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Review Article|26 Jul 2023|OPEN
Cannabis sativa: origin and history, glandular trichome development, and cannabinoid biosynthesis
Ziyan Xie1,2 ,† , Yaolei Mi1,2,3 ,† , Lingzhe Kong1,2 , Maolun Gao1,2 and Shanshan Chen3 , Weiqiang Chen3 , Xiangxiao Meng3 , Wei Sun2,3 , , Shilin Chen2,4 , , Zhichao Xu,1,2 ,
1Key Laboratory of Saline-alkali Vegetation Ecology Restoration (Northeast Forestry University), Ministry of Education, Harbin 150040, China
2College of Life Science, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
3Key Laboratory of Beijing for Identification and Safety Evaluation of Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
4Institute of Herbgenomics, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,,
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad150 (2023)
Views: 85

Received: 14 Jun 2023
Accepted: 18 Jul 2023
Published online: 26 Jul 2023


Is Cannabis a boon or bane? Cannabis sativa has long been a versatile crop for fiber extraction (industrial hemp), traditional Chinese medicine (hemp seeds), and recreational drugs (marijuana). Cannabis faced global prohibition in the twentieth century because of the psychoactive properties of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol; however, recently, the perspective has changed with the recognition of additional therapeutic values, particularly the pharmacological potential of cannabidiol. A comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanism of cannabinoid biosynthesis is necessary to cultivate and promote globally the medicinal application of Cannabis resources. Here, we comprehensively review the historical usage of Cannabis, biosynthesis of trichome-specific cannabinoids, regulatory network of trichome development, and synthetic biology of cannabinoids. This review provides valuable insights into the efficient biosynthesis and green production of cannabinoids, and the development and utilization of novel Cannabis varieties.