Scientific Classification:

Kingdom Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Urticales
Family Cannabaceae
Genus Cannabis
Species C. sativa
Binomial name Cannabis sativa

Other Common Names:

The other common names for this herb are hemp/cannabis , marijuana, pot, gunja, and weed.

Slang Names

Devil Drug, Weed of Madness, Cannabis, Assassin of Youth, Mexican Ditch Weed, Hashish, Hay, Chronic, Blunts, Pot, Brick Weed, Ganja, joint, Acapulco Gold, dime Bag, Rope, Grass, Weed, "L", Jive Stick, Nickel Bag, MaryJane, Loco, Boom, Bhang, Ganja, Indo, Hydro, Stick.


Cannabis sativa, also known as hemp, is a species of Cannabis. It is a dioecious, annual herb. It has been used by humans throughout recorded history for its fiber, for its psychological and physiological potential as a source of drug material, and for the nourishment and oil of its seeds. Different parts of the herb have different uses and different varieties are cultivated in different ways, and harvested at different times, depending on the purpose for which the herb is grown.

The herb was referred to as "hempe" in A.D. 1000 and listed in a dictionary under that English name. Supporters of the notorious Pancho Villa first used the name marijuana in 1895 in Sonora,Mexico. They called the mood-altering herb they smoked marijuana. The term hashish, is derived from the name for the Saracen soldiers, called hashashins, who ingested the highly potent cannabis resin before being sent out to assassinate enemies.


Annual herb, usually erect; stems variable, up to 5 m tall, with resinous pubescence, angular, sometimes hollow, especially above the first pairs of true leaves; basal leaves opposite, the upper leaves alternate, stipulate, long petiolate, palmate, with 3-11, rarely single, lanceolate, serrate, acuminate leaflets up to 10 cm long, 1.5 cm broad.

The small flowers are unisexual, the male having five almost separate, downy, pale yellowish segments, and the female a single, hairy, glandular, five-veined leaf enclosing the ovary in a sheath. The ovary is smooth, one-celled, with one hanging ovule and two long, hairy thread-like stigmas extending beyond the flower for more than its own length. The fruit is small, smooth, light brownish-grey in colour, and completely filled by the seed.

Range and Habitat

It is a native to Central Asia, and long cultivated in Asia, Europe, and China. Plants yielding the drug seem to have been discovered in India, cultivated for medicinal purposes as early as 900 BC. In medieval times it was brought to North Africa where today it is cultivated exclusively for hashish or kif.Native to Central Asia, and long cultivated in Asia, Europe, and China. Plants yielding the drug seem to have been discovered in India, cultivated for medicinal purposes as early as 900 BC. In medieval times it was brought to North Africa where today it is cultivated exclusively for hashish or kif.


Propagation mainly by seed. Seeds stored in cool, dry place remain viable for up to two years. Hemp seed sown as early in spring as possible. Before sowing, land is plowed several times to a depth of about 20-23 cm and repeatedly harrowed the land. In spring the land is harrowed again and rolled, making a firm tilth over the entire surface. In some areas a first plowing is done in the fall and red clover or lupin planted; in January or February a second plowing turns these under as a green-manure. Generally sown in March, seeds germinate at low temperature, but not below 1deg.C. Besides, they are more difficult to handle during harvesting, retting and scutching. Plants require little cultivation, except for weeding during early stages of growth. Hemp grows rapidly and soon crowds out weeds. After plants are 20 cm tall, weeding is abandoned. Hemp tends to exhaust the soil of nutrients. Some nutrients are returned to the soil after plants are harvested. On medium fertile soils a dressing of farm manure or a green-manure crop should be added and turned under. Fiber-producing plants should always have plenty of proper nutrients, especially nitrogen, which is the most important element needed. Irrigation is seldom practiced.

Parts Used


The flowers, leaves and the seeds are the main parts of the marigold which are both of medicinal and commercial importance.

Flowering Season

Flowering usually occurs when darkness exceeds eleven hours per day. The flowering cycle can last anywhere between six to twelve weeks, depending on the strain and environmental conditions.

