Hemp root was first recorded in Chinese medical literature some 5,000 years ago. The document states that the juice of hemp root is an effective diuretic. It was used by ancient Chinese to stop hemorrhage in women after they gave birth.
Around 77-79 CE, the Roman historian named Pliny published known uses of hemp root in his book Natural Histories. He said that when hemp root was boiled in water it was useful in treating joint stiffness as well as gout and similar disorders. Pliny also wrote that raw hemp root could be applied topically to soothe burn wounds.
Between the 9th and 18th CE, manuscripts in Azerbaijani also documented the popular uses of hemp roots as a decoction to treat wounds and cure fevers. It was particularly used by the local Azerbaijani to treat toothaches, ulcers, and abscesses.
Throughout history there have been other little known documented uses of cannabis root. While herbal uses from the ancient and medieval times have survived to present day, it seems that the numerous useful properties of cannabis root aren’t mentioned as often as other plants. But that doesn’t diminish the value of the humble cannabis root.
Cannabis roots contain too little THC and CBD to even be used for those purposes but analysis of its chemical compounds show why the root was considered such an important healing and anti-inflammatory herb in ancient times.
Cannabis roots are made up of lipids and sugars. It contains low levels of compounds that have its own important medicinal benefits. The ethanol extract of hemp root contains terpenes that have the following health benefits:
Friedelin: antioxidant and protects the liver;
Epifriedelanol: can prevent the growth of tumors;
Pentacyclic triterpene ketones: can kill cancer cells, reduce inflammation, acts as a diuretic, and reduces bacteria
The alkaloids found in cannabis roots have the following benefits:
Piperidine: used by pharmaceutical companies as a chemical building block to create medicine used in psychiatry
Pyrrolidine: also used by pharmaceuticals as a building block in the manufacture of stimulant medications
Small quantities of choline as well as atropine are also present in cannabis roots. Choline is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining health cell membranes. Post-menopausal women are at high risk for a choline deficiency, so they can benefit from consuming cannabis root tea. Atropine on the other hand is used to relax the eye muscles, can be used to increase heart rate during resuscitation, and it also has bronchodilatory properties.
Cannabis root is also used in many tinctures and liniments which are applied directly to the skin. A dry, powdered form of the root can be used as a poultice to soothe skin disorders such as dermatitis, cuts, and burns. Cannabis root used in salves, oils, and balms can also be used to treat herpes, blisters, pimples, acne, arthritis, hemorrhoids, dysmenorrhea, asthma, sore throat, colds, headaches, tension pains, migraines,and chronic inflammation of the larynx.
So If you’re growing don’t throw out the roots, so that you can maximize the many wonderful medicinal benefits of this underutilized part! You can even choose a to combine the roots of different strains or use them alone to create balms and salves made out of cannabis roots. Just remember to always dry the roots prior to processing them. Once dried, break them into chunks and then use a mortar and pestle or blender to grind it finely into a powder. Add it to a slow cooker, put some oil or fat, and let it simmer for 12 hours.