At last, the discovery of the first cannabis plant. Cannabis has been a benefit for man for over 1,000 years. Part of far eastern medicine it has circle the globe to South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The first documented case of its use dates back to 2800 BC, when it was listed in the Emperor Shen Nung’s (regarded as the father of Chinese medicine) pharmacopoeia. Therapeutic indications of cannabis are mentioned in the texts of the Indian Hindus, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans. These texts reported cannabis to treat a vast array of different health problems, including arthritis, depression, amenorrhea, inflammation, pain, lack of appetite and asthma.
These results were published in the journal Vegetation History and Archaebotany and although there’s no way of knowing how conclusive they are, they answer a mystery that has long plagued scientists.
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While it’s been long thought cannabis was from somewhere in the middle of Asia, the specifics have been hazy for decades because there’s never been much evidence of cannabis impressions on ancient fossils. There’s also the fact that cannabis shares a similar pollen shape to the plant humulus, also known as hops, which we all know is used to flavor beer.
The study was conducted by the University of Vermont and it took on a different approach to previous studies regarding cannabis origins, gathering samples from 155 fossil pollen studies and plants in order to learn how to distinguish the different types. After adapting the search to these factors, researchers found the earliest occurrence of cannabis pollen in northern China and southern Russia, concluding that the source was probably located in the Tibetan Plateau near Qinghai Lake.
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The plant may have evolved and developed there over 28 million years ago. New Scientist reports that the climate in the Tibetan Plateau could’ve been an influence on cannabis, helping the plant grow since it tends to thrive when in arid environments.