c. 3000 BCE
The spice trade fires up in India and surrounding areas

Around 3000 BCE, Kerala, in southern India, established itself as a major spice trade centre. These days “spice” means food flavouring, but thousands of years ago it was a broad term for plant foods and medicines, dyes, perfumes and other exotic luxuries. Some of the key spices available along early trade routes included cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, pepper and turmeric. Some of the psychoactive plant products available included saffron, nutmeg, frankincense and opium. Cannabis incense was likely available too.

Source: Clarke, R. & Merlin, M. (2013). Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. University of California Press.

Drugs: Cannabis (marijuana), Opium (morphine, heroin, opioids)
Regions: Asia, India
Topics: Cultivation, production and trade