Fibre or Medicine, which came first?
Scientists often debate which came first: Cannabis as a medicine or Cannabis as a fibre?
Plant life first occurred 420 million years ago. Which brought on the evolution of pollen producing and seed bearing plants (dioecious) by about 100 million years ago these plant types dominated the planet.
Things carried on relatively unchanged until about 65 million years ago due to climate change. During this tertiary period things became extremely cold, bringing on the start of the ice age or Quaternary period. The Quaternary Period is split into two. The prehistoric Pleistocene Epoch (where everything was practically frozen) and our current day Holocene Epoch which started 12,000 years ago before present day.
During the Pleistocene Epoch humans gathered and hunted their food. One of these early plants that would have been gathered was Cannabis Ruderalis. Early humans would have collected the inflorescences. During this gathering ancestral humans would have experienced the psychotropic effects obtained while making contact with the plant. Finding these effects pleasing in nature they would have continued collection of Cannabis inflorescences to return to camp with enough to last through the winter.
Cannabis found in nature is full of seeds. These seeds would have been eaten as well as thrown near or into the waste piles of the early nomadic camps that our ancestors had.
The following spring these waste piles would have non-feral cannabis crops appear. Essentially creating agriculture.
Our ancestors would have harvested this cannabis, however now instead of just collecting inflorescences from feral cannabis and leaving behind the stalks they would have the entire plant. These stalks would have been put into waste piles of their own. The following spring these early farmers would have discovered the cordage aspect of cannabis. Fallen/weathered cannabis stalks are easier to cord the following spring as the bark is easier to remove and leave the fibres behind.
So there you go. Cannabis as a medicine came first, prior to the start of the Holocene Epoch and during the Pleistocene Epoch when we were hunter gatherers living in steppe environments.