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The use of marijuana (and hemp) in China


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#1 senor boogie woogie

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:54 AM

Hola!

I am interested in the history of marijuana in China and how it was used here as a medicine, or industrial applications such as hemp or oils. I read somewhere that Chinese have used marijuana for up to 4,000 years and found it to be very useful.

How did western culture change the perspective of marijuana as something useful and productive to something illegal and despised?

Note, I live in Mainland China and swear that many of the people are high.

大麻永远!

Senor

Edited by senor boogie woogie, 16 May 2008 - 08:57 AM.


#2 kaiselin

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:19 AM

Hola!

I am interested in the history of marijuana in China and how it was used here as a medicine, or industrial applications such as hemp or oils. I read somewhere that Chinese have used marijuana for up to 4,000 years and found it to be very useful.

How did western culture change the perspective of marijuana as something useful and productive to something illegal and despised?

Note, I live in Mainland China and swear that many of the people are high.

大麻永远!

Senor

Hemp fibers were used by the working class for long wearing fabric.
Its fibers were also valued for rope making.
The plant's medicinal qualities were appreciated.
I saw a show about how the older generations of Chinese still use its seeds in making a medicinal soup.

Edited by Yang Zongbao, 16 May 2008 - 08:59 PM.

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#3 Yang Zongbao

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:58 PM

I will not let this thread become a debate about the goodness of marijuana or the like.

I agree with Charton that the "Blame the West" attitude is annoying and getting fairly old, but I will not let this discussion go down that path either. That part of discussion is closed.

Continue on the use of marijuana in China please.
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#4 kaiselin

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:40 PM

I am in the process of looking for ancient uses, but I found this brief explanation of some of the many uses of Hemp. most of these uses can be applied to things that the ancient Chinese would have used hemp for, as well as some of the positive reasons for growing the plant. I do question what they mean by adding fossil fuels to the list and I suspect they meant to say it can be used instead of fossil fuels in the production of many of the other products listed here.

Fabric, rope, paints, lighting oil, fossil fuels, paper, medicine, building materials & hemp seed foods are just a few of the many uses of the cannabis plant. Hemp also has very deep roots which help to prevent soil erosion, making it an excellent rotation crop requiring fewer pesticides & fertilizers than other crops such as cotton.

Hemp is the perfect source to replace trees for housing & building materials as well as all other items made from our forests. One acre of hemp produces as much pulp fiber & cellulose as 4.1 acres of trees. The hemp plant uses the sun more efficiently than virtually any other plant on our planet, reaching a robust 12 to 20 feet or more in one short growing season. It can grow in virtually any climate or soil condition on Earth, even marginal ones.

The list of therapeutic applications of cannabis is long in both use & history. There are more than 60 therapeutic compounds in cannabis that are healing agents in medical & herbal treatments.

http://www.hempempor...om/page/1129664


I am finding that a lot of the hemp fabric companies are saying that they are buying their hemp plants form China , as in this one here :

The hemp used in the production of our Chinese hemp fabrics, is grown in the central mountainous regions of China with a history of hemp cultivation dating back more than 1,000 years.
http://hempbasics.co...ore.php?crn=201


One company lists its hemp are coming from these Provinces: Fujian Guangdong Jiangsu Shanghai Shandong Zhejiang
http://www.alibaba.c...liers/Hemp.html

As with an ancient world food source, hemp seed as a lighting fuel is possibly as old as the invention of the oil lamp itself. "Hemp seed oil lit the lamps of the legendary Aladdin, [and] Abraham the Prophet ... It was the brightest lamp oil" (Herer, 1995).

At the same time as countless Jews and Persians were feasting on "Royal Grain" in the Near East, in the Far Eastern land of China hemp was celebrated as one of the seven main grains, and was popularly used up until the sixth century AD in a variety of oriental recipes (Abel, 1980). Some centuries later, in the fourteenth century AD, hemp started to become an important Chinese medicine and a large section of the famous Chinese pharmacopoeia text, the Pen T'sao Kang Mu. The texts compiler Li Shih Chen referred to works from previous authors dating back centuries before his own time in his discussion of hemp seed as both a food and medicine. According to the ancient author, the Chinese had hybridized hemp to such an extent that it grew as large as garden peas and was reputed to have been of the highest quality. The ancient text recommended hemp for everything from urinary problems, blood flow, palsy, increasing the amount of mother's milk for suckling infants, the growth of muscle fiber, both dysentery and constipation and a variety of other applications (Jones, 1995).

