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World's Oldest Marijuana Stash Found 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-a-little-dry dept.
jage2 writes "Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana in a tomb in a remote part of China. The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly 'cultivated for psychoactive purposes,' rather than as fibre for clothing, or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany. The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China."

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World's Oldest Marijuana Stash Found

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 01, 2008 @07:20PM (#25952951)

    You'd have to be high to think it was a good addition.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by zoomshorts (137587)

      I WAS high until you killed the buzz. :P

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      *cough*douchebag*cough*

    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:58PM (#25953843)
      Why those mongols kept invading till someone built that big nasty wall up between backyards. I can see it now:

      Mongol: Pssst, you got a yuan bag?
      Wall Guard: Oy! Get out of here, we don't do that at this tower, try two doors down.
      Mongol: Pssst, is Fey Shong Wei about? He always hooks me up.
      Wall Guard: I said piss off! I got my boss coming for an inspection in a bit.
      Mongol: Fine fine, sissy girly man, no wonder you need this big wall to keep out a few baked horsemen!
      Wall Guard: Get back to your tent you damned hippie! And get a REAL job! And a HAIRCUT! And have a SHOWER!
  • by click2005 (921437) on Monday December 01, 2008 @07:35PM (#25953097)

    After researchers tested the stash it seemed seemed like 2700 years had passed. In reality it was only 42 minutes.

    • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Monday December 01, 2008 @07:46PM (#25953207) Journal

      After researchers tested the stash it seemed seemed like 2700 years had passed. In reality it was only 42 minutes.

      Sources also say that after testing the researchers' hands "looked awesome."

      • ObSimpsons (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 01, 2008 @07:54PM (#25953273)

        > Sources also say that after testing the researchers' hands "looked awesome."

        They call them fingers, but I've never seen them fing.

        Oh, wait. There they go.

    • In the immortal words of Chech, and Chong, "Far Out Man."

      • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:39PM (#25953675)
        overheard circa 700 BC:

        Sun Tzu: "Pssst...hey man, it's Sun Tzu, open the door, I got the stuff..."

        Chong: "Sun? Sun Tzu? Sun's not here."

        Sun Tzu: "No man, I'm Sun!! Now will you open the door, I got the stuff!!"

        Chong: "Sun?"

        Sun Tzu: "Yes, it's Sun!!!"

        Chong: "Sun's not here!!"

        -- several iterations later --

        Sun Tzu: "It's Sun!!! S-U-N!!! Now will you open the goddamned door?!?!?!"

        Chong: "Oh, sure." -- opens door --

        Sun Tzu: "What the hell was that about?"

        Chong: "Well, you had this note written on the table: 'If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him.'"

        Sun Tzu: "Damn, I must've really high when I wrote that..."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of course the researchers subsequently burned it all... in portions of 5g.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 01, 2008 @07:39PM (#25953139)

    From TFA: "Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hey man, if they can bring back a mammoth, they can bring back a pot plant.

    • by operagost (62405)
      Maybe they should ask that Birkenstock-wearing guy down the street who's always munching on Cheetos. I bet he knows how to germinate some weed.
  • Blue eyes? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How did they know he had blue eyes? Now, bloodshot, I would understand.

  • Thought they were going to say 'one toke over the line sweet jesus'. Holy smoke indeed!
  • So now we know where the blond part of Bill & Ted decided to stay on his last excellent adventure in the phone booth right? :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by skam240 (789197)

      And by "blond part" I assume you mean Bill S. Preston Esquire. Jesus... uncultured swine around here.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Is it wrong to imagine Alex Winter appearing in the (deleted) final scene of Matrix 3, shaking Keanu awake and saying "Dude, you were having a BOGUS nightmare. Did you take one of the red pills last night? You know those always freak you out. Now let's go down to Castro Street and get your cute behind some breakfast."

        You have to admit the movie would have been massively better that way.

  • Uh-huh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:01PM (#25953341) Homepage

    The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success.

