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Sensi Magazine

Cannabis Burial Shroud Unearthed from Ancient Grave

Oct 09, 2016 07:55PM ● By Randy Robinson

The ancient Astana tombs, near the oasis of Turpan, China (Photo by Laika @Flickr)

As reported this week by National Geographic, archaeologists in northern China unearthed an "extraordinary cache" of funerary cannabis. Radiocarbon dating places this burial in Turpan at about 2,500 years old, and the body of the buried man reportedly bears "Caucasian" features.

It's not the first time massive quantities of ancient pot were found buried in China. In the 2000s, archaeologists found another tomb in Turpan that contained nearly two pounds of pot seeds and leaves. 

And the real kicker here? The cannabis this Eurasian man was buried with wasn't hemp. Researchers believe it was tried-and-true Cannabis sativa, cultivated, carried, and revered for its psychoactive uses. 

For one, all thirteen plants buried with this man were female. The flower heads (known to most of us as "buds") had all been removed. The plants were also covered in trichomes, the plant's glandular "crystal" sacs that hold ample amounts of THC and other cannabinoids. 

Because the harvest appeared fresh, the archaeologists believe this cannabis was grown somewhere near Turpan. This isn't terribly surprising, as the Chinese were the first civilization to include cannabis in their official pharmacopoeias as far back as 100 A.D.

Hemp, the non-psychoactive form of cannabis, has been grown for agricultural and industrial purposes in China for at least 10,000 years.