Cannabis Was Domesticated in East Asia, New Study Suggests

By sequencing genetic samples of the plant, they discovered that the species had most certainly been domesticated by the early Neolithic interval. They stated their conclusion was supported by pottery and different archaeological proof from the identical interval that was found in present-day China, Japan and Taiwan.

But Professor Purugganan stated he was skeptical about conclusions that the plant was developed for drug or fiber use 12,000 years in the past since archaeological proof present the constant use or presence of hashish for these functions started about 7,500 years in the past.

“I would like to see a much larger study with a larger sampling,” he stated.

Luca Fumagalli, an creator of the examine and a biologist in Switzerland who specializes in conservation genetics, stated the speculation of a Central Asian origin was largely primarily based on observational information of untamed samples in that area.

“It’s easy to find feral samples, but these are not wild types,” Dr. Fumagalli stated. “These are plants that escaped captivity and readapted to the wild environment.”

“By the way, that’s the reason you call it weed, because it grows anywhere,” he added.

The examine was led by Ren Guangpeng, a botanist at Lanzhou University in the western Chinese province of Gansu. Dr. Ren stated in an interview that the unique web site of hashish domestication was principally possible northwestern China, and that the discovering may assist with present efforts in the nation to breed new varieties of hemp.

To conduct the examine, Dr. Ren and his colleagues collected 82 samples, both seeds or leaves, from around the globe. The samples included strains that had been chosen for fiber manufacturing, and others from Europe and North America that had been bred to supply excessive quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant’s most mood-altering compound.

Dr. Fumagalli and his colleagues then extracted genomic DNA from the samples and sequenced them in a lab in Switzerland. They additionally downloaded and reanalyzed sequencing information from 28 different samples. The outcomes confirmed that the wild varieties they analyzed had been in truth “historical escapes from domesticated forms,” and that current strains in China — cultivated and wild — had been their closest descendants of the ancestral gene pool.

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