Meanwhile in India, according to the legends of Mayhayana Buddhism, Buddha subsisted on a single hemp seed a day during the six steps of asceticism which lead him to enlightenment (Schultes & Hofmann, 1979). In modern India Hemp seed is still eaten by "many of India's poor people: a mixture called bosa consists of the seeds of goosegrass (eleusine) and hemp, and mura is made with parched wheat, amaranth or rice, and hemp seed. The seeds are said to make all vegetables more palatable and complete foods" (Robinson, 1996).
http://www.votehemp....tion/faq_1.html


In the first half of the twentieth century, one of the few sane voices that spoke out against the de-hemping of America through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, was Ralph Loziers of the National Oil Seed Institute, who testified to the unhearing bigots of the Tax Act committee that "hemp seed ... is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hemp in the orient as food. They have been doing that for many generations, especially in periods of famine...." As Loziers noted, it wasn't just the possibilities of an important food industry which would be squashed by the Marijuana Tax Act, but also the paint and varnish industry would be greatly effected as hemp seed oil was a valuable drying agent and in the two years prior to the installation of the Tax Act 179 million pounds of hemp seed had been imported into the U.S. for this purpose alone.

http://www.votehemp....tion/faq_1.html


This might be a book that will have more of the information you are looking for.

Abel, Ernest, MARIHUANA, THE FIRST TWELVE THOUSAND YEARS (Phenum Press, 1980)


Since China is the birthplace of hemp, it is only logical that the origin of the name comes from there as well. Ma, the Chinese name for "hemp", is the most basic of verbal sounds, meaning "mother" in every human language. However, in China, it is also synonymous for horse and used much like a verbal question mark. The strokes for the Chinese character depict a home and inside, hemp fibers are hanging from a rack. Used in combination with other characters, ma gives influence to such other Chinese word-meanings as numb, clever, anaesthetic, linen, indifferent, troublesome, sparrow, and the game Mahjongg. Each of these words contains the character for hemp.

http://www.innvista....mp/hempworl.htm


China still produces the largest commercial hemp crop. Hemp has a long history in China, where it has been a primary survival food for thousands of years. Near the end of WWII, hemp saved multitudes of starving people in northern China. General Counsel Ralph Loziers of the US National Institute of Oilseed Production told a congressional committee in 1937: "Hempseed…is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing this for many generations, especially in periods of famine”. The seed crop is roasted for domestic snacks and oil where almost 40% is exported.
Until the 1980s, hemp was the primary fiber for clothing and has never ceased being used to make paper. During the century from 1890 to 1990, the hemp industry declined, but started to increase in the 1990s. Many people have always had their own tiny plots of hemp, which also grows abundantly around many temples. Because the Chinese system is socialist, business efforts are directed by the government. Scientists have been directed to research non-wood paper production alternatives; and, although hemp is by no means the only non-wood fiber that could be used, their conclusion is that it is the best, most productive, economical, and ecologically-beneficial fiber.

China remains the world’s largest exporter of hemp paper and textiles. Hemp textiles today are regarded by most Chinese as old-fashioned. Unfortunately, the trend there is to emulate Western styles. Most Chinese hemp pulp contains the whole stalk of both bast and hurd fibers which are pulped together in their natural percentages for paper-making. Hemp pulp is also used to strengthen other fibers that would otherwise not be strong enough on their own to make paper. Generally, between 5% and 25% hemp content is common in paper used domestically in China; but 100% hemp content is used for very thin specialty peper and currency.

In China, fiber hemp is designated by colour. Various varieties will produce red, yellow, and green; but the properties of the three types of fiber are identical. Hemp has three uses: textiles, paper, and seed production. The bast fiber is used primarily for textiles. When it is stripped from the stalk, it is generally done in the field by hand since 80% of the Chinese people work in agriculture. Most hemp is dew-retted and takes up to three weeks for the bacterial action to break down the leaves and stalks for easier removal of the bast fiber. This does limit the usefulness of hurds for animal bedding though.

Hemp has always played a major role in funeral rites. (See History of Hemp 300 BCE.)


