The Cannabis Plant
Learning more about the plant and how it effects.
You’ve probably heard that there are both male and female cannabis plants. It’s really only the female plant – the one that produces the high most people are looking for – that we’re concerned with here!
The “bud” that you want to smoke is the flower of the female plant – containing the most cannabinoids it is the part harvested for smoking.
While the fan leaves are the most recognizable – the ones you see on tshirts and college dorm posters – the actually only produce very little cannabinoids – though many are now using them fresh in smoothies and other health foods.
If you’ve ever heard the term “cola” in a cannabis context and wondered what it meant, a cola is a bunch of buds clustered together on the plant, growing so closely that they look like one giant bud.
The trichomes that you can view when looking at the plant with a magnifying glass are where the resin, THC, CBD and terpenes come from.
It is THC that causes the elevating "high" effect.
It is THC that causes the elevating “high” effect.
Fresh from the ground cannabis plants contain a compound called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). When cannabis is decarboxylated (heated, dried or cured, the acid molecule (the “A disappears and the THC is activate allowing the consumer to “get high.” Fresh plant matter is not yet active with THC.
The percentage of THC in any particular strain determines its potency – and how high the user is likely to get. A quick rundown on how to read THC content : its described as a percentage of mg per gram. So if a strain you want to try is 15% THC, it has 150 mg of THC per gram of cannabis. There is no higher potency than the mid 30s at present. It is impossible for dry cannabis to get to 100 percent THC. Because it’s natural and not lab made, THC content can vary from strain to strain and even within the same strain. Those who are unfamiliar with cannabis should start with smaller doses in order to avoid negative effects like “greening out.”
The effects of THC will be different for everyone. When choosing a product, the best advice is not to just look at the THC content – but consider also how you will be consuming it (smoking or edibles, for example, can have different effects!) Age, health history, history of consumption, and even age can make a difference! You may want to consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Things to know
Essentially, CBD increases the cannabinoids that naturally occur in the body for more optimum health.
You can’t get high from CBD
Most consumers use CBD medicine as an oil, or in a capsule. Many also find relief by applying it topically as a salve.
Like other natural products, the contents of CBD can vary a lot.
Chemists say that CBD stops an enzyme in our bodies that destroys our own endocannabinoids, helping the CBD consumer to bring their own natural endocannabinoids back to their body with a positive effect on their heath.
Studies also show that CBD affects other natural chemicals in our bodies including
serotonin, adenosine, which impacts our sleep-wake cycle; and vanilloid all helping to maximize health.
CBD and THC – Although science is still studying a theory called “the entourage effect,” it appears that CBD reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.
Why do different cannabis strains smell different? TERPENES!
Terpenes are found in many plants – not just cannabis – but it is terpenes that give each strain its own smell and taste. Some terpenes are unique to cannabis! You may have noticed some cannabis smells earthy, some skunky, and some smells fruity – terpenes are the reason why.
Terpenes are what give all plants the smells we know and love- from flowers to vegetables to cannabis.
Terpene levels can vary hugely from one grow to the next even within the same strains.
Why do terpenes matter? Everyone has favourite flavors and smells – so discovering the terpene profile of cannabis can help you find a favourite and tailor your cannabis experience. Those familiar with aromatherapy and using various plants in natural remedies, point out that terpenes may have more impact than previously thought! You may also have heard of the “entourage effect” – cannabinoids and terpenes working together to produce the positive feeling the cannabis user has come to expect..
Cannabis Plant Types
You may have heard of cannabis sativa, and cannabis indica – or the less known cannabis ruderalis (used by breeders to make their hybrids better).
Cannabis Sativa – This lady can grow very tall in the right conditions – even as HIGH as 25 feet! It has long, light green, serrated leaves.
Cannabis indica – Cannabis Indica grows faster than cannabis sativa – much shorter but equally as effective – and usually with darker, greener leaves.
Cannabis ruderalis – The lesser known one of the cannabis family is shorter, shaggy and somewhat stalky with lighter green leaves. Autoflowering, these plants are also rugged and can withstand a lot !
Hybrids -You hear a lot of talk about the different effects of sativa vs indica, but today’s growers are doing a lot with hybrid plants combining the best features of both species to produce the effects consumers are looking for!