5 Plants You Probably Didn’t Realize Were Related to Cannabis

Article by Allie Beckett, Marijuana.com

5 Plants You Probably Didn’t Realize Were Related to Cannabis

Nature proves time and time again that everything in the natural world is connected by an elaborate web of life.

linnean-classification-system20160824-15108-19tc8sThis complex network makes it difficult to classify the entire plant world into an organized system. Plant taxonomy has changed over time as DNA science has advanced and plants are understood in new ways.

Currently, we catalog plants under the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) which follows a Linnean classification system (pictured to the right). Focusing mostly on Northwest plant species, ITIS is a collaboration of U.S., Canadian, and Mexican agencies that form the backbone the Encyclopedia of Life is built on.

If we trace marijuana through this classification, this is what we find:


Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis

In some cases, these are all viewed as simply “Cannabis sativa”


Cannabis L.











According to ITIS, cannabis is a member of the small Cannabaceae plant family which is a member of the rose order (Rosales). This means, if we expand cannabis’ relatives out one classification further to its Order, our favorite herb would be related to strawberries, blackberries, apples, pears, plums, peaches, almonds, figs, mulberries, and of course, roses. All of these fruits and botanical species fall under the umbrella of the rose family, making them distant cousins of the cannabis plant.

Today, however, we’re going to focus on the direct relatives of cannabis — those included in the Cannabaceae family.

The Cannabaceae family is considered small for the plant world with a total of 11 genera (plural of genus). But these 11 genera are home to hundreds of subspecies. The genera classified under the Cannabaceae family are AphanantheCeltisTremaCannabisGironnieraHumulusParasponia, and Pteroceltis.

Read full article here.

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