Pests and Diseases

The most common insects that plague marijuana indoors and outdoors are thrips, mites, whiteflies, fungus gnats, budworms, and caterpillars. Of these, mites are most prevalent in indoor grow rooms; outdoor growers generally find that leaf-eating insects like caterpillars and budworms are their most threatening insect pests. The mite feeds on the sap of the plant, mostly underneath cannabis leaves. White specks appear on the upper side of the leaf. After that, you can find spider mites on the undersides of the cannabis leaves, and on the stem of the plant. Spider mites make small webs, which you can detect by spraying with water.

Medicinal Applications


• The most valued property of hemp is its percentage of essential fatty acids, which is higher than any other plant in the world.

• Among its various uses, it is an antibiotic for gram-positive bacteria, relieves nausea induced by chemotherapy and has been used to treat glaucoma.

• The principal use of Hemp in medicine is for easing pain and inducing sleep, and for a soothing influence in nervous disorders.

• It is useful in neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, delirium tremens, insanity, infantile convulsions, insomnia, etc.

• The tincture helps parturition, and is used in senile catarrh, gonorrhoea, menorrhagia, chronic cystitis and all painful urinary affections.

• The resin may be combined with ointments, oils or chloroform in inflammatory and neuralgic complaints.

• Seeds and leaves are used to treat old cancer and scirrhous tumors.

• Few plants have a greater array of folk medicine uses: alcohol withdrawal, anthrax, asthma, blood poisoning, bronchitis, burns, catarrh, childbirth, convulsions, coughs, cystitis, delirium, depression, diarrhea, dysentery, dysmenorrhea,epilepsy, fever, gonorrhea, gout, inflammation, insomnia, jaundice, lockjaw, malaria, mania,mennorhagia, migraine, morphine withdrawal, neuralgia, palsy, rheumatism, scalds, snakebite, swellings, tetany, toothache, uteral prolapse, and whooping cough. Seeds ground and mixed with porridge given to weaning children.

Common uses

• The tough fiber of the plant, cultivated as hemp, has numerous textile uses. Its seed, chiefly used as caged-bird feed, is a valuable source of protein, energy, and long-chain fatty acids, and also contain oil that can be used to make paints, varnishes and soaps.

• Most concentrated in the resin of female plant are psychoactive and physiologically active chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are consumed for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes. Historically, tinctures, teas, and ointments were also common preparations.

• Hemp seeds are comparable to sunflower seeds, and may be used for food and milk, tea, and for baking, like sesame seeds.

• Flat cakes called hashish by the Russians are a preparation made from Hemp in Central Asia, and also called nasha.

• In Tibet momea or mimea is said to be made with Hemp and human fat.

• Many electuaries and pastes are made with butter or other oily foundation, such as majun of Calcutta, mapouchari of Cairo, and the dawames of the Arabs.

• Two or three green twigs collected in spring and placed in beds will drive bedbugs from the room.


The herb Cannabis sativa is said to be a plant of Saturn.

Statements of the Religions and Scriptures

Devotees offered cannabis to Shiva during religious ceremonies, and the herb continues to have a religious association in India. Cannabis was considered a holy herb and was characterized as the "soother of grief," "the sky flyer," and "the poor man's heaven." Centuries later, around 700 B.C., the Assyrian people used the herb they called Qunnabu, for incense. Shortly after 500 B.C. the historian and geographer Herodotus recorded that the peoples known as Scythians used cannabis to produce fine linens. They called the herb kannabis and inhaled the "intoxicating vapor" that resulted when it was burned. By the year 100 B.C. the Chinese were using cannabis to make paper.

Folklores and Myths

It can produce an exhilarating intoxication, with hallucinations, and is widely used in Eastern countries as an intoxicant, hence its names 'leaf of delusion,' 'increaser of pleasure,' 'cementer of friendship,' etc. It is regarded as dangerous to sleep in a field of hemp owing to the aroma of the plants. The famous heretical sect of Mohammedans, who, by murderous attacks upon the Crusaders, struck their hearts with terror, derived their name Hashashin from the drug, and from that our word assassin in derived.