Biology: Cannabis was domesticated in China around 12,000 years ago, study reveals Posted by On


Cannabis is among one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, having been domesticated in China some 12,000 years ago, a study has concluded. 

Researchers led from the University of Lausanne analysed the whole genome sequences of 110 Cannabis sativa to discover where the plants have their roots.

Their investigation revealed that cannabis — as we would be familiar with it — emerged in China by the Neolithic period. 

Despite having long been an important source of fibre as well as both medicinal and recreational drugs, much has been unknown about Cannabis’ domestication history.

This is because legal restrictions around the plant make collecting samples for analysis difficult, the team explained. 

Cannabis is among one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, having been domesticated in China some 12,000 years ago, a study has concluded. Pictured: Cannabis landraces seen growing in Qinghai province, central China

Cannabis is among one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, having been domesticated in China some 12,000 years ago, a study has concluded. Pictured: Cannabis landraces seen growing in Qinghai province, central China

Researchers led from the University of Lausanne analysed the whole genome sequences of 110 Cannabis sativa from across the globe (pictured) to discover where the plants have their roots

Researchers led from the University of Lausanne analysed the whole genome sequences of 110 Cannabis sativa from across the globe (pictured) to discover where the plants have their roots

CANNABIS: THE FACTS 

Cannabis is a Class B illegal drug in the UK, meaning possession can result in a five year prison sentence and those who supply the drug face up to 14 years in jail.

The drug is widely used for recreational purposes and can make users feel relaxed and happy, but smoking it can also lead to feelings of panic, anxiety or paranoia.

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Cannabis is among one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, having been domesticated in China some 12,000 years ago, a study has concluded. 

Researchers led from the University of Lausanne analysed the whole genome sequences of 110 Cannabis sativa to discover where the plants have their roots.

Their investigation revealed that cannabis — as we would be familiar with it — emerged in China by the Neolithic period. 

Despite having long been an important source of fibre as well as both medicinal and recreational drugs, much has been unknown about Cannabis’ domestication history.

This is because legal restrictions around the plant make collecting samples for analysis difficult, the team explained. 

Cannabis is among one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, having been domesticated in China some 12,000 years ago, a study has concluded. Pictured: Cannabis landraces seen growing in Qinghai province, central China

Cannabis is among one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, having been domesticated in China some 12,000 years ago, a study has concluded. Pictured: Cannabis landraces seen growing in Qinghai province, central China

Researchers led from the University of Lausanne analysed the whole genome sequences of 110 Cannabis sativa from across the globe (pictured) to discover where the plants have their roots

Researchers led from the University of Lausanne analysed the whole genome sequences of 110 Cannabis sativa from across the globe (pictured) to discover where the plants have their roots

CANNABIS: THE FACTS 

Cannabis is a Class B illegal drug in the UK, meaning possession can result in a five year prison sentence and those who supply the drug face up to 14 years in jail.

The drug is widely used for recreational purposes and can make users feel relaxed and happy, but smoking it can also lead to feelings of panic, anxiety or paranoia.



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