    The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage.

    Oh yes, the tests included genetic testing and radio-carbon dating. Good to point that out. I'll just speculate what other tests you could do with 2700 year old weed. On a perhaps related note, since they couldn't use spectroscopy or whatever to determine the precise percentage of THC, I wonder what technique they used to come up with the qualitative measurement "relatively high".

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      The 18 researchers, most of them baked in China ...

      I'm surprised the editors missed that typo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by forkazoo (138186)

      I wonder what technique they used to come up with the qualitative measurement "relatively high".

      A highometer was used to run a standard highometric analysis on a scale from "not" to "curiously." On the standard scale, "relatively" is the seventh mark on the indicator.

    • by Khyber (864651)

      Bioassays, perhaps.

      You certainly wouldn't be able to tell by smoking it, all the THC would have degraded by then back into precursor cannabinoids. They likely would have measured the amount of residual compounds leftover from broken-down pot.

    • by batquux (323697)

      They smoked it and got "relatively high"

    • The results might have been a fluke.

      This probably needs more testing.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      The THC count would do that.

      I mean, your trying really, really hard to imply they smoked it. Just failing, in an manner Epic.

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      Well at least it is good to know that it could still be "tested" after 2700 years. No worries the stash will go bad now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:05PM (#25953373)

    Keith Richards was greatly relieved it was finally found although he can't recall being in China at the time.

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:05PM (#25953377)

    The tomb also contained bridles, archery equipment and a harp...

    The ancient equivalent of car keys, a gun, and an electric guitar.
    Considering how much weed there was I say this was
    probably an ancient rock star and not a shaman.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      probably an ancient rock star and not a shaman.

      Shamans were the rock stars of the day.
      • Shamans were the rock stars of the day.

        Conversely, some rock stars are shaman-like figures for modern times. I'm picturing guys like Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel while in Genesis, David Byrne while in The Talking Heads (particularly in albums such as Remain In Light and Speaking In Tongues), Ian Astbury while in The Cult, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, most certainly extreme characters like GG Allin, or Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics. I'd even go out on a limb and place Fredd

        • by maxume (22995)

          If Axl Rose burned, would it smell like burning flesh or like burning plastic?

        • by jgrahn (181062)

          Conversely, some rock stars are shaman-like figures for modern times. I'm picturing guys like Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel while in Genesis, David Byrne while in The Talking Heads (particularly in albums such as Remain In Light and Speaking In Tongues), Ian Astbury while in The Cult, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, most certainly extreme characters like GG Allin, or Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics. I'd even go out on a limb and place Freddie Mercury on my list.

          But you missed the

          • Thanks for reminding me about Morrison, but I'd pick Arthur Lee of Love over Morrison any day of the week, cases in point:

            - When Lee rented an apartment in Venice Beach, a short while later so did Morrison.
            - Then Lee got himself a Mustang convertible, and soon enough, Morrison could be seen around town driving one of those.
            - Finally, Lee adopted a Rottweiler, and a couple of months later, you guessed it, Morrison got himself one.

            Those are the three examples that I know of. When asked if he was annoyed at M

        • by operagost (62405)
          I know this sounds unbelievable, but "Chinese Democracy," which unfortunately does not come with weed, was finally released last month.
          • It took longer to release Chinese Democracy than it took NASA to send a human to the Moon from scratch. Or for Voyager 2 to conduct a leisurely tour of our solar system's gas giants. Or for light to travel the distance between Earth and Sirius and back again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It is amusing to note the overwhelmingly strong bias toward "ritual and/or religious" explanations for just about anything we dig up about ancient societies. It makes you wonder what the future will make of us.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by skam240 (789197)

        I'm pretty sure future societies will at long last recognize our vast numbers of 16 year old shamans.

      • Indeed....

        That's not a "fertility symbol", it's ur-Porn.

