About 2,500 years ago, mourners buried a man in an elaborate grave, and covered his chest with a shroud made of 13 Cannabis plants, according to a study published in 2016.
The grave is one of a select few ancient Central Eurasian burials that archaeologists have found to contain Cannabis. This particular grave, located in northwestern China, sheds new light on how prehistoric people in the region used the plant in rituals, the researchers said.
The finding, “a remarkable archeobotanical [also spelled ‘archaeobotanical’] discovery in its own right,” came about after the region’s modern inhabitants decided to build a new cemetery next to a picturesque oasis, the researchers wrote in the study. However, construction workers soon found that an ancient graveyard was in their way. (source)
The interesting part is that all of the plants were female, which produce “cannabis” as we know it, male plants don’t do that. The 13 “whole” plants were laid out diagonally across the body of the deceased. The roots and lower parts of the plant were placed below the pelvis.
You can access the study here.
According to another , “Cannabis holds significance in human history and life today as a triple-use crop. First, its fruits (seeds) provide valuable protein and essential fatty acids. Archaeological evidence in a food context dates back to 10,000 bp, in Japan (Kobayashi et al. 2008). Its bast cells supply fibres, for cordage and textiles. Carbonized hemp fibres, found with silk and spinning wheels, date to 5,600 bp, in Henan Province, China (Zhang and Gao 1999). Its flowering tops produce cannabinoids, which have been used for medicinal, shamanic, and recreational purposes. Archaeological evidence of drug use dates to 2,700 bp, in Xinjiang region (Russo et al. 2008; Jiang et al. 2016).”
This particular study was able to trace the plants existence at least up to 27.8 million years ago.
Obviously, there are a lot of scientific factors going into determining this, and you can read the study for more details about that.
Another study goes into the history of its medicinal use.
Cannabis is a plant-based, or botanical, product with origins tracing back to the ancient world. Evidence suggesting its use more than 5,000 years ago in what is now Romania has been described extensively.13 There is only one direct source of evidence (Δ6-tetrahydrocannabinol [Δ6-THC] in ashes) that cannabis was first used medicinally around 400 ad.14 In the U.S., cannabis was widely utilized as a patent medicine during the 19th and early 20th centuries, described in the United States Pharmacopoeia for the first time in 1850. Federal restriction of cannabis use and cannabis sale first occurred in 1937 with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act.15,16 Subsequent to the act of 1937, cannabis was dropped from the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1942, with legal penalties for possession increasing in 1951 and 1956 with the enactment of the Boggs and Narcotic Control Acts, respectively, and prohibition under federal law occurring with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.1,17,18 Beyond criminalization, these legislative actions contributed to creating limitations on research by restricting procurement of cannabis for academic purposes.
Fascinating to say the least!