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History of Cannabis


If Cannabis was not the first plant cultivated by humans, it was certainly one of the first. Archeological evidence of Cannabis use by early humans dates back to 10,000 years BCE. This bushy shrub – perhaps first encountered in Central Asia of our early settlements. Its highly nutritious seeds, and its processed fiber for use in constructing tools for hunting and gathering was enough to endear cannabis to our ancestors and propagate the plant around the world. In time, it was also discovered that inhaling the fumes of its burned flowers caused a psychoactive effect, which led to other uses - as an intoxicant in spiritual rituals and medicine for various ailments.  

Breeding of Cannabis for different traits, by early farmers, worked especially well because of its genetic complexity and multitude of uses. It could be bred to be long and thin, better for making rope to be used for taming horses or rigging early ships, for example. Or, it could be bred to produce resinous flowers rich with important plant chemicals (ie, phytocannabinoids) to be used for medical and spiritual purposes. Over time, Cannabis adapted to what was needed by the humans growing it, and that adaptability – along with its unsurpassed utility – elevated this plant to its status as one of the most cultivated plants in human history.  

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