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Cannabis. Modified from Medical Botany (Bio 325) M. Marshall 2009 Shippensburg University. A Gallery of Cannabis drawings.
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Cannabis Modified from Medical Botany (Bio 325) M. Marshall 2009 Shippensburg University
Cannabis spp. are annual dioecious herbs with palmately compound leaves. They originated in central asia and have been spread throughout the world. Varieties are grown for their production of a unique category of psychoactive materials, the cannabinoids, or as a seed or fiber crop (hemp) to produce cloth and rope. Cannabis systematics Three Cannabis species are presently recognized by some workers, sativa,indica, and ruderalis, with some sources listing a fourth, spontaneae. Others still adhere to the older interpretation that they are all sub-species of C. sativaL., or some mixture of the two systems. Originally Cannabis was placed into the Urticales (nettle order) in the family Urticaceaeor in the Moraceae with mulberries and figs. Presently many place it in a family with hops (Humulusspp), the Cannabaceae. Recent DNA sequence work suggests that the Cannabaceae arrose from within the Celtidaceaeand should be merged into that family.
Related plants: Mulberries Cannabis spp. were once grouped in theMoraceae with red and white mulberries (Morus rubraand alba) and the figs, of which there are many spp. world wide in the tropics. The common red and white mulberry shown here were imported from China for their fruit and to provide a basis for an American silk worm industry that was never established. They are both relatively small weedy trees when young, producing a white latex sap and fruit that is mainly consumed by birds which help spread the seeds. The white mulberry is an especially invasive species locally.
Related plants: Nettles (Urticaceae) Boehmaria nivea (below) Nettles, such as Urtica spp have stinging hairs that break off in skin and inject irritating substances causing painful welts, not unlike a mild bee sting. They favor rich soils in full sun in damp environments such as creek sides. The ancient Romans used a European species to flagellate themselves, using the stinging effect to stimulate blood flow. Boehmarias are tropical relatives without stinging hairs grown for their bast fibers (Ramie). Urtica dioica, stinging nettle
Related plants:Hops Hops, Humulus lupulus, which are grown commercially for their content of aromatic compounds which are useful in lending flavor to beer, and aiding the brewing process in other ways, are presently classified with Cannabis into the Cannabaceae.
Related plants: Celtis C. occidentalis; tree, flowers & seeds (lower right). Recent DNA work has linked Celtis spp. with Cannabis. Celtis occidentalis (the common hackberry) and C. sinensis(Chinese hackberry) are shown here. C. Sinensisleaves and fruit
Cannabis “species”(varieties?) Cannabis sativa , is a tall plant, generally between 8 and 12 feet. The leaves have long thin leaflets and are light green. The more equatorial varieties have more yellow pigments to protect the plant from intense light. Sativa buds are long and thin and turn red as they mature in a warm environment. In cooler environments the buds may be slightly purple. Sativa plants smell sweet and fruity and the smoke is generally quite mild. It is a source of fiber for rope and other products and it contains THC which gives smokers the psychic effects they seek. The leaves of this plant are smoked but the most highly prized part of the plant is the top. Cannabis indica, is plentiful in the Mideast, India, and Central Asia especially Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Pakistan. It is a short plant, generally between 3 and 6 feet, and its leaves have short broad fingers. The leaves are generally dark green sometimes tinged with purple. As they near maturity, the leaves may become significantly more purple. It is a strong smelling plant with a "stinky" or "skunky" smell. The smoke of indicas is generally thick and more prone to cause coughing when inhaled. Indicas are the traditional source of hashish. Cannabis ruderalis is a debated third variety of cannabis found in Russia, Poland, and other eastern European countries. Schultes classified cannabis as having three species: sativa, indica, and ruderalis based on the formation of the seed pods. There is some debate as to whether there is justification for this third category. Some features of ruderalis are large seeds, short weedy plants (4-6 feet tall) and a lower level of THC than sativas or indicas. ( From: http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_info6.shtml )
“To say that cannabis is versatile is to underestimate its resourcefulness and adaptability.” • Germinates in 6 days; matures from seed in 3-5 months. • Grows from 2-5 cm / d (up to 15 cm / d). • Can grow in poor sandy soils (may have an advantage in such conditions), but does better in loamy soil. • Doesn’t like low temps. • Requires little water except for germination and early growth. • Grows at altitudes up to 8,000 ft. • Grows best in full sun; sativaplants to 2-3 m, indicato about 1 m. • Main stalk can reach 5 cm dia. with outer ring of long strong fibers. • Male plants are taller and flower first (1 month before female). Female flowers grow in clusters and are little more than a pistle with 2 stigmas with one ovule that becomes a flattened oval achene containing one seed. • Perianth of female flowers and upper leaves are covered in glandular hairs that produce a resin the production of which increases with maturity, then ceases abruptly. • Resin production is higher in higher temperatures, it contains THC and other cannabinoids - ecological function unknown. Cannabis, the Wonder Plant From: Booth, M. 2003. Cannabis, A History. St. Martin’s Press, N.Y., 354pp.
