Researchers Find Oldest-Ever Stash of Marijuana

Researchers Find Oldest-Ever Stash of Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on November 28, 2008 at 07:48:55 PT
Breaking News
Source: Canadian Press 
World -- Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly "cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.
The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its distinctive odour."To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success.'Unequivocally Cannabis,' Say Researchers   The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage.Researchers also could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as there were no pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman, who was about 45 years old.The large cache was contained in a leather basket and in a wooden bowl, and was likely meant to be used by the shaman in the afterlife."This materially is unequivocally cannabis, and no material has previously had this degree of analysis possible," Russo said in an interview from Missoula, Mont."It was common practice in burials to provide materials needed for the afterlife. No hemp or seeds were provided for fabric or food. Rather, cannabis as medicine or for visionary purposes was supplied."The tomb also contained bridles, archery equipment and a harp, confirming the man's high social standing.Russo is a full-time consultant with GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine approved in Canada for pain linked to multiple sclerosis and cancer. Cannabis Has Roots in China   The company operates a cannabis-testing laboratory at a secret location in southern England to monitor crop quality for producing Sativex, and allowed Russo use of the facility for tests on 11 grams of the tomb cannabis.Researchers needed about 10 months to cut red tape barring the transfer of the cannabis to England from China, Russo said.The inter-disciplinary study was published this week by the British-based botany journal, which uses independent reviewers to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of all submitted papers.The substance has been found in two of the 500 Gushi tombs excavated so far in northwestern China, indicating that cannabis was either restricted for use by a few individuals or was administered as a medicine to others through shamans, Russo said."It certainly does indicate that cannabis has been used by man for a variety of purposes for thousands of years." Russo, who had a neurology practice for 20 years, has previously published studies examining the history of cannabis."I hope we can avoid some of the political liabilities of the issue," he said, referring to his latest paper.The region of China where the tomb is located, Xinjiang, is considered an original source of many cannabis strains worldwide.Newshawk: The GCWSource: Canadian Press (Wire)Published: Friday, November 28, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Canadian PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #42 posted by FoM on December 01, 2008 at 09:15:25 PT
Three Millennia Of Medical Marijuana
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Comment #41 posted by John Tyler on November 30, 2008 at 21:06:30 PT
I always enjoy your comments. If the archeologists concluded he was a shaman I too accept that as a fact. My speculation on this article was more fanciful than real. 
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Comment #40 posted by The GCW on November 30, 2008 at 14:20:50 PT
Thanks for Your thoughts too. As always, Your input is very welcome and important for Me and I believe all of Us.I've thought about You lately too, while I was making some turns today and yesterday.
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Comment #39 posted by E_Johnson on November 30, 2008 at 10:41:25 PT
Music, poetry, religion and medicine
That's what a shaman does, and that's where you'd expect to find weed too. Since he's a trusted bridge to the other world, he can also be trusted to bring the tribe's dead ancestors some weed. It feels like a perfect fit to me.
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Comment #38 posted by BGreen on November 30, 2008 at 10:38:40 PT
They found John McCain's stash?
I thought he was a beer guy.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #37 posted by E_Johnson on November 30, 2008 at 10:37:08 PT
Well I was wrong about silk
Silk goes back much further than I thought.But I trust them with the shaman designation. The harp goes along with that nicely. A Celtic poet is a kind of shaman. If you think about what a shaman does -- well, in a way, Neil Young is a kind of modern shaman.I don't think people of that era would have separated their music and their poetry from their religion.
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Comment #36 posted by Hope on November 30, 2008 at 10:34:44 PT
Might want to sign this petition
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Comment #35 posted by E_Johnson on November 30, 2008 at 10:25:41 PT
Also John
This was before the Silk Road. I suspect it was even before silk.I believe the Silk Road mainly took place after the Mongol invasion of 1000 CE flattened all the kingdoms between China and the Danube.The so-called Pax Mongolica made it possible for trade caravans to cross from China to Europe under one system of government, only paying bribes to a single set of officials and only threatened by a few extremely brave robbers.