Japan has a religious tradition that requires the Emperor to wear hemp garments, so there is a small plot maintained for the imperial family only. Some hemp is legally grown in the central part of the country, but Japan continues to import hemp for cloth and artistic applications.


http://www.innvista....mp/hempworl.htm



Chinese reveal their recipe for long life: wine and cannabis
Villagers in a remote part of southern China claim to have discovered the secret of long life: rice wine, snake wine, and cannabis soup.

Another staple of the local diet is houmayou - soup that is made with oils from hemp seeds and is traditionally eaten twice a day.
http://www.smh.com.a...9441217751.html

Edited by kaiselin, 16 May 2008 - 11:14 PM.

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#5 kaiselin

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 10:13 PM

Shen Nong the chinese god of herbology would have known the benifits of hemp for sure according to this history



Pre-10,000 BCE

Archaeologists all agree that hemp was one of the first known plant species to be purposely cultivated and the only one cultivated to be dioecious (having separate male and female plants).
The origin of hemp is thought to be in Central Asia (Kazakistan, Pakistan, Nepal, the Kashmir region of India, and the Tibetan region of China) -- two regions in particular: in the Mesopotamian Valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (present day Iraq) and, at the same time, in the Huang He (Yellow River) valley in China. Hemp spread from its native habitat toward the west in two directions. One route led through the Russian lowland plains to Scandinavia, extending to Poland, Germany, and the Baltic region. This distribution included the Carpathian Mountains and as far as the Danube River delta. This is where the northern and central Russian geographical race of hemp originated. The other route led through Asia Minor to the Mediterranean countries and into the provinces of the Roman Empire (Illyria, Gallia, and Hispania). From there, the southern Mediterranean ecological group originated, which encompassed southern Russia, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Italy, and Spain. In central and northern Europe, hemp was introduced by the Slavs.
Artifacts recovered from sites in China indicate hemp was cultivated since the remote beginnings of agriculture settlements and used for making textiles as well as for food and medicine and fibers for weapons. Chinese military were given the upper hand when they discovered that hemp fibers provided much stronger bowstrings than bamboo. As a result, hemp was the first agricultural war crop. Chinese royalty set aside large portions of land exclusively to cultivating hemp for this purpose. Called the ‘land of hemp and mulberry’, China prized the mulberry because it was the food of the silkworm and hemp because it was what everyone used everyday (food and oil from the seed, cordage from the fiber, stitching, textiles, and clothing from the stalk, medicinal concoctions from the female flowers, and fertilizer when the leaves were returned to the earth to rebuild the soil).
Although the earliest traces of hemp fabric have disappeared, archeological research reveals that hemp cords were twisted together and imprinted on the sides of pottery dating back 12,000 year

6,000 BCE

Tibetans domesticate Cannabis sativa and use it for making string and cloth. This was likely invented by females since the development is virtually simultaneous with the invention of heddles (the parallel cords used to guide warp threads in a loom). Tibetans still use hempseed in buttered tea.

3,700 BCE

Pen Tsao, a Chinese medical book is written by the Emperor Chen Nung ( Shen Nung), who classifies hemp as one of the “Superior Elixirs of Immortality”. Even today, Chinese herbalists often prescribe hemp seeds to nourish the yin (feminine), constipation in the elderly, “blood deficiencies”, and during recuperation from febrile diseases. In Chinese medicine, hemp seeds fall under the categories of sweet, neutral, and clearing heat, operating through the channels of the stomach, large intestine, and the spleen.
2,350 BCE

The Shu Kin has several instructions regarding hemp.
1,600 BCE

In China, the oldest agricultural treatise is the Xia Xiao Zheng and thought to have been written around this time period. It names hemp as one of the main crops that grew -- along with millet, wheat, beans, and rice. The Chinese developed hemp into scrolls, which also brought about the world’s first paper industry.

1000 BCE

Records from a Chou Dynasty state banquet show that boiled hemp seeds were served in cereal dishes.
The oldest remnants of fabric are made from hemp and come from a burial site in China dated to this time period. Long before this time though, the Chinese had discovered that twisting the strands made it stronger, which led to the discovery of spinning and weaving fibers into cloth. This ended the reliance on animal skins as the sole material for clothing. The ancient Chinese also used hemp for making shoes.

