Ancestral Marijuana: scientists discover ancient cannabis boats.

Jesús Tremont
3 min read

Cannabis can remain in the human body for a period of a few months, but cannabis residues can remain on many surfaces for thousands of years. In western China, at the top of the Pamir mountains, archaeologists were digging tombs from an old cemetery called Jirzankal when they found a set of boats or braziers.

Ancestral Marijuana: scientists discover ancient cannabis boats.

These boats have been analyzed by chemical tests and it was discovered that they contained cannabis remains and very high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a chemical compound that makes marijuana a "pleasurable" drug for many.

With this we confirm even more what we already knew for some time, that humans consume cannabis since ancient times and not by chance, but because of its psychoactive effects. A story of Herodotus about ancient Central Asia tells about the Scythian people, who, after a funeral, "threw seeds on red-hot stones and shouted for joy".

The method that the scientists used to examine these small chemical traces that were in the braziers, is a very common method in which the sample is vaporized, its components are separated and its masses are measured, in this way it can be compared with others chemicals and thus obtain the result.

"To our surprise, we found biomarkers that indicated cannabis" said Yimin Yang, one of the discovery participants and researcher at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Elevated levels of THC

The boats contained low levels of CBN (a compound that is formed after THC is metabolized), but very high levels of THC. "These levels make what we discovered much more exciting and unique unlike other confirmed samples of ancient cannabis, "said Mark Merlin, professor at the University of Hawaii. "With this discovery it was not so easy to determine with what objective they consumed this cannabis, because the samples did not point directly towards a consumption due to the psychoactive effect or for recreational purposes.

"With this new research on the ancient use of cannabis, we make a much needed contribution to understanding the expansion of Central Asia about 4,000 miles away from the Caucasus mountains through the Taklamakan desert. It is one more piece for the archeological puzzle of Central Asia and its cultural and biological impact on the world over the years. Although there is much to discover and learn about how cannabis was used in ancient times", said Patrick E. McGovern, director of the Biomolecular Archeology Project at the Penn Museum.
Ancestral Marijuana: scientists discover ancient cannabis boats.

To see it in one way is too simple, perhaps it was not purely recreational or psychoactive, perhaps, as Herodotus said, they were also part of spiritual rituals, to bring the dead to a better place or perhaps it was used with the belief that it brought you closer to the gods ... ancient civilizations know everything and nothing, we understand that despite knowing a lot about them, we still have a lot to discover.

What do you think ?, Are you in favor or against the use of marijuana ? this is just another attention-grab from history, which tells us that maybe cannabis is not as bad as many people think and want to make others believe.