The Dawn of Hemp & Cannabis Use
Do you know when and where the first known uses of cannabis hemp took place?
There was once a time in history where cannabis didn’t have a target on its back; when it was accepted and even encouraged to grow because of its versatile fiber and nutrient-rich seeds. We’re beginning to see once again such versatility, but humanity is merely regaining knowledge that it once held long ago.
First Known Prehistoric Use of Aggregated Cannabis Hemp
Archaeological digs at a Neolithic site in Yuan-Shan, Taiwan excavated pottery covered with imprinted designs made with hempen cord dating back to 12,000 BC. Along with the pottery were elongated rod-shaped stone beaters used to pound hemp to loosen fibers from its stems. These are the first known practices and evidence supporting the use of the cannabis plant so far, giving us insight into both the tools and agricultural techniques once used over 14,000 years ago.
Still, some sources state the first known use of cannabis hemp was found also in Taiwan, but rather, 8,000 years BC: A piece of hemp fabric. Still, more fragments of hemp cloth were found in an ancient burial site in China dating to 1122 BC during the Chou dynasty. It is believed that Cannabis Hemp was first grown abundantly in northern China and surrounding areas, being one of the first fibrous plants cultivated by humanity – long before cotton and flax.
First Known Historic Use of Aggregated Cannabis Hemp
A written work of the Sung dynasty of China named the “Lu Shi” makes a statement that the Emperor Shen Nung from 2800 BC taught his people how to cultivate “ma” which is what hemp was called at the time – for making fiber and cloth.
First Known War Crop was Cannabis Hemp
In ancient China, cannabis hemp was utilized by its armies, making a perfectly resilient material that could be fashioned into bow strings. This made bows stronger and more reliable, slinging arrows much farther than bowstrings made from bamboo. Because of this, land would be set aside specifically for growing hemp for use in China’s armies.
No Psychoactive Recordings Until Persian & Arab Use
Medical uses of cannabis were once recorded in ancient China, though there are no known recordings of cannabis hemp or cannabis sativa being used primarily as a psychoactive drug for leisure until the emergence of hashish and its various uses in the Persian and Arab world. In 700 BC, an ancient Persian religious text called the Zoroastrian Zendavesta references cannabis, stating it’s a “good narcotic”.
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Carl Sagan Comments on Early Hemp Industry
In 1977, Carl Sagan threw in his two cents on the topic of early cannabis hemp cultivation. He noted that cannabis may have been one of the world’s first agricultural crops, which would then lead to civilization itself as humans no longer had to follow their food (the animals) and could stay in one location growing both their clothes/fabric and food. However, this was a mere thought of intrigue, his quote being:
“It would be wryly interesting if in human history the cultivation of marijuana led generally to the invention of agriculture and thereby society.”
Based on our archaeological findings today, this statement isn’t far from what we know to be truth.
Rumor of Ancient Hemp Rope
Upon scavenging the internet for more information regarding the earliest known uses of cannabis hemp, I came across several sites noting that a hemp rope was found at an archeological dig in what once was Czechoslovakia in 1997 dating back to 26,900 BC. Upon searching for a reference for this information, I was unable to find one. If you’ve a reference for this claim, let us know!
Finally, cannabis is slowly emerging back into society as a socially “tolerable” medicine. There are still sticklers out there, blinded by untruths and lack of knowledge on the universal plant, but the reality is that cannabis isn’t anywhere near as harmful as once perceived. Its uses and versatility are being rediscovered, with a new economic era slowly building itself around us by brave entrepreneurs that believe in the uses of the plant and have dropped the fictions society once used to shelter our perception.
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