top of page

Useful Information

Further reading and study for those interested. This section is still very much a work in progress.  


Scientific Studies






Useful Resources

Scientific Studies/Papers

Scientific Studies

This section is divided into the following categories:





Studies (Anthropology)

Geographies of Knowing, Geographies of Ignorance: Jumping Scale in Southeast Asia

Willem van schendel (2005)


'Area studies' use a geographical metaphor to visualise and naturalise particular social spaces as well as a particular scale of analysis. They produce specific geographies of knowing but also create geographies of ignorance. Taking Southeast Asia as an example, in this paper I explore how areas are imagined and how area knowledge is structured to construct area 'heartlands' as well as area 'borderlands'. This is illustrated by considering a large region of Asia (here named Zomia) that did not make it as a world area in the area dispensation after World War 2 because it lacked strong centres of state formation, was politically ambiguous, and did not command sufficient scholarly clout. As Zomia was quartered and rendered peripheral by the emergence of strong communities of area specialists of East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia, the production of knowledge about it slowed down. I suggest that we need to examine more closely the academic politics of scale that create and sustain area studies, at a time when the spatialisation of social theory enters a new, uncharted terrain. The heuristic impulse behind imagining areas, and the high-quality, contextualised knowledge that area studies produce, may be harnessed to imagine other spatial configurations, such as 'crosscutting' areas, the worldwide honeycomb of borderlands, or the process geographies of transnational flows. Scholars of all conventional areas can be involved in this project to 'jump scale' and to develop new concepts of regional space.

Are the Central Himalayas in Zomia? 

Sara Shneiderman (2010)


This article examines the applicability of the Zomia concept for social scientific studies of the Himalayan region, with a focus on the Central Himalayas. While for both empirical and political reasons the term Zomia itself may not be entirely appropriate to the Himalayan Massif, the analytical imperatives that underlie James C. Scott particularly the emphasis on the ethnic, national, and religious fluidity of highland communities, and their intentionality and agency vis- can be of great utility to those working in the Himalayan region. Through a historical review of the area tradition of , as well as an ethnographic sketch of the cross-border Thangmi community of Nepal, India, and China traditional nation-state rubrics.


Across Zomia with merchants, monks, and musk: Process geographies, trade networks, and the Inner-East-Southeast Asian borderlands

C. Patterson Giersch (2010)


For several decades, theorists have challenged notions of geographical space as fixed, instead arguing that spatial scales and regional configurations respond to transformations in politics and economies. This has raised questions about permanent regional studies configurations (such as Southeast Asia), sparking the proposal of, an alternative region focusing on Asia process geography's Kham, East Asia's Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, and Southeast Asia. In doing so, it reveals who traded commodities, on what scales they operated, and how their increasingly complex networks were imbricated with state and local power. These networks linked Zomian communities to Chinese and global transformations and influenced local cultural and political changes, suggesting that studies of mobility can uncover hidden geographies of social, political, and cultural change.


Studies (Cannabis)

A Systematic Investigation of Cannabis

Karl Higgins (2005)


Botanists disagree whether Cannabis (Cannabaceae) is a monotypic or polytypic genus. A systematic investigation was undertaken to elucidate underlying evolutionary and taxonomic relationships within the genus. Genetic, morphological, and chemotaxonomic analyses were conducted on 157 Cannabis accessions of known geographic origin. Sample populations of each accession were surveyed for allozyme variation at 17 gene loci. Principal component (PC) analysis of the allozyme allele frequencies revealed that most accessions were derived from two major gene pools corresponding to C. sativa L., and C. indica Lam. A third putative gene pool corresponds to C. ruderalis Janisch. Previous taxonomic treatments were tested for goodness of fit to the pattern of genetic variation. Based on these results, a working hypothesis for a taxonomic circumscription of Cannabis was proposed that is a synthesis of previous polytypic concepts. Putative infraspecific taxa were assigned to “biotypes” pending formal taxonomic revision. Genetic variation was highest in the hemp and feral biotypes and least in the drug biotypes. Morphometric traits were analyzed by PC and canonical variates (CV) analysis. PC analysis failed to differentiate the putative species, but provided objective support for recognition of infraspecific taxa of C. sativa and C. indica. CV analysis resulted in a high degree of discrimination of the putative species and infraspecific taxa. Variation in qualitative and quantitative levels of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids was determined, as were frequencies of alleles that control CBD and THC biosynthesis. The patterns of variation support a two-species concept, but not recognition of C. ruderalis as a separate species from C. sativa. PC analysis of terpenoid variation showed that the wide-leaflet drug (WLD) biotype of C. indica produced enhanced mean levels of guaiol and isomers of eudesmol, and is distinct from the other putative taxa. In summary, the results of this investigation show that a taxonomic revision of Cannabis is warranted. However, additional studies of putative wild populations are needed to further substantiate the proposed taxonomic treatment.

