Tag Archives: Cannabis Ethnoecology

Ethnoecology of Cannabis

The cross-cultural study of how people perceive and manipulate their environments. 

Cannabis Classification 

Cannabis is classified in the plant family.

Likes to live in disturbed areas with some sunlight. 

Monecious plant that has male and female sex.

Females can produce hundreds of seeds when fertilized.

THC levels drop when fertilized, many growers use sinsemilla (without seeds) techniques that prevent fertilization.

Most molecular phylogeneticists consider Cannabis Sativa as the only species in the genus with many varieties & subspecies such as cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis. 

Any given variety has various Cannabinoids Composition in the trichomes.

Cannabis Administration

  • Inhaled 
  • Swallowed and absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Absorbed through mucosal membranes
  • Absorbed through skin

Ethnobotanical Use of Cannabis 

There are numerous Active Compounds in cannabis 

Variety of different uses ranging from glaucoma to topical applications 

Botanical Medicine

Compound Delivery Methods

Transdermal Absorption 

Fighting Viral and Bacterial Infections

Parkinson’s Disorder

Ocular Pathology

Toothpaste

Biodegradable Plastics

Cannabis Anatomy 

Stem 

Cannabis pith (inner layer) is surrounded by a woody core called the hurd.

The hurd is a source for tough hemp fiber.

Node 

Growth points along the stem.

Cola

A cola refers to tightly clustered buds. Smaller colas occur along the budding sites, the main cola (apical bud) forms at the very top of the plant.

Stigma and pistil

The pistil contains the reproductive parts of the flower. Stigmas serve to collect pollen from males. They play an important role in reproduction.

Bract and calyx

A bract encapsulates the carpel (female’s reproductive parts). It is covered in resin glands which produce high concentrations of cannabinoids in cannabis. Enclosed by these bracts and imperceptible to the eye, the calyx refers to a translucent layer over the ovule at a flower’s base.

Trichome

Glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes. Trichomes were originally developed to protect the plant against predators and the elements. These clear aromatic oils contain Terpenes and Cannabinoids like THC and CBD. 

Cannabis Origins 

Native Geography

Domesticated Eurasia 10000 years ago for various uses 

One of the oldest domesticated plant 

Hemp dyed with indigo dye was used for trading while others found other uses for the Cannabis plant.

Non-human dispersal methods

  • Terrestrial animals
  • Birds
  • Streams
  • Insects 

Selective Breeding 

Cannabis traits

Well adapted to live in Anthrome (biomes)

Used for Food, fiber, medicine, psychotropic effects

Human impact

Ecological traits- growing close to humans knowns as ethnoecology

Horticultural- encouraging desirable traits by direct hybridization 

There is a growing trend to grow CBD rich flowers in areas THC is still restricted.

Research is unveiling CBD’s potential and will over time have Genetic Outcomes.

We can not predict the role cannabis will serve in the future and how our intervention will impact future strains’ genetics, but there is still much research to be done to maximize cannabis’s potential.