History of CBD and Cannabis In: Philippines
The Republic of the Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia that is situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It is an archipelagic country consisting of over 7,500 islands. There are three main geographic divisions that are broadly categorized which are from north to south Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Of the three, Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines. Collectively, the land area of the country is over 110,000 square miles with a population of over 106 million as of 2018.
Ancient Origins Of The Philippines
The history of the Philippines predates written history which is said to have begun 631,000 years ago with the arrival of the first Homo species (Callao Man) on the country. Through the centuries, large groups of Austronesian-speaking people began migrating to the present-day Philippines and brought along with them the various cultures, religions, and political organizations to the country.
Fast-forwarding to relatively modern times, written history notes that a Portuguese explorer who organized the Spanish expedition, Ferdinand Magellan, marked the beginning of the era of Spanish colonization in the country which was in 1521. It was in 1543, however, that the origins of the country’s name began through the Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos. He named the archipelagic nation “Las Islas Filipinas” in honor of King Philip II of Spain.
The Spanish ruled the country for several centuries until 1898. Thereafter, the Philippines was ruled and governed by various administrations like the United States and Japan. It was through the Treaty of Manila that the Philippines gained independence and became the Republic of the Philippines. Today, the capital of the Philippines is Manila with its largest city being Quezon City. The official language of the country is Filipino and English.
Cannabis and the Republic of the Philippines: A Brief History
Despite having a lengthy cultural and diverse history, there are not enough sources to definitively indicate whether cannabis grew naturally in the country (before ancient humans appeared) or was introduced to the country through various foreign entities throughout its history. However, because the Philippines is known to have a climate that is conducive to growing a tremendous variety of plants, the country’s climate is well-suited for growing cannabis.
Cannabis, however, is illegal in the Philippines both for recreational and medicinal purposes. The growing, selling, buying, possessing, using, and other related activities are illegal in the Republic of the Philippines. According to the country’s Republic Act 9165, penalties may include “life imprisonment to death…” and a hefty fine.
Why Is It Illegal In The Philippines?
Cannabis contains several compounds, of which THC is one of them. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the principal psychoactive compound that may have caused the negative views associated with cannabis.
As mentioned, THC is psychoactive and is responsible for the intoxicating effects when using and consuming the cannabis plant. This compound may be the driving factor that influences the legalities around the cannabis plant.