We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.

The origin and use of cannabis in eastern asia linguistic-cultural implications | SpringerLink

The origin and use of cannabis in eastern asia linguistic-cultural implications

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and notes

  1. 1.

    Berthold Laufer, in his workSino-Iranica, 1919, makes a point of great culture-historical interest about the “fundamental diversity between East-Asiatic and Mediterranean civilizations — there hemp, and here flax, as material for clothing” (p. 293). In a footnote he says that he hopes to demonstrate in a subsequent study that hemp had been cultivated by the Indo-Chinese nations, especially the Chinese and Tibetans, in a prehistoric age. However, no such paper seems to have been actually published by him.

  2. 2.

    Andersson, J. G.An early Chinese culture. Bull. Geol. Surv. China5 (1): 26, 1923.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    An Chih-min, [On the problem of dating in the Neolithic culture of our country].K’ao-ku 1972,6: 35–44. 1972.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    A more detailed account on the archeology and history of hemp in China will be given in a separate paper.

  5. 5.

    Pan Chi-hsin, [The earliest plant-fiber paper in the world].Wen-wu 1964,11: 48–49. 1964.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Passages of most of these older works were quoted or cited by Li Shih-chên in hisPên-ts’ao kang-mu [Materia Medica], 1590. Bretschneider, E. V.,Botanicon sinicum, pt. 3, 1895, translates many of these entries into English.

  7. 7.

    The literature of Chinese culture is too extensive for citation here. As a representative for reference to the subject matter particularly concerned with this discourse, the work of Hsü, F. L. K.,Under the Ancestor’s Shadow: Chinese Culture and Personality, 1949, New York and London, may be mentioned.

  8. 8.

    The conformity of an individual in Chinese society is regulated by a culturally instilled sense of shame. The Confucian personality is a shame-oriented personality (Eberhand, W.,Guilt and Sin. 1967, Los Angeles and San Francisco). The Western personality tends to be more guilt-oriented. The adoption of opium and the non-adoption of Cannabis reflect a behavioral response to traditional Chinese society. The opium user was more likely to remain pacific and sedated, and thus not challenge social norms. Cannabis, with its stimulation of erratic effects, was likely to induce acts that might bring shame upon the user or his family.

  9. 9.

    Hsieh Ping,Hsin-chiang yu-chi [Account of travel in Sinkiang], 1919, Shanghai.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hui-Lin Li.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Li, HL. The origin and use of cannabis in eastern asia linguistic-cultural implications. Econ Bot 28, 293–301 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02861426

Download citation


  • Economic Botany
  • Hemp
  • Chinese Culture
  • Filial Piety
  • Hemp Fiber