There would be no recreational adult use cannabis industry without its heroes. Throughout history, Cannabis has had its fair share of unsung heroes. Still, many of these heroes are forgotten by time for the most part, but without the unsung heroes, medicinal research of cannabis may not have happened and without the increase in the medicinal space, legal recreational use by adults would have been slowed greatly, if not stopped all together. Interested in learning about a Victorian doctor who introduced Cannabis to western medicine, an organic chemist the government had no choice but to accept, and possibly the most famous name in Cannabis? Kick back in the cut, fire one up, and let’s learn about some weed stuff. These are 3 of many unsung heroes of cannabis. 

W.B. O’Shaughnessy 

A young Irish assistant surgeon set out for India in 1833 and ended up being the first noted cannabis researcher while introducing cannabis to western medicine.  The 24-year-old O’Shaughnessy had failed to acquire his license to practice medicine from London College of Physicians and Surgeons and turned his focus to medical research. While in India, he would notice cannabis being used as an intoxicant by the natives. He witnessed the effects it displayed and started experimenting with the plant in hopes of using it as an anesthetic. In 1839, he published his findings in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal . That article introduced cannabis as a medical treatment and set in motion the curiosity and love for the plant that has continued to follow us over the centuries and evolved into the cannabis industry that we all enjoy the safe use of to this day, while always looking to improve on it. 

Roger Adams 

In 1889, 50 years after O’Shaughnessy published his first medical findings on cannabis, Roger Adams, the first respected modern cannabis researcher, was born in Boston. Adams quickly rose in the ranks of organic chemistry. He and his team were the first to identify, isolate, and synthesize many of the compounds we all know and love today. Like O’Shaughnessy, he wanted to use these compounds as forms of anesthetic to be used in field combat.  Of course, this didn’t come without adversity. Adams witnessed the tragedy that comes with world war and the second one was on the way. North America was gathering its top scientists for the war effort and Adams was near the top of that list. However, J Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, deemed Adams as a “Suspect American Citizen” and advised the Navy to refuse him security clearance. In the end, Adams would help develop a synthetic rubber compound that helped win the war, he was granted security clearance, and allowed to continue his research as he saw fit. 

Jack Herer  

Most cannabis consumers have heard the name, but few know why. Jack Herer is known more for the strain of cannabis that bears his name than the deeds that inspired growers to name one after him. Commonly referred to as The Emperor of Hemp, Jack’s vocal activism for cannabis law reform made him legendary. He was a founding member of the organization Help End Marijuana Prohibition or simply H.E.M.P. In 1985, he published his book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. It shined a light back on other uses of the plant aside from medicinal and recreational. He stressed the importance it could have in textiles as well as alternate fuel consumption. The Emperor Wears No Clothes reinvigorated national talks of cannabis decriminalization for the first time since the early 70s. Jack would live to see the medicinal marijuana market be born and grow but passed just two years before his dream of recreational cannabis became reality. 


These 3 unsung heroes of cannabis. There are so many more (if you guys enjoy this maybe we’ll do part 2). Maybe, you’re more into villains of cannabis and we cast a light on them. Let us know on socials, as we aim to please! From the plant’s humble beginnings, there have been voices demonizing the plant and voices praising it. Only one thing is certain today. The good guys are finally winning. If you enjoyed this article and enjoy, you can keep up to date with all the latest deals and articles offered by our RiverBluff Roselle location. All you need to do is SIGN UP for our email group to stay in the know.