Cannabis and Natural Cannabis Medicines

  • Robert C. Clarke
  • David P. Watson
Part of the Forensic Science And Medicine book series (FSM)


Cannabis plants produce many compounds of possible medical importance. This chapter briefly explains the life cycle, origin, early evolution, and domestication of Cannabis, plus provides a brief history of drug Cannabis breeding and looks into the future of Cannabis as a source of medicines. Cannabis is among the very oldest of economic plants providing humans with fiber for spinning, weaving cloth, and making paper; seed for human foods and animal feeds; and aromatic resin containing compounds of recreational and medicinal value. Human selection for varying uses and natural selection pressures imposed by diverse introduced climates have resulted in a wide variety of growth forms and chemical compositions. Innovative classical breeding techniques have been used to improve recreational drug forms of Cannabis, resulting in many cannabinoid-rich cultivars suitable for medical use. The biosynthesis of cannabinoid compounds is unique to Cannabis, and cultivars with specific chemical profiles are being developed for diverse industrial and pharmaceutical uses.


Genetically Modify Female Flower Female Plant Cannabis Sativa Terpenoid Compound 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, New Jersey 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Clarke
    • 1
  • David P. Watson
    • 2
  1. 1.International Hemp AssociationAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.HortaPharm BVAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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