Cannabis News/History

The World’s Oldest Marijuana Stash

The World’s Oldest Marijuana Stash Was Found In Asia in 2008

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.

Along with the world’s oldest cannabis stash, the shaman was also buried with religious artifacts and important personal belongings. The shaman is believed to be from the Gushi people, who spoke a language called Tocharian.

The Gobi Desert is located in Northern China and Southern Mongolia. During the Mongolian Empire, this area was extremely important for commerce along the Silk Road as many trading cities are located within the Gobi Desert. The desert covers an area of 1.295 million square kilometres.

Researchers initially believed the man was buried with coriander/cilantro, but after botanical analysis, found that the plant material was in fact marijuana.

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Analysis of the World’s Oldest Marijuana

The cannabis plant material was found to contain THC. Although the psychoactive effects have long diminished due to age, there was still THC discovered nonetheless.

The size of the seeds and leaves of this cannabis plant material demonstrate the marijuana came from a cultivated strain and was highly psychoactive.

Dr. Ethan Russo, found that the less psychoactive parts (male [parts of cannabis) of the plant were removed before the shaman was buried. This leads to some interesting questions; at what point did these people recognize the difference between male/female plants? Also, how strong was the cannabis that these ancient cultures cultivated?

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How Did The World’s Oldest Marijuana Stash Survive?

The dry conditions, and alkaline soil made for ideal conditions to preserve this cannabis for over 2,700 years.

Although the potency of this stash has dried up, how cool would it be to try some marijuana this ancient?!

The world’s oldest marijuana stash is now housed at the Turpan Museum in Xinjiang, China. This discovery gives us great insight into the historical use of cannabis as medicine, or as a meditation tool for cultures within the Eastern Hemisphere.

Source: Phytochemical and genetic analyses of ancient cannabis from Central Asia

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