What is Cannabaceae and How Does it Relate to Cannabis & Hops?

Did you know that Beer hops and Cannabis belong to the same taxonomic unit? This is all part of the tree of life/circle of life, basic stuff you should have already learned in The Lion King.

Cannabaceae refers to a distinct group of flowering plants consisting of 170 species divided into nine genera. A genus refers to a classification group for organisms that belong to the same family but different species. The plural of genus is genera. Cannabis Indica and Sativa are the most popular species of the Cannabaceae group. Other popular species include Celtis and Humulus. Plants belonging to the Celtic genus group develop into trees after maturity. You’ll notice that the average height in this taxonomic unit ranges widely from 10-25 meters. Nettle trees, Northern Hackberry, and Japanese Hackberry belong to the Celtic genus group.


Cannabaceae Taxonomy

Taxonomy is the process of identifying and grouping of living things according to similar biological traits. Scientists rely on taxonomy to enable them to identify new species of animals or plants. Taxonomy enables botanists to identify the origins of plant species. Cannabaceae belongs to a larger taxonomic group of plants known as Urticales. Members of this biological group feature concealed flowers and contain two carpels. Flowers contain carpels to enable them to attract male pollen grains for reproduction. Plant species classified under Urticales usually have distinct male and female flowers. Herbaceous members of the Cannabaceae family produce female flowers that comprise dull-colored pistils.


Cannabaceae Family Tree

The nine genera under Cannabaceae family tree fall under three classifications. These are Cannabis, Celtis, and Humulus.

Each genus has several species that vary in chemical makeup and physical appearance. For instance, the genus Cannabis contains three species. The most common are Indica and Sativa due to their high THC content and versatile commercial use. A mature Sativa plant can grow up to 20 feet in height while a Cannabis Ruderalis only reaches two feet.

Plants belonging to the Celtis genus have simple leaves that are either smooth or serrated. This genus contains 70 species found in Asia, Africa, and North America. Celtis species contain both male and female flowers growing separately on the same plant.

The Humulus genus contains green flowering plants that use thick stems and stiff hair for support on growing surfaces. Just like a vine, this group of plants grows by attaching itself to walls or tree trunks. Humulus genus contains three main species, however, one of them has five varieties due to varying environmental factors.
At maturity, Humulus bines contain either male or female flowers. A bine is a plant that resembles a vine but uses its shoots for support on growing surfaces. Vines rely on thin curly parts known as tendrils for support.


Cannabaceae genera

Cannabis (Sative/Indica/Ruderalis)

It goes without saying, that Cannabis is Cannabacae’s most popular genus. This herbaceous species grows in virtually all continents.


Beer brewers use hops harvested from Humulus Lupus bines to develop strong flavors. Humulus species grow like vines.


There are 12 species belonging to this group. You can distinguish these short trees by their leaf pattern.


This genus contains only one species. Chaetachme aristata thrives in East and West Africa.


Lozanella resembles Trema trees. However, you’ll notice fused stipules when observing leafstalks.


Gironniera Subaequalis is the most popular species in this genus. This genus contains evergreen trees some of which offer great medicinal value.


Just like Chaetachme, this genus has only one species. The Pteroceltis tatarinowii tree only thrives in China. Factories use its bark to manufacture Xuan paper.


This genus contains tree species that can grow up to 30 meters in height. Aphananthe features six species available in Australia, Madagascar, and Mexico.


Celtis is famous for its 70 tree species. The most common are cottonwood, desert hackberry, and iguana hackberry.


Cannabaceae Lower Classifications

The continuous adaptation of plants for survival leads to the development of new subspecies. Cannabaceae has four subspecies present in its genus categories i.e Cannabis, Celtis, and Humulus.

1. Hemp
Hemp is a Cannabis subspecies that contains very little amounts of the psychoactive THC. The buds are small and airy compared to Indica or Sativa output. Hemp contains the same leaves as Cannabis Sativa and grows up to 20 feet tall.

2. Cannabaceae Hops
Hops are popular in the brewing industry because they give beer its signature aroma and flavor. There are at least 80 varieties of hops grown worldwide. Some growers use grafting to incorporate citrus flavors to their hops varieties.

3. Hackberries
The Celtis Conferta has two subspecies growing around France and Australia. It’s easy for one to mistake an Amblyphylla subspecies for a typical cottonwood tree. It has a whitish-grayish appearance and produces flowers in clusters.


Cannabaceae seeds

You’ll notice that seeds from each Cannabaceae genus have a similar round appearance and size. Celtis species produce seeds that are dark or light brown in color. A tough dried exterior protects the seed from pest attacks. The seeds appear under the leaf bases of budding Celtis tree species. A cannabis plant produces seeds during its flowering phase. New seeds tend to be whitish-brown and easily pop when gently squeezed between the thumb and index fingers. Mature seeds that are viable for germination are usually black. You may spot thin brown streaks appearing in horizontal patterns.


Cannabaceae “High” (Psychoactive Aspects)

Volumes of scientific research prove that Cannabis genus has the highest volume of potent psychoactive properties. However, Cannabis Ruderalis and Hemp have trace amounts of TetraHydroCannabinol (THC). Apart from smoking, you can ingest this psychoactive compound by eating infused edibles or drinking Cannabis syrups.
Cannabis highs vary with species and strain. Sativa strains bring about a mentally stimulating effect similar to a cup of coffee in the morning. Indica has a calming effect and stirs up sharp hunger pangs. Despite the difference in species, Indica and Sativa strains share a few psychoactive properties. For instance, the elevated hearing that enables consumers to enjoy listening to music more than they do when sober. Superior Cannabis strains can contain up to 30 percent THC.


Cannabaceae Health Effects

So far, medical research shows that consuming cannabis has significant positive effects on the brain and body. Dispensaries often prescribe highly potent cannabisto patients dealing with chronic pain arising from serious accidents or Arthritis, which have led to legalization in many states and countries. People suffering from PTSD smoke medical grade Indica strains to keep their minds in a tranquil state. However, cannabis can be incompatible with certain people who suffer from Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, and Psychosis.

Justin Meerkat

Cannabis Entrepreneur & Cofounder GetHigh.com | Follow @justinmeerkat on Instagram

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