Cannabis is now becoming more legal and accepted in the United States and across the world, but most people don’t know that the plant has a long history. Marijuana is one of the oldest known psychoactive drugs, which has been used for thousands of years by a number of different cultures and religions. In Ancient Egypt for example, cannabis was used as a pain-reliever rather than a cure, and traces of it is found in the remains of of mummies. In Early America, the marijuana grown was cannabis sativa L, which contains less than 1% THC, not nearly enough for anyone to smoke and get high. Japan is another ancient culture that commonly used cannabis throughout its history.
Today, Japan has some of the strictest marijuana laws, but it actually has one of the oldest histories with cannabis. The earliest traces of cannabis in Japan are found woven into clothes dating back to the Jōmon period between 10,000 BC and 300 AD. Cannabis was also mentioned in Japanese literature, specifically Manyoshu, the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry. A number of these poems mention cannabis as a strong and tall plant that ninjas used in training. According to some of these poems, Japanese ninjas also used cannabis plants as hurdles to jump over.