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Hemp History BCE

2700 BCE: Shennong pen Ts'ao first describes cannabis use

Shennong pen Ts'ao king is a Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants. It survives as a copy made c. 500 CE and describes about 365 herbs.1 The book's origin has been attributed to the mythical Chinese emperor Shennung (Shennong), who was said to have lived around 2700 BCE. In its text cannabis is referred to as a "superior" herb.

Shennong has been thought to have taught the ancient Chinese not only their practices of agriculture, but also the use of herbal drugs.2 Shennong cannot be said to be a completely historical figure.. Researchers hypothesize that writings credited to this ' Devine Farmer' are really a compilation of oral traditions written between about 300 BCE and 200 CE.

The “Lu Shi,” a Chinese work of the Sung dynasty, about 500 CE, contains a statement that the Emperor Shen Nung, in the twenty-eighth century B.C., first taught the people of China to cultivate “ma” (hemp) for making hempen cloth.3

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2300 - 1700 BCE: The Oxus Civilization uses ephedra and cannabis in their rituals

Oxus civilisationGonur ExcavationsThe Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia, dated to ca. 2300–1700 BCE, located in present day Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan and northeastern Iran, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus).

Its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bactra (modern Balkh), in what is now northern Afghanistan, and Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of which was Merv, in today's Turkmenistan.

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