After being outlawed in most regions across the world for decades, cannabis is coming out from under the yoke of prohibition. It has been a slow process and although the sector has shown that it has plenty of potential, cannabis still has a long way to go. However, researchers are finally getting the chance to run more in-depth studies on cannabis, and they are uncovering plenty of interesting information.
For starters, a recent study has found evidence pointing to China, specifically the northwest region of China, as home to the first domesticated cannabis and hemp. The common assumption is that cannabis sativa originated from East Asia, but its illegality over the past century has prevented research into its history and use. The study team, helmed by Swiss and Chinese researchers, took advantage of loosening cannabis restrictions and conducted an in-depth study on the history of cannabis and hemp.
The researchers concluded that the cannabis sativa species likely emerged from China’s northwest region by an estimated 10,000 to 3,000 BC (Neolithic period). According to a news release by the journal that published the study, “Science Advances,” cannabis and hemp were among the very first plants to be domesticated by humans, with humans using hemp to produce textiles, food and oilseed.
To arrive at these conclusions, the team compiled 110 whole genomes covering everything from different feral, wild-growing plants and domesticated varieties to modern hemp hybrids and psychoactive cannabis. They separated their genomic analysis samples into four different groups, including basal cannabis which is usually found in the United States and China. The data suggested that basal cannabis diverged from the ancestors of modern marijuana and hemp nearly 12,000 years ago, giving weight to the theory that by that point in history, the cannabis sativa species had been domesticated already. Furthermore, the study says, it coincides with ancient artifacts such as pottery from Southern China, Japan and Taiwan that has been dated to that period.
Once humans in the Neolithic period had domesticated cannabis, it spread across the Middle East and Europe during the Bronze Age, appearing in India nearly 3,000 years ago after likely being introduced with other crops from China, the study says. Cannabis arrived in Africa during the 13th century and traveled to Latin America in the 16th century before reaching North America at the start of the 20th century.
The closest descendants to the ancient hemp and marijuana are modern Chinese cannabis, altered by years of cultivation, and feral, wild-growing cannabis plants, the study says. However, it is likely that the cannabis sativa’s pure wild ancestors have gone extinct.
It is amazing how much researchers continue to learn about marijuana. Sector players such as Hero Technologies Inc. (OTC: HENC) must be having their own fair share of surprising discoveries about this versatile yet controversial plant.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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