Cannabis (/ˈkænəbɪs/) is a genus of flowering plants in the family
Cannabaceae. The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three
species may be recognized:
Cannabis indica, and
Cannabis ruderalis; C. ruderalis may be included within C. sativa; or
all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C.
sativa. The genus is indigenous to central Asia and the
Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, for hemp oils, for
medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp
products are made from cannabis plants selected to produce an
abundance of fiber. To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some
cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent.
Many plants have been selectively bred to produce a maximum of THC
(cannabinoids), which is obtained by curing the flowers. Various
compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the
Globally, in 2013, 60,400 kilograms of cannabis were produced
legally. In 2014 there were an estimated 182.5 million cannabis
users (3.8% of the population aged 15–64). This percentage has
not changed significantly between 1998 and 2014.
1.2 Biochemistry and drugs
1.3 Chromosomes and genome
1.5 History of cannabis
1.6 Early classifications
1.7 20th century
1.8 Continuing research
1.9 Popular usage
2.1 Recreational use
2.2 Medical use
2.3 Industrial use (hemp)
2.4 Ancient and religious uses
3.1 Breeding systems
3.2 Sex determination
5 See also
7 Further reading
8 External links
Cannabis growing as weeds at the foot of Dhaulagiri, Nepal.
A thicket of wild cannabis in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Cannabis is an annual, dioecious, flowering herb. The leaves are
palmately compound or digitate, with serrate leaflets. The first
pair of leaves usually have a single leaflet, the number gradually
increasing up to a maximum of about thirteen leaflets per leaf
(usually seven or nine), depending on variety and growing conditions.
At the top of a flowering plant, this number again diminishes to a
single leaflet per leaf. The lower leaf pairs usually occur in an
opposite leaf arrangement and the upper leaf pairs in an alternate
arrangement on the main stem of a mature plant.
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
The plant is believed to have originated in the mountainous regions
northwest of the Himalayas. It is also known as hemp,
although this term is often used to refer only to varieties of
Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use.
Cannabis normally has imperfect flowers, with staminate "male" and
pistillate "female" flowers occurring on separate plants. It is
not unusual, however, for individual plants to bear both male and
female flowers. Although monoecious plants are often referred to
as "hermaphrodites", true hermaphrodites (which are less common) bear
staminate and pistillate structures together on individual flowers,
whereas monoecious plants bear male and female flowers at different
locations on the same plant. Male flowers are normally borne on loose
panicles, and female flowers are borne on racemes. "At a very
early period the Chinese recognized the
Cannabis plant as
dioecious", and the (c. 3rd century BCE)
Erya dictionary defined
xi 枲 "male Cannabis" and fu 莩 (or ju 苴) "female Cannabis".
All known strains of
Cannabis are wind-pollinated and the fruit is
an achene. Most strains of
Cannabis are short day plants, with
the possible exception of C. sativa subsp. sativa var. spontanea (= C.
ruderalis), which is commonly described as "auto-flowering" and may be
Biochemistry and drugs
Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids,
which produce mental and physical effects when consumed.
Cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other compounds are secreted by
glandular trichomes that occur most abundantly on the floral calyxes
and bracts of female plants. As a drug it usually comes in the
form of dried flower buds (marijuana), resin (hashish), or various
extracts collectively known as hashish oil. In the early 20th
century, it became illegal in most of the world to cultivate or
Cannabis for sale or personal use.
Root system side view
Root system top view
Micrograph C. sativa (left), C. indica (right)
Chromosomes and genome
Cannabis, like many organisms, is diploid, having a chromosome
complement of 2n=20, although polyploid individuals have been
artificially produced. The first genome sequence of Cannabis,
which is estimated to be 820 Mb in size, was published in 2011 by a
team of Canadian scientists.
Cannabis sativa leaf, showing diagnostic venation
Cannabis was formerly placed in the Nettle (Urticaceae) or
Mulberry (Moraceae) family, and later, along with the
(hops), in a separate family, the
Hemp family (
stricto). Recent phylogenetic studies based on cpDNA restriction
site analysis and gene sequencing strongly suggest that the
Cannabaceae sensu stricto arose from within the former Celtidaceae
family, and that the two families should be merged to form a single
monophyletic family, the
Cannabaceae sensu lato.
