Cannabis hemp can be found growing wild along the highways in the heartland of America. It was planted years ago as an effective soil erosion control measure. When recreational use of marijuana became prevalent in the 1960s, most of it was smuggled in from Mexico, Central America and elsewhere. With the advent of the war on drugs more and more marijuana users began to grow the plant inside the U.S. border and today some of the best quality is found in this country. Growers learned to dispose of the male plants as soon as the sex could be determined. This left the female plants unfertilized (sinsemilla) so that they could focus their energies on developing the buds or flowers that contained the active components of the plant.
Until medicinal cannabis is legal and supplied in a regulated quality-controlled market (dispensary or pharmacy), patients must grow their own supply or find someone they can trust to grow the medicine for them. Most patients don't have this horticultural skill or are too ill to properly care for their plants. This section will offer some guidelines about growing medicinal grade cannabis.
Sometime in the hopefully near future the U.S. government and the world will recognize the wealth of benefits that this plant contains and end the senseless prohibition. While the flowers offer medicine, the seeds and seed oil offer nutrition, the stalks offer valuable fiber for paper and textile production. It is an environmentally friendly plant and its growth should be encouraged rather than outlawed. Research in cannabis cultivation should focus on such questions as: Which strain of cannabis is the most effective in the treatment of specific symptoms or illnesses? Is there a significant difference between plants grown indoors under artificial lighting or outdoors with natural sunlight?
Faculty Presentations on Cannabis Cultivation
Cannabis Hemp Pests and Diseases, with Robert Clarke, BS - International Hemp Association member and Director of Pharmtex Consultants, Robert Clarke has studied Cannabis (marijuana) in U.S. and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, working with Hortapharm to develop reproducible strains for medical cannabis developers, like GW Pharmaceuticals. Co-author of Rational Biological Control of Hemp Diseases and Pests , Clarke presents slide show of insect pests and natural solutions - at Second Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, Portland, Oregon in May of 2002