Cannabis (Cannabis)

Cannabis (/ˈkænəbɪs/; Cán-na-bis) is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative varieties, Cannabis sativaCannabis indica,andCannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia.Cannabis has long been used for fibre (hemp), for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from Cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber.

The leaves have a peculiar and diagnostic venation pattern that enables persons poorly familiar with the plant to distinguish a Cannabis leaf from unrelated species that have confusingly similar leaves (see illustration). As is common in serrated leaves, each serration has a central vein extending to its tip. However,the serration vein originates from lower down the central vein of the leaflet, typically opposite to the position of, not the first notch down, but the next notch.

This means that on its way from the midrib of the leaflet to the point of the serration, the vein serving the tip of the serration passes close by the intervening notch. Sometimes the vein will actually pass tangent to the notch, but often it will pass by at a small distance, and when that happens a spur vein (occasionally a pair of such spur veins) branches off and joins the leaf margin at the deepest point of the notch. This venation pattern varies slightly among varieties, but in general it enables one to tell Cannabis leaves from superficially similar leaves without difficulty and without special equipment. Tiny samples of Cannabis plants also can be identified with precision by microscopic examination of leaf cells and similar features, but that requires special expertise and equipment

To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some Cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of THC, the principalpsychoactive constituent responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana. Marijuana consists of the dried flowers of Cannabis plants selectively bred to produce high levels of THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids. Various extracts including hashish and hash oil are also produced from the plant.

It has been called everything from ‘green gold’ to ‘the Devil’s weed’, but what is Cannabis Sativa L.? You can see for yourself in our Garden Exhibit, where real plants flourish!

‘Cannabis’ is the name given to the plant itself. ‘Sativa’ simply means ‘sown’, and is used to indicate the common or cultivated form of a plant. The ‘L.’ refers to Carolus Linneaeus, the Swedish botanist who first gave this common yet celebrated herb its scientific classification in 1753.

Three Main Types of Cannabis

Since then, two more main types of cannabis have been identified: Cannabis Indica was classified in 1785 and Cannabis Ruderalis in 1924. Both are sub-species of the Cannabis Sativa family, and the three types are distinguished by the very different characteristics and traits they display.

Cannabis or Hemp?

From huge fibre-producing industrial hemp plants to the most potent of medicinal strains, the entire spectrum may be accurately referred to as ‘cannabis’, or even ‘hemp’(though this is a more archaic usage), as all types are of the same species (just as Great Danes and Chihuahuas may both be called ‘dogs’).

The Cannabaceae Family

Cannabis is part of the Cannabaceae family of flowering plants. These plants are wind-pollinated, and are usually dioecious (producing distinct male and female plants). Hops are in the same family, and a more distant relatives include figs, mulberries and the common stinging nettle.

— article from wikipedia, hashmuseum.com —

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