Cannabis by Chris Duvall


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SKU: 1134900037821295

Thanks to its best-known use, any mention of cannabis tends to bring up debates about marijuana and legalized drug use. But this not-so-innocent flowering plant was one of the first to be domesticated by humans, to supply fibre and seeds, as well as drugs. As a drug, cannabis has for millennia had spiritual, therapeutic and even punitive applications – in addition to more recreational purposes. As a fibre source, cannabis enabled maritime empires. Yet despite the plant’s current and past importance, we understand relatively little about its human and ecological history, because prohibition worldwide has stunted research. Cannabis explores the botanical and cultural history of humanity’s most widely distributed crop, presenting an even-handed look at this heady little plant. Though it is nowadays best known as the psychoactive drug marijuana – currently the most valuable commodity to come from the genus – different species of the plant supply numerous and varied products. Hemp fibre, for example, can be used to make ropes and textiles, and its seeds, as well as being a source of food, can be made into an industrial oil utilized for paints and fuel. Cannabis does not advocate either the prohibition or legalization of the plant but challenges received wisdom on both sides of the debate, redressing the oversimplistic portrayals of the plant that have dominated discussion of the subject and arguing that we need to understand the big picture in order to improve its management. It is an essential read, given rapidly evolving debates about legality in Uruguay and some U.S. states and its medical use more widely. Book jacket.


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