Cannabis Distribution Cannabis varieties are adaptable to any warm -temperate climate, and have been distributed by man world-wide.
A gravel pit by the Kinnickinnick River in River Falls WI Wisconsin “ditch weed” Ditch weed, or naturalized (wild) Cannabis, tends to be low in THC content. It is the remnant of the plants once grown for fiber throughout the midwest.
Industrial Hemp Every industrialized country in the world (except the U.S.) produces Hemp for fiber, seed, and other uses. Russia is a leading producer, breeding for better fiber production, better yield / hectare and low THC content. Other large producers include China, North Korea, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland France and Italy. Today France is Europe’s leader in hemp production. Canadian hemp varieties are grown mainly for seed. Hemp fibers hold up well in salt water and were once the main source for marine ropes and cloth. The term “canvas” is derived from Cannabis, as sails were once made from hemp exclusively.
Hemp Fiber Production Hemp is planted densely enough to discourage branching. The tall slender stalks are harvested mechanically and allowed to lay for a time in the field and partially decompose. This ”retting” process provides a moist environment that encourages anaerobic bacteria to digest away the pectic substances holding the outer bast fibers to the stalk proper, and partially decomposes the inner stalk as well. The stalks are then dried, bundled and taken to a facility where they are broken mechanically which facilitates separation of the flexible fibers from the inner stalk fragments or shives that can be used for animal bedding, to manufacture fiber board, or in other products. The long flexible bast fibers are then washed and made into rope, cloth or other products.
The Demon Weed! During the late 1800s - early 1900s several western states passed laws outlawing or regulating the production and use of Cannabis, which by then had come to be known by the Spanish term “marijuana.” Its use as a means to get “high” had become associated with Mexican immigrants in the west and with African-American jazz musicians in the east. Both groups were considered to be outside of polite society, and the increasing indiscriminant use of “Mary Jane” and its resin hashish to get high was seen as a moral threat. The linkage of cannabis with moral decay was emphasized in publications, films and pamphlets distributed by the government and other groups through the 1950,s
The federal government passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 which levied a tax on all who produced, processed or used cannabis. While the revenue produced by the act was minimal, the penalties it imposed for non-compliance were draconian. It gave the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Narcotics absolute administrative, enforcement, and police power. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Reefer Madness! (1938) “Forward (from the film):” “The motion picture you are about to witness may startle you. It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly increasing numbers. Marihuana is that drug - a violent narcotic - an unspeakable scourge - The Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations - space expands - time slows down, almost stands still . . . . fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances - followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions . . . leading finally to acts of shocking violence . . . ending often in incurable insanity. In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based on actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose . . . . Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter . . . . or yours . . . . or YOURS!”
The Shokaku readies planes Remember Pearl Harbor! View of the start of the attack from a Japanese plane December 7th 1941was to my parents’ generation what 9/11 is to yours. A quiet Sunday morning in the States, while all hell was breaking loose in the Pacific - with 2,400 American dead - it produced a sense of shock, betrayal, and outrage that united the country against the axis powers and all but ensured Japan’s ultimate defeat.
American Hemp Production becomes a Necessity: Hemp for Victory! (Weed to the rescue!?) When the Japanese invaded the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia during WWII America was cut off from supplies of Manila Hemp (from Musa spp) and jute (Corchorus spp.) from India. Local hemp production became essential to the war effort and Midwestern farmers were encouraged to plant large acreages in hemp. The promotional movie “Hemp for Victory” makes the point that Old Ironsides (presently restored in Boston harbor) required over 60 tons of hemp for rigging, and states that in 1942 36,000 acres of hemp were planted in the US with a goal of 50,000 acres for 1943. The film goes on to instruct potential hemp growers on the necessity for obtaining a registration and tax stamp (see previous slide) and provides instructions as to how hemp might best be grown and harvested. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxd64t6H3_4
Manila Hemp Abaca fiber is obtained from the overlapping leaf sheaths that form a pseudostalk; the inner sheath produces the finest fiber. Abaca requires a warm humid climate (20-25oC) with high relative humidity (78-85%), well-drained rich organic soil, and locations sheltered from high winds. The fiber is valued for its great strength, length, buoyancy, and resistance to salt water. In 2007 the Philippines produced 60,000 tons, with 10,000 tons contributed by Ecuador. The Japanese invasion of the Philippines, begun on December 7, 1941, culminated in complete allied surrender in May of that year. The void created by the loss of this resource was filled by domestically grown Cannabis hemp.
Manila Hemp, Musa textilis Abaca, or manila hemp, is obtained from a tropical banana-like plant Musa textilis native to the Philippines and also grown in nearby locals in Southeast Asia. The edible banana (M. acuminata and hybrids) is thought to have originated in New guinea, or Malaysia, or Indonesia where many wild varieties still exist. The genus Musais placed in the family Musaceae of the monocot order Zingiberales.M. textilisis a seeded species; shown above are a female flower, corms, fruit, leaf blade, and male flower or abaca heart.
