A surprising look at the plants around us and how they've influenced our world.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Marijuana's tough cousin (or, A Very Strong Weed)
Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa (hemp)
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa) has been cultivated for thousands of years. Its stalks yield high quality fibers which are used in ropes, clothing, paper, and sails. The word "canvas" is derived from the Latin name cannabis. Of course many of us are more familiar with hemp's very close cousin, Cannabis sativa L. subsp. indica, better known as marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are essentially the same plant, with the former having been bred for strong fibers, while the latter was bred for high THC content. Marijuana yields low quality fibers, while you'd have to smoke kilograms of hemp to get a high.