Different strains are built to grow in diverse climates which can have a significant impact on their natural ability to grow without human intervention.
Where Marijuana Grows in Nature
These subtropical regions are also a common climate in which various strains of marijuana can grow naturally. These strains typically need to live and grow in a moderate environment and would struggle if placed in a region that is extremely hot, cold, dry, or wet.
The ideal temperature and climate for these marijuana strains to thrive must be warm, not too hot, and wet, but not too wet.
Both hemp and psychoactive marijuana were used widely in ancient China, Warf wrote. The first record of the drug’s medicinal use dates to 4000 B.C. The herb was used, for instance, as an anesthetic during surgery, and stories say it was even used by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 B.C. (However, whether Shen Nung was a real or a mythical figure has been debated, as the first emperor of a unified China was born much later than the supposed Shen Nung.)
“For the most part, it was widely used for medicine and spiritual purposes,” during pre-modern times, said Warf, a professor of geography at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. For example, the Vikings and medieval Germans used cannabis for relieving pain during childbirth and for toothaches, he said.
“Cannabis seeds have also been found in the remains of Viking ships dating to the mid-ninth century,” Warf wrote in the study.
“The idea that this is an evil drug is a very recent construction,” and the fact that it is illegal is a “historical anomaly,” Warf said. Marijuana has been legal in many regions of the world for most of its history.
Americans laws never recognized the difference between Cannabis sativa L. and Cannabis sativa. The plant was first outlawed in Utah in 1915, and by 1931 it was illegal in 29 states, according to the report.
“Although additional sampling of feral plants in these key geographical areas is still needed, our results, which are based on very broad sampling already, would suggest that pure wild progenitors of C. sativa have gone extinct,” they wrote.
To conduct the study, Dr. Ren and his colleagues collected 82 samples, either seeds or leaves, from around the world. The samples included strains that had been selected for fiber production, and others from Europe and North America that were bred to produce high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant’s most mood-altering compound.
The study was led by Ren Guangpeng, a botanist at Lanzhou University in the western Chinese province of Gansu. Dr. Ren said in an interview that the original site of cannabis domestication was most likely northwestern China, and that the finding could help with current efforts in the country to breed new types of hemp.
By sequencing genetic samples of the plant, they found that the species had most likely been domesticated by the early Neolithic period. They said their conclusion was supported by pottery and other archaeological evidence from the same period that was discovered in present-day China, Japan and Taiwan.
Give this article
“It’s easy to find feral samples, but these are not wild types,” Dr. Fumagalli said. “These are plants that escaped captivity and readapted to the wild environment.”
It can also be hard to understand precisely how plant species are domesticated in the first place, said Catherine Rushworth, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota who studies plant evolution.
“By the way, that’s the reason you call it weed, because it grows anywhere,” he added.
Many botanists believe that the cannabis sativa plant was first domesticated in Central Asia. But a new study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances suggests that East Asia is the more likely source, and that all existing strains of the plant come from an “ancestral gene pool” represented by wild and cultivated varieties growing in China today.