Chapter

Highlights in the History of Cannabis

Mitch Earleywine

in Understanding Marijuana

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195138931
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893270 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195138931.003.0001
Highlights in the History of Cannabis

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Humans use nearly every part of the infamous green weed Cannabis sativa. The plant grows quickly in many environments and can reach a height of 20 feet. The leaves consist of five or more narrow leaflets, each radiating from a slender stem attached to a thick, hollow stalk. The jagged edge of each leaflet resembles the blade of a serrated knife. The species is dioecious, meaning that both female and male varieties of the plant exist. The stalks help produce fiber; the seeds provide food and oil. The flowers, leaves, and resin appear in medical and intoxicating preparations. Each day, smiling teens buy hemp shirts. Retailers sell snacks made from the seed. Glaucoma patients puff cannabis cigarettes in hope of saving their sight, and many people worldwide inhale marijuana smoke in an effort to alter consciousness. These industrial, medical, and recreational uses for the plant go back thousands of years, contributing to its spread from Taiwan throughout the world. This chapter presents the histories of industrial hemp, medical marijuana, and cannabis.

Keywords: marijuana; industrial hemp; Cannabis sativa

Chapter.  10037 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

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