Before finalizing April 20th as “Global Cannabis Day”, humans began smoking marijuana in ceremonial or religious activities long ago. A group of international joint researchers found chemical residues in wooden incense burners recovered from 2,500-year-old tombs in the eastern mountainous region of Pamir, China. After analysis, THC (the most effective psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) was found to be very high. And burning in activities such as sacrifices.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History published a joint article on Science Advances. Provided direct evidence that the Pamir ancestors burned and smoked marijuana.
The team conducted an in-depth study of the Gilzankal cemetery, which is located on the Gilzan-Khala platform on the west bank of the Tashkurgan River in the northeast of Quman Village, Tishkugangan Tajik Autonomous County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, at an altitude of about 3,070 meters. The Tajik language of Jilzank is Jerzankol, meaning "the place where the eagle stands on the rock."
Cannabis is one of the earliest cultivated plants in East Asia and is one of the most widely used psychotropic substances in the world today. However, little is known about the development of higher concentrations of psychotropic compounds in cannabis plants that are used for their early mental activity or when they are cultivated. Most of the evidence for the early use of cannabis's mental activity attributes comes from written records, but scholars have doubts about its reliability; archaeological evidence for the use of such plants during rituals is rather limited.
During the inspection of the cemetery, 10 wooden braziers were found in the eight tombs, and there were stones with obvious burning marks in these braziers. For the investigation, they extracted organic matter from wood chips and burned stones and analyzed them by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. To their surprise, the results showed a precise match with the chemical characteristics of cannabis, especially with their high levels of THC, the most potent psychoactive substance in the plant.
Cannabis is one of the major drugs and medical plants in the world today. However, in ancient society, the use of marijuana by humans paid more attention to “the sense of ritual”; in religious activities and other activities, cannabis as a hallucinogen can directly affect the ceremony. The physical and mental state of the participants gives people a sense of transcendence and experience.
Although the specific religious beliefs and ideas of the ancestors in the Tashkurgan area were still to be explored, according to the many archaeological phenomena presented by the Gilzankari tombs, we can initially outline some of the ritual behaviors of the site: the flames of jumping, the The rhythm of music, combined with the psychedelic smog and aromatic scent released by burning marijuana, are aimed at guiding people's ideology into a special illusion and gaining communication and connection with “supernatural”.