Cannabis : Evolution and Ethnobotany

4.83 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

List price: US$95.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


"Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany" is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary exploration of the natural origins and early evolution of this famous plant, highlighting its historic role in the development of human societies. Cannabis has long been prized for the strong and durable fiber in its stalks, its edible and oil-rich seeds, and the psychoactive and medicinal compounds produced by its female flowers. The culturally valuable and often irreplaceable goods derived from cannabis deeply influenced the commercial, medical, ritual, and religious practices of cultures throughout the ages, and human desire for these commodities directed the evolution of the plant toward its contemporary varieties. As interest in cannabis grows and public debate over its many uses rises, this book will help us understand why humanity continues to rely on this plant and adapts it to suit our needs.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 456 pages
  • 224 x 286 x 36mm | 1,539.98g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 93 color illustrations, 49 b/w photographs, 35 line illustrations, 11 maps, 16 t
  • 0520270487
  • 9780520270480
  • 759,833

Review quote

"This well-written work will be useful for freshmen through seniors in higher educations. Researchers and teachers will also find it extremely helpful, and it will intrigue even casual readers." -- L Swatzell CHOICE Magazine "A valuable reference." -- Quentin Groom Plant Ecology and Evolution "Sure to entertain any cannabis fan." -- Mitch Earleywine High Times "Clarke and Merlin have crafted a volume in which each chapter can easily stand alone and will be accessible to a wide range of readers." The AAG Review OF BOOKS
show more

About Robert C. Clarke

Robert C. Clarke is Cannabis researcher and Projects Manager for the International Hemp Association in Amsterdam and the author of Marijuana Botany and Hashish! Mark D. Merlin is Botany Professor at University of Hawai'i at Manoa and author of On the Trail of the Ancient Opium Poppy.
show more

Flap copy

"The authors boldly demonstrate their capacity to survey both the biological evolution and widely varied human cultures' uses of cannabis. In doing so, they have produced a work that is thorough, globally ambitious, and carefully constructed. The extraordinary power and range of their cross-cultural perspectives are likely to elicit fresh consideration of familiar studies." Richard Tucker, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
""Cannabis" is one of the best, if not the best history of the extraordinary plant Cannabis sativa that I have read. It is encyclopedic in its scope, painstakingly documented, and well written. A must for libraries, cannabis scholars and the growing number of readers who are interested in this remarkable plant." Lester Grinspoon, Emeritus Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of "Marihuana Reconsidered" and "Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine"
"This is a unique and valuable work. It aptly summarizes the voluminous literature on cannabis to bring the reader a better understanding of its origins and uses, as well as the relationship with man, its chief employer and manipulator. The authors' experience in the subject makes them uniquely qualified to synthesize and interpret the material in a coherent manner." Ethan Russo, President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society"
show more

