Ancient Chinese used Cannabis to celebrate loved-ones passing

Ancient Chinese used Cannabis to celebrate loved-ones passing

It appears the Ancient Chinese knew how to medicate (and party!)

Now, we’ve always known that humans have been experimenting with psychoactive substances since the dawn of time, but precisely when these activities started remains a mystery. After all, we’re still waiting to discover a weed leaf etched onto a cave wall from the Stone Age!

Recently, archaeologists in China discovered a derivative cannabis compound on the surface of a clay bowl found in an ancient Cemetery. Now, a point to note is that hemp use has been document in Ancient China since around 4000 BCE - this is completely normal! Used as building material, fibre crop and animal feed. To be more specific, the plant used was the male genus, and contained extremely low levels of THC.

What’s exciting about this discovery is the fact that the highest molecular concentration found there was Cannabinol. This molecule only appears when the compound THC is burned. 

These bowls were found surrounding graves and old funeral pyres. It turns out the ancient Chinese folks would use cannabis in funeral ceremonies to celebrate the lives of their recently departed. Imagine that! what an amazing, fitting way to send off your loved ones. By throwing some herb onto the cremation and sitting around the funeral in sombre respect. How beautiful!

Excavations on the site begun around 2013, with over 10 wooden fragments found that contained the suspected chemical Cannabinol. Scientists were able to confirm what the archaeologists suspected - the ancient Chinese civilisations used high-THC content cannabis for consumption. 

With cannabis first evolving in Central Asia, it would make a lot of sense that the society around this area would use the plant for consumption! It could even be indicative of how cannabis become so widely distributed across the world, utilising the then-infant Silk Road as a means of distribution across the continent.

More information on the gravesite, as well as some further reading on Cannabis evolution in Asia can be found below.

Proof and the study:

Canna in Asia:

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