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Comment #34 posted by E_Johnson on November 30, 2008 at 10:20:46 PT
John Tyler
In these kinds of cultures, grave goods are indicative of what the person did when he or she was alive.They didn't decide the guy was a shaman just because there was cannabis. The guy must have been buried with the typical grave goods of a shaman. Like the harp. Each society has ritual objects that only someone in that kind of role would possess. These were not consumer societies. People didn't own things just to own them. They were poor. They only owned what they needed.If they say his grave goods show he was a shaman, I trust that designation.I suspect that he was viewed as having some ability to contact the "other side" so to speak, and they gave him all that cannabis to the other side so that the rest of his tribe would have weed when they crossed over too.That's how shamanism works. They're viewed as human bridges to the other world. So they used him as a bridge to carry the tribe's weed to the other world.It sounds more familiar when I say it that way, eh?
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Comment #33 posted by The GCW on November 30, 2008 at 09:30:27 PT
John Tyler, 
Thanks for Your analogy.
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Comment #32 posted by John Tyler on November 30, 2008 at 09:21:38 PT
long dirt nap
I was thinking about this gravesite they found. Archeologist seem quick to jump on the shaman hypothesis as if to justify why someone would be buried with his stash. Even their minds seem tainted with anti cannabis propaganda and assume that somehow this is not right. Would someone buried with a few bottles of wine necessarily be a considered a Catholic priest? The people in this area made their living raising animals, trading goods, and a little killing and robbing on the side. This area was at or near the end of the Silk Road that stretched from China to Eastern Europe. I posit the proposition that maybe this grave dweller, taking his long dirt nap, could have possibly been a successful cannabis trader, making a living, buying and selling cannabis along the Silk Road. After he died he was buried with his most cherished things, his horse stuff and his favorite cannabis, to see him through eternity.Whatever this person’s occupation was, this article just reinforces the argument that cannabis, in all of it many forms, has been with mankind for thousands of years. It is not going away. It is here to stay and prohibitionist should make their peace with it.
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Comment #31 posted by Hope on November 30, 2008 at 09:07:49 PT
Comment 26
I feel the same way, Runruff.There was a time when I rather admired the woman. Finding out she was allied, deeply, with the Sembler crew, and that she, personally, is reaping outrageous profit from incarcerating people, completely destroyed any sense of respect or admiration I had for her.She looks like a monster to me, now.Well, I guess I did say something, when it was one of those "If you can't say something good, say nothing at all", situations.Of course, I don't wish her pain and suffering. I do wish that she might wake up from her support of and involvement in sheer evil, while she still has time.
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Comment #30 posted by afterburner on November 30, 2008 at 08:53:17 PT
Twelve Things to be Thankful for on Thanksgiving - Health Ranger. 
Friday, November 28, 2008 by: Mike Adams, NaturalNews Editor.
Key concepts: Health, Wal-Mart and America Michigan & Massachusetts!
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Comment #29 posted by The GCW on November 30, 2008 at 07:48:21 PT
Ban, baby, ban
Ban, baby, banMatt Zalaznick in the Vail Daily, Nov. 15Liberals can no longer marry conservatives.That’s right — anyone who lives in a “red” state ( based on the recent presidential election) will not be granted a marriage license if his or her intended comes from a state that gave its electoral votes to the Democrats.Also, vegetarians can no longer marry meat eaters.OK, none of that is true yet, but those restrictions could become law if Montana voters pass “Proposition 12” in a special election later this month.Seems groups all over the country who want the American marriage to conform to their own strange ideologies have been inspired by the banning of gay nuptials in Arizona, California and Florida.Consider also South Carolina. Activists are now gathering signatures to place on the ballot a complex law that would bar people of certain astrological signs from marrying each other. For instance, unions between the following would be prohibited: Libras and Virgos, Leos and Capricorns, Scorpios and Hobbits, Jedis and Lilliputians and Romulans and Coneheads.And then there’s Indiana, where a “family values” group wants to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning marriage between people who don’t want to ban gay marriage.So there! Privacy and individual responsibly are out, while invasion of our personal lives by big government is all the rage.This whole “Ban, baby, ban!” mania doesn’t stop at marriage. An animal rights group in Maine is lobbying that state’s Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for “dog people” and “cat people” to go on dates, carpool or become each other’s Facebook friends.And there is an effort in Vermont, the skiing capital of New England, to prevent skiers and snowboarders from either flirting with each other in bars or sharing a beer in a hot tub. Skinny dipping in a hot tub with a disciple of the opposite discipline would become a felony punishable by prison time.Because in this time of war and global economic disaster, worrying about what other people are doing is a great way to take your mind off the collapse of the American Empire.At least snowboarders and skiers won’t be cavorting when China calls in its trillion dollars worth of IOUs and takes over.
