Marijuana has existed and been consumed, both medicinally and recreationally, for millennia. While there are many species and varieties of the marijuana plant, the most popular are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica (cannabis is the botanical name of marijuana). The Sativa plant is taller with thinner leaves and is known for having a stronger psychoactive effect. Indica is a shorter plant with thicker leaves and is historically known and used for it's pain relieving effects.
In ancient China, marijuana was grown and used as a treatment for numerous ailments ranging from gout to malaria. Evidence from East India shows successful uses of medicinal cannabis dating all the way back to the first millennium BC. Descriptions of medicinal cannabis can be found in the classical Roman medical texts of Galen and Dioscorides. They suggested the use of the "juice of the seed" to treat such concerns as earaches and lagging libido. It was also prescribed for its analgesic benefits.
Writings of the ancient Assyryans also mention cannabis as "qunnabu", and some biblical historians believe that "qunnabu" also means "kaneh bosn", or "aromatic cane" as in Exodus 30:23.
In 1994, evidence of an archeological nature was found that points to medical marijuana use in third century AD Egypt. The tomb of a young woman that had died while giving birth was found to contain hashish, a concentrated cannabis resin, likely used to help ease the pain of childbirth. Cannabis was also popular during the Victorian Era to relieve a myriad of conditiond, such as asthma, migraines, neuralgia, insomnia and the discomforts of menstruation.