Cannabis, Cannabis Indica, Ganjah, Gauza, Hemp, Indian Hemp
Indian hemp usually occurs as green to brown flattened masses which are hard and resinous. If reduced to a powder the product is brown to greenish-brown with a heavy, characteristic odour and a slight taste.
The diagnostic characters are:
(a) The fragments of the bracts in surface view. The upper epidermis is composed of straight- walled polygonal cells with a faintly striated cuticle; short, conical, unicellular cystolithic trichomes are present and these are very much enlarged at the base, with the calcium carbonate deposits well-defined; a few small glandular trichomes also occur; the cells of the -underlying palisade are small and closely packed and an occasional one of these cells contains a cluster crystal of calcium oxalate. The lower epidermis is composed of smaller cells than those of the epidermis and the walls are distinctly sinuous; very numerous anomocytic stomata are present; glandular trichomes are also fairly frequent. Occasional fragments of the bracts ar also found in sectional view showing a single-layered palisade beneath the upper epidermis; the palisade cells which contain calcium oxalate cluster crystals are frequently divided tangentially to form two smaller cells with a crystal in each.
(b) The fragments of the bracteoles in surface view. The upper epidermis is composed of
polygonal cells with unevenly thickened and beaded walls. The cells of the lower epidermis are smaller than those of the upper epidermis; the walls are more sinuous and only slightly thickened and beaded; anomocytic stomata are present and also numerous short, conical, unicellular covering trichomes which are wide at the base and taper abruptly to a point at the apex. Small cluster crystals of calcium oxalate are present in the mesophyll cells underlying both epidermises.
(c) The very abundant trichomes; these are found scattered and some of the smaller ones are also
found attached to fragments of the epidermises. The covering trichomes are of various types; they are all conical and unicellular but some are cystolithic while others do not contain cystoliths. The cystolithic trichomes are either very short and much enlarged at the base (as seen on the upper epidermis of the bract) or large, much elongated, not exceptionally enlarged at the base and having a distinctly warted wall (as seen on the epidermis of the stem); the covering trichomes which do not contain cystoliths are also of two main types, some being fairly short, slightly enlarged at the base and abruptly tapering to the apex whilst others are larger, more elongated with little enlargement at the base and gradually tapering to the apex. All types of covering trichomes are fairly abundant. The glandular trichomes are very distinct and characteristic; these also show some variation in form but those which are most abundant are composed of a multicellular, multiseriate stalk with a multicellular head containing from eight to twelve or more radiating cells; the stalks are cylindrical, three to five cells in diameter and the constituent cells are elongated with slightly thickened walls; the stalks are constricted at tilt. apex so that the head may be attached by two cells only; these 'neck' cells usually contain brown pigmented material even in a cleared mount; the cells of the head are thin-walled and have a common cuticle which is raised to form a bladder-like covering but this is rather indistinct and frequently bToken; i the powder the heads, including the 'neck' cells, are frequently found detached from the stalks. Other, less commonly occurring, glandular trichomes are much smaller and have a uniseriate stalk composed of one or two cells and a spherical head with from one to four or, occasionally, eight cells
(d) The fragments of the stigmas which are fairly abundant; they are orange to reddish-brown .and the epidermal cells, which are rather indistinct, are extended to form elongated papillae.These papillae are thin-walled, cylindrical and rounded at the tip; many become detached and are found scattered in the powder
(e) The fragments of the stem. In surface view the epidermis is composed of rather small, axially elongated cells with slightly thickened walls; long, warty, cystolithic covering trichomes are present, also glandular trichomes. Fragments of parenchyma from the cortex and pith also occur; the cells contain cluster crystals of calcium oxalate which, in the pith cells, are frequentl quite large; some of the cells show indistinct pitting on the side walls. Occasional fibres from the pericycle are found, usually in small groups; individual fibres are thick-walled with few pits; they are unlignified or only very slightly lignified. The vessels are fairly large and occur in small groups; the walls are lignified and show annular or reticulate thickening.
f) The laticiferous tissue from the stem and larger veins of the bracts and bracteoles; this consists of elongated, unbranched, thin-walled tubes containing dark orange-brown granular secretion; this tissue is usually found associated with thin-walled parenchyma containing cluster crystal of calcium oxalate and with small, lignified vessels of the xylem
(g) The sclerenchymatous layer of the pericarp in surface view. When viewed from above the cells are very thick-walled and markedly sinuous, with striations and numerous pits. When viewed from below there is no apparent lumen and the surface is covered with minute, circular pits; a fairly large lumen becomes visible on focusing slightly downwards. These fragments are brown and not very numerous
(h) The occasional fragments of the perigone from the immature fruits in surface view, composed of small, very thin-walled parenchymatous cells. The shape of the cells varies; in some fragments the cells are straight-walled and polygonal, in others they are irregularly elongated and the walls may be markedly sinuous.
(i) The cluster crystals of calcium oxalate, which are found scattered as well as in the parenchymatous tissues. Some of the crystals show a dense centre with a regular radiating arrangement of the components
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