Earliest evidence of humans smoking pot found in Chinese graveyard
In this Friday, March 22, 2019 photo, a marijuana plant is visible at a medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Christina Larson, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 12, 2019 2:28PM EDT
WASHINGTON - Archaeologists have unearthed the earliest direct evidence of people smoking marijuana from a 2,500-year-old graveyard in western China.
The evidence comes from 10 wooden bowls found in a complex of lofty tombs situated among the Pamir Mountains.
Using new techniques for chemical analysis, the scientists examined burnt residue from the bowls and found remnants of THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high. The researchers believe the pot was burned as part of a burial ritual.
The history of ancient drug use has long intrigued scholars. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote of people in Central Asia smoking cannabis around 440 B.C.
The new research was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.