CLASSIFICATION OF CANNABIS is disputed by botanists.
They disagree about the family to which it belongs and also about the number of species.
The plant is sometimes placed in the fig or mulberry family (Moraceae) or the nettle family (Urticaceae), but it is now usually separated, together with the hop plant (Humulus), into a distinct family: Cannabaceae.
It has been widely thought that there is one species, Cannabis sativa, which, partly as a result of selection by man, has developed many "races" or "varieties," for better fiber, for more oil content, or for stronger narcotic content.
Selection for narcotic activity has been especially notable in such areas as India, where intoxicating properties have had religious significance..
The environment also has probably influenced this biologically changeable species, especially for fiber excellence and narcotic activity.
Current research indicates that there may be other species: C. indicia and C. ruderals.
All Cannabis is native to central Asia.
Cannabis leaves are palmately divided—normally into 3-7 leaflets occasionally into 11-13.
Leaflets vary in length from 2 to 6 inches.