Who Discovered Marijuana?
The history of cannabis, which has been referred to as marijuana since the 20th century, dates to the earliest antiquity. Today, many scientists and ethnologists agree: the path of marijuana led from Central Asia via China to India and from there to Europe and the rest of the western world. Nowadays, you can literally buy premium hemp oils online anywhere.
The hemp plant was once used primarily for the production of various textiles. The seeds were used for food and to produce a high-quality oil. However, these cannabis plants of that time mostly had hardly any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The consumption of hemp seed or oil should therefore rarely have caused the typical cannabis intoxication. However, this wasn’t entirely unknown.
Exciting Finding: Oldest Marijuana in the World
Canadian researchers believe they’ve discovered the world’s oldest grass in northwestern China. However, this wasn’t today’s harmless, legal CBD grass, but marijuana with plenty of THC. The weed is thought to be around 2,700 years old and, according to researchers, was intentionally grown for intoxication purposes – Down To Earth Green.
A total of 789 grams of dried, female, highly psychoactive cannabis flowers were found in the grave of a blue-eyed Caucasian man. This man is said to have been a shaman of the Gushi culture. The Gushi culture is believed to be one of the first cultures to practice abundant cannabis cultivation of psychoactive marijuana plants.
Marijuana – from Staple Food to Medicine
In ancient China, Cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis were known, as well as the so-called industrial hemp. The latter doesn’t induce intoxication and was mainly grown for oil production, textiles and food. The hemp plant was probably known there for around 12,000 years.
Roasted hemp seeds were found in old graves dating back to 3000 to 2500 BC, although they didn’t come from hemp. These seeds were downright mummified and contained large amounts of THC. Talk about a trip to the afterlife!
Marijuana is also said to have been used as an analgesic for painful surgeries throughout China around 4000 BC. Even the legendary Emperor Shen Nung, who is considered the discoverer of Chinese herbal medicine, is said to have appreciated and recommended the effects of marijuana.
Marijuana in Herodotus’ Time
During the lifetime of Herodotus (425 to 484), a Greek historian, the effects of THC also seem to have been popular in Europe. He described in detail how horsemen nomads of the Eurasian steppes threw sodden cannabis seeds and flowers onto previously heated stones and thus got intoxicated. Inhaling the vapors produced in this way was a popular ritual among these nomadic peoples.
These Scythians and other Indo-European nomadic peoples probably knew the effects of cannabis long before Herodotus recorded them, and also used cannabis seeds for their funeral rituals.
Later, the doctor Dioscorides used marijuana in the treatment of toothache and earache. In gynecology, cannabis was popular for relieving labor pains. The first doctor to describe in detail the analgesic effects of cannabis applies to Hua T’o (around 207 AD). He mixed marijuana with wine and gave this to his patients before operating on them.
Marijuana in Early Islam
While in today’s Islam all intoxicating drugs are forbidden in addition to alcohol, this was different in the early days of Islam. With this, the consumption of marijuana and the first hashish made from it also spread. Cannabis, which was still relatively unknown at the time, wasn’t expressly forbidden for a long time and was therefore allowed to be consumed.
Avicenna: Marijuana in the Middle Ages
Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abdullah ibn Sina (Avicenna) was a Persian physician and scholar. He’s considered the father of oriental medicine and the author of ‘Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine’. He too was convinced of the effects of cannabis on gout, edema and other ailments. In doing so, he made a significant contribution to the spread of marijuana in oriental and European medicine. These contributions lead somehow to the use of premium hemp oils nowadays to treat anxiety, chronic pain, and many other health issues.
The Discovery of the Molecular Structure of THC
Most people who ask about the discovery of marijuana are also interested in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system and the different cannabinoids (We’ve written a blog post covering this topic: CBD and The Endocannabinoid System: What It Is and Why It Matters!). Legal CBD grass and legal hash/resin contain hardly any THC with less than 032%. Still, this psychoactive cannabinoid has never really declined in popularity. CBD is still one of the best-known and best-researched cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
Incidentally, the molecular structure of tetrahydrocannabinol was discovered in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. He was the first chemist in the world to isolate the phytocannabinoid. 28 years later, the Israeli chemist, together with Lumir Hanus and his team, discovered the human endocannabinoid system. Now, one could at least roughly explain the effect of marijuana!
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