When thinking about cannabis roots, it’s unlikely that anyone’s mind goes to medicinal use. Most of us think about how the health of the root supports the quality of our plant. But marijuana roots on their own have been a great medicinal resource, used for over 4,700 years as far as we know. A Chinese text dating back to 2,700 BCE mentions marijuana root was used as a pain killer and, when dried and ground, was used to heal broken bones. It was also used to stop excessive bleeding and, in this manner, along with the pain killing properties, assist in childbirth.
Use of Medicinal Cannabis Roots in History
In 79 BCE, Pliny the Elder, a Roman historian, explained how relief for pain, gout and joints could be attained by boiling marijuana roots in water and presumably drinking or applying it to the source of pain. He also claimed that the raw root could be used to relieve burns and blistering. Another Roman doctor discussed the anti-inflammatory benefits of using cannabis roots. Evidence of using cannabis root to heal sciatica and pelvic pain was supported by the early 18th century doctor William Salmon. These are just some of the places where marijuana root use has been documented in history as serving a medicinal benefit. In fact, up until prohibition, doctors would recommend a decoction hemp root to relieve inflammation, incontinence and venereal disease.
Scientifically Breaking Down the Roots of Marijuana Plants
All these remedies are, of course, still valid but today we have scientific evidence to support anti-inflammatory and pain killing properties associated to cannabis roots. In 1971 researchers discovered that the root contains friedelin, an antioxidant that is known to protect the liver. They also found that the roots contain pentacyclic triterpene ketones, which are compounds that have powerful anti-inflammatory, pain killing and anti-microbial effects. They are even believed to kill cancer cells. Those researchers also discovered that the roots contain epifriedelanol which has been shown to have anti-tumor effects.
Further Benefits of Roots
They also contain choline and atropine. Choline is an important nutrient that is essential to the creation of healthy cell membranes. Post-menopausal women are often lacking in this nutrient and can benefit a lot from cannabis root tea. Atropine dilates and relaxes the eye muscles. We also know that marijuana in general contains terpenes that stop excessive bleeding. This may be the reason it was used to assist with hemorrhaging and child birth so many years ago.
Cannabis comes in 2 genders and many strains which are all likely to play a role in establishing the exact medicinal properties of a specific root. There is still so much research that needs to be done on this area to get the best use of the cannabis roots but history points us towards the direction at which we may need to star. Now that the DEA is allowing more research to be done on the medicinal benefits of marijuana, perhaps we can start to fully understand the full medicinal benefits of marijuana roots.