Cannabis’ History

1: CANNABIS SATIVA L.

With its origins, most likely on the Himalayas' hillside, it is the only annual and dioecious plant, meaning it completes its cycle in less than a year. Thanks to being an annual plant it has a really fast growth which happens in spring and summer. Fall comes and it's time to harvest, the plant flowers and then dies. It is a hillside plant, it likes the sun, water and for the soil to drainage easily. It´s very flexible and, with genetic enhancing, new plant varieties capable of sustaining tropical weathers (Africa, Jamaica), and cold weathers (Canada, Northern Europe), have been created. It develops well in Uruguay.

Even though geneticists keep it open to discussion, usually one can identify three different subspecies, Cannabis Sativa Sativa, Cannabis Sativa Indica, and Cannabis Sativa Ruderalis. Sativas are tall (can grow past 4 meters tall) and have thinner leaves. Indicas are shorter and normally have wider leaves. Ruderalis are a Siberian subspecies, they have a very short cycle, and therefore, they grow and flower rather quickly. Indicas and Sativas are sensitive to photoperiod, meaning, they develop their leaves and stems along with the spring, while days become longer, and they flower when days start becoming shorter. In conditions such as the ones in Uruguay, sowing time is typically in October, when the frosts are most unlikely to happen and harvesting time comes around April. Ruderalis flowers independently of the photoperiod, and they are call "Auto-flowering ones".

Not all cannabis varieties are psychoactive. Psychoactivity is given by the presence of the Delta 9 Tetrahidrocannabinol compound (THC).The ones used for food, fabrics and others are called Hemp and they have low or even none THC presence in them, hence, they lack psychoactive effects. Male plants lack psychoactivity as well. For psychoactivity to take place THC needs to decarboxylate through heating, otherwise no effect takes place. Uruguay's law considers plants with less than 1% of THC in them to be Hemp, with no psychoactive effects whatsoever.

A remarkable cannabis feature is its versatility. Its possible applications are so many that is hard to describe them all. For human seed collectors it was a great source of food. Then they notice the potential of the long fibers they could extract from the stem and they used them to make nets and carry their hunting and fishing gatherings. After that clothing development took place. People from china started developing paper from the wastes that fabrics development left, meantime, Europeans developed navigation using Hemp sails. At the same time, and thousands of years ago, rite, religious and medical usage started in China and India, leaving in china a great record of its medical use. Harvesting was widely encouraged by England and Spain in an effort for conquering the seas. And USA also encouraged its use as a factor for winning World War II. Henry Ford came to build Hemp cars because of its lightness and resistance before it was prohibited in 1938.

For Uruguay, Cannabis is a huge opportunity. The world knows that we are the country with the best legislation in order to develop and exploit these production fields. A country that defines itself as natural and "agro-intelligent", has a wonderful opportunity that is yet to be totally understood. World is changing rapidly. If Uruguay does not take advantage of his legal environment, exclusively designed to develop these products, someone will eventually do it for us.

In this XXI century prohibition is coming to an end in many democratic countries: Canada, USA, Israel, Mexico, Colombia, and Germany are just some of the countries where legislation advances are taking place faster.