Cannabis History in Egypt

Cannabis History in Egypt

Posted by Jane Allred, Manager on 15th Feb 2014

Cannabis History in Egypt

The timeline starts roughly 5,000 years ago, when images of Sheshat, the Egyptian goddess of writing, are shown with a star shaped leaf on her head and holding a rope, very similar to the hemp rope used in Egypt for textiles at the time. 

Around this time, Egypt was one of the first countries to hold cleanliness and sanitation in such high regard, and this brought the first doctors to the culture. It is interesting to note that from what we can tell, doctors and magicians were the same thing at the time, believing that curing disease and pain was a form of magic involving plant medicine.

Around 2,000 BCE, crude forms of cannabis salves were used to cure what we now know was glaucoma. This is also the time that Egypt was the pioneer country for parchment paper, and with that comes a lot of documentation! Held at The British Museum is the “Ramesseum Papyri”, a form of medical journal or reference material for the doctors/magicians at the time.

One page of this document stands out, as it states “cannabis is ground and left in the dew overnight. Both eyes of the patient are to be washed with it in the morning” Beyond this passage, cannabis is used in several other treatments for feminine health, pain in appendages, an anti-inflammatory for aching backs, and fever reduction! Needless to say, the cannabis history in Egypt is fascinating.

These medical texts continue to surface, covering incredible medical advancements during shot periods of time, almost all remedies using cannabis topically. Unfortunately, Egypt has followed in the footsteps of most countries, making cannabis completely illegal. This does not seem to stop those who live in Egypt, however, as the country ranks in the top 25 for hash and cannabis consumption.

Many Egyptians still hold true to the medical practices of their ancestors, and lobby consistently for medical legalization. We hope for the sake of history that these ancient techniques are revived and shared with the world.

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