Queen Victoria's cramps and the history of medicinal marijuana in Europe
This week's International Women's Day is a great opportunity to remember how cannabis has helped women throughout human history cope with medical conditions related to female physiognomy. Cannabis helps millions of people around the world, but also specifically for women, and not just today.
Documents espousing the medical benefits of marijuana first appeared in 2900 BC in China, but medicinal cannabis in Europe is indebted to an over-performing Irishman. Born in 1809, the Dr William Brooke O'Shaughnessy invented modern treatment for cholera, installed the first telegraph system in Asia, contributed to inventions in underwater engineering, and indeed pioneered the use of medical cannabis in Europe. Inspired by the use of cannabis in Ayurvedic and Persian medicine, O'Shaughnessy conducted the first clinical trials on marijuana, treating rheumatism, hydrophobia, cholera, tetanus and seizures.
This is one of the most fascinating episodes in the history of medical marijuana: Queen Victoria, a symbol of modesty and conservatism (although she does not deserve this reputation), may have received cannabis for relieve menstrual cramps. His private physician, and the source of cannabis, was Sir J. Russell Reynolds, who wrote in 1890 that “when pure and administered with care, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess. ".
It is believed that she was not turning on, however: Reynolds, it seems, prescribed her tinctures of cannabis, liquid concentrations of the drug which were the most common means of the drug. to administer (and many other things) at the time. Cannabis tinctures are currently experiencing a renaissance in medical cannabis centers and in states where marijuana is legal. They are given by means of a dropper under the tongue, and it only takes a very small amount to feel the effects. We can only hope this helped Victoria out of her difficulties.
Queen Victoria's menstrual cramps
Queen Victoria is undoubtedly the most representative figure of the spirit of the 19th century. Indeed his reign lasted more than 63 years from 1837 to 1901, a record of longevity for a British monarch that only the current Queen, Elizabeth II, has surpassed. In fact to this day, the second half of the 19th is known as the "Victorian Age".
The irony of the story is that this queen, whose name has become rather synonymous with Puritan conservatism and modesty, was in fact an independent woman who, contrary to the codes of aristocratic families in Europe, married for love with Prince Albert and an excellent married life. Together they gave birth to 9 children and lived in perfect harmony until Albert passed away.
From Queen Victoria's medical and historical records, we know that she suffered from menstrual cramps, which were particularly severe. This is why she was sometimes forced to postpone or slip away from certain official events.
Moreover, at some point, her pains ceased to make her suffer, although there is no unequivocal and absolute historical confirmation of this fact, the hypothesis considered as the most probable, is that this relief would come. due to his cannabis use.
The reason there is probably more than a hint of truth to this hypothesis has more to do with the identity of his personal physician Sir John Russell Reynolds - rather than the proliferation of rumors and gossip of the time. .
Analgesic and soothing
Reynolds, who, like many British scholars at the time, was spending his time in India. As a result, he was exposed to the cannabis plant and especially to its uses in folk medicine in the East. Reynolds studied the plant for 30 years and was very excited about its full potential and all its uses in the medical field. Among other things, he declared that "the plant is effective in cases of muscle cramps and menstrual cramps". It is therefore logical to think that his most important and famous patient, who suffered from this problem, could have benefited from this drug.
What Reynolds found in the 19th century is still relevant today and is confirmed by many researchers today. For example, Kim Lam a researcher who works in the Apollo clinic network confirms that in the case of menstruation accompanied by cramps and pain, the CBD component of cannabis helps to relax muscles and relieve pain and that the THC component has a synergistic effect that amplifies the effect of CBD.
Pharaonic style natural birth
The earliest evidence we know of the use of cannabis in the context of pregnancy and childbirth comes from an Egyptian papyrus from the second millennium AD This papyrus deals with medical practices prevalent in Pharaonic Egypt and where it is described that cannabis is a drug which helps relieve the pains of childbirth.
In the sixth century BC, under the Roman Empire, a similar use of cannabis was seen among the elite of Roman women, until the collapse of the empire in the sixth century AD.
Almost everything we know about medical cannabis supports the hypothesis that even for the modern woman, medical cannabis can relieve labor pains, although today it is not a recommended indication.
No doctor in Western medicine today would prescribe medical cannabis to a pregnant woman. But it is noted that in many cultures around the world and throughout history, from the beginning of the 19th century, as explained in the article, cannabis was used and considered an acceptable way to treat symptoms. pregnancy, such as nausea.