Various types of
Cannabis have been described, and variously
classified as species, subspecies, or varieties:
plants cultivated for fiber and seed production, described as
low-intoxicant, non-drug, or fiber types.
plants cultivated for drug production, described as high-intoxicant or
escaped, hybridised, or wild forms of either of the above types.
Cannabis plants produce a unique family of terpeno-phenolic compounds
called cannabinoids, some of which produce the "high" which may be
experienced from consuming marijuana. There are 483 identifiable
chemical constituents known to exist in the cannabis plant, and at
least 85 different cannabinoids have been isolated from the plant.
The two cannabinoids usually produced in greatest abundance are
cannabidiol (CBD) and/or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but only THC
is psychoactive. Since the early 1970s,
Cannabis plants have been
categorized by their chemical phenotype or "chemotype", based on the
overall amount of
THC produced, and on the ratio of
THC to CBD.
Although overall cannabinoid production is influenced by environmental
factors, the THC/CBD ratio is genetically determined and remains fixed
throughout the life of a plant. Non-drug plants produce relatively
low levels of
THC and high levels of CBD, while drug plants produce
high levels of
THC and low levels of CBD. When plants of these two
chemotypes cross-pollinate, the plants in the first filial (F1)
generation have an intermediate chemotype and produce intermedite
amounts of CBD and THC. Female plants of this chemotype may produce
THC to be utilized for drug production.
Cannabis plant in vegetative growth stage
Whether the drug and non-drug, cultivated and wild types of Cannabis
constitute a single, highly variable species, or the genus is
polytypic with more than one species, has been a subject of debate for
well over two centuries. This is a contentious issue because there is
no universally accepted definition of a species. One widely
applied criterion for species recognition is that species are "groups
of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations which are
reproductively isolated from other such groups." Populations that
are physiologically capable of interbreeding, but morphologically or
genetically divergent and isolated by geography or ecology, are
sometimes considered to be separate species. Physiological
barriers to reproduction are not known to occur within Cannabis, and
plants from widely divergent sources are interfertile. However,
physical barriers to gene exchange (such as the Himalayan mountain
range) might have enabled
Cannabis gene pools to diverge before the
onset of human intervention, resulting in speciation. It remains
controversial whether sufficient morphological and genetic divergence
occurs within the genus as a result of geographical or ecological
isolation to justify recognition of more than one species.
History of cannabis
Cannabis sativa appears naturally in many tropical and humid parts of
the world. Its use as a mind-altering drug has been documented by
archaeological finds in prehistoric societies in Eurasia and
The oldest written record of cannabis usage is the Greek historian
Herodotus's reference to the central Eurasian
cannabis steam baths. His (c. 440 BCE) Histories records, "The
Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed [presumably,
flowers], and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the
red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as
no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for
joy." Classical Greeks and Romans were using cannabis, while in
the Middle East, use spread throughout the Islamic empire to North
Africa. In 1545, cannabis spread to the western hemisphere where
Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fiber. In North America,
cannabis, in the form of hemp, was grown for use in rope, clothing and
Relative size of varieties of Cannabis
Cannabis genus was first classified using the "modern" system of
taxonomic nomenclature by
Carl Linnaeus in 1753, who devised the
system still in use for the naming of species. He considered the
genus to be monotypic, having just a single species that he named
Cannabis sativa L. (L. stands for Linnaeus, and indicates the
authority who first named the species). Linnaeus was familiar with
European hemp, which was widely cultivated at the time. In 1785, noted
Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck
Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck published a
description of a second species of Cannabis, which he named Cannabis
indica Lam. Lamarck based his description of the newly named
species on plant specimens collected in India. He described C. indica
as having poorer fiber quality than C. sativa, but greater utility as
an inebriant. Additional
Cannabis species were proposed in the 19th
century, including strains from
China and Vietnam (Indo-China)
assigned the names
Cannabis chinensis Delile, and
Delile ex Vilmorin. However, many taxonomists found these putative
species difficult to distinguish. In the early 20th century, the
single-species concept was still widely accepted, except in the Soviet
Cannabis continued to be the subject of active taxonomic
study. The name
Cannabis indica was listed in various Pharmacopoeias,
and was widely used to designate
Cannabis suitable for the manufacture
of medicinal preparations.
