0

votes

did paleo people use drugs like cocaine?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2013 at 11:56 PM

i'm not sure how old the coca plant but it stands to reason that if plants like that existed, paleo people would have been able to harvest them for that kind of use.

so did they?

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 19, 2013
at 07:39 AM

True that. Things like San Pedro, Peyote and Ayahuasca were probably more commonly used (possibly not in palaeolithic times, but in agricultural times), as they are easily found in nature and require little to no processing.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 19, 2013
at 05:31 AM

Cocaine? No. Coca leaves, yes.

  • 383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

    asked by

    (835)
  • Views
    3.1K
  • Last Activity
    1581D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

3
81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:48 AM

Cocaine, incredibly unlikely. Making cocaine requires tonnes of coca leaves, lots of chemical processing and refinement. Mayans/Incans (and those who predate these people) may have rudimentally refined the leaves for medicines, and who knows, maybe enjoyment, but they would never have been able to illicit the same potency as cocaine.

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on January 19, 2013
at 02:51 AM

I seem to remember documentaries showing anient peoples chewing cocoa leaves. There are similarly stimulating drugs available in things like betel nut. Native americans took peyote and used tobacco. All of these things are found pretty readily in nature in their respective areas.

Cocaine as we know it in the first world is a very highly processed substance and like Twinkies is not Paleo. But it seems pretty clear that ancient peoples used various mind altering drugs.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 19, 2013
at 07:39 AM

True that. Things like San Pedro, Peyote and Ayahuasca were probably more commonly used (possibly not in palaeolithic times, but in agricultural times), as they are easily found in nature and require little to no processing.

1
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on January 19, 2013
at 04:05 AM

The coca tree has been around for thousands of years, and the ancient Incans and other indigenous South American peoples would chew the leaves for energy since ancient times and they still do today in South America, but the effect of chewing coca leaves wears off and is not as intense as full-blown cocaine, and people in the paleolithic era living in the Andes did not have cocaine like we know it today.

1
3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on January 19, 2013
at 12:05 AM

It's pretty hard to separate man from their substances. Chances are if there was a leaf to chew on that made you feel good, then it was chewed on.

Of course, drug use can be an example of crossing the paleo line. Just because something has been done for a really long time does not necessarily make it healthy. What I notice from paleo is that there tends to be a CORRELATION, however this does not mean that all things done strictly paleolithically should be considered healthy (I am NOT going to go freeze my ass off sleeping in the cold tonight).

0
E753cf7753e7be889ca68b1a4203483f

on January 20, 2013
at 11:02 AM

Usage of the leaves could be considered OK if you live where they grow, But one would not be developing a coke habit like Those who uses the more modern extracts. The release of the active ingredients would be much to slow, but the pain relieving could still be used as well as suppression of hunger, thirst, need for sleep etc. Not everyone can feel a high from modern cocaine! It depends on you brain feeling dopamine deprived, which is very common among people living today, but not necessarily so among hunter-gatherers living in Paleolithic times. It's interesting that the poppy is the oldest known cultivated plant and that the wild ancestor of modern cannabis is unknown! That somehow talks for a quite widespread desire for intoxicating plants that precedes agriculture.

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on January 19, 2013
at 03:08 AM

Well, lots of Aboriginal cultures today have a history of various hallucingens. Not synthetic designer drugs, though I'm sure they would have had they had the means to do so.

0
A9e4f07d0a64294640efc6a1a47e9963

on January 19, 2013
at 02:19 AM

It seems plausible, though not in as pure a form as found today. Use of coca leaves dates back at least 8000 years in northern Peru. I'm not aware of any direct evidence that coca leaf usage dates back that far.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!