Cannabis sativa can be identified at a glance. Comparing two species – the health-promoting hemp and cannabis known for its psychoactive properties – it is easy to see differences in the structure and appearance of plants.
– the history of
Cannabis sativaCannabis sativa staiva, is the Latin name for hemp. For thousands of years, hemp has been used in the kitchen – as an oil or in the form of flour, as a natural remedy that uses the beneficial effects of cannabidiol (CBD). The appearance of the plant that allows it to be classified is determined by the genetic difference between the different cannabis species.
Hemp has a powerful history of evolution behind it. At the dawn of time, our planet was overgrown with hemp forests, in which each single plant was even several dozen meters high! Already tens of thousands of years ago, hemp was divided into two growing regions. One took place in Europe, while the other was in Southeast Asia.
It can be concluded that the territorial division and the different climatic conditions related to the diversity of its place of occurrence have resulted in the classification of cannabis into several species (sativa – sowing, indica – Indian, etc.). The migration of people across continents, natural for the history of our planet, spread the seeds of both species around the world.
Selective breeding of cannabis led to the fact that virtually every cannabis at that time was a hybrid, i.e. a combination of both species. Nevertheless, botanists – plant experts definitely categorize all types of cannabis, and their varied appearance makes it possible to distinguish each of them.
What does hemp look like?
Hemp is an annual plant. For growers, this means that they have to plant and remove plants every year. Hemp has a male and a female form – in the professional nomenclature they are considered dioecious plants. The hemp seeds, leaves and fibers are obtained from the cultivated hemp. They can be used to make tea, hemp oil, CBD oil and seeds, and are even used to make hemp concrete! The plants are green, they reach a very large height, which can even exceed 3 meters! The plant has a thick single stem with green branches and very distinctive leaves. The hemp leaves are thin, oblong, five-fingered.
Unlike the Indian hemp, it has slender inflorescences gathered in the form of ears. This species of cannabis is one of the tallest in the cannabis family. The cultivation of hemp was once very popular, and the plants were most often used in the textile industry. Currently, thanks to the fashion for promoting a healthy lifestyle, these plants are a desirable pro-health agent that improves not only health and well-being, but also appearance (as a care ingredient).
Differences in the appearance of species
The most differences in the appearance of hemp can be noticed when comparing two species – true hemp and Indian hemp. The cannabis plant is denser and does not reach such an impressive height.
Their inflorescences also appear in the form of spikes, but at first glance you can see that they are more lush and have a greater volume. Another difference that will help distinguish the two species is the appearance of the leaves. Cannabis has fleshy, hard and wider leaves, while the leaves of the seed variety are light, soft, longer and very delicate. Nevertheless, the leaf appearance of both species is distinctive. The leaves are five-toed and oblong with a slightly notched surface. Hemp also gives off a specific, rather pungent smell. The cultivation of hemp does not degrade the soil as much as it is in the case of crops such as wheat and other grains.
In Poland, the cultivation of hemp seed is controlled. Its aim is to exclude the cultivation of other illegal species, except for hemp. Due to the differences in the appearance of plants visible at first glance, finding irregularities in crops is not difficult. The cultivation must also be carried out in accordance with the strict guidelines of the Act. So growing cannabis is not the easiest thing to do.
Hemp is used in the cosmetics and food industry and is an attractive, natural dietary supplement. CBD oil is also very popular, helping to reduce the unpleasant effects of diseases related to the nervous system, such as MS (multiple sclerosis). People who value care for their health and heart willingly reach for strengthening hemp teas, healthy cookies and even jams. Hemp fibers are used to produce durable ropes, leashes, collars, harnesses and teethers for animals – this is a natural ecological solution for pet owners who follow the low waste philosophy and appreciate ecological, natural products. Hemp also produces flour, cold-pressed oil and a great addition to salads, dishes, baked goods – hemp seeds. In the roasted version, they are an excellent snack – an alternative to nuts and sunflower seeds. Finally, it is worth adding that the cultivation of hemp is completely legal and very popular.