From The Stone Age To The Present

Historically, the use of medicinal herbs has been traced back – and authenticated — to before the invention of the wheel – over 56,000 years ago.  Fast-forward to ancient Egypt where Cleopatra probably used herbs scattered on hot rocks or warm bricks to treat any number of ailments, as well as to create her own brand of ambience – now you know how she really landed Julius Caesar and Marc Antony.  A most important document, discovered in the 1800’s, documented the recipes for herbal combinations used to treat over 100 ailments in ancient Egypt.  The recipes included exact measurements for each herb, as well as instructions on how to heat them to release their healing vapors.

Over the centuries, in between hot rocks, herbal vaporizers, and weed vaporizers, there have been a lot of steps – and stumbles — on the road to discovering a better way to use our herbs. From the Mayans to Native Americans, numerous other methods of releasing essential oils and vapors have been used – burning seemingly the most popular.

One giant step was the invention of the hookah in the Middle East, which filtered the smoke through water, making it a lot smoother and less harmful at the same time.  In the Far East, at about the same time, pipes were invented – you know – stuff the herbs in the bowl, set them on fire, and suck on the stem.  The only benefit to this method was that if the stem was long enough, the smoke might cool down — at least a little bit — before it reached your mouth and lungs.  The pipe attained wide spread use for both tobacco and other substances, and was the most popular way to internalize your herbs until sometime in the 1700’s.

The next logical step must have been the day some bright (???) individual decided to take some herbs, wrap them in paper, set one end on fire, and suck on the other end!   By the 1800’s this was the preferred method.  The only drawback?  Rolling papers were very expensive, and not everyone was manually dexterous enough to use them.  You should also note – with this method, the fire (at least 750°F) was at all times only about 2-3” away from your mouth.  Picture a fire breathing dragon – who inhales!