The history of cannabis is incredibly interesting and cannabis has four distinct eras within our time. This article will examine the early history of cannabis from 2700 B.C. until 1611, which I would like to call, “The Ancient Era of Cannabis”.
Cannabis has been used as a medicine by Eastern cultures such as Hindus, Afghanis, Persians, Arabs, Bedouin, and Chinese for THOUSANDS of years. There is also a rich history of cannabis in Africa with ancient smoking pipes found in Ethiopia having traces of marijuana resin on them.
The exact history of cannabis is sketchy as you can imagine.
The other eras that will be looked at during this four-part series are
“The Cannabis Industrial Age” (1611-1937),
“The Prohibition Era” (1937-2000’s), and
“The ‘Smart’ Era” (2000’s-Onwards).
In 2008, the world’s oldest marijuana stash was unearthed by researchers and almost 2 pounds of cannabis was discovered! When archaeologists, led by Hongen Jiang (University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), were researching the Yanghai Tombs in the Gobi Desert, they unearthed the 2,700-year-old grave of a 35-year-old, blonde, blue-eyed, Caucasian shaman that contained cannabis.
The History of Cannabis – “The Ancient Era of Cannabis”
The first written record of cannabis as a medicine has been traced back this far. Shen Nung, a father of Chinese medicine, discussed cannabis in his medical writings.
Herodotus, a Greek historian, describes an observed practice of placing hemp plants on hot stones while in Central Asia. The Scythians (of Central Asia) were known to use hemp as a medicinal incense.
The Chinese begin to produce paper from cannabis (hemp) plants.
The Ethiopian Coptic Church claims that marijuana is a sacrament and has been passed down through generations.
The Roman Emperor Nero had a surgeon named Dioscorides. He routinely praised cannabis as a material that would make robust medical slings, rope, or other materials.
Cannabis is grown in England for the first time. Location: Old Buckingham Mare.
The first botanical drawing of cannabis was produced in biological and classification texts. One such text was the Vienna Dioscorides.
Many different European nations begin to produce paper from cannabis. Germany, France, and the Vikings are some of the first Europeans to do so.
The Prophet Mohammed allows cannabis use among Muslims but prohibits alcohol.
The word Hempe was added to many English dictionaries during this year. Muslim and Hindu nations begin to produce hashish for religious, medical, and social use.
Europe’s first paper mill is created by Muslims using cannabis. The majority of paper products are made from cannabis for the next 850 years!
The Catholic Pope Innocent VIII, unfairly, singles out cannabis as an ‘unholy’ sacrament of the ‘satanic’ masses.
England begins producing massive amounts of paper from hemp.
The Spanish Empire begins its cannabis cultivation operation in Chile.
Spain begins transporting cannabis plants to Peru
Queen Elizabeth I makes an interesting royal decree; landowners with 60 acres or more must grow cannabis. If they do not, they may face a 5 Pound fine.
King Philip of Spain follows Queen Elizabeth and orders all large-scale landowners to grow cannabis throughout the Spanish Empire. This empire stretches from Argentina-Oregon
The British begin transporting cannabis plants (mainly for Navy use) to Canada.
The British Empire begins cultivating cannabis plants in Virginia.
Keep an eye out for part two of the history of cannabis, in which the industrialization of cannabis across the world will be highlighted. Cannabis certainly has an interesting history and we remain dedicated to our readers who would like to find out more.