Cannabis Domestication, Breeding History, Present-day Genetic Diversity, and Future Prospects

Robert Clarke, Mark Merlin (2016)


Humans and the Cannabis plant share an intimate history spanning millennia. Humans spread Cannabis from its Eurasian homelands throughout much of the world, and, in concert with local climatic and human cultural parameters, created traditional landrace varieties (cultivars resulting from a combination of natural and farmer selection) with few apparent signs of domestication. Cannabis breeders combined populations from widely divergent geographical regions and gene pools to develop economically valuable fiber, seed, and drug cultivars, and several approaches were used with varying results. The widespread use of single plant selections in cultivar breeding, inbreeding, and the adoption of asexual reproduction for commercial drug production, reduced genetic diversity and made many present-day cultivars susceptible to pathogens and pests. The great majority of drug Cannabis cultivars are now completely domesticated, and thus are entirely dependent on humans for their survival. Future ramifications remain to be realized.

Identification of Phenotypic Characteristics in Three Chemotype Categories in the Genus Cannabis

Dan Jin, Phillip Henry (2021)


Modern Cannabis cultivars are morphologically distinguished by their leaflet shapes (wide for “Indica” and narrow for “Sativa”) by users and breeders. However, there are no scientific bases or references for determining the shape of these leaflets. In addition, these two categories contained mostly THC dominant (high THC) cultivars while excluded CBD dominant (high CBD) and intermediate (intermediate level of both THC and CBD) cultivars. This study investigated the phenotypic variation in 21 Cannabis cultivars covering three chemical phenotypes, referred to as chemotypes, grown in a commercial greenhouse. Thirty morphological traits were measured in the vegetative, flowering, and harvest stages on live plants and harvested inflorescences. The collected data were subjected to correlation analysis, hierarchical clustering, principal component analysis, and canonical correlation analysis with preassigned chemotypes. Canonical correlation analysis assigned individual plants to their chemotypes with 92.9% accuracy. Significant morphological differences were identified. Traits usable as phenotype markers for CBD dominant cultivars included light-green and narrow leaflets, a greater number of primary and secondary serrations, loose inflorescences, dense and resinous trichomes, and Botrytis cinerea resistance. Traits for intermediate cultivars included deep-green and medium-wide leaflets, more primary and secondary serrations, medium compact inflorescences, trichomes that are less dense and less resinous, and Botrytis cinerea resistance. Traits for THC dominant cultivars included deep-green and wide leaflets, large and compact inflorescences, dense and resinous trichomes, and Botrytis cinerea susceptibility. The results of this study provide a comprehensive profile of morphological traits of modern Cannabis cultivars and provides the first such profile for CBD dominant and intermediate cultivars. Additionally, this study included the traits of inflorescences, which have not been compared between three chemotypes in the literature. Phenotype markers identified in this study can facilitate preliminary cultivar identification and selection on live plants before or as a supplement to chemical and genetic analysis.

A classification of endangered high-THC cannabis domesticates and their wild relatives

John McPartland, Ernest Small (2020)


Two kinds of drug-type Cannabis gained layman’s terms in the 1980s. “Sativa” had origins in South Asia (India), with early historical dissemination to Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas. “Indica” had origins in Central Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkestan). We have assigned unambiguous taxonomic names to these varieties, after examining morphological characters in 1100 herbarium specimens, and analyzing phytochemical and genetic data from the literature in a meta-analysis. “Sativa” and “Indica” are recognized as C. sativa subsp. indica var. indica and C. sativa subsp. indica var. afghanica, respectively. Their wild-growing relatives are C. sativa subsp. indica var. himalayensis (in South Asia), and C. sativa subsp. indica var. asperrima (in Central Asia). Natural selection initiated divergence, driven by climatic conditions in South and Central Asia. Subsequent domestication drove further phytochemical divergence. South and Central Asian domesticates can be distinguished by tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol content (THC/CBD ratios, ≥7 or <7, respectively), terpenoid profiles (absence or presence of sesquiterpene alcohols), and a suite of morphological characters. The two domesticates have undergone widespread introgressive hybridization in the past 50 years. This has obliterated differences between hybridized “Sativa” and “Indica” currently available. “Strains” alleged to represent “Sativa” and “Indica” are usually based on THC/CBD ratios of plants with undocumented hybrid backgrounds (with so-called “Indicas” often delimited simply on possession of more CBD than “Sativas”). The classification presented here circumscribes and names four taxa of Cannabis that represent critically endangered reservoirs of germplasm from which modern cannabinoid strains originated, and which are in urgent need of conservation.