By: Mitchell Colbert
Since the 1970s, cannabis has been divided into three sub-species (often confused as different species), C. indica, C. sativa, C. ruderalis, with ruderalis largely being considered ‘wild cannabis,’ not fit for medicinal or recreational uses. A common lay-persons distinction is between marijuana, which is bred for high cannabinoid content, and hemp, which is bred for industrial uses like fiber.
Any of the three subspecies can be bred as a hemp or marijuana plant. John McPartland, a researcher affiliated with GW Pharmaceuticals, presented a study at the 2014 meeting of the International Cannabis Research Society, proposing a new nomenclature for cannabis. The original report on O’Shaughnessy’s contains more information than I can reproduce here, and has a wonderful chart; it is definitely worth your time to read.
It seems Richard Evans Schultes, the man who created the original taxonomy for cannabis in…
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