The wonder plant: marijuana

Marijuana or Cannabis, they both are the same thing. However, the question that baffles is, what is Cannabis? The word “cannabis” is of Greek origin, derived from a Scythian or Thracian term. Three plant species make up the cannabis genus. They are Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis, all originating in the Orient. In the contemporary scenario, Cannabis has emerged as nature’s remarkable gift to humanity. Discovery of this miracle plant, from a medicinal perspective, could be an answer to various kinds of illnesses, ailments, and diseases. A possible solution to umpteen number of unearthed syndromes. The cannabis herb has been witnessed by many observers and travelers growing in reputable cities of Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, and Israel and many other countries in different continents. This wild thicket herb is found in abundance on the green-belt, road-side pavements and unhabituated plains.

Morphology of Cannabis

Cannabis can be found and grown in all the four seasons, subject to the climatic conditions. On its full growth, the green plant yields flowers. Furthermore, its morphological structure is dioecious, which implies that the herb can either be a male or a female. The leaves of cannabis herbs are usually compounded palmately with serrate and smooth leaflets. When the plant sprouts, the initial pair of leaves usually have one leaflet. With the passage of time, the number of leaflets grows to the tune of about a dozen leaflets or less from one single leaf, conditional to the cultivation surrounding and climatic condition. When the plant reaches its optimal state, a flower can be seen at the top, and then the stemming of leaflets from a single leaf reduces to one. The leaves of cannabis have a unique and distinguished system of venation (veins at the back of the leaf, both small and primary vein. To cut a long story short, it becomes very difficult for a layperson to differentiate between the cannabis plants from other plants. It leads the person in a state of profound confusion. Although the venation pattern on the leaflet can vary marginally from other plants, it is not possible to identify the cannabis plant from other varieties. This confusion can only be eradicated with proper substantiation if the cannabis leaf is viewed under a magnifying glass or a microscope. One needs to examine the venation to leaf minutely. The person needs to authenticate the molecular topology of the cells. However, it would be prudent if the validation is done by a botanist expert with state of the art equipment.

Cannabis falls under the ambit of flowering plants and descends from the family classification of Cannabaceae. It would be an understatement to foretell that Cannabis too has an array of the category. To make life simple, until now only three species of Cannabis have been categorized, which are Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis. One can also stipulate that these three categories can be classified as subspecies of Cannabis. The genus of Sativa is broadly acknowledged as a local and home-grown crop patenting from the region of Central Asia and the northern quadrant of South Asia.

Industrial and Commercial use of Cannabis (Hemp)

To augment further, the miracle plant, also known as hemp, has industrial and commercial utility. Besides its medicinal application, it is used for manufacturing non-drug related items. Besides the cannabis leaf, the stem or the wooden stock of the plant is currently used in the manufacture of fiber because of its cost-beneficial advantages. The cannabis fiber is not so expensive when compared with other conventional synthetic and non-synthetic fibers. All the military personnel in China where the uniform, where the cloth is weaved from cannabis fiber. In many developing countries, ropes, threads, strings, casing material, industrial fiber, computer logic boards, lightweight furniture, substitute for plastic molding compounds (PMCs) and cost-effective items are composed of cannabis fiber. Various solvent and oil extracting firms use cannabis to produce hemp oil. To fortify further, procuring cannabis fiber is also environmental friendly. Disposing of off items, made from cannabis fiber, as wastage material is biodegradable, which implies that even if the industries dispose of the material, there would not be any significant impact on the pollution indices.

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