Background & Inspiration


Background to Cannabis

Cannabis has a long time history dating back over 10,000 years when it was cultivated in Asia for medicinal use. Since then it’s had an interesting journey. In 1700 B.C. cannabis was documented in the medical papyri in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. In the 1st Century C.E. it was used in herbal remedies by the emperor of China. From the 1600s – 1800s it was used for a variety of health issues and many reports of its benefits were published in medical literature.

It wasn’t until the 1900’s that CBD was bred out almost completely in favor of higher levels of THC for the psychoactive effects. Then due to misinformation and misuse, it became illegal in many countries such as the U.S. and Canada. Yet it was still enjoyed by many creative free thinkers, jazz musicians, beats and hippies.

“Father of Marijuana Research.”

In 1963 Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, professor in the Department for Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products at Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and School of Pharmacy, and his research group at the Institute for Drug Research determined the structure of CBD (cannabidiol).

By 1964 they isolated and synthesized THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive compound of cannabis. From there, researchers David Watson GW Pharmaceuticals and Robert Connell Clarke of HortaPharmBV, discovered the healing effect of a balanced ratio of CBD to THC. CBD has an anxiolytic (calming) affect, which balances the psychoactive nature of THC and works synergistically with the THC to be an even more effective medicine than either cannabinoid in isolation.

In recent times, cannabis has become legal in several states of the U.S. and in Canada, which allows for more research on its amazing health benefits.

Inspiration for Secret Garden Inspirations

Ben Weatherstaff

Ben communing with Nature Intelligence

Ben Weatherstaff (Chief Apothecary of SGI) became interested in using cannabis as a healing modality when a good friend, Bob, was using cannabis to help cope with his pancreatic cancer. This led to many conversations and an exchange of research information, which catapulted them both into serious study and experimentation. Together they grew CBD rich strains and developed extraction and infusion techniques enabling each of them to create medicine for their respective health challenges.

Unfortunately, Bob passed away in August 2014, but this mutual interest in using cannabis for healing inspired Ben to carry on offering it to others. As Ben puts it “I will be forever grateful for Bob’s influence on me and for what I consider to be my new calling: to help others to be in control of some of their own therapeutic needs and to be able, hopefully, to add value to their lives”.

The inspiration for our business name, Secret Garden Inspirations, comes from the 1911 children’s book, The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a wonderful story reminding us of the healing power of nature and friendship. Our favorite edition illustrated by Inga Moore came out in 20o8, and a film version came out in 1993.

May this website offer information and inspiration on your journey of healing.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a documentary on Dr. Raphael Mechoulam’s life and research sponsored by: Fundacion Canna