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Cannabis Sativa

Updated on April 12, 2011

Hemp (Cannabis sativa, L. 1753) is a plant with the annual cycle of the family Cannabaceae grown, especially in the past mainly for textile use, but which is present in varying percentages depending on the variety, a drug.ıt has herbal properties


There is a dispute as to whether the phylogenetic diversity of cultivated plants constitute a single species, Cannabis sativa, or whether they represent distinct species, such as those called Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis. For more information, see the genus Cannabis.



 A native of Central Asia, has been acclimatized in Europe and America.


The plant height is variable and up to 5 meters, with resinous lumps, angular, sometimes hollow, especially above the first pair of leaves, lower leaves opposite, the highest alternate, palmate, rarely single, lanceolate, sharp points up to 10 cm long, 1.5 cm in size, monoecious or dioecious flowers, fruits brown achenes shiny, tightly hold the seeds with a fleshy endosperm and embryo curved.


 Psychotropic substances such as hashish or marijuana can be obtained either from the Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa, hybrid varieties both in various proportions of these two species. The hashish, brown resin, is obtained from the inflorescence, while marijuana is obtained from dried female inflorescence.


In the past, the cultivation of hemp farming was common in Mediterranean areas and Central Europe. First, because this plant growing on land difficult to cultivate with other industrial plants (sandy soils and wetlands in the plains of the rivers), also because there was a strong demand for plants so versatile and inexpensive, because hemp was useful for producing substances " oil (for lighting), "fibrous" (textile fibers, paper, rope) and livestock feed production.

Over the centuries the triumph of the great achievements of sailing and maritime Europe, the demand for cloth and ropes secured the extraordinary wealth of the districts which supply the best quality hemp for naval armament. Excelled in Italy between Bologna and Ferrara hemp lands. In these areas are still visible in the campaign known as "waste paper", small artificial lakes used to keep immersed in water, the body slightly raised hemp in "bundles", under the weight of large rounded stones, which were usually kept at edges of the pulp. After a few days the outer fibers of the trunk were detached easily retrieved and sent to spinning. The remains of the same dried peeled logs were then used as fuel poor (in the dialect of these trunks Ferrara fragile and light, reduced to small pieces, were called stich).Economic vitality is evidenced by the greater canapicola Bolognese Bolognese agronomist of the seventeenth century, Vincenzo Tanara. These, with a long and accurate description, narrates how the cannabis cultivation technique. Thanks to the quality of its hemp Italy became the second largest producer and rose to number one supplier of the British navy. The decline of production canapiera began with the release of the first ships to coal, and was, for the provinces canapicole, a slow agony, which lasted over a century, forcing the restructuring of all agricultural rotations.

After the British colonization of India and the agricultural revolution in the southern states of the USA, there was a further decrease in the production of hemp, because the cotton textiles and jute prices were very competitive compared to other fibers. The subsequent use of oil made before declining prices of fuel for lighting. After the First World War, there was a further drop in production when the strings obtained from synthetic substances gradually replacing the strings of hemp and developed the technique to produce paper from wood.

During the second world war, production returned to the Mediterranean for a short period to increase quickly, because the commercial isolation caused by the conflict, he will have some advantage that the production of textile fibers and hemp oils sativi. There was also a need for raw materials containing cellulose from which to obtain explosives, passing through the nitrocellulose.

The real coup de grace for the cultivation of cannabis took place after the Marijuana Tax Act dated 1937 where it is banned in the U.S. and then reflected in much of the rest of the world. The famous publishing house / Hearst paper, the major supporter of the campaign through its daily anti cannabis, had just made huge investments in the paper tree. Simultaneously, DuPont patented Nylon. According to some experts these were not mere coincidences. In this regard, the American Jack Herer published the bestseller "The Emperor Wears No Clothes."


For pharmaceutical uses can be found under cannabis. It is used to treat glaucoma and in America is required under strict medical supervision. It is also used as an analgesic


The main use of cannabis sativa was addressed to the production of ropes, a great application, especially in the Navy.


The advent of synthetic fibers has greatly diminish the importance of the natural product.


Started the cycle recession, even for the prohibitions introduced many laws to prevent the use dell'alcaloide, the use of the textile and oil production has changed drastically.


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