HISTORY OF CANNABIS USE dates to ancient times.
Hemp fabrics from the late 8th century B.C. have been found in Turkey.
Specimens have turned up in an Egyptian site nearly 4,000 years of age.
In ancient Thebes, the plant was made into a drink with opium-like effects.
The Scythians, who threw cannabis seeds and leaves on hot stones in steam baths to produce an intoxicating smoke, grew the plant along the Volga 3,000 years ago.
Chinese tradition puts the use of the plant back 4,800 years.
Indian medical writing, compiled before 1000 B.C., reports therapeutic uses of cannabis.
That the early Hindus appreciated its intoxicating properties is attested by such names as "heavenly guide" and soother of grief."
The Chinese referred to cannabis as "liberator of sin" and "delight giver."
The Greek physician Galen wrote, about A.D. 160, that general use of hemp in cakes produced narcotic effects. In the 13th century Asia Minor, organized murderers, rewarded with hasheesh, were known as hashishins from which may come the term assassin in European languages.
Hemp as a source of fiber was introduced by the Pilgrims to New England and by the Spanish and Portuguese to their colonies in the New World.
Objects connected with the use of cannabis were found in frozen tombs of the ancient Scythians, in the Altai Mountains and the border between Russia and Outer Mongolia.
The large, tepee-like structure was covered with a felt or leather mat and stood over the copper censer (four-legged stool-like object).
Carbonized hemp seeds were found nearby.
The two-handled pot contained cannabis fruits.
The Scythian custom of breathing cannabis fumes in the steam bath was mentioned about 500 B.C. by the Greek naturalist Herodotus.