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Unearthing History: 17th-century Bones Reveal Cannabis Connection

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By Author: Sativa Bliss Canabis
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In a groundbreaking archaeological revelation, researchers in Italy have stumbled upon a surprising link between the 17th century and cannabis. The bones of individuals dating back to the 1600s, discovered in a crypt beneath a Milan hospital, have unveiled traces of Delta-9 THC and CBD, providing tangible evidence of cannabis use during the Modern Age in Italy and Europe.
The findings, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, mark the first-ever physical evidence of cannabis consumption in this historical period, offering a fascinating glimpse into the recreational habits of individuals grappling with the challenges of 17th-century Milan.
A Cryptic Discovery: Cannabis in the Bones
The scientific inquiry utilized a mass spectrometer to conduct toxicological analyses on human remains extracted from the Ca’ Granda Crypt, nestled beneath a church adjacent to a prominent Milanese hospital. Carbon dating firmly placed the bones in the 1600s, with the team scrutinizing nine sets of remains, revealing cannabis compounds in two of them.
Surprisingly, the presence of cannabis seemed unrelated to demographics, ...
... as both a woman in her 50s and a teenage boy exhibited traces of Delta-9 THC and CBD. "The presence of these two alkaloids evidences the use of the cannabis plant in the Italian population during the 17th century," remarked the study authors.
Recreational Reliance: A Glimpse into the Past
Despite the societal constraints and the papal disapproval that labeled cannabis as an "unholy sacrament" in 1484, the study proposes that during the 17th century, individuals turned to cannabis for recreational purposes. In-depth scrutiny of the hospital's historical records dismissed the possibility of medicinal administration during that era.
Gaia Giordano, a biologist and a study author from the University of Milan’s Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and Odontology, highlights the significance of this revelation. "This is an important finding because there are very few laboratories that can examine bones to find traces of drugs," Giordano emphasized.
Life in 17th-Century Milan: Challenges and Cannabis
Domenico di Candia, the lead author of the study and an archaeotoxicologist, sheds light on the historical context. "Life was especially tough in Milan in the 17th century—famine, disease, poverty, and almost nonexistent hygiene were widespread." Amidst these challenges, cannabis appears to have played a role in the lives of individuals, adding a layer of complexity to the understanding of societal habits during this tumultuous period.
Unveiling the Past: What Lies Beyond Cannabis?
With cannabis now confirmed as a substance of choice in 17th-century Milan, researchers are poised to delve deeper into the bones, exploring the possibility of uncovering traces of other substances. The laboratory's success in detecting medicinal plant molecules in bones opens up avenues for further investigations into historical drug use.
As Italy grappled with hardships, cannabis found its place not only in everyday life but also embedded itself in the very bones of those who sought solace during challenging times. The discovery adds a nuanced chapter to the history of cannabis use, showcasing its resilience and enduring popularity throughout the ages. The bones from the Milanese crypt stand testament to the undeniable connection between history, culture, and the cannabis plant.

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