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Cannabis sativa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Urticales
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Cannabis
Species: C. sativa
Binomial name
Cannabis sativa
Linnaeus
Subspecies

C. sativa L. subsp. sativa
C. sativa L. subsp. indica

Cannabis sativa is an annual plant in the Cannabaceae family. It is a herb that has been used throughout recorded history by humans as a source of fiber, for its seed oil, as food (see hemp), as a drug (see cannabis (drug)), as medicine (see medical cannabis), and for spiritual purposes (see spiritual use of cannabis). Each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use.

Contents

Common uses

A sack made from hemp fiber

Its seed, chiefly used as caged-bird feed, is a valuable source of protein. The flowers (and to a lesser extent the leaves, stems, and seeds) contain psychoactive and physiologically active chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are consumed for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes. When so used, preparations of flowers (marijuana) and leaves and preparations derived from resinous extract (hashish) are consumed by smoking, vaporizing and oral ingestion. Historically, tinctures, teas, and ointments have also been common preparations.

Plant physiology

The bud of a Cannabis sativa plant
Cannabis sativa, scientific drawing from c1900

Cannabis reproduces sexually. The flowers of the female plant are arranged in racemes and can produce hundreds of seeds. Male plants shed their pollen and die several weeks prior to seed ripening on the female plants. Although genetic factors dispose a plant to become male or female, environmental factors including the diurnal light cycle can alter sexual expression. Naturally occurring monoecious plants, with both male and female parts, are either sterile or fertile but artificially induced "hermaphrodites" (a commonly used misnomer) can have fully functional reproductive organs. "Feminized" seed sold by many commercial seed suppliers are derived from artificially "hermaphrodytic" females that lack the male gene, or by treating the seeds with hormones or silver thiosulfate.

A Cannabis plant in the vegetative growth phase of its life requires more than 12–13 hours of light per day to stay vegetative. Flowering usually occurs when darkness equals at least 12 hours per day. The flowering cycle can last anywhere between five to ten weeks, depending on the strain and environmental conditions.

In soil, the optimum pH for the plant is 6.3 to 6.8. In hydroponic growing, the nutrient solution is best at 5.2 to 5.8, making Cannabis well-suited to hydroponics because this pH range is hostile to most bacteria and fungi.

  • Cultivars primarily cultivated for their fiber, characterized by long stems and little branching.
  • Cultivars grown for seed from which hemp oil is extracted.
  • Cultivars grown for medicinal or recreational purposes. A nominal if not legal distinction is often made between industrial hemp, with concentrations of psychoactive compounds far too low to be useful for that purpose, and marijuana.

Pharmacology

Although the main psychoactive chemical compound in Cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant is known to contain about sixty cannabinoids; however, most of these "minor" cannabinoids are only produced in trace amounts. Besides THC, another cannabinoid produced in high concentrations by some plants is cannabidiol (CBD), which is not psychoactive but has recently been shown to block the effect of THC in the nervous system.[1] Differences in the chemical composition of Cannabis varieties may produce different effects in humans. Synthetic THC, called dronabinol, does not contain CBD, CBN, or other cannabinoids, which is one reason why its pharmacological effects may differ significantly from those of natural Cannabis preparations.

Chemical constituents

Cannabis chemical constituents including about 100 compounds responsible for its characteristic aroma (see Cannabis flower essential oil). These are mainly volatile terpenes and sesquiterpenes.

See also

References

  1. ^ West, D. P, Ph.D. 1998. Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities. North American Industrial Hemp Council. Retrieved on 23 April 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Novak J, Zitterl-Eglseer K, Deans SG, Franz CM (2001). "Essential oils of different cultivars of Cannabis sativa L. and their antimicrobial activity". Flavour and Fragrance Journal 16 (4): 259–262. doi:10.1002/ffj.993.  
  3. ^ Essential Oils

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Translingual

Proper noun

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Wikispecies has information on:

Wikispecies Cannabis sativa

  1. (taxonomy) hemp, marijuana

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Male hemp flowers.jpg

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Rosales
Familia: Cannabaceae
Genus: Cannabis
Species: Cannabis sativa
Subspecies: Cannabis sativa indica - Cannabis sativa sativa

Name

Cannabis sativa L.

Reference

http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china//PDF/PDF05/Cannabis.pdf

Vernacular names

Česky: Konopí seté
Dansk: Almindelig Hamp
Deutsch: Hanf
English: Hemp
Esperanto: Kanabo
Français: Chanvre
Nederlands: Hennep
日本語: アサ
‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Hamp
Português: Cânhamo
Română: Canepa
Slovenčina: Konopa siata
Suomi: Hamppu
Svenska: Hampa
Türkçe: Kenevir







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