MaryJ List

The History of Marijuana Part 1: 8000 B.C.- 1000 B.C.

The history of Marijuana dates back nearly ten-thousand years ago, to approximately 8,000 B.C. It can be found in traces of ancient rope, as hemp, which helped to form rope. It was not until approximately 2800 B.C., around five-thousand years ago, that it was first used for Chemical purposes(1). With the first traces of the substance dating back to what is now modern-day Taiwan, it was said that it was the Chinese who originally brought it over to the continental land masses, where it was grown on a larger scale to be made into rope. It was supposedly a complete accident that Marijuana became known for its chemical powers. According to early documentation, the story goes that a large rope made of hemp was set on fire in a Chinese village, allowing for massive amounts of smoke to be made. This is where it earns the name Cannabis, which roughly translated correlates with the root word KannaBis. This is a latin-based word meaning “Hemp Smoke(2).”

Once its chemical properties were discovered, it was said to have been used by the Chinese for medical and economic purposes. While unaware of a few of the health detriments stemming from Cannabis, it was one of the most sought-after substances of its time, making it a very valuable staple for both Chinese market commerce, and commerce on a more international scale. As a matter of fact, it was traded all around the world, as evidenced by traces of it being found in Africa, Rome, Egypt, Greece, China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and other various countries(3). These countries were mainly found either near the Silk Road or the Mediterranean sea, where it could easily be both transported and traded. This kept occurring without any changes until about 1000 B.C., where more time was devoted to researching its “powers,” and effects(4).

Overall, Cannabis’ history dates back nearly ten thousand years, where it first started out as the prime ingredient for rope. About five thousand years later, more chemical properties were discovered about it, making it valuable in many markets and turning it into a global staple for commerce. This continues for another fifteen hundred years, until another large leap forward was made in the use of Marijuana, which shall be discussed in the next article coming out tomorrow.

(1) "The 10,000-year World History of Hemp and Cannabis." The 10,000-year World History of Hemp and Cannabis. Accessed October 16, 2015.

(2) "Etymology of Cannabis." Wikipedia. August 6, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2015.

(3) "Cannabis (Drug) History." Wikipedia. October 15, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2015.

(4) "Historical Timeline - Medical Marijuana -" ProConorg Headlines. August 13, 2013. Accessed October 16, 2015.

-Jammin Joe