Botanical characteristics of hemp and history of cultural introduction
Cannabis sativa L. belongs to a special family of hemp (Cannabaceae), consisting of only two births.
It is an annual plant, but grows to the size of a decent shrub in one season, reaching 4 or sometimes more metres in height (growth rate in good conditions like bamboo!).
Usual hemp height is between 50 and 150 cm. The root is rooted, penetrating to a depth of 2 m. Stems are straight, unventilated, cylindrical in the lower part, above ribbed, covered with iron hairs. Leaves are finger-blade, with petioles.
Numerous small flowers are collected at the top of the stem in a dense shimmering inflorescence. The plant is two-house - some individuals carry only male flowers, givi
ng a lot of pollen, others - only female.
Male individuals are called "skoskon" or "kamashka". Their flowers consist of a simple cup-shaped 5-member perianth and 5 stamens.
Female plants are larger than male plants, they are called "mother". In female flowers the perianth is almost invisible, but a pistil with an upper ovary and two columns is clearly visible.
Flowers on the womb form more compact, almost dizzy blizzard-shaped inflorescences. The hemp is pollinated by the wind. Fruits are spherical gray and brown nuts.
According to scientists, hemp culture has been growing for several millennia (according to some sources, people have been growing hemp for 8 thousand years).
Mention of the cultivation of this plant is contained in Chinese and Indian sources relating to the VIII - IX centuries BC.
In ancient India, intoxicating drinks were made from hemp leaves. It was drunk during religious celebrations. For a long time hemp was bred only in the territory of modern China, Mongolia and India.
Surprisingly, it was not known for a long time in the Middle East and Egypt. There's no mention of it at all in the Bible.
At the same time, back in the 5th century BC, it was known to the Scythians, who were traveling through the territory of modern southern Russia and Ukraine.
Scythians used her fiber, from which made clothes, and also seeds which threw in fire and inhaled smoke.
According to Herodotus, "the Scythians take hemp grains and, having taken refuge behind the thick cloth of their tents, they throw it onto the hot stones, where it smokes, spreading steam, which no steam bath in Greece can compare with, and this steam makes the Scythians happy".
For the Scythians, steam bathing and smoking hemp were closely related. Probably it was a purification ceremony, which was very often held after burial.
In this case the hemp acted as a means to enter into contact with the deceased and, having penetrated into the area of his "being", to go beyond the natural human condition in order to communicate with the whole cosmos, visible and invisible.
Probably, other peoples of Europe also learned about hemp from the Scythians. In the Middle Ages, hemp was already grown in virtually all countries of Eurasia and North Africa.
With the advance to the West, the use of the psychotropic properties of cannabis probably hasn't disappeared.
As the German expert on history of primitive society Hugo Obermeyer asserts, ancient Germans and Gallo-Romanians knew smoking hemp by means of tubes.
Hemp was found in some crypts, which is most likely due to its use, which was known to the Scythians. From the 19th century onwards, the area underneath it was rapidly shrinking in the southern countries, as another fibre-giving plant, cotton, was preferred.
Even today, however, hemp has not lost its importance - it is still cultivated in many countries, although in a more modest size.
Now it is cultivated in India, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Italy. It is a light-loving and demanding crop for high soil fertility.
Vegetation period of early-ripening varieties 115-125, medium ripening varieties 130-140, late ripening varieties 150-160 days.
Unfortunately, the excitatory properties of hemp, which were known to ancient Indians and Scythians, are still used today. The southern forms of plants, in particular varieties belonging to the group of Indian hemp, have stronger narcotic properties.Drug addiction https://gg4.store/product-category/sativa/ is being combated in all countries, so planting of these varieties is prohibited everywhere.