Steeped in centuries of hearsay and myth, the origins of hashish are elusive. However, cannabis cultivation is an omnipresent part of numerous cultures’ ancient histories, especially in the Middle East.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HASHISH BY ZATIVO
Diverse records from around the world are evidence that hashish has retained distinct political significance in many regions. Furthermore, it is linked to the reigning periods of some of history’s most notorious and revered leaders alike. In certain spheres, hashish has been a harbinger of geographic and social upheaval; at present, international hashish distribution offers producers the opportunity to achieve major payouts under the threat of highly illicit operations.
WHAT IS HASHISH?
In its most simplistic form, hashish is made by collecting the resinous heads of trichomes from cannabis plants. Trichomes contain essential cannabinoids THC and CBD, as well as potent smelling terpenes, all of which produce effects when decarboxylated and consumed. “Hash” is synonymous with several different incarnations of cannabis resin and can be smoked or consumed in food and drink. The earliest recorded versions of hashish are noted for maintaining a hard, brick-like shape, resulting from intensive elements of pressure and heat.
EARLY HISTORY OF HASH
Little evidence is compiled on the most ancient history of hashish. However, historians agree that the observable emergence of hash occurred by the 10th century in then-Arabia. Viable secondary evidence is limited on this subject until around the 11th century in which Muslim legislators debated its use in their culture.
From here on, hashish became normalised throughout Arabia and would soon disseminate throughout the entire Middle East. Indeed, hash is mentioned in the classic “1001 Arabian Nights” for its gaiety and sleep-inducing properties in the story “The Tale of the Hashish Eater.”
SHEIK HAIDAR APPRECIATES CANNABINOIDS
There is some debate as to whether Arabia “founded” hash, or was introduced to it by other cultures, specifically Persian Sufis. There is documentation of Sufi leader Sheik Haidar consuming cannabis, enjoying its psychotropic effects and encouraging cannabis use among his followers. Sheik Haidar is sometimes cited as discovering the psychoactive effects of THC, but this is unlikely considering the dates of his influence. Sheik Haidar’s followers were rumoured to have caused the spread of hashish throughout Arabia, but this evidence is unsubstantiated.
Sheik Haidar ruled between 1155 A.D. – 1221 A.D., long after hashish had become a part of Arabian culture. Though perhaps not responsible for instituting hashish in the middle-east, Sheik Haidar’s followers are said to have incited the dissemination of hashish to other nearby countries like Iraq and Egypt.
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