History of Hemp
The human race use of cannabis and hemp spans Eons. In fact, the oldest fiber ever found was made of hemp, it was found in an area that was ancient Mesopotamia. Hemp was also used as a textile in China and Eurasia 10,000 years ago (1).
The earliest plant that was used for fiber in China was hemp (2 ). In 2737 BC the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung said cannabis was a "superior herb"(3 ). He also documented its use for treating rheumatism, gout, and even absent-mindedness (4 ).
The Yangshao where located around the middle of the Yellow River in China from 5000-3000 B.C.. They used bows and arrows for hunting, kept dogs and pigs and used hemp for fabrics(5).
In China around the second century B.C. Hemp was one of the principle crops of Han farmers(6 ). Also the ashes of the hemp plant was used in the manufacture of fireworks(7). Male plants were used for fabrics, and hemp seed was considered a Cereal food (8). Hemp seed was also used in preparation of drinks, in early Chinese culture(9 ).
The ancient Chinese also used Cannabis medically as an analgesic(10 ). Also an old Chinese folk remedy called for cypress nuts, hemp seeds and ale, this would allow a person to drink and not get drunk. Its unclear how effective this was (11 ).
Ancient Chinese Taoist mixed cannabis and other ingredients together then burned them in incense burners and inhaled the smoke(12 ). Early Chinese priest used cannabis stalks to drive away evil. A 2,500 to 2,800 year old mummy was found in China that had been interned with cannabis (13).
In fact, the importance of hemp in ancient China is shown by it being called the "land of mulberry and hemp" (14 ).
A book of the Hindu faith, called vedasa claims that the God Shiva bought the hemp plant down from the Himalayas (15 ).
The Aryans introduced cannabis to Scythians and Thracians. Also members of the cult Dionysus that came from Thrace, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey are also believed to have smoked cannabis (16 ).