The origin of marijuana has finally been discovered and dates from 28 million years ago to the Tibetan plateau, 10,700 feet (3 km) above sea level.
Researchers analyzed pollen fossils from the plant and noticed that it slowly spread over millennia to Europe, China and India.
It has long been known that cannabis comes from Central Asia, but the exact location has remained a mystery until now.
Archaeological evidence of its use as a medicine dates back to 2,700 BC in the nearby Xinjiang region to the northwest of China.
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The origin of the cannabis plant was eventually traced back to an area of the Tibetan plateau (photo) 15,000ft (3km) above sea level
A team of researchers led by the University of Vermont in the US investigated 155 existing fossil pollen studies from Asia to reconstruct the evolutionary and human-related history of cannabis in Asia, the authors said in the report.
By looking at genetic analysis and cannabis pollen fossils, they have established the origin of the growth up to 28 million years ago in the Qinghai Lake area on the Tibetan plateau.
They mapped the fossil data and found the oldest pollen fossil data up to 19.6 million BC. Where this was probably cultivated by humans, since both sawmills and fruit seed fossils were also found at archaeological sites.
The plateau in southwest China measures 14,800 feet (4,500 m) above sea level at its peak and the lake is at 10,700 feet (3 km) in the range.
The area overlaps with the first hunter and gatherer community that has evolved in Asia, although no link has been made between them.
Based on their analysis, the researchers found evidence that the cannabis strain of hemp was first spread to Europe and then east to China, followed by India as a result of tectonic movements in the earth bringing the land mass closer together.
WHERE IS THE TIBETAN PLATEAU?
Also called Tibetan highlands or the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, it is a vast plateau of southwest China.
It covers the entire Tibetan Autonomous Region and much of Qinghai Province and extends to the western Sichuan Province and the southern Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang.
It covers an area of approximately 965,000 square miles (2,500,000 square kilometers), is a region with tangled mountains and high-lying areas that are generally above 13,000 to 15,000 feet (4,000 to 5,000 meters) high.
Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, is the main center of the plateau's population, economic activity, culture, and air and land transportation.
The flowering tops of cannabis strains such as hemp plants produce cannabinoids, which have been used to make cannabis.
One reason why the origin of the plant is so difficult to trace is because the leaves of cannabis plants – such as hemp – do not create very good print fossils and there are only two collections of the plant fossil.
In contrast, hundreds of pollen fossils have been found and analyzed, which the current study has assessed.
Although the cannabis plant is widely known as a medicine, it can actually work for communities that use its vegetable fibers, for example, for making ropes and textiles.
Carbon hemp fibers, found with silk and spinning wheels, date from 5,600 BC in Henan Province, China.
Researchers analyzed studies of pollen fossils from the plant and showed that it was distributed to Europe, China and India over the millennia.
It has long been known that the plant originated in Central Asia, but the exact location on the Tibetan plateau around Qinghai Lake (shown on the map) remained a mystery
Scientists have also brought down the appearance of cannabis elsewhere in the world through tectonic movements of the earth, rather than having people migrate with it.
The researchers wrote: & # 39; Early floristic exchanges between India and Asia were formed by plate tectonics & # 39 ;, the researchers wrote in their paper.
& # 39; When the Indian album migrated to the Asian album, it made a & # 39; quick contact & # 39; with Sumatra 57 (million years ago), followed by Burma and then a & # 39; hard collision & # 39; with Tibet 35 (million years ago).
& # 39; The fleeting contact between continents resulted in floristic exchanges during the Eocene. & # 39;
& # 39; Cannabis has meaning in human history and life today as a triple-use crop. First, the fruits (seeds) provide valuable proteins and essential fatty acids, the researchers wrote.
Archaeological evidence in a nutritional context dates back to 10,000 BC in Japan.
The full report was published in the journal VHistory and Archeobotany.
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