This is considerably more fresh than what was found. (Photo: Arne Hückelheim/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Archaeologists in northwest China have discovered a shroud made of cannabis plants in an ancient grave, adding further evidence to the notion that even thousands of years ago, people liked to stay up.

As National Geographic is reporting, a recently unearthed burial site, dating back around 2,500 years, was found to hold a cache of (assumingly legally obtained) cannabis plants. The 13 complete plants were arrayed over the male body inside like a burial shroud, covering the corpse from crotch to chin.

The discovery occurred during excavation of the ancient Jiayi cemetery in the area of Turpan. Cannabis seeds and fragments have been previously found in other graves in the cemetery, but this is the first time that complete plants have been discovered as part of the burials, allowing the researchers to determine that it was grown locally. The graves have been attributed to members of the Subeixi culture, who are thought to have been the first permanent residents of the Turpan basin.

While the exact significance of the cannabis plants as part of the burial rituals is not yet confirmed, the dank stash is seen as further evidence that the plant was used mainly for its psychoactive properties, much as it is today.