High On History: 4 Ancient Cultures That Embraced The Ganj


Want to read a fact that will boggle your mind and make you question your very existence?

Here you go:

The first recorded use of cannabis for recreational purposes was not recent. In fact, the cultivation of marijuana has been observed throughout history dating back almost 5,500 years.

‘Thy shall be blessed by this super secret, absolutely un-common knowledge!’

I see you aren’t blown away. Okay, maybe that fact isn’t particularly earth-shattering. After all, it is pretty much common knowledge that smoking weed is far from a recent cultural phenomenon. The process of rolling up green bud, sparking up, and passing to the left is an ancient tradition that has formed the bedrock for many archaic rituals and visits to 7/11’s ancestor, VII/XI.

There is even a line in the King James Bible that states ‘Love thy neighbour’… Your ancient neighbour would definitely love you a lot more if you dropped by their yurt with a rocky ball of hashish! Ever heard of Moctezuma II, the last of the Aztec Emperors? Guy was stoned to death! Literally.

Human sacrifice aside, these guys were dope.

Jokes aside, we here at Buddrop find it absolutely fascinating to dive a little bit more into the rich and storied history that surrounds everyone’s favourite plant. While it is easy to sit back and expand one’s mind through the consumption of the fine leaf that we all know and love, it sometimes takes a little extra to dig deep into the depths of time.

Because we understand that our reader base is formed of people with busy lives to lead (and plenty of munchies to dine upon), we have done all the heavy lifting for them/you and tossed together some of the more intriguing facts detailing exactly how and why our ancestors loved getting unspeakably baked.



Hinduism And Cannabis:

Marijuana has both inspired and formed the foundation of a multitude of religious tales from a variety of cultures interspersed across the whole planet. Hinduism, as an example, considers the plant to be sacred, and even attests that the great god, Shiva, spontaneously grew cannabis from his whole body in order to purify a mystical elixir of life.

Outside of these stories cannabis is used as an instrumental component of a number of events and rituals. Among these include the Indian and Nepalese festival of Holi, which involves a large communal celebration where practitioners drink the cannabis containing bhang. This dope-infused substance is also prominently featured as a tool for meditation, and many Hindus consume it to not only get in touch with their inner selves, but also as a way of mirroring Shiva’s spiritually absolving rituals.

Sign us up.


Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Rough night?

Remember the Nei Ching (Huangdi Neijing)?

Of course you do!  For those poor, sad, uneducated souls who don’t know, it is an Ancient Chinese medical text that has formed the foundations for the recently globalized phenomenon known as Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Thousands of years. Long standing practices such as acupuncture and the use of herbs to heal diseases and cure wounds are contained within this spectacular work, and it is regarded by scholars as being the oldest known medical text. And you’ll never guess what.

They literally talk about fucking weed in it.

‘I’m listening’.

More specifically, the text features a number of different recipes that utilize cannabis as a key ingredient. If one is a large history buff like the entire staff of Buddrop (so clearly) is, then they would know that the therapeutic use of cannabis originated within China and India, a fact that is hammered home by works of antique art such as the Nei Ching.


A Stoned Odyssey:

Party time.

Widely known for being a massive goddamn poem with tons of action sequences and sweet Ancient Greek babes, Homer’s epic Iliad tells the saga of the legendary hero Achilles and his exploits following the Trojan War.

Disclaimer: not this homer.

It’s sequel, The Odyssey, which is often regarded as its own separate work (rather than just being Iliad II: The Greekening), is a similarly noteworthy piece of writing that is is pertinent within Canadian stoner culture as a result of it bearing the first mention of marijuana in any Western text.

The Odyssey references a drug called nepenthe, which is described as a intoxicant that banishes sorrow and brings joy to those who partake. Helen of Troy, the heroine of the poem, serves this substance to herself and her guests as a way of cheering them up because, you know, their world is burning. While there has been some debate as to whether or not nepenthe is the exact same substance that we call cannabis today, many scholars have agreed that it is likely the plant’s mythological double.

Even the Lego version is intense.


Smoke Like An Egyptian

What could possibly be happening here?

As a civilization the Ancient Egyptians are themselves, for lack of a better phrase, a trip. From building gargantuan, physics defying pyramids to deftly mapping the constellations in ways that eluded their successors for thousands of years, these guys are the N.W.A. of bygone civilizations and are basically gangster as fuck.

All hustle.

In addition to achieving such magnificent feats, the Egyptians also had a penchant for consuming cannabis in a variety of forms. Although historians have still yet to find concrete evidence as to what exactly it was primarily used for (obviously toking up big time), marijuana was certainly an important part of their society. Its usage was actually prominent enough that it was given its own hieroglyphic symbol, called shemshemet.

Even after the fall of the Ancient Egyptian empire, marijuana products were still employed as a vital ingredient within a cornucopia of medicines. There is evidence of pharmacies and doctors using it for this purpose all the way up until the early 1800s.

At this point we can only assume Pharoah Buzzkillington took over and banned the stuff.

Luckily, Pharoah Mittens IV brought it back.


From stoned monks to healing herbs, there is no shortage of marijuana references throughout history. Just as we today like to sit back and puff away on our honey oil vape pens, so too did our forefathers sit together and burn up some of this all-natural, culture-spanning anomaly. With every passing day historians uncover more and more evidence of the historical prominence of cannabis use, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their efforts. Now, go ahead, light yourself up something special, you’re just keeping up tradition!

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