The good weed’s journey to infinity and beyond!

The History of Cannabis from ancient China to East Hastings in Vancouver BC.

Cannabis is still a topic of controversy, conversation, and curiosity despite becoming federally legal in 2018. Its journey spans millennia, deeply intertwined with human civilization and cultural practices across the globe. Join us on a historical voyage as we explore the rich tapestry of cannabis, from its ancient origins to its present-day significance.

The Ancient Beginnings:

CannaThe Chinese symbol for Hemp | Cannabisbis has deep roots in human history, dating back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests that cannabis was one of the first plants cultivated by our ancestors. Ancient civilizations in East Asia, Egypt, and South Asia revered cannabis for its medicinal, spiritual, and practical purposes. In China, it was valued for both its fibre and medicinal value, while in India, it was considered sacred and used in religious ceremonies. A little known fact is that to this day Cannabis is one of the 50 fundamental herbs in the Shennong Bencaojing which is the oldest Chinese pharmacopeia.

Cannabis hang drying circa 800 BC

The symbol for Cannabis in China was called Dàmá and interestingly enough we were inspired by a historic Chinese symbol that was created circa 800 BC in our original Village Dispensary logo. The image was of Cannabis hang drying and it was discovered in a bronze casting. 

The OG Village Dispensary Logo

We had to move on from that logo because we saw the writing on the wall when legalization was on route and words like dispensary were no longer welcome.

Looks like they got it right all along and that hang drying Cannabis is best! Craft growers like Victoria Cannabis Co., Woody Nelson, Royal Harvest and Smoker Farms all continue this practice and you can see, smell and taste the difference. Product like the VCC G-Wagon and the Woody Nelson Rainbow Driver are prime examples of quality cannabis that’s been hang dried.

G-Wagon is a personal favourite!

Moving on to the Medieval and Renaissance Period!

During the medieval and Renaissance periods, cannabis continued to play a prominent role in various cultures. Arabic physicians embraced its medicinal properties, using it to treat a wide range of ailments. Meanwhile, European explorers introduced cannabis to the “New World”, where it became a vital crop for colonial economies. This Colonial approach to Cannabis and Hemp is what eventually brought Cannabis to this side of the hemisphere.

19th Century to Prohibition Era:

In the 19th century, cannabis gained popularity in Western medicine, with doctors prescribing cannabis tinctures and extracts for various conditions. However, as the century progressed, attitudes towards cannabis began to shift. The temperance movement and concerns about drug abuse led to the criminalization of cannabis in many parts of the world. The early 20th century saw the rise of prohibition laws, culminating in the infamous US Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

It is also widely known that racism played a role in these dissenting attitudes as did Capitalism in that it was mostly Mexican and Black folk who were active consumers of the good weed. It also appears that both the Forestry and Plastics industries played a big role in petitioning for Cannabis prohibition. That’s a whole story in of itself, you can get a window into how that played out if you take a read on the Dutch Passion blog on Cannabis and the Law here.

Counterculture and Legalization Movement:

Despite prohibition, cannabis maintained a presence in underground subcultures, particularly during the countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s. The hippie movement embraced cannabis as a symbol of rebellion against societal norms. This era also saw advocacy groups pushing for the legalization of cannabis. They cited its medicinal benefits and challenged the stigma associated with its use.

The AIDS epidemic was key in pushing the Canadian Medical Cannabis agenda forward. Cool fact: in the early 1990’s  the BC Compassion Club was founded by Hilary Black. She later became a C suite member of Canopy Growth Corporation aka TWD. In the early 1990’s we also saw an “on paper” strategy on grading Cannabis which many of us still use today.  A (not so good) grade to AAAA grade (really, really good). Folks like Great Gardener Matt Beren have been winning awards internationally based on this grading system. Great Gardener Farms has been able to bring those award winning genetics into the Canadian legal system and we’ve been honoured to carry some of these genetics. We recommend you check out the Great Gardener Farms Sweet Peach and their Barbara Bud Rosin Infused 1g pre roll. If they are available we’ll have in stock! BC BUD has deep roots.

21st Century: Legalization and Innovation:

A growing body of scientific research has focused on the therapeutic potential of cannabis, leading to the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis around the World. Canada legalized Cannabis on April 17th, 2018 and attitudes towards cannabis have undergone a dramatic transformation. We’ve experienced innovations in cultivation, product development, and distribution.  It has been all sunshine and roses. Those of us who contributed to creating this modern industry have experienced a cultural death of sorts.  Today, cannabis is not only a billion-dollar industry but  it is also a focal point of discussions surrounding social justice, public health, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity.

The history of cannabis is a testament to its enduring significance in human society. From ancient rituals to modern-day retail access, cannabis has traversed continents and cultures, leaving an indelible mark on our collective consciousness. As we continue to navigate the complex landscape of cannabis legalization and regulation, it is essential to reflect on its storied past and consider the lessons it offers for the future.

We feel honoured to be on this journey.