Cannabis sativa is an annual herbaceous plant in the Cannabis genus, a species of the Cannabaceae family. People have cultivated Cannabis sativa throughoutrecorded history as a source of industrial fibre, seed oil, food, recreation, religious and spiritual moods, and medicine. Each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use. The species was first classified by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753.
Its seeds are chiefly used to make hempseed oil which can be used for cooking, lamps, lacquers, or paints. They can also be used as caged-bird feed, as they provide a moderate source of nutrients for most birds. The flowers (and to a lesser extent the leaves, stems, and seeds) contain psychoactive chemical compoundsknown as cannabinoids that are consumed for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes. When so used, preparations of flowers (marijuana) and leaves and preparations derived from resinous extract (e.g.hashish) are consumed by smoking, vaporizing and oral ingestion. Historically, tinctures, teas, and ointments have also been common preparations. In traditional medicine of India in particular C. sativa has been used as hallucinogenic, hypnotic, sedative, analgesic, and anti-inflammatoryagent.
(From Wikipedia, June 2015)