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From the sites where prehistoric hunters and gatherers lived, to ancient China and Viking ships, cannabis has been used across the world for ages, and a new report presents the drug's colorful history. In the report, author Barney Warf describes how cannabis use originated thousands of years ago in Asia, and has since found its way to many regions of the world, eventually spreading to the Americas and the United States.
For example, the Vikings and medieval Germans used cannabis for relieving pain during childbirth and for toothaches, he said.
Marijuana has been legal in many regions of the world for most of its history. It is important to distinguish between the two familiar subspecies of the cannabis plant, Warf said. Cannabis sativaknown as marijuana, has psychoactive properties. The other plant is Cannabis sativa L.
The L was included in the name in honor of the botanist Carl Linnaeus. This subspecies is known as hemp; it is a nonpsychoactive form of cannabis, and is used in manufacturing products such as oil, cloth and fuel. A second psychoactive species of the plant, Cannabis indicawas identified by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, and a third, uncommon one, Cannabis ruderaliswas named in by Russian botanist D.
Cannabis plants are believed to have evolved on the steppes of Central Asia, specifically in the regions that are now Mongolia and southern Siberia, according to Warf. The history of cannabis use When was weed first found back as far as 12, years, which places the plant among humanity's oldest cultivated cropsaccording to information in the book "Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years" Springer, Burned cannabis seeds have also been found in kurgan burial mounds in Siberia dating back to 3, B.
Both hemp and psychoactive marijuana were used widely in ancient China, Warf wrote. The first record of the drug's medicinal use dates to B. The herb was used, for instance, as an anesthetic during surgery, and stories say it was even used by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in B. However, whether Shen Nung was a real or a mythical figure has been debated, as the first emperor of a unified China was born much later than the supposed Shen Nung.
From China, coastal farmers brought pot to Korea about B. Cannabis came to the South Asian subcontinent between B. The drug became widely used in India, where it was celebrated as one of "five kingdoms of When was weed first found Cannabis came to the Middle East between B. The Scythians also likely carried the drug into southeast Russia and Ukraine, as they occupied both territories for years, according to Warf's report. Germanic tribes brought the drug into Germany, and marijuana went from there to Britain during the 5th century with the Anglo-Saxon invasions.
Over the next centuries, cannabis migrated to various regions of the world, traveling through Africa, reaching South America in the 19th century and being carried north afterwards, eventually reaching North America. After this really long "trip" throughout the pre-modern and modern worlds, cannabis finally came to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.
It arrived in the southwest United States from Mexico, with immigrants fleeing that country during the Mexican Revolution of Americans laws never recognized the difference between Cannabis sativa L. The plant was first outlawed in Utah inand by it was illegal in 29 states, according to the report. InHarry Aslinger became the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics FBN and undertook multiple efforts to make marijuana illegal in all states. Inthe Marijuana Tax Act put cannabis under the regulation of the Drug Enforcement Agency, criminalizing possession of the plant throughout the country.
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Originally published on Live Science. Live Science. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer.When was weed first found
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Marijuana's History: How One Plant Spread Through the World