Is Cannabis a Veggie or a Fruit?
Since childhood, you learn to distinguish between fruits and veggies. For a child, it seems easy to identify fruits and vegetables. Fruits are generally sweet and veggies not. Then you get the veggies that are actually a fruit, like a tomato, and everything you learned gets thrown out of the window. The lines between fruits and vegetables get fuzzier and you learn that it very much depends on the gardener or chef you talk to that define the issue further.
Then there is marijuana. You might never have thought about its vegetable or fruit status before. But as it is moving stronger into edibles and beverages, it might be just the right time to decide what it is. Is it a fruit, or a vegetable?
The difference Between a Fruit and a Vegetable
Normally, in reference to fruit, it is considered the part of the plant that contains the seeds. For this reason, food like tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and squashes are technically looked at as fruits rather than veggies. Vegetables are usually considered the other parts of the plant that is used for food. This could be leaves, the roots, the stems, and even the flowers. Commonly known green leafy vegetables are lettuce and spinach. Popular root veggies include carrots, beets, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Mostly stems would be found in veggies like asparagus, and flowers are normally found in veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
Then there are berries like blackcurrants and gooseberries that are not the same as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. But what about bananas? Sometimes it is referred to even as an herb. And do not forget corn. Technically it is a grain. So, where does cannabis fit in? It has seeds. Shouldn´t it be classified as fruit then? But the answer is not as clear cut as we would like it to be. Before it can be classified, we have to understand the anatomy of the plant.
The Anatomy of Cannabis
Before we can decide if cannabis is a veggie or a fruit, we have to understand a bit more about its anatomy, or phytotomy, as it is scientifically named. The cannabis plant has four basic structures that include the roots, the stem, the leaves, and the very well sought-after flowers. Each plays its own important role:
Roots – they are used to bring nutrients and water from the soil to the plant.
Stems – apart from providing support to the plant, it also transports water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant.
Leaves – it contains chlorophyll what the plant uses to produce energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. The plant also uses the leaves to respire through little holes called stomata
Flowers – they are the reproductive organs of a plant. In cannabis, male plants produce small sacs of pollen, and the female plants produce large clusters of flowers, called colas. The colas have tightly packed buds and sugar leaves. The buds are covered with trichomes where the cannabinoids, terpenes, and good stuff are found. Pistils are also found on the bud with the sole purpose to receive pollen from male plants to create new seeds.
In nature, the whole point of the cannabis plant is to create seeds to allow the plant to continue with its lineage. We spoke above about the fact that plants with seeds are normally classified as a fruit. Does this make marijuana a fruit then?
Can Cannabis Be Called A Veggie?
The seeds of marijuana are not the same as that of an apple or a peach. So, it has to be a veggie then, right? Marijuana has many parts that could be chopped up and added to your plate. But the taste is quite distinctive, and you don’t know if you really want to do that. But if you can overcome the taste, there are plenty of reasons to add cannabis to your diet as a vegetable. But maybe it should not be called a veggie or a fruit, but rather an herb.
Cannabis is Herb
Yes, cannabis can be used as a veggie. With great success, might I add. But it fits rather comfortably in the category as an herb. The word herb normally describes how a plant is used. Cannabis can be used to flavor foods, or as a medicine, or as even sometimes in rituals. Exactly what herbs are for. Most herbs have a strong smell because of the terpene concentrate of the plant. Terpenes are aromatic oils.
Then cannabis is also used for medicinal purposes. Something that herbs are being used for thousands of years. For a very long time, cannabis is also used for religious rituals, like in the Rastafarian culture, to name one.
My opinion is just that, my opinion. But I think cannabis can almost fit in all three of these categories. On all levels, the benefits overshadow the name.