1300 years ago, the seafaring raiders, traders and explorers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden collectively known as Vikings began to sweep across Europe, the Mediterranean, North America and even the Middle East. This period of furious activity is known as “the Viking age”.
Excavations by scientists over the past decade have discovered proof that at least one farm in Norway was cultivating cannabis well before the Viking age began. The most likely explanation is that these Middle Age Norse farmers were cultivating the plants for hemp fiber, possibly to make the rope that is essential when sailing boats across the high seas.
It is unknown if these ‘proto-Vikings’ also used the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes but given what is known about other traditional hemp cultivation cultures in earlier times, the two uses usually went hand in hand.