THE world’s most comprehensive study into marijuana has delivered some controversial findings, even saying there is no link between smoking cannabis and lung cancer.
Cannabis is indigenous to Central and South Asia. There is evidence of inhalation of cannabis smoke from the 3rd millennium BCE, namely charred cannabis seeds found in a ritual brazier at an ancient burial site in present-day Romania. The earliest written reference to cannabis dates back to 2727 B.C., from the Chinese emperor Shennong.
In 2003, a leather basket filled with cannabis leaf fragments and seeds was found next to a 2,500- to 2,800-year-old mummified shaman in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Evidence of cannabis consumption was also found in Egyptian mummies dated about 950 BC.
Cannabis was also used by the ancient Hindus of India and Nepal thousands of years ago. The herb is called ganja (Sanskrit: गञ्जा, IAST: gañjā) or ganjika in Sanskrit and other modern Indo-Aryan languages. Some scholars suggest that the ancient drug soma, mentioned in the Vedas, was cannabis, although this theory is disputed.
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