Everything You Should Know About the History of Cannabis Roots.

January 15, 2020

Chances are you’ve heard a lot about cannabis over the past few years as legalization reopened the discussion on mainstream social and educational platforms across the country, but while most conversations revolve around the dry flower, oils and even hemp products that come from the parts of the plant that grows above ground, we feel there’s plenty to talk about below ground… in the cannabis roots.

The roots of the cannabis plant have a long history of use for medicinal purposes that dates back more than a millennia and that stretches around the globe. And yet, even within a western society jam-packed with countless health needs and varying treatments, most of us haven’t heard about products that leverage the legal, and impressive healing powers of cannabis roots.

Most likely, this is due to the challenges that would come from requiring supply to come from the leftover materials of an illegal plant. Which is why the changed legal landscape surrounding cannabis in Canada since 2017 appears to have opened the door to leveraging this opportunity…

…and we’ve recently walked right through it.

Stigma Roots is our newest, lifestyle product-focused brand positioned to take the roots from our Stigma Grow LP plant and, instead of destroying them as per the current legal mandate, turn them into a high-value line of low-risk, high-impact balms, creams and lotions.

And while our recipes and process have been fine-tuned to offer the very best products, it’s not as if we were the first to discover the healing power of cannabis roots.


As we mentioned above, the history of using cannabis roots as an ingredient for several medicinal purposes stretches hundreds of years across just about every continent. The first recorded use of cannabis root as medicine dates back to roughly 2700 BCE.

  • In 79 CE, the Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote in Naturalis Historia that cannabis root was boiled in water for joint cramps, gout, and acute pain relief.
  • In the early 18th century, English physician William Salmon used a cannabis root and barley mixture for treating sciatica and pelvic joint pain.
  • Traditionally brewed in tea, cannabis roots are valued for their anticancer properties in Brazil, where friedelin-infused ointments are applied topically for symptomatic relief.
  • Practitioners of Chinese medicine have utilized preparations from cannabis roots to aid women during and after pregnancy. To assist with difficult childbirth, cannabis root is administered orally, either as juice or a decoction.
  • In the ancient Chinese pharmacopeia (Pên-ts’ao Ching), there are references to the therapeutic use of hemp roots for obstetric issues: ‘‘The juice of the root is thought to have a beneficial action in retained placenta and postpartum hemorrhage.’’
  • Accounts from other areas of Asia report that the root of the hemp plant dispels stasis and stanches bleeding. It is used in the treatment of flooding and spotting, vaginal discharge, difficult delivery and retention of the placenta.
  • In the early 18th century, the English physician William Salmon wrote that “the decoction of the hemp root eases the pains of the gout, helps hard tumours or knots of the joints, cramps, shrinking of the sinews, and eases sciatic pain in the hip. The application must be reapplied every day.”
  • In the Canon of Medicine, the 12th century medical encyclopedia written by the Persian philosopher Ibn Sina (known as Avicenna in Latin), antipyretic properties of cannabis roots are discussed. Ibn Sina observes that “the compress with the boiled roots of cannabis decreases fever.”
  • In Argentina, hemp roots have been used both topically and orally for treating fever.
  • The Greek medical writer Oribasius wrote that dry cannabis root could be used for treating skin eruptions when mixed with pigeon droppings. While you may want to hold off on the guano, raw crushed cannabis roots have shown to be effective for treating a variety of skin conditions.
  • Up to the turn of the 20th century, physicians in the United States recommended decoctions of hemp root for treating inflammation.
  • A Malaysian plant (Phyllanthus watsonii ) was found to contain friedelin and epifriedelanol, the same compounds found in cannabis roots, and its components appear to successfully inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.

After hundreds of years of success, we think it’s about time that this long-standing and trusted form of plant medicine be leveraged for western Canadian use. Don’t you?

Want to learn more about Stigma Roots products and their benefits?

Check out our partner company’s website at www.stigmaroots.ca or check out this blog to discover the many ways cannabis roots have helped others with a variety of health and wellness needs.