A leading publisher on herbal medicines has finalized a monograph on cannabis that provides scientific standards for patients, growers, practitioners, regulators and researchers.
The California-based American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) released the first installment of its guidelines, the Cannabis Inflorescence monograph, in December 2013. The monograph was developed in collaboration with the University of Mississippi and provides information on identity, purity, analysis and quality.
The second installment, The Therapeutic Compendium, covers the history and medical applications of cannabis, according to patient advocacy group Americans For Safe Access, and is due out in 2014.
AHP president Roy Upton explained the historical significance of cannabis:
“Cannabis has been used medicinally pretty much throughout the entire timeline of written history, and from archaeological evidence, far beyond into antiquity. Virtually every culture who had access to it either from local flora or trade, which was widespread, used it medicinally and recreationally.”
The cannabis monograph joins some 300 others that are published by AHP on various botanical medicines. AHP medical director Dr. Aviva Romm initially suggested a cannabis monograph after seeing patients benefit from using the plant.
While medical marijuana is now legal in more than 20 states, universal guidelines have yet to be adopted.
Dr. Michelle Sexton, a naturopathic doctor who co-authored the monograph, adds that it represents an important milestone for the acceptance of cannabis as a medicine.