If you have grown up in the United States, you could be surprised to discover that the use of Cannabis has really a long and illustrious history. Many United States’ anti-marijuana “activists” might have you think that cannabis-use is a vice restricted to hippies, deadbeats or liberal-arts college youngsters however some of the world’s oldest cultures have a rich history of smoking and cooking cannabis.
Cannabis in Ancient China
A lot of historians agree that the very first cultural proof of Cannabis comes from China, about 6,500 years ago. The Yang-Shao (the oldest recognized Neolithic culture in China) harvested cannabis seeds to be employed as grains. The seeds were ground into meal, roasted entire or cooked into porridge. The ancient tombs of China even had sacrificial vessels filled with hemp seed for the afterlife.
Although the ancient Chinese did not incorporate cannabis straight in spiritual rituals, the effects of the plant’s resinous leaves and flowers (or buds) did not go unnoticed. The world’s oldest recognized pharmacopoeia, the Pên-ts’ao Ching, states that the flowering tops of hemp, if taken “in excess” or more than a long term “makes one particular communicate with spirits and lightens one’s body.” The document then goes on to prescribe marijuana preparations for such ailments as “malaria, constipation, rheumatic pains, absent-mindedness and female-disorders.”
Chinese Extract Hemp-Seed Oil and Cannabis Oil
As new technologies developed, the ancient Chinese learned to mill, heat and wedge-press Cannabis seeds to extract the valuable hemp-seed oil , a strategy still used in the western globe in the twentieth century. These pressed cannabis seeds yielded practically 20 % oil by weight.
Cannabis oil has a quantity of uses, even though we’re most concerned with its applications in cooking. Following oil extraction, the residue or “hemp cake” nevertheless contained nutritious oils and proteins, which became a wholesome feed for domesticated animals. Therefore, the ancient Chinese most likely became the very first to find out, harvest and cook with cannabis.
Cannabis in Ancient India
About two,500 years later, the wandering Aryans (a nomadic Indo-Persian tribe) brought Cannabis to India, where it was swiftly embraced for both its sensible applications (hemp-fiber and nutrition, for instance) and for its help in religious rituals (with its psychoactive effects). Ancient Indians worshipped the spirits of plants and animals, and marijuana started to play an active part in their rituals, as well as becoming an object of worship itself.
Marijuana became sacred, and its spirit, named the “bhangas spirit” was worshiped and appealed too “for freedom of distress and as a reliever of anxiousness. The ancient Indians viewed the plant as a present from the gods – hailing it as a magical herb that “lowered fevers, fostered sleep, relieved dysentery, stimulated appetite, prolonged life, quickened the thoughts, and enhanced judgement.”
Ancient Indians Produce Cannabis Infused Ghee Butter and Bhang
Like the Chinese, the ancient Indians used the seeds as grain for cooking, but unlike their predecessors, the Indians also sought to harness the unique pharmacological effects of marijuana by cooking the flowers, leaves and stems into Ghee butter to be employed in a myriad of recipes.
Ghee, a common ingredient in modern Indian meals, is a scrumptious clarified butter that can be stored for extended periods of time without having refrigeration, supplied that it is stored in an airtight container. Cannabis infused ghee can be substituted wherever regular ghee is referred to as for, as lengthy as it will not be cooked at temperatures over 401 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point THC begins to break down and drop its potency.
In addition to Cannabis Ghee, ancient Indians also blended marijuana with other spices (which includes poppy seed, pepper, ginger, caraway seeds, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and milk) in a drink referred to as “Bhang.” To this day, Bhang is commonly enjoyed in India – a lot the way alcohol and wines are used in the west.
Cannabis Moves Across Europe
At some point Marijuana moved by means of the eastern nations like Babylonia, Palestine and Egypt where hemp was utilized in fabrics and as grains. It moved to Greece and could have been referenced in Homer’s excellent epic, the Odyssey. The Greeks and Romans produced no notice of the plant’s intoxicant properties, but employed cannabis hemp in fibers to make clothing and rugs.
Cooking With Cannabis in the US
With improved trade and travel, Cannabis seed was brought into all parts of the known planet. When the 1st settlers came to the Americas, they brought cannabis with them. As far as the History of Cooking With Cannabis in the United States goes, the record is rocky, but definitely had its renaissance in the 60’s and 70’s with the strong Indian influence on the “hippie” generation.
These days, cooking with cannabis has come back into vogue specially with the decriminalization of marijuana in several states and the ever-present medicinal marijuana prescriptions permeating suburbia. Cooking with cannabis is a wonderful way to encounter each the nutritional and physiological effects of the plant.