Cannabis sativa L.
Marijuana has a long history as an intoxicant. Its seeds are a source of oil, producing all the amino acids needed for human life, and are gradually becoming more widely used in foods. This species of marijuana produces fibers that are used to create rope.
Identification: The palmlike shape of marijuana leaves has become iconic. Plants reach 16' (5 m) in height. Leaves are up to 4" (10 cm) long and ½" (1.5 cm) wide. The small white flowers are inconspicuous.
Only this species is suitable for rope production. Both this and C. indica are used as intoxicants.
Edibility: Marijuana’s primary psychoactive ingredient, THC (Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol), survives cooking and is often eaten as an alternative to smoking. So the leaves and flowers are edible, but not a practical food source unless you are out of work or independently wealthy. Marijuana seeds, which are almost free of THC, are a minor but increasingly popular food source.
Medical: Marijuana’s ability to stimulate the appetite has been found to reduce symptoms of nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from other illnesses. Some states have legalized the use of “medical marijuana.”
Cannabis sativa on the South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com
Cannabis sativa on FLORIDATA
Cannabis sativa on Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses
Cannabis sativa on Wikipedia
Cannabis sativa at Purdue University's Center for New Crops and Plants Products
Cannabis sativa on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Cannabis sativa on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Cannabis sativa vs. C. indica on Medical Marijuana ProCon.org
Cannabis sativa on eFloras
Cannabis sativa on ZipcodeZoo.com
Cannabis sativa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 May 2016.