When did humans first discover cannabis?
It's hard to find one definitive answer. There are as many origin date theories as there are uses for cannabis. There is consensus, though.
Cannabis is old. Cannabis is very old.
As for the timeline, a pollen study determined that cannabis evolved 28 million years ago. Our first human ancestors appeared on the scene between 5-7 million years ago, while modern humans arrived somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 years ago.
Therefore, cannabis pre-dated humans. As humans evolved, they experimented with the natural world around them and, thankfully, eventually discovered a multitude of uses for the plant. Chinese Emperor Shen Ning, the "Father of Chinese Medicine" purportedly used cannabis as medicine around 2800 BC. Evidence of ritual burnings of cannabis have been found by archaeologists on sites 5,000 years old. Heck, the concept of agriculture is only about 10,000 years old and there's evidence that cannabis fiber was produced at the start of that major milestone in human history.
What's the takeaway here? All signs point to the fact that cannabis has existed longer than modern man. And since humans have been growing plants, cannabis has been one of them. For thousands of years, cannabis has been used as a food source, a fiber (one of the world's strongest fibers), a medicine, and in a variety of other applications.
All over the world, cannabis has been used by billions for thousands of years for health, for religion, for survival, and for much more.
Yet, it remains a federally prohibited substance that's categorized as having no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. The numbers and the concept just don't add it.
It's easy to conclude - it's not about the plant.
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