This Is the First Time Marijuana Was Referenced in Ancient Literature

Marijuana is one of the oldest known psychoactive drugs that has been used in cultures all across the world for thousands of years. The plant was used in many ancient religions and cultures, including Ancient China, where their army relied on cannabis mostly for its strong fibers for warfare. The Chinese also used the cannabis for medicine, and even recorded the first use of cannabis as medicine in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the Rh-Ya and the first time cannabis was referenced in literature.

Starting from 2900 BC, cannabis was a common medicine used in China, but it wasn’t written into the Chinese Pharmacopoeia until 1500 BC. The Rh-Ya refers to cannabis as “Ma”, the Chinese word for cannabis. The Chinese believed Ma possessed the yin and yang qualities to treat sickness, but the Rh-Ya also referenced cannabis for shamanistic purposes, so medicine men were also practicing “magic”. China’s cannabis use wasn’t limited to just medicine, but by 100 AD the Chinese had more than 100 medical uses for the drug, which you can read all about it in the Rh-Ya.


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