Did you know that cannabis was extensively used by people engaging in conflict? Yes, you read that right. From ancient Indian warriors to the American troops in Vietnam and the conscripted child forces of modern-day Africa, cannabis has been greatly consumed by armed forces. Are you wondering what the consequences of this unusual practice were? Read on to know more.
Cannabis as a Weapon of War: History of Cannabis Use in Warfare
Most of today’s enthusiasts look at cannabis as a peaceful substance- something that will calm and relax your body while increasing the feelings of social cooperation and togetherness within your community. However, cannabis has been avidly used in warfare throughout history and we cannot help but marvel at the variety of uses cannabis has undergone.
Use of cannabis in warfare
Throughout history, cannabis has been proved to be a reliable companion to humanity and has served a variety of purposes. While some people consider cannabis to be a religious sacrament, some consider it a healing plant. Most people, however, look at it as a mildly soothing, recreational product that relaxes the body and improves social bonding.
So, how is it that this product became popular as a product used in warfare? In the Anglo-Zulu war (Ian Wright 2008), cannabis was used by the Swazi army to increase the courage of the soldiers. In addition, it was also expected to stave off the fatigue during night attacks.
It is also said that the Zulus have also used some amounts of cannabis as part of their pre-battle rituals. Apparently, the Zulus have grown fond of using cannabis during warfare because, according to them, it helps in increasing the courage and aggression among their troops.
The assassins of ancient Persia
Many people are of the belief that the name ‘hashish’ was given by the crusaders and the assassins. The name ‘hash’ has its roots in the arabic word ‘hashishin’. The members of crusaders were the assassins’ prime target and they began to develop a great sense of fear of their rivals. Various authors and accounts beginning from the 12th century showed that al-Sabbah used hash to control and intoxicate his killers.
At this time in Persia’s ancient empire, the use of hash was looked upon as a pastime activity of the lower, indolent and outcast people. It seems that “hashishin” began to be used as a pejorative term without connecting to the use of hash itself. Most people argue that the assassins were referred to as the ‘hashishin’ by the Persian society because they were considered outlaws, rather than any outright association with hashish.
American soldiers in Vietnam
There is a plethora of evidence to demonstrate that cannabis use was very popular among the American soldiers stationed in Vietnam during the 1955-75 war. The massive spike in the popularity of cannabis in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s can be attributed to the soldiers who brought their habits along with them while returning back home.
The fear of the infusion of cannabis and heroin habits among the people was the primary reason why Nixon launched a war against drugs in 1971.
Was cannabis an effective weapon of war?
It certainly looks like the usage of cannabis was primarily targeted at calming fears and reducing the stress involved in warfare rather than its ability to send its users into a homicidal fury as suggested by several authors. Cannabis acts as a shield to the mind and protects it from the unnatural horrors of war.
Using cannabis either then or now is a great way to calm your nerves and relax for a while. If you wish to give yourself a break, check out well-established and reliable brands like XpressGrass and enjoy the medicinal and recreational benefits of cannabis.