Oldest Evidence Of Marijuana Discovered In 2,500 Year-Old Chinese Cemetery
Clear physical evidence of cannabis use for psychoactive purposes from over 2500 years ago has been found in Western China.
Cannabis is one of the world’s most popular recreational drugs. According to Science Magazine, though the scientific community has known cannabis evolved about 28 million years ago, until recently, it has been unclear when this use began.
Previous findings indicate psychoactive use as far back as 5000 years ago, but new analysis has found that earlier strains had low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main component of the plant’s mind-altering properties.
Yang Timin and Ren Meng’s team found high levels of THC at the Jirzankal cemetery in the Pamir Mountains, discovering that cannabis was burned in tombs using wooden braziers during mourning.
Yang and Ren have postulated that use of the drug was restricted to elites until early potent strains began to spread through the Silk Road, as traces were found in more “elite” tombs.
Artwork and text from Syria to China have indicated even earlier cannabis drug use, and concrete evidence may arise soon.