CANNABIS SATIVA: AN ANCIENT WILD EDIBLE PLANT OF INDIA
Cannabis sativa, also known as Cannabis indica or Indian hemp, is an annual herb of the family Cannabinaceae. It has been used by humans throughout recorded history for its food, fiber and medicine. It is a native to Central Asia, and long cultivated in Asia, Europe and China. Plants yielding the drug seem to have been discovered in India, cultivated for medicinal purposes as early as 900 BC. Hindu devotees offered Cannabis to Shiva during religious ceremonies, and the herb continues to have a religious association in India. The medicinal use of Cannabis has very long history. However, the sociopolitical pressure led to decline the medicinal use of Cannabis. But despite its illegality, people have continued to obtain Cannabis in black market for self-medication. Together with coffee and tobacco, Cannabis is the most commonly used psychoactive drug worldwide, and it is the single most popular illegal drug. This review analyzes the diversity, botanical description, consumption and pharmacological studies along with medicinal uses of Cannabis among the human being throughout the world.