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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Brief interview with Professor Yimin Yang, discoverer of ancient Chinese cannabis

About millions of years ago

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Speaking of a long growing season, hemp has been growing on our planet fixIt has been around for millions of years and has been cultivated for perhaps many thousands. cannabis It belongs to a narrow group of flowering plants (cannabis) to include hops and a handful of other plants. Originating in Central Asia, hemp became an integral part of early Asian culture as people derived such necessary staples as ropes for tying, fibers for clothing, and much more from this green little plant with its utility caravan.

It is not hard to imagine that somewhere along the Silk Road, some lonely night travelers might be wondering what other secrets this little plant might have and decided to shoot it. There is undoubtedly a possibility, but strong evidence that marijuana was consumed for its psychoactive effects in antiquity is lacking. or is he?

first reference

The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the nomads date back to 440 BC ScythiansAs part of a post-burial ritual to smoke the cannabis that has died dearly and consumed to purify themselves. Paraphrasing his version, they would dig a hole and then fill it with hot red stones and form a small tent of 3 pillars around it. It was the next step Throw Cavabic (Cannabis) seeds on hot stones, apparently sending out such clouds to rival a good Greek bath.

When the tent was filled with aromatic liqueur, the mournful Scythians would crawl, breathe in smoke, and, according to Herodotus, “howl with joy in the steam bath.” One can reasonably assume Other parts of the cannabis plant hit those hot rocks. (I wonder if this is where you use the term Getting anesthetic Originated?)

Herodotus or not, scholars today demand facts and historically there has been no substantial evidence of cannabis being burned and smoked to enhance its psychoactive properties. Until now.

High in the mountains?

In 2013, an international research team led by Yimin Yang, a professor at the Department of Archeology and Anthropology at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, began excavations at the Jirzankal tomb in the Pamir mountain range in central China. An area also known as the Pamir Plateau.

in 10,000 feet altitudeThe team was there to excavate the site and study the ancient tombs of the indigenous peoples of the area. This diverse group of researchers includes study co-author Dr. Robert Spengler, director of the Paleoethnobotany Laboratories of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Details of their discovery were finally published in the prestigious newspaper science progress In June of 2019. The article chronicled the discovery of ten wooden brasses at the Pamir burial site, the contents of which have not yet been verified, a remarkable find. Inside those coppers, a bunch of burnt tails and ashes still lingered, and an ancient secret was sleeping inside those little piles of ashes.

NB: The stove can be any type of stand, pan, box, and even a hollowed-out piece of wood to hold coals or hot stones. They were often used in cooking or in cultural rituals. In this case, this censer was thought to be a typical funerary censer. However, through high-tech analysis processes, they would discover that its contents were not typical.

1-2-3 . test

Professor Yang and colleagues have carried out many tests, organizing the latest scientific methods of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). First, analyzing the chemical fingerprint in the ash, which revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana, got them excited.

Further testing revealed not only that it was marijuana, but a strain more potent than any previously found growing wild in the region, suggesting agriculture or perhaps even trade; Another teacher. Furthermore, the high quality of hemp lends more credence to the view of intentionally smoking marijuana for its mind-altering properties. This was a signal and first historical discovery.

Adding to the team’s success, additional testing determined that the ancient herb is at least 2,500 years old, making it the oldest pot ever discovered and directly related to consumption for the purpose of reshaping consciousness. In one interview, Professor Yang speculated that during funeral rites mourners would likely smoke cannabis to connect with the spirit world or the spirit of the recently departed.

Mountain man

This was a historical discovery worth pursuing. I contacted Professor Yang, the commander of the Pamir expedition, and found him in Beijing. I explained I am writing for a cannabis-friendly magazine and would like to interview him about his team’s findings. He was gracious enough to give me a brief question and answer even though he was in a hotel room and on vacation at the time.

For the record, Professor Yang has a PhD in Archeology and is a world-renowned authority on the analysis of ancient organic residues.

High Times: Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview, Professor.

Professor Yang: Hello.

About the marijuana discovered in the cemeteries, were you able to distinguish its type? Whether Sativa or Indica strain?

No, there is a long debate about the classification (classification) of cannabis. We just concluded that old burnt cannabis has a high THC content.

I’m curious. How can you, 2,500 years later, tell that the cannabis you discovered was effective?

Hemp that has a high level of THC often contains a low level of CBD. The cannabinoids detected on wood braziers are mainly CBN, indicating that burnt cannabis plants showed higher levels of THC than is typically found in wild plants.

A pattern of relatively equivalent amounts of THC and CBD is expected for wild cannabis plants, but no clear peaks corresponding to cannabinoids in CBD and its degraded products (eg cannabielsoin) were detected in the burn residue.

Did your GC/MS test results tell you that cannabis in the fireplace was a stronger strain than any strain discovered so far?


That must be a very exciting moment. What are the dimensions of the incense burner that you discovered containing cannabis residue?

The diameter of the incense burner is about 10-20 cm.

Did you find any signs of cultivation?

There is no strong evidence of cultivation. Archaeologists found some burnt copperplate in the tomb, so we believe that these copperplate, stones and cannabis burning occurred in the funeral rites.

Have you written other papers on this topic that one can read?

This is the first time that cannabis residues have been chemically analyzed, so I have no other papers to present.


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