Recently I had some spare time and didn’t really know what to do. I knew I wanted to watch something but didn’t know what. Then I realized that I had saved the 2018 documentary “Cannabis: A Lost History” by Chris Rice and hadn’t yet watched it.
I have personally invested quite some time in getting to know the historical background of cannabis and think having a solid grasp of the background, and the prohibition. Thus, it is quite common for me to slack and forgery about such documentaries. But I was on a documentary binge and pizza was arriving as well. It seemed everything was optimal for 90 minutes of cannabis history.
Cannabis: A Lost History Review
The documentary created by Chris Rice, who also made “DMT: A Lost History”, goes back to Asia and the earliest known records of cannabis use more than 2,500 years back. While Rice does a solid job at explaining the earliest known uses, the movie quickly descends in a mostly religion focused history of the plant.
While this in itself isn’t a bad thing, as religion was probably a great cultivator of the plant, the documentary felt slightly lopsided. This also due to leaning too much towards the religious aspect and leaving out rather significant known cannabis uses like the Ebers Papyrus. Another weakness in the documentary is its rather monotone sound. And, of course, the lack of any actual references — or authorities on the topic to participate to the documentary.
While Rice does a solid job at covering several thousands years of cannabis use, it all felt rather “meh” and I couldn’t shake the feeling that it would be better as a 6th grader school documentary, rather than a public released documentary. A school documentary for religious schools, of course.
All in all, I can’t say that “Cannabis: A Lost History” was bad, but it definitely didn’t excel either. It was also interesting to note that Rice took the liberty to hint en passant at Jesus Christ’s crucification possibly being due to him administering Kaneh Bosm, or the Holy Anointing Oi. While otherwise an interesting section in the documentary for those not aware of Kaneh Bosm , that question felt rather frivolous.
Should I Watch It?
To be honest, anybody should watch anything related to the history of cannabis. Because they’re still way too much lack of knowledge about this historically used plant out there. Just as well as there’s still too much stigma out there. “Cannabis: A Lost History” provides a rather wholesome overview of the main historical uses, with a slight bias towards the religious influences.
But Rice’s documentary definitely suffers from an obvious lack of budget — as the creator also explains on his (inactive) Patreon. Sadly, this relegates the documentary to the background — and not worth watching category — for anyone who has some knowledge about the history of cannabis already.
“Cannabis: A Lost History” is available on Amazon Prime.