In 1924, Russian botanist D.E. Janichevsky concluded that ruderal
Cannabis in central Russia is either a variety of C. sativa or a
separate species, and proposed C. sativa L. var. ruderalis Janisch,
Cannabis ruderalis Janisch, as alternative names. In 1929,
renowned plant explorer
Nikolai Vavilov assigned wild or feral
Cannabis in Afghanistan to C. indica Lam. var.
kafiristanica Vav., and ruderal populations in
Europe to C. sativa L.
var. spontanea Vav. In 1940, Russian botanists Serebriakova
and Sizov proposed a complex classification in which they also
recognized C. sativa and C. indica as separate species. Within C.
sativa they recognized two subspecies: C. sativa L. subsp. culta
Serebr. (consisting of cultivated plants), and C. sativa L. subsp.
spontanea (Vav.) Serebr. (consisting of wild or feral plants).
Serebriakova and Sizov split the two C. sativa subspecies into 13
varieties, including four distinct groups within subspecies culta.
However, they did not divide C. indica into subspecies or
In the 1970s, the taxonomic classification of
Cannabis took on added
significance in North America. Laws prohibiting
Cannabis in the United
Canada specifically named products of C. sativa as
prohibited materials. Enterprising attorneys for the defense in a few
drug busts argued that the seized
Cannabis material may not have been
C. sativa, and was therefore not prohibited by law. Attorneys on both
sides recruited botanists to provide expert testimony. Among those
testifying for the prosecution was Dr. Ernest Small, while Dr. Richard
E. Schultes and others testified for the defense. The botanists
engaged in heated debate (outside of court), and both camps impugned
the other's integrity. The defense attorneys were not often
successful in winning their case, because the intent of the law was
In 1976, Canadian botanist Ernest Small and American taxonomist
Arthur Cronquist published a taxonomic revision that recognizes a
single species of
Cannabis with two subspecies: C. sativa L. subsp.
sativa, and C. sativa L. subsp. indica (Lam.) Small & Cronq.
The authors hypothesized that the two subspecies diverged primarily as
a result of human selection; C. sativa subsp. sativa was presumably
selected for traits that enhance fiber or seed production, whereas C.
sativa subsp. indica was primarily selected for drug production.
Within these two subspecies, Small and Cronquist described C. sativa
L. subsp. sativa var. spontanea Vav. as a wild or escaped variety of
low-intoxicant Cannabis, and C. sativa subsp. indica var.
kafiristanica (Vav.) Small & Cronq. as a wild or escaped variety
of the high-intoxicant type. This classification was based on several
factors including interfertility, chromosome uniformity, chemotype,
and numerical analysis of phenotypic characters.
Professors William Emboden, Loran Anderson, and Harvard botanist
Richard E. Schultes
Richard E. Schultes and coworkers also conducted taxonomic studies of
Cannabis in the 1970s, and concluded that stable morphological
differences exist that support recognition of at least three species,
C. sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis. For Schultes,
this was a reversal of his previous interpretation that
monotypic, with only a single species. According to Schultes' and
Anderson's descriptions, C. sativa is tall and laxly branched with
relatively narrow leaflets, C. indica is shorter, conical in shape,
and has relatively wide leaflets, and C. ruderalis is short,
branchless, and grows wild in central Asia. This taxonomic
interpretation was embraced by
Cannabis aficionados who commonly
distinguish narrow-leafed "sativa" strains from wide-leafed "indica"
Molecular analytical techniques developed in the late 20th century are
being applied to questions of taxonomic classification. This has
resulted in many reclassifications based on evolutionary systematics.
Several studies of Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and other
types of genetic markers have been conducted on drug and fiber strains
of Cannabis, primarily for plant breeding and forensic
Cannabis researcher E.P.M. de
Meijer and coworkers described some of their
RAPD studies as showing
an "extremely high" degree of genetic polymorphism between and within
populations, suggesting a high degree of potential variation for
selection, even in heavily selected hemp cultivars. They also
commented that these analyses confirm the continuity of the Cannabis
gene pool throughout the studied accessions, and provide further
confirmation that the genus consists of a single species, although
theirs was not a systematic study per se.
