Is Cannabis a Veggie or a Fruit?
Is the marijuana plant a veggie or fruit or both?
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.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,…
Cannabis – Is it a fruit, a vegetable, or an herb?
When this question came across my mind, my initial response was an herb, mainly because that’s what I’ve heard people reference it as. After doing some research, I realized it is technically all three!
Let’s start with what defines a fruit, a vegetable, and an herb. There’s been a fine line between fruits and vegetables over the years because the qualifications have changed. Growing up I was told that anything that grew out of the ground that was sweet was considered a fruit, and anything else was a vegetable. Nowadays, regardless of flavor, if it is a seed plant, then it’s considered a fruit. That means cucumbers, squash, peppers are all fruit.
The definition of a vegetable is an herbaceous plant that has edible parts like the leaves, roots, bulbs, flowers, tubers and stem.. Anything that comes from a plant or tree, is edible, and doesn’t have seeds, is considered a vegetable. Now this gets me thinking of the fruits I know to see if they all have seeds. While there are many fruits that I thought were vegetables, the only plant I could find that tastes sweet and doesn’t have any seeds, is rhubarb.
Then I thought to myself, what about bananas? I honestly didn’t think they had seeds in them because I never tasted them. After doing some reading, I learned that bananas do have seeds. However, the ones you typically get at the supermarket contain a minimal amount. There are different types of bananas, and some of the seeds are more apparent than others. Then it is brought to my attention that bananas also fall into the herb category. An herb is defined as a flowering plant with a stem that is not woody when above ground, and is valued for its flavor, scent or medicinal properties. I was always under the impression that bananas were grown on trees when, in reality, they are technically plants. This is because the stems on banana plants are more of a succulent material than wood. So crazy right?
Now I will get to the main plant of discussion, cannabis, aka marijuana. Based on what is defined as a fruit, vegetable, and herb, this is one of the rare plants that fall under all three categories. It was surprisingly the only one I could find, but I’m not knowledgeable enough in this field to make it a claim.
Here is why cannabis is technically a fruit, a vegetable, and an herb:
- Cannabis is a fruit because it reproduces seeds through their pistils. They are the tiny hairs on the female plant that collect pollen from the male plant, to create a seed.
- Cannabis is a vegetable because it is an herbaceous plant that is edible with nutritional value. Not many people know this, but you can eat the cannabis leaves, and it won’t make you feel high. There is also value in eating hemp seeds (they come from the cannabis sativa plant) that are a high source of protein and has other nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6.
- Cannabis is an herb because it has a stem above the ground that is not woody. Depending on the type of cannabis plant, it can grow like a bush or tall and thin stalk. There is also the debatable topic that it has medicinal properties, which is proven more and more every day with medical research studies.
The moral of the story is, what we perceived to be something based on what we were raised to believe can change over time. If people can accept that a tomato is really a fruit, I’m hopeful that one day people (as a society) will accept that cannabis isn’t as bad as it’s been made out to be.Cannabis – Is it a fruit, a vegetable, or an herb? When this question came across my mind, my initial response was an herb, mainly because that’s what I’ve heard people reference it as. After ]]>