Mother Nature has proved time and again that everything in this world is held together by a large web of life. The complex network makes it difficult to classify all plants into an organized system and cannabis is a very good example of that.
Plants taxonomy has changed dramatically with the advancement of DNA Science and the plants are now studied in different ways. The plants are currently cataloged under the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) and according to it, cannabis belongs to the small Cannabaceae plant family, which is again a member of the Rosales.
So, if we go on expanding on the cannabis’ relatives, this herb would be related to blackberries, strawberries, plums, peaches, apples, pears, mulberries, almonds, figs, and rose. Hence, all these fruits come under the rose family, making them related to the cannabis plant.
Today we will focus on some of the direct relatives of cannabis and specifically talk about the 5 plants that we did not know were genetically related to cannabis.
This is a type of cannabis plant that has a deep-rooted connection with humans. It was considered as one of the most valuable resources of clothing, industrialization, providing medicine, food, industrial ropes and so on.
This is, of course, a no-brainer as hemp is the closest relative of cannabis. Both of them are subspecies of the Cannabis L. The hemp plant is known to offer thick fibers from its stalk, which can be further processed into different types of resources such as concrete, rope, paper, fuel, textiles, and food. Hemp plant also works as a powerful bioremediator that can easily draw in carbon dioxide from the air and toxins from the environment.
The hop plant, also known as Humulus lupulus, belongs to the Cannabaceae family. If hemp is described as cannabis’ sister, then the hop plant can be called the cousin. This plant species has won millions of hearts due to its ability to brew a popular beverage – beer. Other than its ability to make beer, hops plant also has several other medical benefits such as it helps in easing out the digestive problems, relieves anxiety and inflammation. When you carefully look into the structure and leaves of hops flowers, you can see that hops are related to cannabis as they come from the same family. Both these plants contain flavonoids and terpenoids. The only main difference between the two is that hop plant is a climbing plant while cannabis is a botanical herb.
This is not a real berry but a type of deciduous tree that falls under the genus Celtis, under the Cannabaceae family. Although it is a cousin of cannabis, the plant is known for its strikingly dissimilar characteristics from Humulus genera and cannabis. The wood derived from the hackberry tree is sturdy yet flexible at the same time. It is also used to create low-cost furniture and fencing. Classified as a topical tree, it is often grown along the sides of streets in Bratislava, Serbia, and Slovakia. As you walk or drive down a street lined with hackberries, you will not be able to guess that they are related to cannabis.
Blue Sandalwood is a member of the Pteroceltis genus and it is a relative of cannabis under the Cannabaceae family. Officially known as pteroceltis tatarinowii, this tree is native to China and is known as Qing Tan or Tara wingceltis. This is an incredibly resourceful plant that has similar qualities like the cannabis hemp species. The wood derived from the tree is used for making fine timber and the bark is mixed with hemp to produce calligraphy.