The most controversial topic in the cannabis industry is the green elephant in the room: Cannabis and Hemp are the same plant. Change my mind…
Update: November 3, 2019 – My mind was changed, quickly after posting this article on the book of faces. Some science type folks were kind enough to correct my usage of the word cannabis as a plant type, and hemp as a phenotype of cannabis which changes the technical usage of my improper wording. Below is a comment about how there are genetic tests that exist to determine the difference between Hemp type phenotypes, and “Sticky Icky” or “Drug Type” Phenotypes. Cannabis is the plant type for both.
JT Bedard “Not yet repeated, nor fully peer-reviewed, but an extensive list of contributors. The link for the study is near the bottom of this story. “
MSI PIs George Weiblen and M. David Marks, both professors in the Department of Plant Biology, have published research that identifies a gene that distinguishes hemp from marijuana. This research could have implications for future industrial uses of hemp. Currently, legal restrictions affect both the growing of hemp and marijuana. Identifying how the two Cannabis varieties differ could result in fewer restrictions for hemp, which has valuable fibers and nutritious seeds.
Professor Weiblen is also curator of plants at the Bell Museum of Natural History. He uses MSI resources for genetic linkage mapping and quantitative trait locus mapping for cannabinoid content as well as phylogenetic analysis of cannabinoid synthase sequences and gene expression patterns. Professor Marks uses MSI for plant genome assembly and annotation.
The paper can be found on the New Phytologist website: G.D. Weiblen, J.P. Wenger, K.J. Craft, M.A. ElSohly, Z. Mehmedic, E.L. Treiber, and M.D. Marks. 2015. Gene duplication and divergence affecting drug content in Cannabis sativa. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.13562
The simple question(s) to resolve this matter are thus:
Can a cannabis plant also be a hemp plant?
Q: Can a Hemp plant also be a Cannabis plant?
Answer: Hemp is one of the many phenotypes of cannabis. It has less THCAA, and there for less THC production than “Sticky Icky” type cannabis.
A: Yes to both questions.
How can that be a fact and yet we still make laws based on myths and people are put in cages daily over this confusion?
Old Answer: Because no-one making the laws around this plant, asked a botanist a damn thing.
The present laws in place concerning cannabis are ignorant, evil and a violation of basic human rights, especially hemp classification language.
Law Makers either were ordered to create racist laws to target protestors and minorities, or they asked corporations aiming to capitalize on making a profit on illnesses and bad agriculture practices on how to regulate cannabis.
These practices commonly use synthetics and Genetically Modified Engineering in an unregulated industry, or both toxic approaches.
This should be the only focus of law makers and regulatory statutes.
Make America Organic Again!
There is but one difference in the two molecules at the center of the Hemp type Cannabis VS. “Sticky Icky” or “Drug Type” Cannabis controversy, and that is a molecular bond.
Otherwise they share the same atomic weight and carbon counts.
How these two molecules transition into one another is still being researched in detail, but the simple answer is the adding or subtracting of an Carbon to Hydrogen bond brought about by Oxygen inclusion, naturally by photosynthesis.
Selective breeding in cannabis is the most common use of breeding technique in the world, as it simply requires a plant grower to determine what properties of the plant that they would like to continue to see in their crops, choose that plant’s seed, and not the other seeds from plants around the crop, from there the seeds should provide a workable child plant.
This is not an exact science however, as the pollen would need to be extracted from a male and isolated for proper delivery to a clean ovary on the recipient plant. Bees are usually the delivery driver in this process, but commercial cannabis cultivation does not want bees in their crops due to such cross contamination issues.
This cross pollination issue is at the heart of all farmer’s and grower’s concerns for the different Cannabis varietals to stay separated.
Not all plants have a male and female varieties, known as dioecious organisms. Plants with both male and female parts are called hermaphrodites, and cannabis plants can be both dioceious and hermaphroditic. The environment that a plant grows in matters the most in understanding how this process takes place, but the reason that gender modification happens is pure survival. Cannabacae species are beasts when it comes to surviving the wilds of the earth.
The following information comes from the 2004 study by Department of Biology, Indiana University, shown below:
“Cannabinoids are important chemotaxonomic markers unique to Cannabis. Previous studies show that a plant’s dry-weight ratio of
D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD) can be assigned to one of three chemotypes and that alleles BD [sic] and BT [sic] encode
alloenzymes that catalyze the conversion of cannabigerol to CBD and THC, respectively.
