Erowid References Database
“The religious and medicinal uses of Cannabis in China, India and Tibet”.
J Psychoactive Drugs. 1981 Jan-Mar 18;13(1):23-34.
The earliest trace of cannabis use is in archaeo-
logical find of hemp textile in China dating from 4000
B.C. (Li & Lin 1974). Hemp thread and rope from 3000
B.C. have also been found in Chinese-occupied Turke-
stan (Fisher 1975). The Rb-Ya (5OO B.C., but pointing
back many centuries earlier) mentions its use for fiber
(Bouquet l95O), as do the Shih-Ching (lOth-7th cen-
turies B.C.), the Li-Chi (lOO B.C.) and the Chou Li (c.
200 B.C.) (Li & Lin 1974). A grain crop was obtained
from the achene as well. according to the latter three
classics (Li & Lin 1974), though the earliest archaeo-
logical evidence of this use found to date is from the
Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.). Cannabis grain was
not merely an auxiliary crop, for in ancient times it was
counted as one of the "five grains," together with rice,
barley. millet and soy beans (Li 1975). To this day a
large seeded variety of hemp grows in the far northest
of China, which may well be a relict of its use for grain.
Although cannabis ceased to be an important food in
China, just before the beginning of thc Christian era due
to the introduction of new crops (Keng 1974).' it is still a
source of cooking oil and grain in parts of Nepal.
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