Marijuana, specifically hemp, has been cultivated across the world for thousands of years. Though it’s now mostly consumed for medicinal or recreational purposes, history suggests it was grown mostly for its strong fibers and medicinal powers. During these times, marijuana wasn’t such a highly controlled substance as it is now, so consumers used it for more purposes than they do now because they had more freedom to. The plant was used in many ancient religions and cultures across the world, including Ancient China, as pieces of hemp have been found in Chinese burial chambers.
In Ancient China, their army relied on cannabis mostly for its strong fibers for warfare. The Chinese archers used hemp to make strong and durable bows and arrows that fly farther than their enemies’ bamboo arrows. This became such an advantage during war that some Chinese monarchs claimed to allocate large sums of land specifically for growing hemp, making it a war crop. Though not nearly as violent as the arrows, the Chinese also produced paper using hemp. Made by crushing hemp fibers and mulberry tree bark into a pulp, then putting the mixture into a tank of water until the tangled fiber rise to the surface to be placed in a mold to dry.