Tossa Jute, Corchorus olitorius Another of the fibers sources that domestic hemp was meant to replace during WWII was Jute. Corchorusspp.are placed in theMalvales(along with another fiber source,Kenaf). C. olitoriusis the source of tossa, or brown jute, used to make rope, twine and burlap. It grows to 4 m or so and requires a warm climate, 70-80% relative humidity and substantial moisture (upwards of 5-8 cm weekly). The main growing areas have been the monsoon climate countries of India and Bangladesh. Since the 70s the market for jute has suffered from competition from artificial fibers (polypropylene).
Cannabis Use for Intoxication An extensive history of Cannabis use, as an intoxicant and as a medicine, is given on-line in several references including that of Erowid, see (http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_timeline.php)and associated pages. Cannabis use predates the first century A.D. by many thousands of years. A combination of written and archaeological evidence indicates that It is native to central Asia and was known to ancient civilizations in India and China by 6000 B.C. It was listed by Dioscorides (70A.D.) and those who came after. The oldest known physical evidence of medical use was Cannabis residue found associated with the skeleton of a young girl who died in childbirth in Jerusalem in the 4th century A.D.
Cannabinoids Several cannabinoids as well as other secondary compounds are produced, more abundantly by the female plant. Of these, only tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is psychoactive.
THC content is highest in the glandular hairs of the flowering heads of female plants
Potency through time NIDA = Nat’l Inst. On Drug Abuse. THC numbers are %
Potency Comparisons Over Time II(this is not your parent’s weed) Data from the National Drug Intelligence Center of the D.oJ.shows THC content (%) of Cannabis doubling from 1985 through 2007. From: http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs25/25921/marijuan.htm
Why is THC psychoactive? Because it binds to specific receptors on human cells that are part of the G-protein-coupled receptor family and are known to exist in a wide variety of verebrates (esp. CB1); similar forms exist in inverebrates as well. Cannabinoid receptors ▪CB1receptors are found primarily in the brain, specifically in the basal ganglia and in the limbic system, including the hippocampus. They are also found in the cerebellum and in both male and female reproductive systems. CB1 receptors are essentially absent in the medulla oblongata, the part of the brain stem that is responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular functions. Thus, there is not a risk of respiratory or cardiovascular failure as there is with many other drugs. CB1 receptors appear to be responsible for the euphoric and anticonvulsive effects of cannabis. ▪CB2 receptors are almost exclusively found in the immune system, with the greatest density in the spleen. While generally found only in the peripheral nervous system, a report does indicate that CB2 is expressed by a subpopulation of microglia in the human cerebellum. CB2 receptors appear to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and possibly other therapeutic effects of cannabis. (Taken almost verbatum from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoids )
Endocannabinoids: Anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine) and 2-Aracidonoylglycerol 2-Arachidonoylglycerol Anandemide Ananamide (AEA) and the more common 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are endogenous or endo- cannabinoids. The complexities of their roles in normal physiology are still being worked out. The ability of AEA to bind the CB receptors was discovered first, but it was eventually seen that the concentration of 2-AG in the brain exceeds AEA’s by many hundreds of times. The final story is likely to be complex, as CB1 and CB2 receptors are found on a variety of cell types and are involved in appetite regulation and immune system activity as well as activities in the CNS. In general, both endocannabinoids are synthesized by the cleavage of membrane phospholipids in the post-synaptic neuron when the appropriate signal turns on the appropriate phospholipase (D or C respectively) or lipase activities. Once created, these neutral molecules diffuse across the synapse in a retrograde (backward) fashion and their uptake at the pre-synaptic neuron acts to inhibit the release of its neurotransmitter. Degradation of these materials is accomplished by fatty acidamide hydrolase (FAAH) which cleaves anandamide, and monoglyceride lipase(MGLL), which cleaves 2-AG to arachidonic acid & ethanolamine and arachidonic acid & glycerol, respectively.
THC binds to the presynaptic anandemide receptor The active ingredient of cannabis is ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) and it is thought to exert its effect by binding to cannabinoid CB1 receptors on pre-synaptic nerve terminals in the brain. ∆9-THC binding to CB1 receptors activates G-proteins that activate/inhibit a number of signal transduction pathways. The G-proteins directly inhibit N and P/Q-type voltage dependant calcium channels and sodium channels and indirectly inhibit A-type calcium channels via inhibition of adenylate cyclase. ∆9-THC binding and G-protein activation also activates inwardly rectifying potassium channels and the MAP kinase signalling pathway. The cumulative effect of these pathways in the CNS is (the retardation of GABA release and)the euphoric feelings associated with cannabis use.
Medical Marijuana National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws