Marijuana is said to have many medicinal benefits; science has shown that the flowers of the cannabis plant can help people cope with chronic pain, nausea, and mental health issues. A lesser-known fact is that cannabis roots may also have potential healing powers.
Rooted In History
The possible benefits associated with cannabis roots is not a new revelation. Modern-day practices have been slow to catch up with traditional and more holistic ways of treating various conditions.
According to a scientific paper published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the Roman historian, Pliny the Elder, wrote about using cannabis roots for medicine in Natural Histories (1st century). He prescribed it as a cure for gout and as a relaxant for joint pain.
By the late 17th century, doctors and herbalists treated various ailments including fever, inflammation, arthritis, joint pain, skin burns, and hard tumors (an abscess or ulcer) with cannabis root.
The roots of the plant hardly contain any THC, cannabidiol, or other known phytocannabinoids. But they are a good source of many active compounds, including friedelin, a triterpene that has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve both pain and fevers.
Friedelin is also found in certain types of moss, which is also currently being researched as a potential treatment option for people suffering from cramps, nausea, and inflammatory diseases.
Although more modern research on cannabis roots needs to be done, for hundreds of years, physicians and herbalists have suggested that most health benefits can be drawn by first boiling them and then drenching a compress in the liquid and applying it topically.
That method is said to be best when it comes to treating fevers, inflammation, gout, and arthritis. But to soothe burns, boiled cannabis root has traditionally been blended into butter and applied to the skin.
Ancient Chinese cultures used the juice from the cannabis root to stop hemorrhaging after childbirth. Historical records from east Indonesia show the roots had been eaten raw to cure various STD’s.
Enough About The Past
Today, the roots of both hemp and cannabis can be found in many body lotions, salves, massage oils, and other products purchased from many licensed cannabis dispensaries in North America.
Still, more research is needed, especially since cannabis roots can be used for phytoremediation, a process in which toxins are cleaned from the soil.
With an increasing number of countries legalizing cannabis, either for medicinal or recreational use, the entire plant, roots, shoots, fruits and all, will be spending a lot more time under the microscope.
There’s no telling what they’ll find.