Ancient Siberian Shaman Princess Had Cancer and Used Marijuana as Medicine

CANNABIS CULTURE – Scientists are claiming that the 2500-year-old mummy known as the “Ice Princess,” whose elaborately tatooed body was buried with six saddled horses and other acoutrements including a container of cannabis, had breast cancer.

The Siberian woman’s frozen remains were discovered in 1993 by archaeologist Natalia Polosmak high in the Altai Mountains. She was apparently a high priestess of the Pazyryk people, who were closely related to the Sythians, a tribe that inhaled cannabis smoke ritually, as described by the Greek historian Herodotus in 440BCE.

Now a team of Russian scientists say MRI technology has found evidence of breast cancer, the bone infection osteomyelitis, and injuries consistent with a fall — perhaps from a horse, in the Ice Princess. Polosmak wrote in a recent issue of the journal Science First Hand: “It is likely that for this sick woman, the regular inhalation of cannabis smoke was a necessity.”

Ellen Komp is Deputy Director of California NORML and a regular contributor to Cannabis Culture. She manages the website and blogs at Tokin Woman.