DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Ever wondered what it would feel like to slather a mixture of lamb’s fat and cannabis all over your naked body? The sensation was a familiar one to European women, once upon a time.
While the U.S. is only now starting to explore modern medical uses of marijuana, for centuries, women around the world have harnessed the magical green leaves to relieve pain, make sex better, and even attempt to manage STDs. The jury is still out on how safe and effective these remedies were, but perhaps they’ll inspire new research into cannabis’ potential today.
Here’s a quick tour through pot’s lesser-known history with the ladies.
Women rubbed pot on swollen breasts.
Weed has been used as a topical treatment for centuries. Back in the eleventh century, women used it to treat swollen breasts. The Old English Herbarium described the process as follows: “Rub [the herb] with fat, lay it to the breast, it will disperse the swelling.” Documents show the same method was used in nineteenth-century Germany and Austria, where cannabis was “laid on the painful breasts of women who have given birth.”