Ancient and modern historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and philologists cite physical evidence (artifacts, relics, textiles, cuneiform, languages, etc.) indicating that cannabis is one of mankind’s oldest cultivated crops. The weaving of hemp fiber as an industry began 10,000 years ago, at approximately the same time as pottery-making and prior to metal working.*
By the 27th century B.C., the Chinese cultivated “Ma” (cannabis hemp) for fiber, medicine and herbal use. Approximately 3,700 years later (circa 1000 A.D.), China called cannabis “Tai-Ma,” or “great hemp,” to differentiate it from the minor fiber plants, which were now grouped under the generic fiber term “Ma.” Their pictogram for true or great hemp is a large “man,” indicating the strong relationship between man and hemp.
From at least the 27th century B.C. until this century, cannabis was incorporated into virtually all cultures of the Middle East, Asia Minor, India, China, Japan, Europe and Africa.