fascinating. I’ve heard of Silphium before, though at the time I was thinking of how Cyrene could fit into an hypothetical 4C computer game set in the ancient world. This is a great article. and I hope it’s not an anomaly among the other stories at BBC Future. More stuff to read! (hopefully).
In the 1500s Rabelais wrote about a miracle herb. Its stems could be used to make durable rope and even sails. Its flowering parts could be used to treat various diseases.
It’s assumed to have been cannabis.
Meanwhile the FDA says it has no medical use whatsoever while in the UK it has been used successfully to treat a case of intractable child epilepsy.
So we can guess that if silphium turned up and did indeed turn out to be an extremely effective bactericide, the pharmaceutical industry would start to lobby the FDA in about ten seconds.
while it’s never been on our money, hemp has certainly been -in- our money.
Hemp and cannabis aren’t the same thing though. Smoking hemp will give you a helluva headache, but won’t get you high.
Hemp got banned along with cannabis because the two plants are related and look so similar. Which had to do more with the cotton industry spreading propaganda IIRC.
I always thought of them like broccoli and brussels sprouts - technically the same plant - ish.
I am not a botanist. I agree they’re non-identical, but for the sake of a quick joke they’re interchangeable. Both are so useful!
Different plants in the genus have different levels of cannabinoids, and the temperature also affects levels - generally higher temperatures, higher cannabinoid yields. The EU allows some varieties to be grown for fibres. These varieties are also grown to produce bird food and sometimes the result is plants. Unless they are cultivated indoors with plenty of light and high temperatures, they aren’t psychoactive.
Hemp is English for Cannabis. Grimm’s law.
Yes, two versions of the same word can take on different meanings, such as shy vs. sky or eke vs. oken, but no, they don’t have to.
That’s not the common distinction in Canada. I’ve attended a few lectures on the subject (the government has been baby-stepping towards legalisation for a long time). Hemp is the stuff with THC too low to use for drugs; cannabis/marijuana is the stuff you get high from.
The legalisation fight is two-pronged because hemp grows well in areas where tobacco grows well. With tobacco sales slowly disappearing and pressures for ecologically sound farming increasing, hemp would make a great alternative crop – more useful than high-THC marijuana (though that has its own medical benefits), less polluting than cotton.
Plus, one gets to savour the irony of politicians telling tobacco farmers they can’t grow drugs because that would be illegal.
That’s a legal, not a scientific, distinction. AFAIK all the plants are genus cannabis.
Agreed they’re all Cannabis, with hemp as the corresponding English name. There are differences to speak of, but they’re murky. I think most things I’ve read treat them all as C. sativa, but like Acer said with different selected varieties, var. sativa bred for fibers and var. indica for the resin. And while I wouldn’t take it as a formal definition, I have heard hemp and marijuana used for the two.
But now it also looks like C. sativa and C. indica are actually different species, separated on different criteria. I guess some people associated them with leaf shapes, and that only makes things worse since that doesn’t reflect the real relationships either. The wikipedia summary at least makes it plain how confusing the taxonomy is.
In short, there is Cannabis with different breeds for different things, but any real distinctions are going to be very technical and you can probably overlook them most of the time.
AIUI with plants such distinctions are rather fluid.
Taxonomy is always controversial.