Karl W. Hillig, a graduate student in the laboratory of long-time
Cannabis researcher Paul G. Mahlberg at Indiana University,
conducted a systematic investigation of genetic, morphological, and
chemotaxonomic variation among 157
Cannabis accessions of known
geographic origin, including fiber, drug, and feral populations. In
2004, Hillig and Mahlberg published a chemotaxonomic analysis of
cannabinoid variation in their
Cannabis germplasm collection. They
used gas chromatography to determine cannabinoid content and to infer
allele frequencies of the gene that controls CBD and
within the studied populations, and concluded that the patterns of
cannabinoid variation support recognition of C. sativa and C. indica
as separate species, but not C. ruderalis. The authors assigned
fiber/seed landraces and feral populations from Europe, central Asia,
and Asia Minor to C. sativa. Narrow-leaflet and wide-leaflet drug
accessions, southern and eastern Asian hemp accessions, and feral
Himalayan populations were assigned to C. indica. In 2005, Hillig
published a genetic analysis of the same set of accessions (this paper
was the first in the series, but was delayed in publication), and
proposed a three-species classification, recognizing C. sativa, C.
indica, and (tentatively) C. ruderalis. In his doctoral
dissertation published the same year, Hillig stated that principal
components analysis of phenotypic (morphological) traits failed to
differentiate the putative species, but that canonical variates
analysis resulted in a high degree of discrimination of the putative
species and infraspecific taxa. Another paper in the series on
chemotaxonomic variation in the terpenoid content of the essential oil
Cannabis revealed that several wide-leaflet drug strains in the
collection had relatively high levels of certain sesquiterpene
alcohols, including guaiol and isomers of eudesmol, that set them
apart from the other putative taxa. Hillig concluded that the
patterns of genetic, morphological, and chemotaxonomic variation
support recognition of C. sativa and C. indica as separate species. He
also concluded there is little support to treat C. ruderalis as a
separate species from C. sativa at this time, but more research on
wild and weedy populations is needed because they were
underrepresented in their collection.
In September 2005,
New Scientist reported that researchers at the
Canberra Institute of Technology had identified a new type of Cannabis
based on analysis of mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA. The New
Scientist story, which was picked up by many news agencies and web
sites, indicated that the research was to be published in the journal
Forensic Science International.
The scientific debate regarding taxonomy has had little effect on the
terminology in widespread use among cultivators and users of drug-type
Cannabis aficionados recognize three distinct types based on
such factors as morphology, native range, aroma, and subjective
psychoactive characteristics. Sativa is the most widespread variety,
which is usually tall, laxly branched, and found in warm lowland
regions. Indica designates shorter, bushier plants adapted to cooler
climates and highland environments. Ruderalis is the informal name for
the short plants that grow wild in
Europe and central Asia.
Breeders, seed companies, and cultivators of drug type
describe the ancestry or gross phenotypic characteristics of cultivars
by categorizing them as "pure indica", "mostly indica",
"indica/sativa", "mostly sativa", or "pure sativa".
Cannabis is used for a wide variety of purposes.
Comparison of physical harm and dependence regarding various drugs
A dried bud, typical of what is sold for drug use
Cannabis is a popular recreational drug around the world, only behind
alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. In the
United States alone, it is
believed that over 100 million Americans have tried cannabis, with 25
million Americans having used it within the past year.[when?]
The psychoactive effects of cannabis are known to have a triphasic
nature. Primary psychoactive effects include a state of relaxation,
and to a lesser degree, euphoria from its main psychoactive compound,
tetrahydrocannabinol. Secondary psychoactive effects, such as a
facility for philosophical thinking, introspection and metacognition
have been reported among cases of anxiety and paranoia. Finally,
the tertiary psychoactive effects of the drug cannabis, can include an
increase in heart rate and hunger, believed to be caused by 11-OH-THC,
a psychoactive metabolite of
THC produced in the liver.
