A database of Cannabis traditional uses

Cannabis is one of the most versatile genera in terms of plant uses and has been employed by humans for millennia due to the plethora of valuable medicinal properties, strong and durable fibres, nutritious seeds and psychoactive resin. Nowadays, Cannabis is the centre of many scientific studies, the majority of them focusing on its chemical composition and medicinal values, but research into alternative uses of plant fibres and seeds has also been increasing in the past years. Even though new and varied applications are being developed, some aspects of its traditional uses are nowadays becoming rare and are slowly disappearing.

Within the project WECANN, our aim is to investigate Cannabis from several points of view – taxonomy, species origin, morphological, genetic and chemical variability, and also ethnobotany, i.e. its traditional names and uses. To achieve the last goal, we constructed the CANNUSE database, where we provide an organised information source for scientists and general public interested in different aspects of Cannabis uses. In this database, more than 2,300 data entries from 649 publications related to medicinal, alimentary, fibre and other ethnobotanical Cannabis uses from different geographical areas and cultures around the world are included.

The information on new and traditional uses of Cannabis is increasing daily, and synthesis of all these data is more and more important. We hope this database will serve as a starting point for new research and development strategies based on the traditional knowledge.

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