The history of cannabis dates back thousands of years, and evidence of its usage has been found in various ancient cultures. While it's challenging to determine the absolute oldest traces, here are five significant findings that represent some of the earliest evidence of cannabis use:
Yangshao Culture - China (c. 5000-3000 BCE):
Among the earliest recorded uses of cannabis, remnants of cannabis pollen were discovered in pottery found in ancient Chinese Neolithic sites. This indicates the potential utilization of cannabis for its fibers or seeds by the Yangshao people.
The Yamnaya Culture - Siberia (c. 3000 BCE):
Archaeological findings in Siberia revealed charred cannabis seeds, suggesting their use as a psychoactive substance. The Yamnaya people likely used cannabis for ritualistic or medicinal purposes.
Indo-European Cultures - Central Asia (c. 2000-1000 BCE):
Analysis of burial sites in Central Asia showed evidence of cannabis seeds and plant material, implying its usage in burial rituals or as a herbal remedy. This suggests cannabis was revered or utilized in religious contexts among Indo-European cultures.
Ancient Egypt (c. 1500 BCE):
Hieroglyphic inscriptions and remnants of cannabis pollen have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and artifacts. Cannabis was potentially used for medicinal purposes, as suggested by its mention in ancient medical texts.
Scythian Culture - Central Asia (c. 800-200 BCE):
Herodotus, the Greek historian, documented the Scythians, an ancient nomadic group, using cannabis in funeral rites by inhaling vapor from burning seeds. Archaeological discoveries support this, showcasing charred cannabis seeds in burial sites.