Presentation (Project) Title

Multifaceted Stigma Associated with Cannabis Use in Epilepsy Treatments

Mentor Information

Andrea Vianello (Department of Anthropology)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

The earliest use of cannabis for a variety of medicinal uses dates back to ancient China, during the rule of Emperor Shen Nung (ca. 2700 BCE). Several other instances of cannabis were recorded in the Middle East, Egypt, and India between 1800 and 1500 BCE. European colonialism was responsible for the introduction of cannabis into Western Medicine. Archaeological and historical evidence including artifacts and texts confirms the use of cannabis for various purposes. The use of cannabis in different treatment options spiked in the 19th century but slowly dwindled in the 20th century due to cannabis trafficking and international prohibition, leading to a stigmatized approach to the use of cannabis and related products, even for medicinal uses. Recently, cannabis has been gaining a lot of attention for its medicinal use. Two active components of cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) play different but important roles in the endocannabinoid system. Two important receptors, CB1 and CB2 have a high affinity for THC and are able to form a binding complex with this active compound. CBD inhibits THC controlling its side-effects. In this work, we are going to determine how the stigma associated by past experiences is affecting current research. We will use historical and archaeological data to examine the push for research on cannabis as well as the resistance from those who perceive it as a harmful narcotic.

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Multifaceted Stigma Associated with Cannabis Use in Epilepsy Treatments

The earliest use of cannabis for a variety of medicinal uses dates back to ancient China, during the rule of Emperor Shen Nung (ca. 2700 BCE). Several other instances of cannabis were recorded in the Middle East, Egypt, and India between 1800 and 1500 BCE. European colonialism was responsible for the introduction of cannabis into Western Medicine. Archaeological and historical evidence including artifacts and texts confirms the use of cannabis for various purposes. The use of cannabis in different treatment options spiked in the 19th century but slowly dwindled in the 20th century due to cannabis trafficking and international prohibition, leading to a stigmatized approach to the use of cannabis and related products, even for medicinal uses. Recently, cannabis has been gaining a lot of attention for its medicinal use. Two active components of cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) play different but important roles in the endocannabinoid system. Two important receptors, CB1 and CB2 have a high affinity for THC and are able to form a binding complex with this active compound. CBD inhibits THC controlling its side-effects. In this work, we are going to determine how the stigma associated by past experiences is affecting current research. We will use historical and archaeological data to examine the push for research on cannabis as well as the resistance from those who perceive it as a harmful narcotic.