Normal cognition is restored after approximately three hours for
larger doses via a smoking pipe, bong or vaporizer. However, if a
large amount is taken orally the effects may last much longer. After
24 hours to a few days, minuscule psychoactive effects may be felt,
depending on dosage, frequency and tolerance to the drug.
Various forms of the drug cannabis exist, including extracts such as
hashish and hash oil which, because of appearance, are more
susceptible to adulterants when left unregulated.
Cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychotropic effects by itself
(although sometimes showing a small stimulant effect, similar to
caffeine), attenuates, or reduces the higher anxiety levels
According to Delphic analysis by British researchers in 2007, cannabis
has a lower risk factor for dependence compared to both nicotine and
alcohol. However, everyday use of cannabis may be correlated with
psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability or
insomnia, and susceptibility to a panic attack may increase as
THC metabolites rise. However, cannabis withdrawal
symptoms are typically mild and are never life-threatening.
Risk of adverse outcomes from cannabis use may be reduced by
implementation of evidence-based education and intervention tools
communicated to the public with practical regulation measures.
Main article: Medical cannabis
Medical cannabis (or medical marijuana) refers to the use of cannabis
and its constituent cannabinoids, to treat disease or improve
Cannabis is used to reduce nausea and vomiting during
chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to
treat chronic pain and muscle spasms.
Short-term use increases both minor and major adverse effects.
Common side effects include dizziness, feeling tired, vomiting, and
Long-term effects of cannabis
Long-term effects of cannabis are not clear.
Concerns including memory and cognition problems, risk of addiction,
schizophrenia in young people, and the risk of children taking it by
Cannabinoids are under preliminary research for their potential to
affect stroke or children's epilepsy.
Industrial use (hemp)
Ancient Sanskrit on
Hemp based Paper.
Hemp Fiber was commonly used in
the production of paper from 200 BCE to the Late 1800's.
Cannabis (industrial uses)
Cannabis sativa stem longitudinal section
The term hemp is used to name the durable soft fiber from the Cannabis
plant stem (stalk).
Cannabis sativa cultivars are used for fibers due
to their long stems; Sativa varieties may grow more than six metres
tall. However, hemp can refer to any industrial or foodstuff product
that is not intended for use as a drug. Many countries regulate limits
for psychoactive compound (THC) concentrations in products labeled as
Cannabis for industrial uses is valuable in tens of thousands of
commercial products, especially as fibre ranging from paper,
cordage, construction material and textiles in general, to clothing.
Hemp is stronger and longer-lasting than cotton. It also is a useful
source of foodstuffs (hemp milk, hemp seed, hemp oil) and biofuels.
Hemp has been used by many civilizations, from
later North America) during the last 12,000 years. In modern
times novel applications and improvements have been explored with
modest commercial success.
Ancient and religious uses
Cannabis and religion
Cannabis and religion and History of medical cannabis
Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam
Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back
thousands of years across many cultures. The Yanghai Tombs, a vast
ancient cemetery (54 000 m2) situated in the
Turfan district of the
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China,
have revealed the 2700-year-old grave of a shaman. He is thought to
have belonged to the
Jushi culture recorded in the area centuries
later in the Hanshu, Chap 96B. Near the head and foot of the
shaman was a large leather basket and wooden bowl filled with 789g of
cannabis, superbly preserved by climatic and burial conditions. An
international team demonstrated that this material contained
tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis. The
cannabis was presumably employed by this culture as a medicinal or
psychoactive agent, or an aid to divination. This is the oldest
documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent.
Settlements which date from c. 2200–1700 BCE in the
Margiana contained elaborate ritual structures with rooms containing
everything needed for making drinks containing extracts from poppy
(opium), hemp (cannabis), and ephedra (which contains ephedrine).
Although there is no evidence of ephedra being used by steppe tribes,
they engaged in cultic use of hemp. Cultic use ranged from
Yenisei River and had begun by 3rd millennium BC Smoking hemp has
been found at Pazyryk.
Cannabis is first referred to in
Vedas between 2000 and 1400
BCE, in the Atharvaveda. By the 10th century CE, it has been suggested
that it was referred to by some in
India as "food of the gods".
