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Cannabacea Plant Family and The Species of Cannabis

Cannabacea Plant Family and The Species of Hemp

For many centuries, no real classification system existed for plants. While the appreciation of plants and curiosity about their nature has been in existence since as early as Aristotle, identifying their relation stumped would-be botanists for thousands of years.

Despite this, a few early botanists made a crude effort to create one. A man named Nicolas Culpepper wrote the first published herbal in the 1500's. He relied on the Doctrine of Signatures to figure out what each plant could do. That doctrine suggested that God signed each plant with a symbol of its use. The most amazing thing about that is that it actually worked some of the time.

Many plants do match the symbols mentioned—however this is probably conformation bias. It's likely that as people learned about a plant's medical properties and what they could do, and then looked for something on the plant that matched their ideals. When they found one, it was dutifully cataloged.

This classification system was very rough, and included mistakes that were at the best useless and at the worst deadly. While walnuts may look like brains once you take them out of the shell they won't treat your headache no matter how much you eat, and those mushrooms could cause you more problems than treatments if you grab the wrong ones.

In the 1700's Linnaeus came up with the system we have today. It has been tweaked a few times but it classifies all plants and animals.

He is called the Father of Botany.

It was his work that helped us group plants into kingdoms, orders and families.  He also discovered their relationship to other plants. Cannabis has its own family, but it may surprise you to learn what other plants share its group.

The main plant group the various species of cannabis come from is the rose order. It is extremely large. Other branches of that family include prunus (apples, pears and so forth), lavender and mint. The cannabacea family is also divided to a degree. One part is humulus (hops) and the other is cannabis.

There is an exception to that. While current beer making hops and current cannabis cultivars don’t cross pollinate on their own a varietal of hops has been found that did cross pollinate with a wild Chinese varietal of cannabis sativa. This was further bred by Dr. Bomi Joseph so that the hops plant could produce low THC cannabinoid oils.

While there are two schools of thought about these plants and how to classify them one thing is certain. Each of the plants; hemp, cannabis and hops; have different attributes for their usage.

Cannabis sativa:

People have been using marijuana for thousands of years. It has also spread around the world. We believe that it started its journey in Asia. Cannabis is very popular in countries such as India, and even has religious festivals surrounding this plant. Cannabis was no doubt very important to these people, and as people began migrating around the world it was one of the things they carefully brought with them. In fact, it was a required garden plant at the Jamestown settlement in the eastern U.S. because of the many benefits they attributed to the plant, from making ropes to treating illness.

During this early time, it was used to reduce pain, treat inflammation and deal with stomach issues. In a time when there was very little in the way of pain relief, cannabis was an extremely useful general purpose plant that could ease a wide variety of health problems. The plant can be smoked, eaten or the oils used topically.

Cannabis indica:

The Latin name of this plant gives us an idea of where it was found; in India. This varietal has more CBD and less THC than the sativa varietal. It also tends to help more with sleep, relaxation, nausea reduction and pain relief. It increases dopamine and it increases the appetite. This is particularly important for those who are going through chemotherapy or other illnesses that decrease the appetite.


Unlike marijuana hemp has relatively little THC. It does have the same healing properties without the psychoactive part. To a certain degree hemp is the better choice and not just for that reason.

Hemp ingests more CO2 than trees do. This helps clear the atmosphere of greenhouse gasses and gives us more oxygen as a side benefit. The plant is also useable in many industries. It makes a good plastic substitute which can help prevent problems like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

It’s an excellent building material. It’s cheaper to produce, more environmentally friendly and by far a better insulator than cinder blocks.  Companies in Canada are using them to build homes much like children use Legos to create things.

This plant is also extremely useful for the clothing industry. Making polyester requires a great deal of fossil fuel. Growing cotton requires a lot of land and a lot of water. Cotton also takes nine months to mature. Hemp cloth is soft, stronger than cotton and requires half the land and water as cotton. It doesn’t rely on fossil fuels and it is stronger than cotton.


As mentioned the hops from this plant aren’t used to make beer. They are used in a similar fashion to hemp. It has the same CBD oils without the increased THC. As it is cultivated for the oils little research has been done on whether or not it has the same textile applications but until cotton became ‘king’ hops were used to make cloth.


CBD: According to this is one of one hundred four chemical compounds found in the cannabinoid family. Its official name is cannabidiol.

Cultivar: Plants in a species can differ in size and in chemical compounds done by selective breeding. Each difference has a different name.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch: A lot of our plastic garbage goes down waterways and into the ocean. In the Pacific there are actually two garbage patches. These patches are connected via the oceanic convener and frequently switch bits of garbage back and forth. Attempts are being made to clean it up.

King cotton:  The cotton industry didn’t really become viable until the cotton gin was created.  This invention removed impurities and made it possible for cotton to be used on a broad basis.  Once it was the demand for materials made from it quickly made it the most popular textile plant.

THC:  Tetrahydrocannabinol is rather a mouthful.  Like CBD it is found in the plants of the cannabacea family.  It is a crystal and is responsible for the high associated with marijuana.

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