Cannabis 101

What is Cannabis

We are not all familiar with the potential of cannabis, but I am sure you have heard about cannabis in the news, in papers or from friends and family. In the article, we will cover the basics about cannabis and how you can use it to your benefit.

What is cannabis

Cannabis is a plant that is believed to have come from central Asia and spread across the globe through the use and trade of many ancient and modern civilizations. It was originally used and documented as a fibre as well as used as a medicinal and nutritional supplement. It was first used and documented by the Chinese in their book of Pharmacopoeia as early as 3000BC and believed to have been used as a treatment for gout and rheumatism. Since then cannabis made its way around the world through merchants, traders and adventures that were exploring the world and making contact with new civilizations.

Cannabis reached America’s during the early 16th century through Spanish trading ships and established itself as an agricultural crop in Chile and Brazil. It slowly moved up north and met with other varieties of cannabis in North America in the 1700’s.

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants with a couple of varieties in the family known as Cannabaceae. The number of species of cannabis is hotly disputed and we still generally categorize cannabis into three distinctive groups, namely; sativa, indica and ruderalis. Let’s not forget hemp is also classified as cannabis and on top of that cannabis can be interbred with each other to form hybrid varieties. The scientific debate has had little effect on the taxonomy of cannabis and modern cultivators generally refer to cannabis sativa dominant or indica dominant.

What is Cannabis

Sativa

Sativa cannabis is generally suited for warmer climates closer the equator with longer summer seasons. They take longer to flower and taller in stature in comparison to other species. Some Sativa’s can grow over 9 foot in height and can take over 12 weeks to flower. The cannabis leaves are thin and can have up to 13 fingers on each leaf. Sativa’s body and mind effect are generally considered to be uplifting and energising. A popular sativa strain is called Durban Poison. Durban Poison was originally located in South Africa, just south of the port, Durban.

Differences between Indica, Sativa and ruderalis

Indica

Indica is suited for colder climates and the species are located further from the equator with shorter summer months. Indica cannabis plants tend to have shorter flowering times, anything from 8 weeks to 10 weeks. Indica’s are bushier plants than their sativa species and can be as small as 4 foot in height. A distinguishing feature is that have much fatter leaf blades and short internodes. Indica’s are well-known for their couch-lock effect on the body and mind and are considered more relaxing than energising Sativa’s. A good example of an Indica strain is OG Kush, this strain/species was named after its location, the Hindu Kush mountain ranges in central south Asia.

Ruderalis

A fairly new discovered species of cannabis. It was originally located in Eastern Europe and very well-known for its auto-flowering capabilities. It is not dependant on the seasons to induce flowering, unlike indica and sativa. Its growth is considered short and stalky, with rugged growth pattern. It is a very short plant, and a plant is only between 1 and 2.5 feet in height. A good example of a ruderalis is the strain lowryder, which is known for its fast flowering turn around time.

Hybrids and Hemp

For many decades, cultivators of cannabis have bred the plants entirely for its recreational effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” in cannabis, and this has been cannabis breeders goal in the past. Recently a new cannabinoid has come to the attention of many, cannabidiol or CBD. CBD is a major compound also found in cannabis, especially in the industrial cannabis variety known as hemp. CBD is not an active psychoactive cannabinoid like THC but also has very many associated potential medical benefits. In the current cannabis industry, many of the strains available to us are known as hybrids, these are crosses of indica, sativa or ruderalis and thousands are available. Well-known hybrid strains are Girl Scout Cookies, Northern Lights and White Widow.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is fast gaining popularity as an alternative “medicine” to traditional prescription drugs. The reasons for this is the hundreds of cannabinoids found in cannabis have been noted to provide many potential medical benefits including and not limited to pain management, appetite stimulant, sleep aid, and mood enhancer. Cannabis is especially known as a reliever of pain for many conditions and diseases such as back pain, Alzheimers, cancer, epilepsy, arthritis and HIV/Aids.

Although THC is a great supplement, CBD is fast making the news due to its healing benefits as well as it being non-psychoactive. Due to this fact, CBD is a safe, non-toxic therapeutic and nutritional supplement that can be used for things such as pain management, especially back and joint pain. Its also known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure properties. CBD oil dosage has not been standardized as yet, and there is no recommended daily intake ( RDI ) available for the public as yet. It is generally considered to use CBD “low and slow” and incrementally build up your dosage. Luckily CBD has no severe overdose side effects, and if you deliver too much you might experience a dry mouth, dizziness or feel sleepy!

CBD oil is a great nutritional supplement for people living highly stressed and busy lives. Many sportsmen and business people are turning to CBD oil to improve their performance and recovery in their professional careers. CBD oil can bring your body back to balance and allow you a better quality of life when using it as a supplement to a healthy diet.

With California legalizing cannabis at the beginning of this year, it is as easy as buying a beer as it is buying cannabis. The time is now to look at integrating cannabis into your daily diet and delivery vital cannabis to your system for a better health and wellness.

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