Cannabis use eventually became a ritual part of the
Hindu festival of
Holi. One of the earliest to use this plant in medical purposes was
Korakkar, one of the 18 Siddhas. The plant is called Korakkar
Mooli in the Tamil language, meaning Korakkar's herb.
In Buddhism, cannabis is generally regarded as an intoxicant and may
be a hindrance to development of meditation and clear awareness. In
ancient Germanic culture,
Cannabis was associated with the Norse love
goddess, Freya. An anointing oil mentioned in Exodus is, by
some translators, said to contain Cannabis. Sufis have used
Cannabis in a spiritual context since the 13th century CE.
In modern times, the
Rastafari movement has embraced
Cannabis as a
sacrament. Elders of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, a
religious movement founded in the
United States in 1975 with no ties
Ethiopia or the Coptic Church, consider
Cannabis to be the
Eucharist, claiming it as an oral tradition from
Ethiopia dating back
to the time of Christ. Like the Rastafari, some modern Gnostic
Christian sects have asserted that
Cannabis is the Tree of
Life. Other organized religions founded in the 20th century
Cannabis as a sacrament are the
Cannabis Assembly and the Church of
Cognizance. Rastafarians tend to be among the biggest consumers of
Cannabis is frequently used among Sufis – the mystical
Islam that exerts strong influence over local Muslim
practices in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Pakistan.
Cannabis preparations are frequently used at
Sufi festivals in those
Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh
province is particularly renowned for the widespread use of cannabis
at the shrine's celebrations, especially its annual
Urs festival and
Thursday evening dhamaal sessions - or meditative dancing
Cannabis sativa fruits (achenes) that contain the seeds
Cannabis is predominantly dioecious, although many monoecious
varieties have been described. Subdioecy (the occurrence of
monoecious individuals and dioecious individuals within the same
population) is widespread. Many populations have been
described as sexually labile.
Cannabis flower with visible trichomes
Cannabis flower buds
As a result of intensive selection in cultivation,
many sexual phenotypes that can be described in terms of the ratio of
female to male flowers occurring in the individual, or typical in the
Dioecious varieties are preferred for drug production,
where the female flowers are used.
Dioecious varieties are also
preferred for textile fiber production, whereas monoecious varieties
are preferred for pulp and paper production. It has been suggested
that the presence of monoecy can be used to differentiate licit crops
of monoecious hemp from illicit drug crops. However, sativa
strains often produce monoecious individuals, probably as a result of
Cannabis has been described as having one of the most complicated
mechanisms of sex determination among the dioecious plants. Many
models have been proposed to explain sex determination in Cannabis.
Based on studies of sex reversal in hemp, it was first reported by K.
Hirata in 1924 that an
XY sex-determination system
XY sex-determination system is present. At
the time, the XY system was the only known system of sex
determination. The X:A system was first described in Drosophila spp in
1925. Soon thereafter, Schaffner disputed Hirata's
interpretation, and published results from his own studies of sex
reversal in hemp, concluding that an X:A system was in use and that
furthermore sex was strongly influenced by environmental
Since then, many different types of sex determination systems have
been discovered, particularly in plants. Dioecy is relatively
uncommon in the plant kingdom, and a very low percentage of dioecious
plant species have been determined to use the XY system. In most cases
where the XY system is found it is believed to have evolved recently
Since the 1920s, a number of sex determination models have been
proposed for Cannabis. Ainsworth describes sex determination in the
genus as using "an X/autosome dosage type".
The question of whether heteromorphic sex chromosomes are indeed
present is most conveniently answered if such chromosomes were clearly
visible in a karyotype.
Cannabis was one of the first plant species to
be karyotyped; however, this was in a period when karyotype
preparation was primitive by modern standards (see History of
Cytogenetics). Heteromorphic sex chromosomes were reported to occur in
staminate individuals of dioecious "Kentucky" hemp, but were not found
in pistillate individuals of the same variety.
hemp was assumed to use an XY mechanism. Heterosomes were not observed
in analyzed individuals of monoecious "Kentucky" hemp, nor in an
unidentified German cultivar. These varieties were assumed to have sex
chromosome composition XX. According to other researchers, no
modern karyotype of
Cannabis had been published as of 1996.
