African History of Cannabis

Cannabis has a truly global history associated with a wide range of uses and meanings. The plant evolved in central Asia millions of years ago. Across Eurasia, humans began using cannabis seeds and fibre more than 12,000 years ago, and by 5,000 years ago, people in south Asia had learned to use cannabis as an edible drug. It arrived in east Africa over 1,000 years ago.

Cannabis has been under global prohibition for most of the last century, which has stunted understanding of the people-plant relationship. Africa, Africans and people of the African diaspora have had crucial roles in the plant’s history that are mostly forgotten.

I want people to learn about cannabis history for four reasons:

First, understanding its historical uses can help identify potential new uses.

  • Second, understanding why people have valued cannabis can improve how current societies manage it.
  • Third, understanding how people have used cannabis illuminates African influences on global culture.
  • Finally, understanding how people are profiting from cannabis exposes inequities within the global economy.

Africans have valued cannabis for centuries, though it’s difficult to know all the uses it had, because most weren’t documented. Despite its limits, the historical record clearly shows that people used cannabis as a stimulant and painkiller in association with hard labour.

Read the full article HERE

Source: TimesLive

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