“Two biotypes (infraspecific taxa of unassigned rank) of C. sativa and four biotypes of C. indica were recognized. Mean THC levels and the frequency of BT [sic] were significantly higher in C. indica than C. sativa. The proportion of high THC/CBD chemotype plants in most accessions
assigned to C. sativa was < 25% and in most accessions assigned to C. indica was >25%. Plants with relatively high levels of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and/or cannabidivarin (CBDV) were common only in C. indica. This study supports a two-species concept of Cannabis.”
Most botanical and forensic studies of Cannabis lack voucher specimens for taxonomic identification. A notable exception is the systematic/forensic investigation by Small and coworkers that is referred to extensively herein (Small and Beckstead, 1973a, b; Small et al., 1975; Small and Cronquist, 1976; Small, 1979a, b).
The cannabinoid content of different strains of Cannabis is associated with their geographic origins. Extracts of Cannabis indica (‘‘Indian hemp’’) were commonly used in Western medicine, while the common hemp of Europe was generally regarded as unsuitable for medicinal use (Winek, 1977). Small and Beckstead (1973a, b) observed that most strains in their collection that produced high levels of THC originated from latitudes south of 30° N.
They detected elevated levels of a cannabinoid presumed to be cannabigerol monomethylether (CBGM) in strains from northeast Asia. High levels of THCV were reported in Cannabis strains from southern Africa, India, Nepal, and eastern Asia (Merkus, 1971; Fetterman and Turner, 1972; Turner et al., 1973; Boucher et al., 1974; Baker et al., 1980).
The amounts of CBD and THC in an individual Cannabis plant can be characterized both qualitatively and quantitatively (Hemphill et al., 1980; Hillig, 2002; Mandolino et al., 2003).
Qualitative characterization involves determining a plant’s THC/CBD ratio (the inverse ratio is sometimes used) and assigning it to a discrete chemical phenotype (chemotype). Fetterman et al. (1971) recognized two chemotypes: a THC/CBD ratio >1.0 characteristic of ‘‘drug-type’’ plants, and a THC/CBD ratio < 1.0 characteristic of ‘‘fiber-type’’ plants. Small and Beckstead (1973a, b) also recognized an intermediate chemotype. According to their system of classification (that is used herein),
chemotype I plants have a high THC/CBD ratio (>>1.0),
chemotype II plants have an intermediate ratio (close to 1.0),
and chemotype III plants have a low THC/CBD ratio (<<1.0).
The THC/CBD chemotype of a plant is determined at a young age and is stable beyond the seedling stage throughout the life of the plant (Barni-Comparini et al., 1984; Vogelmann et al., 1988).
In addition to the qualitative determination of THC/CBD chemotype, a plant can be characterized by the quantitative levels of cannabinoids within its tissues. These levels are likely determined by the interaction of several genes with a plant’s environment. Numerous biotic and abiotic factors affect cannabinoid production including
the sex and maturity of the plant (Doorenbos et al.,1971; Fetterman et al., 1971; Small et al., 1975),
daylight length (Valle et al., 1978),
ambient temperature (Bazzaz et al., 1975),
nutrient availability (Coffman and Gentner, 1977; Bo´csa et al., 1997),
and ultraviolet light intensity (Lydon et al., 1987; Pate, 1994).
So with all of these variables available to possibly change the carboxylation taking place along with the photosynthesis in cannabis, which regulates the Cannabigerol production that will later synthase into CBD and then THC, it seems that there should be some more education provided to Representatives in Congress about the true identity of this genus Cannabecae.
The following information has yet to be confirmed as accurate with peer reviewed studies…… and is a personal opinion of the author trying to verify the information that he believes to be true from what he has personally seen in Houston Texas with a special hops rhyzome.
Because a few things have changed from the time of this study, as Cannabinoids have been found in Cannabis’ cousin Humulus lupus or Hops, and it produces CBG all the way out to THC. The World is Waking Up to Cannabis Research & Development
This sets an enormous precedent in legal frame work and jargon used to construct our current laws around these plants. The statement that THC only comes from cannabis is a false one, as hops, and yeasts can also create THC.
The cannabis industry needs to educate the legal community and help them recognize this science and abolish cannabis standards and regulations as we know them.
Caging humans for activating their endocannabinoid system is evil, and so is caging anyone for growing a plant that might or might not produce a cannabinoid.
Limiting the natural process of the cannabis species is just as evil. Drawing an imaginary line on a chart of CBD to THC ratios does not define the benefits of the plant, nor the plant itself, only the current potential value, which is incorrect.
New standards should be developed based on more accurate definitions of the cannabacae family and the potential properties there of. – Lee West, author of this article above and admin of this page.