Marijuana Shamanism Part 2

A 2,700 year old body was recently discovered by a team of archaeologists working in northwestern China. Significant to this find was the accompanying 1.7 pounds of marijuana found with the corpse. Researchers have theorized that the individual was likely a shaman of the ancient Gushi culture of the region. The find represents the oldest "stash" of the plant ever found, and also perhaps the oldest evidence that marijuana was used ritually for healing in our past. From the article:
The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly "cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success.

The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage.

Researchers also could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as there were no pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman, who was about 45 years old.
This apparent ritual usage of the extremely popular plant has largely been lost with the passage of time. However, such usage remains a vestige of the human psyche, as many people engaging in the illegal use seek such traditions to incorporate into their lives and use of the plant. 


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2 comments:

  1. this is a vital link demonstrating how long we've known cannabis can be used for religious, medicinal and recreational reasons. we must end the war on plants.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous5:49 PM

    It is strange that we have decided in the last 100 years (less actually) that a plant with a 2500+ year history of human use is suddenly dangerous and should be illegal. Strange and symbolic of the times in which we live.

    ReplyDelete

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