The first use of cannabis
May 26th, 2013
Categories : Blog
According to Humboldt Homegrown, the term "cannabis" has turned out to be the most searched term worldwide. Why people seek information about it is unknown, but it is proven fact that, throughout the history of mankind (Archaeological evidence suggests that cannabis has been used for several millennia), people of several ancient civilizations used cannabis for spiritual and ritualistic purposes and with the growing interest in "green medicine" today, we see an increase in desire to dig out the roots of relationship between mankind and cannabis and its potential medicinal and psychoactive benefits. Even at Wikipedia you can find an extensive paragraph about the History of Cannabis.
In his publication "Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age", Richard Rudgley suggests, that an artificial brazier, found at a burial site in what is now known as Romania, dating back to 3000 BC, which contained charred cannabis seeds, might indicate the inhalation of cannabis smoke.
In The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances you can read a report of Rudgley, in which he mentions that Hindus in India and in Nepal are known to have used cannabis in ancient times and that some of the references to the drug "Soma" in the Vedas have to be associated with cannabis. In Sanskrit, cannabis is called Ganjika (sounds familiar?).
Way back in ancient times, the Aryans brought the magic plant to the Assyrians, Scythians, Tracians and Dacians. Finds at an archaeological excavation site at Pazyrk seem to indicate, that ceremonial practices of the Scythians between the fifth and second centuries BC involved the eating of hemp seeds, according to Barry W. Cunliffe's report in the The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe. "Le haschich et l’extase" by Ibn Taymiyya mentions the use of cannabis by Muslims in certain Sufi orders, for example the Qalandars, dating back to the Mamluk period.
Linguistic scholars variously identified the terms "qannabbos", or "qené bósem" ("aromatic cane"), which had been used for producing oils and ointments for religious practices and healing used by both Jews and early Christians, to be related to cannabis. So, even certain Biblical scriptures refer to the use of cannabis. Interesting, isn't it?
Serious, according to the Old Testament book of Exodus (30: 22-23): "Over nine pounds of flowering cannabis tops, Hebrew 'kaneh-bosm' (play with the accentuation, doesn't that sound familiar again?), were extracted and added to (about 6.5 liters) olive oil, along with an array of other herbs and spices" and that "The ancient chosen ones were literally drenched in this holy potent cannabis oil." That is what Chris Bennett of Cannabis Culture found out.
He notes that the trailing "m" makes the term kaneh-bos a plural, wherein kaneh-bos sounds very similar to the term we use today - cannabis. Although it has often been mistranslated as "calamus" most modern bibles translate it to "fragrant cane", which particularly describes the aromatic flowering tops of cannabis.
The cultivation of cannabis dates back at least 10,000 years in Taiwan, according to Peter Stafford (to be read in the Psychedelics Encyclopedia).
Note: The Chinese character for hemp (má) depicts two plants under a shelter.