Má is a Chinese word for cannabis, is represented by the Han character 麻. The term Má, used to describe medical marijuana by 2700 BCE, is the oldest recorded name for the Cannabis plant.
The word Má has been used to describe the cannabis plant since before the invention of writing five-thousand years ago. Má might share a common root with the Proto-Semitic word mrr, meaning "bitter." Evidence of the earliest human cultivation of Má was found off the coast of mainland China, on the island of Taiwan. Chinese travelers who moved west carrying seeds of the Má plant also brought the plant's name with them, the word then becoming integrated into the neighboring languages.
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