The history of marijuana in China from the ancient dynasties, through the cultural revolution of Mao to this day
Marijuana has been used in China for thousands of years. Residues of hemp fiber from 10,000 years ago have been discovered. In fact, they were pioneers in the medicinal use of this herb.
Ancient tombs discovered in the steppes of China reveal our relationship with the cannabis plant for thousands of years.
Tombs of the emperors of the Chou dynasty (1122-249 BC) were found, and cannabis has always figured in the treatises of traditional medicine.
A team of archaeologists discovered a 2,500-year-old tomb in western China. They found a wooden bed under the corpse, with a pillow made of reeds under his head.
Surrounding the mummy were clay pots and over the body there were remains of 13 female plants of sativa cannabis Sativa Indica fully developed. The roots were located on the pelvis and the branches and flowers covered his face.
The same team of archaeologists discovered another nearby tomb in which the mummy of a male lay. Throughout the grave there were many dried marijuana flowers. Some were in bowls and others in a large basket. After submitting them to analytical, the presence of THC was detected, with which it was supposed that our ancestors of that area already used marijuana for therapeutic and psychoactive purposes.
We can deduce that those men used cannabis for the same as us: the pursuit of pleasure and the treatment of diseases. And it was also used for the manufacture of textile materials and as food. Therefore, it is very possible that the cannabis found in the tombs was placed there so that those people had something of great value to take to the next world.
On the border with Siberia was found the grave of a young woman who was buried in a beautiful wooden tomb. Thanks to the fact that the tomb was buried in permafrost, many things could be deduced about this woman’s life. Among other things, we can deduce that the last days of her life suffered a lot due to a breast cancer.
She was buried with six horses, food and a stone bowl filled with cannabis seeds. The scientists deduced that she was using cannabis to relieve the terrible pain she was suffering. Interestingly, cannabis is used today for the same thing: the treatment of pain.
Mao Ze Dong: the end of cannabis
In China, cannabis was banned more than 90 years ago. However, in the Xinjiang region, with a Uighur majority, a people that incorporated cannabis into its most ancestral traditions, marijuana continues to be consumed today.
But the real attack on marijuana came from the dictator Mao Ze Dongm who with his cultural revolution subjected the entire population of China to, among other things, eliminate cannabis from the country’s traditions. And since then the legal situation is very hard. In 2011, a South African woman was sentenced to death for drug trafficking.
It is true that the authorities are not as harsh with marijuana as any other drug. But, in any case, they are much more severe than in any western democratic country.
But even if the penalties are not as severe as in the United States or Canada, mere consumption carries jail. For example, in 2014, the son of popular actor Jackie Chan was arrested for smoking marijuana with a friend.
Although the laws were not severe after Mao, they are still very strict. Marijuana use is still very frequent, especially in rural areas. But for 30 years the authorities are much less permissive with the cannabis and sale of cannabis.
There are already two large provinces in China whose production of CBD (cannabidiol), can turn this Asian giant into the world’s largest producer of this compound that is so fashionable in the medical and beauty sector throughout the western world.
China is a country of paradoxes. It is massively producing CBD for export, but its consumption is strictly prohibited in the country.
According to Tan Xin, president of Hanma Investment Group, this company was the first company that in 2017 got the first license for the extraction of CBD in China. But the product is exclusively for sale abroad, in formats such as oils, aerosols and balsams. It is recommended to treat disorders such as insomnia, skin problems, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
At the moment it seems impossible the legalization of recreational cannabis in China. But this country has realized that cannabis products without psychoactive properties are in high demand throughout the western world. After the legalization of marijuana in Canada and the United States, the Asian giant does not want to lose that huge market.
Hanma Investment Group has a subsidiary company located in a remote valley near Shanchong, a small town in the province of Yunnan. The company is growing more than 1,600 acres of hemp. With the cultivated hemp, textiles are extracted but also CBD, in oil and glass format. The crops are next to an old weapons factory and access is completely restricted.
The subsidiary company is called Hempsou and its director, Tian Wei, is completely convinced of the medicinal properties of the CBD.
Mr. Tian Wei is aware that China has entered the market late. But he feels optimistic and is sure that they will be able to recover lost time and position themselves among the main producers in the international sector.
It is curious that China has entered the medical cannabis market, specifically in the CBD, later than other countries. For thousands of years this country has cultivated hemp for textile purposes, to use the seeds as food and even for its traditional and millenary medicine. In fact, until about 15 years ago, you could walk the streets of major cities and see hemp plants in any corner without anyone being aware of it.
In fact, in the second century the famous book of traditional medicine called Medical Matter of the Divine Farmer had already been written, in which cannabis and its seeds were attributed different medicinal properties.