During the last monsoon season, July-August 2014, I planted some Cannabis seeds in two pots using the locally available soil and dried cow dung as manure (the latter is easily available in India !!). I left the pots outdoors in my front yard. I got 90% germination. These seeds were randomly collected from ganja that a friend of mine smokes (mentioned in a previous post, part I under this category). However due to heavy rains and the pranks of my semi-wild kitten, only one plant survived to maturity. This goes to show that I was still not taking my project seriously !! Fortunately it turned out to be a female ! It is also three-leaved variety of Cannabis. Now some web sites including Wikipedia identify the three-leaved variety as Cannabis rudralis. They further tell you that:
“Cannabis ruderalis was first classified in 1924 by the Russian botanist D.E. Janischevsky. He came across cannabis plants growing wild in Central Russia, and noticed that they were different from the Hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa) grown throughout Asia and Europe. While much shorter than Cannabis sativa, the wild-growing plants were also unlike Cannabis indica, which was known for having intoxicating effects. As a result, Janischevsky concluded that a third species of cannabis existed.”
A research paper titled ‘ Genetic evidence for speciation in Cannabis (Cannabaceae)’ by Karl W Hilling states the following:
Sample populations of 157 Cannabis accessions of diverse geographic origin were surveyed for allozyme variation at 17 gene loci. The frequencies of 52 alleles were subjected to principal components analysis. A scatter plot revealed two major groups of accessions. The sativa gene pool includes fiber/seed land races from Europe, Asia Minor, and Central Asia, and ruderal populations from Eastern Europe. The indica gene pool includes fiber/seed land races from eastern Asia, narrow-leafleted drug strains from southern Asia, Africa, and Latin America, wide-leafleted drug strains from Afghanistan and Pakistan, and feral populations from India and Nepal. A third putative gene pool includes ruderal populations from Central Asia. None of the previous taxonomic concepts that were tested adequately circumscribe the sativa and indica gene pools. A polytypic concept of Cannabisis proposed, which recognizes three species, C. sativa, C. indica and C. ruderalis, and seven putative taxa.
Now the leaves of a typical C.ruderalis plant look like this:
And the leaves of the plant growing in my front yard looks like this:
So its similar to rudralis but not identical. The leaves are narrower and longer. Of the three major leaflets the central one is much longer than the remaining two, which is not the case in the C. rudralis diagram. The small pair of leaves/bracts/leaflets at the base are missing. However like rudralis, the plant is quite short, about one feet, has fewer flowers but unlike rudralis, they are intoxicating and have medicinal value which I shall be describing in my subsequent post under the category ‘trip report’ and ‘medical marijuana’.
I shall be posting some more photographs when it begins to flower profusely. I also intend to plant some more seeds this monsoon (Aug/Sep 2015).
This plant began to flower within two months – small clusters, not highly potent but potent enough for me !! It shed all its leaves during the winter months – Dec. to Jan. and has now started putting out leaves again. I can also see tiny flower buds peeping from the leaf nodes.
My conclusion: due to several years of cross breeding by humans we now have multiple hybrids and strains of Cannabis, and this is probably one of them.