Published December 03, 2008
Duuuuuude! The world's oldest stash of marijuana has been found in far western China, according to an article in the Journal of Experimental Botany.
An ancient Caucasian people, probably the Indo-European-speaking Yuezhi whose fair-haired mummies keep turning up in Xinjiang province, seem to have buried one of their shamans with a whopping 789 grams of high-potency pot 2,700 years ago.
That's about 28 ounces of killer green bud, worth perhaps $8,000 at today's street prices, and enough to keep Harold and Kumar happy for a couple of days.
"It was common practice in burials to provide materials needed for the afterlife," lead author Ethan B. Russo, a practicing neurologist and prominent medicinal-marijuana advocate based in Missoula, Mont., tells the Canadian Press. "No hemp or seeds were provided for fabric or food. Rather, cannabis as medicine or for visionary purposes was supplied."
But the researchers couldn't tell if the weed was meant to be smoked or eaten. No pipes, bongs or rolling papers were found in the tomb.
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus relates how the Scythians, Iranian-speaking nomads who roamed the steppes to the west of the Yuezhi in the first millennium B.C., liked to throw marijuana onto bonfires to induce trancelike states. It's possible the buried shaman followed similar practices.