A total of ten wooden braziers were exhumed from eight separate tombs in the Jirzankal Cemetery. The Leafy website again described the braziers as “very large one-hitters.” The wooden braziers had a deep, rounded well on each one.
Large rocks the size of walnuts were heated with fire before being inserted into the cavity of each of the wooden braziers. It is assumed that the cannabis was placed on top of the smoldering rocks and allowed to release their active agents through smoke. The braziers showed signs of charring, further confirming the theory of the researchers.
Further chemical tests revealed that all of the burned residues in the braziers contained CBN, which is an oxidative metabolite of THC. Basically, CBN is what you get when you burn cannabis. It’s a chemical signature that combustion occurred.
Researcher Meng Ren noted the ancient use of cannabis in other cultures, as well:
“[Herodotus] noted that people would sit in a small tent, and the plants were burned in a bowl with hot stones. Frozen tombs from the Pazyryk culture (ca. 500 BCE) in the southern Altai Mountains of the Tuva Republic [in] Russia seem to corroborate the account of Herodotus, despite being located over 3,000 km to the northeast… Furthermore, according to The Histories, ancient Scythians used the cannabis smoke as a cleaning rite (similar to bathing) after a [burial ceremony]; however, the smoking revealed both in the Pamirs in the present study and in the Altai mountains was obviously performed during the burial and may represent a different kind of ritual, perhaps, for example, aimed at communication with the dive or the deceased.”
Marijuana in Modern-day China
Despite this notable archaeological development, the Chinese government is nowhere near amused.
The government is currently taking strict measures to stop the spread of “marijuana culture” in China. In recent years, it has been reported that the Chinese police have been tackling more cases of smuggling and consumption of marijuana from Chinese citizens who have either studied or lived abroad.
According to Yu Jian, the director of Chengdu-based Faye Law Firm:
“According to China’s Criminal Law, smuggling, selling, transporting, and manufacturing drugs, regardless of the quantity, should be investigated for criminal responsibility and penalty,” Yu told Global Times.
Li Zhipeng, a lawyer from the Beijing Deheng Law Offices-Guangzhou Branch, says that there is a need for cultural boundaries when Chinese students go abroad.
“Among overseas Chinese students, there could be a misunderstanding. Even if recreational marijuana use has been legalized in Canada, it does not mean smoking marijuana is acceptable. These students need to bear in mind their goals in foreign countries. They are there to learn the essence and discard the dross,” said Li.