Table of contents

Introduction to the Multipurpose Plant Cannabis In the beginning: Circumstances of early human contact with Cannabis A brief summary of the long and diverse history of relationships between Cannabis and humans What shall we call these plants? Should we praise or condemn this multipurpose plant? What we discuss in this book Chapter 1: Natural Origins and Early Evolution of Cannabis Introduction Basic life cycle of Cannabis Ecological requirements of Cannabis: Sunlight, temperature, water and soil Cannabis origin and evolution studies Central Asia: Vavilov and the origins of Cannabis Cannabis and grapes Theories for South Asian origin of domesticated Cannabis Model for the early evolution of Cannabis Summary and conclusions Chapter 2: Ethnobotanical Origins, Early Cultivation and Evolution through Human Selection Introduction First contacts: Origins of Human-Cannabis relationships Transitions to cultivation and civilization Earliest uses of Cannabis: Useful traits for ancient people Evolution of Cannabis through human selection Disruptive selection Origin from weedy populations Natural hybridization: Introgression vs. isolation Artificial hybridization Atavism Isolation of populations Population size and changes in variability Evolutionary effects of dioecy Effects of human selection on sexual expression for different products - Seeds, fibers, marijuana and hashish Sexual dimorphism and selection Phenotypic changes during domestication - Seeds, fibers and inflorescences Directional evolutionary changes Cannabinoid profile Timing of floral maturation Evolution of cannabinoid phenotypes Geographical distribution of cannabinoid phenotypes North America; Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Central America and the Caribbean; South America; Middle East; East Asia; Indian Subcontinent; Southeast Asia; Equatorial Africa; South and East Africa Summary and conclusions Chapter 3: Cultural Diffusion of Cannabis Introduction Methodology: The multidisciplinary approach Types of archaeobotanical evidence for Cannabis Seeds, fibers, pollen, fiber and seed impressions, other carbonized remains, chemical analysis and phytoliths Written records of Cannabis presence and use Non-human agencies affecting the geographical range of Cannabis Human impact on the dispersal and expanding geographical range of Cannabis Early relationships among humans and Cannabis in Central Asia Fishing and hemp Hemp, humans and horses in Eurasia Scythians and Cannabis Archaeological and historical evidence for the spread of Cannabis Diffusion throughout East Asia Diffusion from northeastern China into Korea and Japan Diffusion into South Asia Archaeobotanical evidence from South Asia Diffusion into Southwest Asia and Egypt Diffusion into Europe and the Mediterranean Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Baltic region, Finland, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, Northern France, Iberian Peninsula, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, British Isles, and the Mediterranean Dispersal phases within and beyond Eurasia Phase One: Primary dispersal across Eurasia -- ca. 10,000 to 2000 BP Phase Two: Spread into Africa and Southeast Asia - ca. 2000 to 500 BP Phase Three: Migration to the New World - 1545 to 1800 Phase Four: Migration to the New World - 1800 to 1945 Phase Five: Migration after the Second World War - 1945 to 1990 Phase Six: Artificial environments and the proliferation of industrial hemp -- 1990 to the present Summary and conclusions: Cannabis' dispersal from an evolutionary point of view Chapter 4: History of Cannabis Use for Fiber Introduction Textile basics Historical and archaeological evidence for Cannabis fiber use in China Hemp in clothing, lacquerware, weapons and ships in ancient China Traditional Korea Contemporary South Korea and North Korea Ancient Japan and hemp Ancient evidence from South Asia, Southwest Asia and Egypt The ancient Mediterranean region Ancient Europe north of the Mediterranean Hemp fiber use spreads to the New World Some aspects of the recent history of hemp Cannabis and paper Advent and early history of papermaking in China Hemp paper in ancient Korea and Japan Dispersal to North Africa and Europe Hemp paper production in North America Summary and conclusions Chapter 5: Food, feed and oil uses of hemp seed Introduction Human food and animal feed uses of hemp seeds Early hemp seed use in China: Neolithic Period through the Han Dynasty Hemp seed oil in ancient China Ancient evidence for traditional production and use beyond China Korea; Japan; South and Southwest Asia; Central and Eastern Europe; Mediterranean and Western European Regions Present-day hemp seed production and use Summary and conclusions Chapter 6: Historical Aspects of Psychoactive Cannabis Use for Ritual and Recreation Introduction Discovery of the euphoriant properties of Cannabis in Eurasia. Central Asia China Taoism and tales of Ma Gu India and Nepal Was Soma Cannabis? South Asian psychoactive Cannabis products Hindu acceptance of ritual bhang use Shiva worship and Cannabis Other occasions on which bhang was used Worship of the bhang plant Mongols and Cannabis Southwest Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa and Europe The advent of Cannabis smoking: Tobacco meets hashish Summary and conclusions Chapter 7: Ethnobotanical history and contemporary context of medicinal Cannabis Introduction Early East Asian medicinal use South and Southeast Asian medical traditions Egyptian medicinal use Cannabis in early Middle Eastern and later Islamic medicine Medicinal use in Africa and South America European medicinal Cannabis Present-day Western medicinal applications of Cannabis Summary and conclusions Chapter 8: Non-psychoactive Ritual Uses of Cannabis Introduction Hempen rituals of major religions -- Shamanic influences survive repression Archaeological remains from ritual contexts -- Central Asia, China and Europe The Hmong -- Spirit travel in healing, life-cycle and funerary rituals China -- Shamanism, Taoism and Confucianism Korea -- Shamanic funerary rites, Confucian mourning and ancestor worship Japan -- Shamanist, Shinto and Buddhist hemp traditions Europe and the Middle East -- Judaeo-Christian hemp rituals Hangings Summary and conclusions Chapter 9: Recent history of Cannabis Breeding Introduction European hemp breeding North American hemp breeding Introduction of NLD Cannabis to North America Breeding history of NLD varieties Introduction of BLD Cannabis Recent trends in Cannabis breeding Summary and conclusions Chapter 10: Classical and molecular taxonomy of Cannabis Introduction One, two or three species? History of Cannabis taxonomy Recent advances in Cannabis taxonomy Genetic and historical model for the evolution of Cannabis biotypes Recent geographical distributions of Cannabis biotypes Europe and the former Soviet Union; China; Central Asia, Afghanistan and Turkestan; India and Nepal; Southeast Asia; Africa and the Middle East; and the New World Summary and conclusions Chapter 11: Hypotheses Concerning the Early Evolution of Cannabis Introduction Prehistoric climate change and plant distribution: Pleistocene and Holocene ranges Early human migrations Plant speciation and colonization: Pleistocene refugia, post-glacial population expansion, and speciation rate Early evolution of Cannabaceae: The hemp and hop family Breeding systems and reproductive strategies as clues to geographical origin: Angiospermy, annuality, anemophily, dioecy and sex determination Reconstruction of a Cannabaceae ancestor Summary and conclusions Chapter 12: Cannabis and Homo sapiens -- Present position and future directions Introduction The long term relationship Summary of Cannabis' evolution Cannabis' influence on the evolution of human culture A case for social benefits from Cannabis' psychoactivity Human influence on Cannabis' evolution Environmental impact of the Human-Cannabis relationship Coevolution of Cannabis and humans: Fresh concepts Present position of the Human-Cannabis relationship Remaining questions and future directions
show more

Rating details

12 ratings
4.83 out of 5 stars
5 83% (10)
4 17% (2)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X