Preprint Review Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Origin, Early Dispersal, Domestication and Anthropogenic Diffusion of Cannabis, with Emphasis on Europe and the Iberian Peninsula

Version 1 : Received: 24 November 2021 / Approved: 25 November 2021 / Online: 25 November 2021 (08:29:49 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 1 December 2021 / Approved: 2 December 2021 / Online: 2 December 2021 (08:55:17 CET)

How to cite: Rull, V. Origin, Early Dispersal, Domestication and Anthropogenic Diffusion of Cannabis, with Emphasis on Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. Preprints 2021, 2021110463 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0463.v2). Rull, V. Origin, Early Dispersal, Domestication and Anthropogenic Diffusion of Cannabis, with Emphasis on Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. Preprints 2021, 2021110463 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0463.v2).

Abstract

Cannabis is among the oldest human domesticates and has been subjected to intensive artificial (human-mediated) selection throughout history to create a wide array of varieties and biotypes for diverse uses, including fibre, food, biofuel, medicine and drugs. This paper briefly reviews the available literature on the taxonomy, evolutionary origin and domestication of this plant, as well as its worldwide dispersal, in both its wild and cultivated forms. Emphasis is placed on Europe and especially on the Iberian Peninsula. Today, it is accepted that Cannabis is a monospecific genus with two subspecies, C. sativa subsp. sativa and C. sativa subsp. indica, originating in Europe and Asia, respectively, by allopatric differentiation after geographic isolation fostered by Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles. Palynological and phylogeographic evidence situates the Cannabis ancestor on the NE Tibetan Plateau during the mid-Oligocene. The timing and place of domestication is still a matter of debate between contrasting views that defend single or multiple Neolithic domestication centres situated in different parts of the Eurasian supercontinent, notably central/southeastern China and the Caucasus region. Recent meta-analyses have suggested that wild Cannabis may have already been spread across Europe in the Pleistocene, and its domestication could have occurred during the European Copper/Bronze ages. According to the available reviews and meta-analyses, pre-anthropic dispersal of Cannabis into the Iberian Peninsula seems to have occurred only in postglacial times, and the earlier signs of cultivation date to the Early Medieval Ages. However, the palynological and archaeological evidence used to date is insufficient for a sound assessment, and the development of thorough Iberian databases to address further meta-analysis is essential for more robust conclusions. Some clues are provided for these achievements to be fulfilled.

Keywords

taxonomy; biogeography; evolution; domestication; dispersal; pollen; archaeology; hemp; drugs

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Palaeontology

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 2 December 2021
Commenter: Valenti Rull
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: The title has been changed, the text has been fully reframed and new references have been added
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