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Earliest cannabis use traced back to western China

Although cannabis is illegal in modern China, their ancestors were smoking the good stuff. Researchers in China have discovered the earliest use of cannabis dating back 2,500 years ago, reports Inverse. And it wasn’t just for its fiber or oils, it was to get high, which suggests that people at the time knew about its psychoactive effects.

Scientists discovered traces of THC in ancient wooden burners in the Jirzankal Cemetary in the Pamir Mountains.

excavation site
Xinhua Wu/Excavation site where the burner was found

They believe that the ancient people put cannabis leaves in the burners with hot stones to create that sweet smoke. Once that baby was lit, the people would inhale that smoke and get faded.

burner - earliest cannibus use
Xinhua Wu/Burner

“I was surprised that the trace of biomarkers could still be preserved after burning and burial for about 2,500 years,” University of Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher and co-author, Yimin Yang, Ph.D. told Inverse. “I think [that’s] mostly due to the dry climate in the cemetery.”

The best part for the ancient potheads was that the weed they were smoking was the chronic back in the day. The plants that were yielded in that region had a lot higher THC because of the altitude. One theory believes that the UV radiation at higher altitudes produced greater quantities of active compounds.

But it doesn’t seem that people back in the day were getting high for s**ts and giggles. The real reason seems to be that people were using it for religious rituals, according to a study. It was a way for the living to communicate with the dead or the divine.

“The findings support the idea that cannabis plants were first used for their psychoactive compounds in the mountainous regions of eastern Central Asia, thereafter spreading to other regions of the world,” Nicole Boivin, the director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, told the BBC.

It is unknown how that ancient weed compares to modern day weed. But it’s no chance it’s even close. It’s definitely dirt weed that just gives you a headache. Today’s weed takes you to another level. It’ll make you see Confucius for real. But bow down to that ancient Chinese weed because it’s that real OG Kush.

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