harvest. Being over 2 metres tall with tough stalks, it took a lot of manpower to fulfil the king’s demands. The veracious need for hemp was carried

The Blazing Bard

William Shakespeare is undoubtedly one of the most well-known English writers, giving us plays and poems that would go on to inspire centuries of creativity. In 2015, the Bard’s mentions of “the noted weed” and “compounds strange” came to hold a new significance after South African scientists digging in his garden discovered 24 clay pipes. 8 of these clay pipes had cannabis residue inside them!

Even the Queen gets cramps

Just like most people that menstruate, Queen Victoria suffered from dreadful period cramps. To try and combat the monthly pains, her doctor, John Russell Reynolds, prescribed a hemp tincture. It was most likely a less-refined version of our DROPS. Given that it wouldn’t have been possible to carefully extract the CBD from cannabis and remove any THC, we can’t say that it’s strictly CBD benefits the Queen was reaping.

The Queen’s Doctor

John Russell Reynolds was a notable neurologist and the Royal physician to Queen Victoria. His studies into neurology lead him to consider cannabis as a potential treatment for migraines, epileptic conditions, depression and asthma; he believed it held great value. He went on to write a paper that was published in The Lancet – the UK’s oldest medical journal) in which he said, “when pure and administered carefully, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess.”

The Cannabis advocates

Despite it being outlawed globally by the early 20th Century, many people remained staunch cannabis supporters. People like Jack Herer - a well-known American author - and Mary Jane Rathbun - a law-defying baker - spent their lives fighting for the legalisation of medical cannabis. Their efforts, along with those of countless others, helped change minds across the world. This persistant, unfaltering belief speaks to the power and potential of cannabis.

From reducing carbon emissions to reducing the effects of stress – there are so many things that cannabis, cannabinoids and hemp might be able to do. Apothem was inspired by this versatility; it’s why we created a range of CBD products that could be used day or night – whenever you need them.

Next in our series, find out why Cannabis was introduced to the Western World.  Click HERE to read more.