|Samuel Taylor Coleridge|
A letter from 1803 reveals that early 19th century British Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge — known not only for his writing talent (“Rime of the Ancient Mariner”; “Kubla Khan”) but also for his opium appetite — was aware of the medical properties of cannabis, and that it would be useful in treating his friend’s intestinal ailments.
“I write now to ask a little favor of you. There is a preparation of the Indian Hemp, called Bhang, or àang, or Banghee — the same Drug, which the Malays take, & under it’s influence become most pot-valiant Drawcansirs, run a muck, &c. My friend, T. Wedgewood, is exceedingly desirous to obtain a small specimen of it: from what he has heard of it, he conceives it possible that it may afford some alleviation to his most hopeless malady — which is a dreadful inirritability of the intestinal Canal. Now I know that Sir Joseph Banks has a quantity of it — and if you should see him sḥortly, & could procure a small quantity of it — (you may mention, if you choose, for whom you want it — & Sir Joseph was an intimate”