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on November 30, 2008 at 06:54:04 PT
OT: Swiss Set to Reject Marijuana Legalization
Swiss Set to Reject Marijuana Legalization, Early Results Show November 30, 2008
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on November 30, 2008 at 06:32:55 PT
New Illinois Senate President Has Strong Record
November 30, 2008Excerpt: He also pushed a failed effort to legalize medical marijuana.,113008cullerton.article
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Comment #26 posted by runruff on November 30, 2008 at 06:32:13 PT
Barbara Bush
Guess I'll have to say, "nothing at all", then?
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on November 30, 2008 at 06:28:50 PT
OT: Marijuana Smokers in Switzerland 
Marijuana Smokers in Switzerland Pin Hopes on Support of Voters November 30, 2008
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Comment #24 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 30, 2008 at 05:37:18 PT
Marijuana Can Save The Economy
Pretty Cool Clip:
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on November 29, 2008 at 17:03:15 PT
George Harrison
I said to my husband lets watch a concert dvd. I said what about the Concert For George. He agreed. When we turned it on it was today 7 years ago that he passed away. We didn't know it until we saw it. I hope others have seen the Concert for George.
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Comment #22 posted by E_Johnson on November 29, 2008 at 15:22:43 PT
Barbara Bush in hospital for ulcer caused by meds?
The former FLOTUS underwent surgery for a duodenal ulcer and is now recuperating in ICU."The ulcer was biopsied and is benign, Reardon said Wednesday. He suggested it might have been caused by anti-inflammatory medications."Poor lady. That must have hurt. My heart goes out to the Bush family. It's no fun to have your family matriarch in surgery at 83.I suggest this might have been avoided with cannabinoids.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on November 29, 2008 at 10:33:37 PT
That is very interesting.
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Comment #20 posted by E_Johnson on November 29, 2008 at 10:29:12 PT
FoM they were a horse culture
"The first written reports concerning this clan, drafted about 2000 years BP (before present) in the Chinese historical record, Hou Hanshu, described nomadic light-haired blue-eyed Caucasians speaking an Indo-European language (probably a form of Tocharian, an extinct Indo-European tongue related to Celtic, Italic, and Anatolic (Ma and Sun, 1994). The Gushi tended horses and grazing animals, farmed the land and were accomplished archers (Mallory and Mair, 2000). "I believe that fabric evidence -- they wore plaid -- has tied the Caucasians in ancient China to the Celts who mined salt in northern Germany. I read that they were the people who invented plaid.So if the Caucasians from ancient China wore plaid, it means they probably migrated to China from Europe at some point in the past.The Irish, Welsh and Scottish people are Celts. The Celtic horse goddess Epona came to be worshiped by the Roman cavalry. The Romans were very poor horsemen and had to bring Celts and other horse-loving peoples into their military in order to have a cavalry at all. So they ended up bringing the Celtic horse goddess into their religion at the same time.I wonder if the Gushi Celts worshiped Epona like the Celts who invented plaid in central Europe worshiped her, as a woman with long flowing hair sitting sideways (not sidesaddle) on a horse with one front leg raised.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on November 29, 2008 at 09:11:41 PT
The Bong Dynasty. Too much! LOL!
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Comment #18 posted by The GCW on November 29, 2008 at 08:01:49 PT
Of course; it's the Bong Dynasty
2 more sourcesChina: Oldest Stash of Marijuana Unearthed in Ancient TombSource: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Chinese Pot Stash Points To Bong DynastySource: Calgary Sun
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Comment #17 posted by E_Johnson on November 29, 2008 at 07:48:59 PT
Omigosh they could still see the trichomes
The trichomes were still visible after 2700 years. Amazing. 
