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Oldest evidence of cannabis smoking found in ancient Chinese cemetery


University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
CBN—
Herodotus
Cannabis
THC
CBD
the Max Planck Institute
the Science of Human History
DOI
the Ars Orbital Transmission
CNMN Collection WIRED Media Group
Condé Nast


Kiona N. Smith
Jun 12
Yemin Yang
’d
Robert Spengler
Ars Technica Addendum


Greek
Western
colleagues’
Southern


Western China
the Caspian Sea
Asia
the Altai Mountains
Siberia
the Altai Mountains of Siberia
THC
The Pamir Mountains
Eastern Asia
Europe
the Middle East
East Asia
Western Asia
crossroads."Plants
Nast


the Silk Road


Jirzankou
Caucasus
routes."Science Advances

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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/06/oldest-evidence-of-cannabis-smoking-found-in-ancient-chinese-cemetery/
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Summary

Cannabis is a surprisingly versatile plant—so versatile that Yang and his colleagues say ancient people domesticated it at least twice, for very different reasons.Although cannabis has turned up at other sites, from Western China to the Altai Mountains in Siberia, archaeologists have never found such direct indications that ancient people were lighting it up. Yang and his colleagues’ chemical analysis found that the cannabis plants burned at the cemetery had been very high in THC, which makes them different from domesticated hemp plants and from most of the wild cannabis that grows on hillsides from the Caucasus to Western China.Plants that produce more THC tend to produce less CBD, and vice versa. “Humans are always going to be looking for wild plants that can have effects on the human body, especially psychoactive effects, so if there were wild varieties with high THC levels, they would have been readily targeted,” said co-author Robert Spengler, laboratory director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.At the moment, Yang and his colleagues don’t have enough evidence to say whether the plants here were domesticated or gathered, but they can say that by 2,500 years ago, people were smoking cannabis as a ritual drug in Western China.

As said here by Kiona N. Smith