Possibly the very earliest literature reference on Cannabis describes its use as an anti-inflammatory agent. The Chinese emperor Shen-nung (ca. 2000 B.C.), in a work called Pen-ts’ao Ching, noted many of the effects of Cannabis in humans. Among other properties, it was claimed that cannabis “undoes rheumatism”, suggesting possible anti-inflammatory effects*. The reports described in this review of the current literature provide support for the claims made by the ancient Chinese healers. These more recent publications include relief from chronic neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and postoperative pain. In addition, a large body of preclinical data on all classes of cannabinoids, including the endogenous examples, point to a variety of therapeutic targets for cannabinoids and important roles for the endocannabinoids in the physiology of inflammation
* Hui-Lin L. The origin and use of cannabis in Eastern Asia. In: Rubin V., editor. Cannabis and Culture.The Hague: Mouton; 1975.