Other names:  Lucerne

Scientific name: Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis ruderalis

Common names:  Indian hemp                                    

Ayurvedic names: Vijaya 

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names: Ramras, Siddhi

Arabic names:    قنب هندي (qinnab hindi)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Cannabaceae

Approximate number of species known: 170

Common parts used: Whole herb, sprouts, disecious

Collection: Hemp is best collected before it flowers

Annual/Perennial: Annual

Height: less than 2 meters


Known constituents: hemp seed calcium , copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc

Constituents Explained:   


Native to Central and South Asia.

The three species grow to radically different heights, with the Satvia being the tallest, then Indica, then Ruderalis.  Traditionally, C. indica has been considered the one to be cultivated for medicinal purposes. C. Sativa normally grows in warmer regions and lower altitues..  C Indica. Is bushier and grows in cooler climates, and higher altitues.

It normally has four leaves on every branch

The word Marijuana is believed to have come from a Spanish word, and normally refers to cannabis when used as a drug.  It’s suspected the word may h ave originally meant ‘prisoner.’ Again the sometimes slang term of ‘Mary Jane’ is believed to be from the original word in Spanish.

Traditional Use:

Most commonly thought of as a a psychoactive plant, and a recreational drug,

Popular as a form of hemp.  When produced commerically for hemp the levels of THC (tetra-hydro-cannabinol) levels are minimized.  THC is the active component believed to give the effect of a ‘high.’ Inversely, when produced for psychoactive purposes THC levels are attmped to be made high.

Occasionally the plant will be reffered to as ‘Hemp’, but generally this is only when it is produced with the express purpose of making hemp.   Hemp was once used to make canvas for sails, and the word canvas derives from cannabis. Hemp is malleable fibre made from the stem. Hemp seeds, or the milk from the seeds is often distributed as a health product due to it’s nutrtional content.

The fibres on the outside of the hemp plant is often called ‘bast.’  The fibres can often grow 3-15 feet long. The use of hemp as a fibre has been phased out in some parts of the world with the plant abaca (Musa textilis), a relative of the banana sometimes taking it’s place, particulary in the production of paper.  It is sometimes called Manila hemp from the city of Manilla, the capital of the phillipines where the it is commonly produced. You may have heard of the name Manila paper or Manila envelopes. Even though it is not related to hemp,

THC levels in hemp may be as low .3%, while in those for recreational drug use it may be as high as 20%.  Sometimes hemp fibres are combined with flax, cotton or silk. About 35% of the weight of hemp is the seed oil.  Generally the seed soil is about 55% linoleic acid (omega 6), and 22%alpha-linoleic acid (omega 3) and 14% gamma linoleic acid, and steridonic acid <2%.

The primary psychoactive effects of THC are considered a state of relaxation.  The secondary psychoactive effects are considered a state of anxiety, paranoia and an increase in hunger.  The THC level isn’t the only thing believed to be responsible for the ‘high’ experienced. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a terpeno-phenolic???

Female plants normally produce the highest levels of THC.

Extensive studies around the world have studied Cannabis’s effect as a medicinal plant.  It has been researched into it’s effect on aids, cancer and those under going chemotherapy.   Most commonly Marijuana has been used as an analgesic (pain reliever.)

In Canada, the drug Sativex extracted from Cannabis has been approved as a treatment for Multiple Slerosis.

Externally hemp oil has been used on the skin for eczema.

The word hash is the name for the resin of Cannabis.  It tends to have a higher amount of active ingredients than the rest of the plant, also making it psychoactive.  It tends to have the same consistency as a poultice. It’s colour can range from yellow to black.

Hash is sometimes cut with Hops as hops seems to interfere with the taste the least.  This may be because they are closely related.

Clinical Studies:

The endocannabinoid system is under active investigation as a pharmacological target for obesity management due to its role in appetite regulation and metabolism. Exogenous cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stimulate appetite and food intake. However, there are no controlled observations directly linking THC to changes of most of the appetite hormones.

A placebo-controlled trial of smoked medicinal cannabis for HIV-associated neuropathic pain evaluatedthe effects of THC on the appetite hormones ghrelin, leptin and PYY, as well as on insulin. In this double-blind cross-over study, each subject was exposed to both active cannabis (THC) and placebo.

Compared to placebo, cannabis administration was associated with significant increases in plasma levels of ghrelin and leptin, and decreases in PYY, but did not significantly influence insulin levels.

These findings are consistent with modulation of appetite hormones mediated through endogenous cannabinoid receptors, independent of glucose metabolism.

The marijuana plant cannabis is known to have therapeutic effects, including improvement of inflammatory processes. However, no report of patients using cannabis for Crohn’s disease (CD) was ever published.

Another study described the effects of cannabis use in patients suffering from CD. In this retrospective observational study we examined disease activity, use of medication, need for surgery, and hospitalization before and after cannabis use in 30 patients (26 males) with CD. Disease activity was assessed by the Harvey Bradshaw index for Crohn’s disease.

Of the 30 patients 21 improved significantly after treatment with cannabis. The need for other medication was significantly reduced. Fifteen of the patients had 19 surgeries during an average period of 9 years before cannabis use, but only 2 required surgery during an average period of 3 years of cannabis use.

This is the first report of cannabis use in Crohn’s disease in humans. The results indicate that cannabis may have a positive effect on disease activity, as reflected by reduction in disease activity index and in the need for other drugs and surgery.


Riggs PK, Vaida F, Rossi SS, Sorking LS, Gouaux B, Grant I, Ellis RJ. “A Pilot Stdy Of The Effects Of Cannabis On Appetite Hormones In HIV-Infected Adult Men.” 2012 January

Naftali T, Lev LB, Yablecovitch D, Half E, Konikoff FM. “Treatment f Crohn’s Disease With Cannabis: An Observational Study.” 2011 August