Juana | The history of cannabis marijuana
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10000 BCE

10000 BCE

Use of hemp cord in pottery identified at ancient village site dating back over 10,000 years, located in the area

6000 BCE

6000 BCE

Cannabis seeds and oil used for food in China.

4000 BCE

4000 BCE

Textiles made of hemp are used in China and Turkestan.

2737 BCE

2737 BCE

First recorded use of cannabis as medicine by Emperor Shen Neng of China.

2000-800 BCE

2000-800 BCE

Bhang (dried cannabis leaves, seeds and stems) is mentioned in the Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as “Sacred

1500 BCE

1500 BCE

Cannabis cultivated in China for food and fiber. Scythians cultivate cannabis and use it to weave fine hemp cloth.

700-600 BCE

700-600 BCE

The Zoroastrian Zendavesta, an ancient Persian religious text of several hundred volumes refers to bhang as the “good narcotic.”

600 BCE

600 BCE

Hemp rope appears in southern Russia.

700-300 BCE

700-300 BCE

Scythian tribes leave Cannabis seeds as offerings in royal tombs.

500 BCE

Scythian couple die and are buried with two small tents covering containers for burning incense. Attached to one tent stick

430 BCE

Herodotus reports on both ritual and recreation use of Cannabis by the Scythians (Herodotus The Histories 430 B.C. trans. G.

200 BCE

Hemp rope appears in Greece. Chinese Book of Rites mentions hemp fabric.

100 BCE

First evidence of hemp paper, invented in China.

100-0 BCE

The psychotropic properties of Cannabis are mentioned in the newly compiled herbal Pen Ts’ao Ching.

0-100 CE

Construction of Samaritan gold and glass paste stash box for storing hashish, coriander, or salt, buried in Siberian tomb.

 

Cannabis world history

The Oxford English Dictionary records the earliest usages of cannabis meaning the plant “common hemp, Cannabis sativa” in 1548 and meaning parts of the plant “smoked, chewed, or drunk for their intoxicating or hallucinogenic properties” in 1848. The OED traces the etymology to the New Latin botanical term cannabis – proposed in 1728 and standardized in Carolus Linnaeus’s (1753) Species Plantarum – from an earlier Latin cannabis, coming from Greek kánnabis.

 

Herodotus (c. 440 BCE) recorded the use of cannabis in The Histories. “The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed [presumably, flowers], and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy.”

 

The historian and linguist Douglas Harper gives an etymology of English cannabis from Greek kannabis, from a Scythian or Thracian word, which is also the source for English canvas (viz., hempen fabric) and possibly hemp.

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