Proponents of the XY system state that
Y chromosome is slightly larger
than the X, but difficult to differentiate cytologically.
More recently, Sakamoto and various co-authors have used
RAPD to isolate several genetic marker sequences that they name
Male-Associated DNA in
Cannabis (MADC), and which they interpret as
indirect evidence of a male chromosome. Several other research groups
have reported identification of male-associated markers using
AFLP. Ainsworth commented on these findings, stating,
It is not surprising that male-associated markers are relatively
abundant. In dioecious plants where sex chromosomes have not been
identified, markers for maleness indicate either the presence of sex
chromosomes which have not been distinguished by cytological methods
or that the marker is tightly linked to a gene involved in sex
Environmental sex determination is known to occur in a variety of
species. Many researchers have suggested that sex in
determined or strongly influenced by environmental factors.
Ainsworth reviews that treatment with auxin and ethylene have
feminizing effects, and that treatment with cytokinins and
gibberellins have masculinizing effects. It has been reported
that sex can be reversed in
Cannabis using chemical treatment. A
PCR-based method for the detection of female-associated DNA
polymorphisms by genotyping has been developed.
A male hemp plant
Dense raceme of female flowers typical of drug-type varieties of
Main article: Etymology of cannabis
The word cannabis is from Greek κάνναβις (kánnabis) (see
Latin cannabis), which was originally Scythian or Thracian.
It is related to the Persian kanab, the English canvas and possibly
even to the English hemp (
Old English hænep). In modern Hebrew,
קַנַּבּוֹס qannabōs (modern pronunciation: [kanaˈbos])
is used but there are those who have theorized that it was referred to
in antiquity as קני בושם q'nei bosem, a component of the
biblical anointing oil. Old Akkadian qunnabtu, Neo-Assyrian
and Neo-Babylonian qunnabu were used to refer to the plant meaning "a
way to produce smoke."
Cannabis drug testing
Cannabis Social Club
Hash, Marihuana &
Hemp Drugs Commission
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Cannabinoids in Nature and Medicine.
Wiley-VCH. ISBN 3-906390-56-X.
Mallory, J. P. and Victor H. Mair (2000). The Tarim Mummies: Ancient
China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. Thames
& Hudson, London. ISBN 0-500-05101-1.
Roffman, Roger A; Robert S. Stephens (2006).
Cannabis Dependence: Its
Nature, Consequences, and Treatment. Cambridge University Press.
Russo, Ethan; Melanie Creagan Dreher; Mary Lynn Mathre (2004). Women
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Solowij, Nadia (1998).
Cannabis and Cognitive Functioning. Cambridge
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• Oil • Paper)
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Gonzales v. Raich
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United States (thermal imaging)
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Cannabinoid receptor modulators
Agonists (abridged; see here for more): 2-AG
2-AGE (noladin ether)
Antibodies: Brizantin (Бризантин)
2-AGE (noladin ether)
Agonists: Abnormal cannabidiol
Agonists: 2-AGE (noladin ether)
Inhibitors: 4-Nonylphenylboronic acid
Inhibitors: Betulinic acid
Others: 2-PG (directly potentiates activity of 2-AG at CB1 receptor)
ARN-272 (FAAH-like anandamide transporter inhibitor)
Cannabinoids (cannabinoids by structure)
TRP channel modulators
Sanshool (ginger, Sichuan and melegueta peppers)
Allyl isothiocyanate (mustard, radish, horseradish, wasabi)
CR gas (dibenzoxazepine; DBO)
CS gas (2-chlorobenzal malononitrile)
Farnesyl thiosalicylic acid
Ligustilide (celery, Angelica acutiloba)
Linalool (Sichuan pepper, thyme)
Methyl salicylate (wintergreen)
Oleocanthal (olive oil)
Paclitaxel (Pacific yew)
Polygodial (Dorrigo pepper)
Shogaols (ginger, Sichuan and melegueta peppers)
Thiopropanal S-oxide (onion)
Umbellulone (Umbellularia californica)
