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Learn | 11.03.2021

Experts Find That Ancient Egyptians Used Cannabis For Numerous Reasons

We aren't the only civilization to love cannabis.

It’s said that Ancient Egypt lasted about thirty centuries, starting around 3,100 BCE when the different regions of Egypt came together and ending around 332 BCE when Alexander the Great came by to conquer the land.

Within these thousands of years, Egypt was known as the most powerful and influential civilization ever to exist. But, according to experts and scholars, what’s just as interesting is how we’ve learned that ancient Egyptians developed a knack for cannabis.

Photo by CLN

In a paper written by Venice Ibrahim Attia, chief conservator at the Coptic Museum in Cairo, he shared much expert insight regarding the use of hemp and cannabis in ancient Egypt. He wrote that Egyptians often used cannabis to make ropes, ship sails, food and oils, fabrics, and as an ingredient in medicine.

Other experts suggest that the term Shemshemet referred to cannabis in many ancient texts found in different sources over the years. In a book titled An Ancient Egyptian Herbal by Egyptologist Lise Manniche, she states that cannabis is one of the many plants ancient Egyptians used to promote plant-based medicinal practices.

According to experts who have read and dissected many ancient texts, some of the uses for cannabis in medicine were used for anti-inflammation, a salve applied to the vagina to cool the uterus and eliminate heat for treating menstrual pain. They also used it as a balm to minimize the pain of injured toes or fingers and as an ingredient in a suppository to reduce hemorrhoid pain.

Photo courtesy of Plain Jane

Something else that led experts to believe that cannabis use was prominent in ancient Egypt is the historical records that show Roman emperor Aurelian implementing a tax on Egyptian cannabis. Experts also found carvings and hieroglyphics that depict drawings of the plant.

A prime example of this is when artists would often draw Sheshat, the Egyptian Goddess and deity of writing and record-keeping, with a seven-pointed star-shaped leaf above her head, which some think emphasizes the influence of cannabis. What’s just as interesting is how scientists have found traces of THC in the remains of mummies, which starts with Ramses the Great, who was found with cannabis residue on his mummified remains.

Photo courtesy of History

In addition, scientists also found traces of THC in mummified lungs, which shows that they might have used cannabis as medicine before passing away. With incredible details and findings like the ones noted above, it’s clear that ancient Egyptians adored cannabis just as, if not more, than us.

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