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Italy: Researchers find evidence of cannabis use in the XNUMXth century in Milan



Archaeotoxicological discoveries have revealed that there was contact with cannabis in XNUMXth century Europe. Analysis of bones from patients at the Ca' Granda hospital in Milan points to exposure to the plant, which challenges historical conceptions and highlights archaeotoxicology as a new emerging discipline in archeology.

O Scientific study on the existence of cannabis in the 1600th century, in the city of Milan, will be published in the December edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science. The investigation, entitled “Forensic Toxicological Analysis reveals the use of cannabis in Milan (Italy) in the XNUMXs (Free translation of the original “Forensic toxicological analyzes reveal the use of cannabis in Milano (Italy) in the 1600's”), carried out toxicological analyzes of bone samples from deceased patients at the Ca' Granda hospital, one of the most important in Europe at the time, with a fine-tooth comb.

Scientists employed advanced techniques using Solid Phase Extraction and the Thermo Scientific™ TSQ Fortis™ II Triple-Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer. The results were surprising, as they revealed the presence of two cannabinoids — Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — from the cannabis plant in two of the nine bone samples (femur) analyzed, corresponding to 22% of the total.

The study not only reveals the existence of cannabis among the Italian population of the XNUMXth century, but also strongly suggests that its use was more associated with leisure than with medicinal purposes. This is because, according to the article, the documentation related to the pharmacopoeia used to treat patients at the Ca' Granda hospital did not include cannabis, which is an indication that the plant was not administered as a medical treatment at the hospital at that time.

The researchers therefore formulate the hypothesis that the individuals investigated consumed cannabis as a recreational substance. However, they recognize the possibility of other sources of exposure, such as self-medication, administration by doctors outside the Ca' Granda hospital, occupational and involuntary exposure.

This study provides the first physical evidence of early modern cannabis use, not just in Italy but across Europe. Toxicological analyzes open a new window into the habits of the Milanese population in the XNUMXth century, highlighting exposure to the plant for recreational purposes. This discovery not only enriches our historical knowledge, but also establishes archaeotoxicology as a new, promising and emerging scientific discipline, capable of uncovering secrets buried in the past.



[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]


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I am one of the directors of CannaReporter, which I founded together with Laura Ramos. I am from the unique Island of Madeira, where I currently reside. While I was in Lisbon at FCUL studying Physical Engineering, I became involved in the national hemp and cannabis scene and participated in several associations, some of which I am still a member of. I follow the global industry and especially legislative advances regarding the different uses of cannabis.

I can be contacted by email at

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