CannabisFilter: Is hemp tea really a traditional remedy?
March 22, 2013 4:01 PM   Subscribe

I've heard from two people recently that cannabis tea is a traditional remedy back in their home countries in the Caribbean and in the Philippines. I know about Indian bhang, but that doesn't seem related. Let me explain.

I work in home care and have heard it on the authority of some caregivers that cannabis tea can be used to help relieve symptoms at the end of life, including those associated with dementia and delirium. I just can't seem to find any corroborating information online. And I'm not even sure to what extent bhang is used as a remedy even in India where it's quite well known.

So where is cannabis or hemp tea used traditionally as medicine? And for what conditions?

Anecdotes, vague memories, the stories of friends of friends, any information appreciated. Thanks mefites!
posted by 6thsense to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
even time magazine is hip to this:

"As early as 2737 B.C., the mystical Emperor Shen Neng of China was prescribing marijuana tea for the treatment of gout, rheumatism, malaria and, oddly enough, poor memory.",8599,1931247,00.html
posted by bobdow at 4:09 PM on March 22, 2013

Cannabinoids found in medical cannabis prevent or inhibit the progression of Alzheimer's disease.[81][82]

Research done by the Scripps Research Institute in California shows that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, prevents the formation of deposits in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. THC was found to prevent an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase from accelerating the formation of "Alzheimer plaques" in the brain more effectively than commercially marketed drugs. THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients, as reported in Molecular Pharmaceutics.[81] Cannabinoids can also potentially prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by reducing tau protein phosphorylation, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation.[82]

A 2012 review from the Philosophical Transactions of a Royal Society B suggested that activating the cannabinoid system may trigger an "anti-oxidant cleanse" in the brain by removing damaged cells and improving the efficiency of the mitochrondria. The review found cannabinoids may slow decline in age and disease-related cognitive functioning.[83][84]

This is from the wikipedia entry on medical marijuana.
posted by jalitt at 4:45 PM on March 22, 2013

I have successfully used cannabis tea to relieve pain. It also has helped me get back to sleep when pain is a problem. Also, it helps with nausea.
posted by mule98J at 5:05 PM on March 22, 2013

Best answer: My grandmother and her friends used to drink it for menstrual cramps. She was a Ukrainian living in northern China--this would have been around 1925, 1930. I'm not sure if it was a Ukrainian or Chinese cultural thing (or maybe both?) but it was in common use.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 12:12 AM on March 23, 2013

Best answer: My informant's grandmother drank cannabis tea for her health. She was born in Chicago in 1890 (of African descent; Caribbean status unknown to me), and died there 100+ years later.
posted by feral_goldfish at 10:52 AM on March 23, 2013

Best answer: Addendum: my informant explained the tea-drinking as a cultural trait rather than an idiosyncrasy. She also considered her grandmother to be a font of wisdom and memory, right up until the end. The day before she died, her granddaughter had reported her complaining of weariness and wanting to finally rest. RIP.
posted by feral_goldfish at 11:06 AM on March 23, 2013

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