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Comment #16 posted by E_Johnson on November 29, 2008 at 07:42:21 PT
In Israel the archeologists can still find date and olive pits that were spit out by people 3000 years ago.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on November 29, 2008 at 06:26:21 PT
Still reading the study.
I don't understand about a third of it. Way over my head and more words with canna in them I ever imagined... but I understand some of it, and hey... there's pictures, too.It's amazing. I'm glad the Chinese allowed it to be studied outside China, too.Thank you, Dr. Russo.Amazing.Yes, we know mankind has used it for thousands of years... but some of it still here, visible, touchable, testable ... and still green... stunning.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on November 28, 2008 at 17:57:15 PT
2700 years is a long, long, long, long time.
"His burial as a disarticulated skeleton, as opposed to a mummified body as more frequently was found,..."So, where he was, he was probably one of a blue eyed, light haired race. I get it.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on November 28, 2008 at 17:42:54 PT
This is quite a study...
Reading the report. "2500 tombs" is a big graveyard.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on November 28, 2008 at 17:39:11 PT
Dried fruit and fresh fruit.
Dried food can mold and rot... and bugs can happen.Maybe not enough moisture for mold... but isn't there.... brrrr. Through thinking on it.:0)
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Comment #11 posted by E_Johnson on November 28, 2008 at 17:33:27 PT
Think about dried fruit
Dried fruit doesn't rot like fresh fruit, right?
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on November 28, 2008 at 17:31:51 PT
Hope about the eyeballs
They know through other means that the Gushi people who built those tombs had blonde hair and blue eyes. I don't know if his eyes were still blue. But this is a known culture. They've been studied a lot.Also -- in the desert, it's very dry, and that prevents a lot of decay. In extremely dry climates, organic matter can be preserved extremely well.Things don't rot in the desert. The microorganisms that rot things can't find enough moisture there to survive.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on November 28, 2008 at 15:58:20 PT
This is strange.
Stuff preserved like that after 2700 years? I'm afraid I would have been totally doubtful about this story if Dr. Russo hadn't been involved in this. First thing this morning, this was on an email list I get. I was thinking "What???", until I saw Dr. Russo's name. Now I'm just dumb flummoxed. But I have no doubts about Dr. Russo's honesty.The guy apparently was as well preserved as his eternal stash. I know cannabis is good for you, but this gives a whole new circle of meaning to a "compliment?" I was given some ten years or so ago, as a matter of fact on a Thanksgiving Day, when an elderly woman looked me over on meeting me and said, "You're extraordinarily well preserved for a woman of fifty". It did strike me as odd. I didn't much like the idea of looking "Preserved". The man... gives a whole new circle of meaning to "Busted", too, must have been extraordinarily well preserved himself. He still had hair and color in his eyeballs? He still had eyeballs?This is just too weird. 
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Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 28, 2008 at 14:00:24 PT
See, This Guy's A Loser
Laying around the tomb all day, two pounds of stash in a bowl on the table, what a bum!
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on November 28, 2008 at 11:41:37 PT
Time for a stoner version of The Mummy
Archaeology students find ancient stash and test it on themselves, waking up the ancient mummies who have to go out and score more weed before they can go back to their tombs.Happy after-Thanksgiving everyone. I cooked all day. It feels like I played tennis all day. Ow.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on November 28, 2008 at 10:42:45 PT
From Mike,
Here's the scientific study on that ancient stash:
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Comment #5 posted by HempWorld on November 28, 2008 at 10:11:52 PT
Cannabis Is The Tree Of Life!
But we're not supposed to know this ... Sssh don't tell anybody ...
On a mission from God!
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Comment #4 posted by charmed quark on November 28, 2008 at 10:10:22 PT
too bad they couldn't measure %THC
If they could have measured how strong it was it might have countered the Drug Czar saying how strong marijuana has gotten recently LOL
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 28, 2008 at 08:52:28 PT
You're really funny!
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on November 28, 2008 at 08:01:58 PT
So that's where I left it!World -- Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.
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Comment #1 posted by NikoKun on November 28, 2008 at 07:57:12 PT
ah our wonderful history
Guess this adds more to the possibility that Jesus used Cannabis.
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