When many people hear the word cannabis, they may think back to the days of Woodstock and hippies. However, there is significant evidence to suggest the use of cannabis actually goes back much further into ancient times, including evidence of hemp in Taiwan and China that were more than 10,000 years in age. In ancient times, sweet puff pipes wasn’t available and marijuana was viewed as food, medicine, and useful for its fibrous stalk for weaving and making cloth.
How Was Cannabis Discovered?
While it is not completely certain how the cannabis plant was discovered in ancient times, it is suspected to have been as a result of searching for viable plant food options. The seeds of the cannabis plant are high in protein, which would have been extremely beneficial for foraging societies. As a result, it is likely the plants were chewed on, and other benefits of the plant were also discovered, including the euphoric capabilities. This sense of euphoria is also likely why some cultures have continued even to the present day to view the marijuana plant as being a “gift” from the gods and helped to give a spiritual experience for those who consumed them.
One of the First Medicines
One study found that marijuana was used in ancient times for its ability to ward off parasites by prehistoric people. There are also documentation of the use of marijuana in ancient China, Egypt, and India medicine. For this reason, it is highly likely that crops of cannabis were seen as equally important to society as those crops meant for non-medicinal purposes, and some who study these civilizations even think it may have been one of the very first cultivated plants by mankind.
Used in Religious Practices
In a number of different archeological digs, there was evidence of the use of cannabis in areas where religious practices and gatherings would have taken place. For instance, at a graveside in what is not considered to be Romania, there was evidence of cannabis found. It is believed to have been more than 3,000 years before the time of Christ, and indicated it was already common practice by mankind in celebration and remembrance of the dead. It is suggested that this came into practice when they discovered fires burned often created euphoric experiences. As a result, the brush that had been burned was then identified and used in the future to bring about the same desired effect.
The Spread of Cannabis
The same cultures which used cannabis for medicinal and religious purposes were also some of the first to use horses to transport goods and for travel. As a result, the benefits and use of this plant for food, medicine, and religious purposes also spread with the people. This is also seen through the spreading of the language used to refer to cannabis in different cultures, including German, French, Greek, and Persian. The spread of cannabis throughout the ancient world is still visible in a number of these cultures and religious practices still today.
As a result, apart from terrific use with sweet puff, it is still viewed as a natural remedy for a number of ailments and is sought after for its euphoric experiences.