      • by lawpoop (604919)
        The problem really goes to our bias of our science as superior to any other way of knowing and interacting with the world, and calling anything else irrational or superstitious. It's sort of a circular argument: If it's not science, it's religion. Therefore anything that people did before the advent of science is, by definition, religious.

        A person from 5,000 years ago who dressed up in animal skins to communicate with weather spirits probably felt they were using the best, time-tested techniques to ensur
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by myowntrueself (607117)

          At the end of "The Golden Bough" there is a piece on comparison between magic, religion and science.

          Some quotes:

          In magic man depends on his own strength to meet the difficulties and dangers that beset him on every side. He believes in a certain established order of nature on which he can surely count, and which he can manipulate for his own ends.

          When he discovers his mistake, when he recognises sadly that both the order of nature which he had assumed and the control which he had believed himself to exercise

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by lawpoop (604919)

            But as time goes on this explanation in its turn proves to be unsatisfactory. For it assumes that the succession of natural events is not determined by immutable laws, but is to some extent variable and irregular, and this assumption is not borne out by closer observation. On the contrary, the more we scrutinise that succession the more we are struck by the rigid uniformity, the punctual precision with which, wherever we can follow them, the operations of nature are carried on.

            The universe runs on some punctual precision? Sort of like predicting the weather -- oh wait, no. More like quantum mech-- hm. No, not there, either.

            In fact, if there's one thing we've learned about the nature of reality through science in the past 100 years, it's that we *don't* live in Newton's clock-work universe. There is no "punctual precision". We live in space-time relativity and quantum uncertainty. Frazier's description of the linear evolution of human thought turns out to be wrong.

            Most anthropo

            • I wholly agree with your characterization of the persistence of the grossest superstition to the present day(in fairness, Frazier described "acuter" and "keener" minds as progressing, which is probably accurate; but they sure as hell haven't managed to drag the rest along with them).

              I want to note, though, that probabilistic is not clockwork; but it is not arbitrary. A fair die's outcome cannot be predicted; but its behavior is precisely regular. The old Newtonian dream of a perfectly predictable billiar
              • by lawpoop (604919)

                I want to note, though, that probabilistic is not clockwork; but it is not arbitrary. A fair die's outcome cannot be predicted; but its behavior is precisely regular. The old Newtonian dream of a perfectly predictable billiards universe is nonsense; but the probabilistic phenomena around us seem overwhelmingly to be statistically predictable, rather than merely arbitrary.

                Yes, but this belies the radical shift that Einsteinian physics and and quantum physics really was in the world of science. No one is claiming that it is arbitrary. It essentially changed the metaphysical foundation that science had been based on since about the time of Newton. Many scientists at the time refused to accept these theories; they still clung to luminiferous aether and clockwork universe theories, until they all died out and the new school took over completely, in about the 1950s.

                To say that

            • by geekoid (135745)

              "...the punctual precision with which, wherever we can follow them, the operations of nature are carried on...."

              He is referring to repeatability. i.e. falsifiable tests.

              Effectively this is the precursor to the scientific method.

              • by lawpoop (604919)

                He is referring to repeatability. i.e. falsifiable tests.

                Are you sure? Could you provide a reference, please?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Once upon a time we could not see (much less measure germs). Therefore, by your logic, they must not have existed either.
          • by lawpoop (604919)
            You misconstrue my logic. Nowhere have I said that imperceptible phenomena does not exist.

            What I am saying is that anybody who interacts with something they cannot perceive, be they germs or spirits, is essentially practicing ritual. They have no way of knowing whether or not their actions will bring about the intended results, because they have no way to perceive the phenomenon they purport to influence. How can this be different from a magic ritual?

            Now, some rationalist might jump in at this point an
            • OK, fair enough. But we really can't perceive most things directly . . only their effects. We do not see objects; we see light reflected off of them. We do not hear explosions, but only the periodic changes in air pressure over time that cause our eardrums to vibrate (unless it's a sci-fi movie and the explosion was in space, in which case we are perceiving the effects of the script writer's imagination, and nothing more). Sometimes we observe effects whose causes cannot be ascertained with certainty, o
              • by lawpoop (604919)

                But we really can't perceive most things directly . . only their effects. We do not see objects; we see light reflected off of them.