Adhyperforin (St John's wort)
Hyperforin (St John's wort)
Cooling Agent 10
Rutamarin (Ruta graveolens)
Steviol glycosides (e.g., stevioside) (Stevia rebaudiana)
Sweet tastants (e.g., glucose, fructose, sucrose; indirectly)
Rutamarin (Ruta graveolens)
Triptolide (Tripterygium wilfordii)
Sanshool (ginger, Sichuan and melegueta peppers)
Bisandrographolide (Andrographis paniculata)
Camphor (camphor laurel, rosemary, camphorweed, African blue basil,
Capsaicin (chili pepper)
Carvacrol (oregano, thyme, pepperwort, wild bergamot, others)
Dihydrocapsaicin (chili pepper)
Eugenol (basil, clove)
Evodiamine (Euodia ruticarpa)
Homocapsaicin (chili pepper)
Homodihydrocapsaicin (chili pepper)
Low pH (acidic conditions)
Nonivamide (PAVA) (PAVA spray)
Nordihydrocapsaicin (chili pepper)
Paclitaxel (Pacific yew)
Phorbol esters (e.g., 4α-PDD)
Piperine (black pepper, long pepper)
Polygodial (Dorrigo pepper)
Rutamarin (Ruta graveolens)
Resiniferatoxin (RTX) (Euphorbia resinifera/pooissonii)
Shogaols (ginger, Sichuan and melegueta peppers)
Thymol (thyme, oregano)
Tinyatoxin (Euphorbia resinifera/pooissonii)
Cannabigerolic acid (cannabis)
See also: Receptor/signaling modulators • Ion channel modulators
Links to related articles
Analgesics (N02A, N02B)
Codeine# (+paracetamol, +aspirin)
Hydrocodone (+paracetamol, +ibuprofen, +aspirin)
Oxycodone (+paracetamol, +aspirin, +ibuprofen, +naloxone, +naltrexone)
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)# (+paracetamol/caffeine)
Wintergreen (methyl salicylate)
Local anesthetics (e.g., cocaine, lidocaine)
Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline#)
Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline#)
‡Withdrawn from market
§Never to phase III
Plants / animals
Atropa belladonna (belladonna)
Datura innoxia (thorn-apple)
Datura metel (devil's trumpet)
Hyoscyamus niger (henbane)
Mandragora officinarum (mandrake)
Opioid receptor agonists (opioids) (e.g., morphine, heroin,
hydrocodone, oxycodone, opium, kratom)
α2δ subunit-containing voltage-dependent calcium channels blockers
(gabapentinoids) (e.g., gabapentin, pregabalin, phenibut)
AMPA receptor antagonists (e.g., perampanel)
CB1 receptor agonists (cannabinoids) (e.g., THC, cannabis)
Dopamine receptor agonists (e.g., levodopa)
Dopamine releasing agents (e.g., amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA,
Dopamine reuptake inhibitors (e.g., cocaine, methylphenidate)
GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulators (e.g., barbiturates,
benzodiazepines, carbamates, ethanol (alcohol) (alcoholic drink),
inhalants, nonbenzodiazepines, quinazolinones)
GHB (sodium oxybate) and analogues
Glucocorticoids (corticosteroids) (e.g., dexamethasone, prednisone)
nACh receptor agonists (e.g., nicotine, tobacco, arecoline, areca nut)
Nitric oxide prodrugs (e.g., alkyl nitrites (poppers))
NMDA receptor antagonists (e.g., DXM, ketamine, methoxetamine, nitrous
oxide, phencyclidine, inhalants)
Orexin receptor antagonists (e.g., suvorexant)
See also: Recreational drug use
Acetylglycinamide chloral hydrate
GHB (sodium oxybate)
Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors
Guaifenesin-related muscle relaxants
Opioids (e.g., morphine)
Lists of countries by laws and law enforcement rankings
Legal candidacy for political office
Legal status of Mephedrone
Legal status of MPDV
Legal status of Methylone
Legality of euthanasia
Law enforcement killings
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Simulated child pornography
Drawn pornography depicting minors
Child sexual abuse
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Video gaming censorship
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Freedom of movement
In the air
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Antarctic Treaty System
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World Justice Project
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Medicinal herbs and fungi
Tea tree oil
Doctrine of signatures
List of plants used in herbalism