Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany

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Univ of California Press, Sep 1, 2013 - Science - 452 pages
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Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary exploration of the natural origins and early evolution of this famous plant, highlighting its historic role in the development of human societies. Cannabis has long been prized for the strong and durable fiber in its stalks, its edible and oil-rich seeds, and the psychoactive and medicinal compounds produced by its female flowers. The culturally valuable and often irreplaceable goods derived from cannabis deeply influenced the commercial, medical, ritual, and religious practices of cultures throughout the ages, and human desire for these commodities directed the evolution of the plant toward its contemporary varieties. As interest in cannabis grows and public debate over its many uses rises, this book will help us understand why humanity continues to rely on this plant and adapts it to suit our needs.

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This may be the most important book ever published on the subject. Absolutely insightful writing and clearly focussed tables allow the reader to share the authors' zeal for the topics explored. This should be on the bookshelf of everyone interested in cannabis as well as those who appreciate the role of humans on the cultural evolution of medicinal plants. 


1 Introduction to the Multipurpose Plant Cannabis
2 Natural Origins and Early Evolution of Cannabis
3 Ethnobotanical Origins Early Cultivation and Evolution through Human Selection
4 The Cultural Diffusion of Cannabis Introduction
5 History of Cannabis Use for Fiber
6 Food Feed and Oil Uses of Hemp
7 Historical Aspects of Psychoactive Cannabis Use for Ritual and Recreation
8 Ethnobotanical History and Contemporary Context of Medicinal Cannabis
10 Recent History of Cannabis Breeding
11 Classical and Molecular Taxonomy of Cannabis
12 Hypotheses Concerning the Early Evolution of Cannabis
13 Cannabis and Homo sapiens

9 Nonpsychoactive Ritual Uses of Cannabis

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About the author (2013)

Robert C. Clarke is Cannabis researcher and Projects Manager for the International Hemp Association in Amsterdam and the author of Marijuana Botany and Hashish! Mark D. Merlin is Botany Professor at University of Hawai’i at Manoa and author of On the Trail of the Ancient Opium Poppy.

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