                If you're going to argue that, then the logical conclusion is that we don't perceive *anything* directly -- that there is no such thing as direct perception. Or would you count touch as direct perception?

                I think it's fair to go with a definition of direct perception as impinging upon any of the five senses -- sight, smell, touch, taste, or sound. In other words, if you sensed it directly, rather than concluding a presence or being told about it, we could call that direct perceptions. And for germs, we can

    • I was gonna pillage you,

      But I got high.

      I was gonna sack your village too,

      But I got high.

      I'm stuck here in this tomb, and I know why.

      Because I got high, because I got high, because I got hi-igh.

    • more like a hip hop star, apparently he was doing the "Up In Smoke"-tour.
      Must be a snoop dogg ancestor.
    • by timq (240600)

      this was probably an ancient rock star and not a shaman.
      I think the difference between the two does not amount to much anyway.

    • by horcy (545339)
      dude you rock, your comment broad a lot of tears into my keyboard.
  • Who Knew? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Well that's good news! All these years I've been called a pot head and come to find out through the miracle of botany, I am a shaman!

  • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:46PM (#25953745)

    "The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China. The man had a very large smile on his face."

  • Red Tape (Score:3, Funny)

    by TornCityVenz (1123185) on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:48PM (#25953757) Homepage Journal
    "Researchers needed about 10 months to cut red tape barring the transfer of the cannabis to England from China, Russo said." This is an obscene amount of time for research related materials to have to wait...they should have just stuffed it into some teething rings and imported them through normal distribution channels.
    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      They could have talked with the CIA about it. If they can smuggle tons of heroin out of Southeast Asia, a mere pound of grass shouldn't be a problem...
  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday December 01, 2008 @08:52PM (#25953801)
    Wow, they really did plan ahead for a rainy day didn't they? I mean, that's a fair bit of shrubbery to be hauling about by anyone's measure.
  • I was wondering why my blue eyed caucasian friend scott kept borrowing my time machine.
    Now I know.
  • So my only question is was this Bill or Ted? Time Travel and George Carlin come to mind :)

  • "Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache" Man, sounds like schwagg!
    • by yamamushi (903955)
      Totally! 789g of Budz would have been awesome to take over into the afterlife, unfortunately this guy was obviously screwed over by his dealer. In other news, oldest munchies stash found!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 01, 2008 @09:56PM (#25954265)

    He's dead!

    Take note kids.

  • Hey man.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Star Particle (1409451) on Monday December 01, 2008 @10:19PM (#25954423)
    you ever go crawling around ancient Chinese shaman's tombs....... on weed?
  • Damn! (Score:1, Redundant)

    I thought NOBODY would look there.

    Sigh. Time to start over. Where are my shovel and dust brush?
  • Street value (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Not that I know anything about... *cough* yes, we'll just tick the 'Anonymous' box, yes, there we are.

    In the Chicago area, for 'Pretty Good' cannabis, you're talking between $200 and $400 per ounce, conservatively. 789 grams is approximately 27.8 ounces, that's $5,400-$10,800 total value, conservative estimate, depending on quality relative to today's standards.
  • sure, that's what they said they've found. I wonder what happened with the other 30 kilo ;-)
  • Conversation at Customs.

    Um no Officer that isnt my weed. That is the result of an archeological find.

    Sure, Cuff him. We hear that all the time.

    Or the Dead guy was just holding it for a friend.

  • Would have been funnier if it was found in Indochina...
  • I was about to jump in my time machine with 789 grams of pot. Good thing i read this before hand. Im just going to stay home and smoke this stash now!
  • Ever get so high that you thought you went 7200 years in the past and you were in china....oh crap
  • The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China

    Last words were "Whoa, clench time tsunami dude!"

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