People were getting stoned while attempting to talk to spirits as as early as 500 BCE, a new study indicates.
Scientists have directly dated and verified Asia artifacts found in the eastern Pamirs region that suggest cannabis was used in ritual and/or religious ceremonies.
More specifically, analysis of in wooden braziers found in a series of tombs "reveals ancient cannabis burning and suggests high levels of psychoactive chemicals, indicating that people may have been cultivating cannabis and possibly actively selecting for stronger specimens," reads the study posted to Science Advances.
But people weren't sparking up just to get high and draw far-out cave paintings.
"The smoking revealed both in the Pamirs in the present study...was obviously performed during the burial and may represent a different kind of ritual, perhaps, for example, aimed at communicating with the divine or the deceased."
As Men's Health notes, the study offers examples of ritualistic weed smoking elsewhere in prehistoric China, including a "cannabis burial shroud" and "a leather basket and a wooden bowl filled with cannabis seeds, leaves, and shoots found near the head and feet of the deceased, who may have been a high-ranking male shaman."
What's more, the cannabis they found contained unusually high levels of THC, the psychoactive chemical that gets you high.
"The dispersal of cannabis across the mountain barriers may have played a role in driving the higher THC levels of these specific varieties." Sounds like they were smoking some good shit.
"We can start to piece together an image of funerary rites that included flames, rhythmic music, and hallucinogen smoke, all intended to guide people into an altered state of mind," the study adds.
Talk about higher powers.