Wacky Weed in ‘The Amsterdam of China'

Wacky Weed in ‘The Amsterdam of China'
Posted by CN Staff on December 03, 2008 at 14:52:55 PT
By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers
Source: Centre Daily Times
Beijing, China -- Looks like very early residents of China had a penchant for smoking what we used to vernacularly call wacky tabackey. Yup, marijuana.Archaeologists who dug up a 2,700-year-old tomb of a shaman near Turpan out in far west Xinjiang province found a curious pouch. Inside was the wacky weed. News reports call it the oldest stash of marijuana on Earth.
The cannabis was "superbly preserved by climatic and burial conditions," according to an article in the scientific Journal of Experimental Botany."The cannabis was presumably employed by this culture as a medicinal or psychoactive agent, or an aid to divination. To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent, and contribute to the medical and archaeological record of this pre-Silk Road culture," the abstract says.No pipes, bongs or rolling papers were uncovered in the tomb of this wild and crazy guy.The dope apparently had a very high content of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, but the leaf was too old to measure precisely.So the question is whether the stash was just for the shaman's personal consumption. According to the journal, the shaman had 789 grams of the stuff, which by my calculation is almost two pounds. That would put him in the slammer for a long time in a lot of places these days. Then again, he might argue that it was for medicinal purposes.According to another news article, the Xinjiang region of China may be an original source of cannabis strains worldwide.A foreign reader who lives in China sent in an interesting email about marijuana, responding to news about the world's oldest stash.He'll remain anonymous because of the nature. He said he traveled down to Dali and Shangri-la in Yunnan Province last summer, and this is what he found:"To my great surprise, marijuana was EVERYWHERE down there. I was told by the folks in the Tibetan medicine shops that pot has been used as medicine in Tibet, Yunnan and the whole region for thousands of years. The medicine shops had it under the counter for special customers. They said it was widespread and accepted until Mao. Even today, you see folks on the streets smoking their bongs and you see pot sold in the countryside markets. They smoke it, eat it and brew a tea. It's growing everywhere in the foothills and mountains."In a follow-up email, the reader said: "I was told they smoke a blend of what they call angel hair tobacco from the region and marijuana. Many just smoke all pot. They also make a black paste from the pot (we'd call it hashish) and mix it with the tobacco. Those folks were the Bai minority from Dali I understand. The pot pic is from Tiger Leaping Gorge...another reason the area is so popular with Western backpackers. A friend told me Dali is known as the Amsterdam of China. I totally understand why."As most readers should know, penalties are harsh in China for marijuana usage, so don't take this as an endorsement to stray from the straight and narrow.Complete Article: Johnson covers China and Taiwan for McClatchy Newspapers as Beijing bureau chief. Source: Centre Daily Times (PA)Author: Tim Johnson, McClatchy NewspapersPublished: December 3, 2008Copyright: 2008 Nittany Printing and Publishing Co., Inc.Contact:  cdtletters centredaily.comWebsite: Article: Researchers Find Oldest-Ever Stash of Marijuana
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 12, 2008 at 06:49:53 PT
Related Article From CNN
Ancient Cannabis Stash Unearthed in ChinaDecember 11, 2008URL:
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on December 03, 2008 at 20:26:11 PT
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updated 2:40 p.m. ET, Mon., Dec. 1, 2008, some of that moss was psycho-active. I've heard that such moss exists in northern Canada.
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Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on December 03, 2008 at 20:16:58 PT
cannabis...same as it ever was?
I’m not familiar with this publication, but this article was way too cutesy for a newspaper article I thought. On reading the associated MSNBC article FOM posted I thought it is too bad they can’t determine the THC content as it would be interesting to see if the cannabis from long ago had a higher or lower THC content than today, or is really just about the same as good cannabis ever was. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 03, 2008 at 15:20:23 PT
World's Oldest Marijuana Stash Totally Busted
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