There isn’t much evidence that the people of the Roman Republic and the Early Empire in the Italian Peninsula used Cannabis extensively, however, if it was used it would be hard for us to know. It is believed it was used for clothing, rope, and other industrial items. As their empire grew, however, they undoubtedly came into contact with people who used Cannabis, and we have writings of the Romans using it for Medical treatments, bug repellents, industrial uses, and to help their farm animals.
It seems like with many things the Romans did, the simply adopted the practices of those they conquered. The Scythians are our best-known Cannabis users, who inhabited parts of modern-day Turkey, Ukraine, and the Eurasian Steppe. Evidence of Cannabis use is strong, Ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote of the Scythians using Cannabis by putting it on coal embers in an indoor place and “taking a bath” in it.
As the empire expanded, the Levant in the Middle East came under their control. Here they would have met the Persian Magi, considered wise men by the people of the region and mentioned in the bible, who would have used Cannabis in their rituals. Despite taking over much of the Middle East, the Romans were never able to take over Persia.It’s also probable that wealthier Romans used Cannabis and were able to hire doctors from the Middle East and Persia. This has been a long-running tradition, as for the longest time Europe itself was not very good for growing medicinal herbs.