June 24, 2019
The oldest cannabis smokers are not your father, or his mother, or the weird guy down the street. However, it was the ancient people of central Asia were the first to use cannabis smoke.
For eons, cannabis has been used as a grain, in oils, and other materials like rope and clothing. This was often in the form of hemp, low in THC and a very durable plant. Some of the oldest known locations of cannabis use trace back to the Silk Road.
The Silk Road was a series of trading routes spanning across Asia. It spread all the way through the Middle East into Europe. The Silk Road facilitated the transport of goods and ideas across the continent.
An international team of researchers analyzed the interiors of burial sites at Jirzankal Cemetery, a site on the Pamir Plateau in what is now far-western China.
They found small wooden bowls that contained small stones. Archaeologists identified them as braziers for burning incense or other plant matter. A chemical analysis of the braziers revealed that nine of the ten once contained cannabis. Not only a trace amount of CBD but high amounts of CBN. The ancient cannabis found in this region was notably higher than that found in other ancient sites. People could have been intentionally cultivating certain strains of cannabis for a potent high.