Around 2700 B.C., Emperor Shen Nung recommended cannabis as a treatment for more than 100 ailments. Venerated as the Father of Chinese Medicine and the possible inventor of tea, the emperor provided the basis for Pen Ts’ao Ching, the world’s oldest pharmacopoeia, which suggested medicinal cannabis use for gout, rheumatism, malaria and intestinal constipation. Later, around the second century A.D., the Chinese surgeon Hua T’o (a.k.a. the founder of Chinese surgery) began to experiment with cannabis as an anesthetic. By combining cannabis resin with wine to create an anesthetic called ma-yo, Hua T’o found he was able to reduce patients’ pain during surgical procedures like organ grafts, resectioning of the intestines, loin incisions and chest incisions.
Cannabis in Chinese Medicine