300 BCE


In China, practises of the traditional belief system called Wu Fu begin. Wu Fu literally means “Five Clothes” or the Five Levels of Mourning. All levels involve hemp and embodies the belief that all people are expected to conform, especially when it involved the patriarch of the family. Such conformities depended on how closely one was related to the departed. It also prescribed punishments for those who failed to follow the prescribed rituals. For instance, if the departed was a father or husband (the first level and closest one), the survivor was expected to wear coarse, unhemmed hemp clothing, hemp sandals, hemp head-dress, and carry a hemp stalk for 27 months. The punishment for non-compliance is not stated, but it was likely severe. The second level involved the passing of a grandfather, brother, or direct uncle. These relatives were expected to to wear coarse hemmed hemp clothing, hemp head-dress, hemp sandals, and carry a hemp mourning staff for one year. At the fifth level, for a distant uncle or in-law, one would wear hemp fabric with a silky finish for three months. White is considered to be the color of mourning, not only in China, but in other Asian countries as well. Even today, family and friends will wear white hemp fabric collars during mourning.
221-207 BCE

The Li Qui, an early Chinese manuscript of social ritual, describes hemp as one of the “five grains” of China. The others included barley, rice, wheat, and soybeans.

140-87 BCE

A paper sample, discovered near Xian in China, is dated to this time period. It contains hemp fibers and is probably the oldest paper in the world. This fragment was likely produced with a floating sieve, from which the dip sieve was developed. Eventually, the bast fibers from the mulberry tree became the most important raw material for paper.

1500 CE
Li Shi Chen (1573-1620 CE), the compiler of the most extensive Chinese Materia Medica, called Pen T’sao Kang Mu, states that a gruel made from hemp seeds would produce very strong calming effects. Li provides a balance of the available knowledge while clarifying matters that had remained in debate or that had never been carefully considered before. From the mass of information he acquired, it is obvious that in ancient times some varieties of hemp were readily distinguishable, even though ma zi (hemp-seed plant) grew throughout the country. One variety, which produced seeds the size of garden peas, was held to be of "the highest quality." It had originated on Mao Luo Island in the Eastern Sea where the seeds it bore were as large as lotus seeds. A large section of this great pharmacopoeia was devoted exclusively to hempseed and classified it as a ‘superior’ or higher type of medicine, inherently nontoxic and suitable for long-term use. It was said to have a "calming" influence on the physiology.
The Pen T’sao states that hempseed will “aid in the growth of the body’s muscle fiber…[and] increase the flow of mother’s milk,” and that “it can be used to hasten childbirth, where the delivery is troubled with complications or is overdue.” It also states "The Ancients used this medicine to remain fertile, strong and vigorous . . ." Quoting books even older, the Pen T’sao proclaims that whole hempseed is useful “to mend and help all of the central areas and benefit the chi [life force].”
One of the more interesting recipes in this Pen T'sao is found with the self-explanatory title of "Formula to Build Up an Age-Enduring Supply of Beneficial Qi" (Nai Lao Yi Qi). Taken to alleviate hunger for long periods of time, the formula consisted of hemp seed (2 liters) and soybeans (1 liter) boiled together and then fried slowly "until they become a dried powder." The powder was rolled in honey as a binder and made into pills to be taken twice a day. The most recent English translation of this section reveals precious formulas used for centuries by common folk and royalty alike. The complete text is certain to become a treasured contribution to many important facets of current hemp research.

In Japan, warriors during the feudal age often used balls of gound hempseed and brown rice gluten to keep them strong during war. Hempseed still remains in the Japanese diet and can be found on tables of Asian restaurants around the world in such forms as shichimi, used for seasoning, and asanomi, a tofu burger with hempseed pressed into it.
http://www.innvista....emp/history.htm

Edited by kaiselin, 16 May 2008 - 10:28 PM.

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#6 Dadao

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 05:22 PM

Hemp is generally called 麻 'ma' of which 40-50% is the male plant. The female plant is called 苴麻 'ju ma' which produces the seeds. The flowers of the female plants will only start producing THC if the male plants are removed before or right after they start producing pollen, if the females are fertilized then they start producing seeds which aren't psycho-active. Maybe 5% of the whole crop could have some effects. The unfertilized females are called sensemilla (without seeds), and I believe the term of 大麻 'da ma' refers to sensemilla in some areas.




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