Intro to Cannabis

What is Cannabis?

The term cannabis refers to a family of three plants with psychoactive and medical properties, known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Once the flowers of these plants are dried and harvested, you’re left with one of the most common forms of relief in the world. Some call it pot, some call it weed, and others call it marijuana. As marijuana becomes legal in more areas, names for it are evolving. Today, more and more people are using the term cannabis to refer to weed. Cannabis is usually consumed for its calming and relaxing effects. In some U.S. states, it’s also prescribed to help with a range of medical conditions, including chronic pain, glaucoma, poor appetite, etc….. Always keep in mind that even though cannabis comes from a plant and is considered natural, it still possesses strong effects, both positive and negative.

History of the plant

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, pot, grass, etc….. Has a long history of human use. Most ancient cultures didn’t grow the plant to get the effects of being high, but as herbal medicine, starting in Asia and dating back to around 500 BC. The history of cannabis cultivation in America dates back to the early colonists, who grew hemp for textiles and rope.

The hemp or cannabis plant originally evolved in Central Asia before people transported the plant into Africa, Europe and eventually the Americas. Hemp fiber was used to make sails, paper, clothing and rope, and its seeds were used as food.

Due to the fact that it’s a fast-growing plant that has many uses and is easy to cultivate, hemp was widely grown throughout colonial America and at Spanish missions in the Southwest. Back in the early 1600s, the Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut colonies required farmers to grow hemp. These colonial hemp plants had very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effects.

There has been evidence that an array of ancient cultures knew about the different psychoactive properties of the cannabis plant. They may have cultivated multiple varieties to produce increased levels of THC for use in religious ceremonies or the purpose of healing.Evidence of burned cannabis seeds have been found within the graves of shamans in China and Siberia from as early as 500 BC.

Cannabis has had its ups and downs within cultural, political and legal points of view. However in recent times we have seen an unprecedented wave of support for the cannabis industry and culture on all spectrums across the world.

Massachusetts has a long history with Cannabis dating all the way back to the 1600s when select colonies were required to produce industrial hemp. Hemp was widely produced throughout colonial America because it’s a fast-growing plant that’s easy to cultivate with many uses, so Massachusetts produced the crop along with Connecticut and Virginia. These early hemp plants had very low levels of THC, so farmers certainly didn’t use them to smoke, but that didn’t stop Massachusetts from becoming the first state to outlaw marijuana.

It was 1911, when Massachusetts passed the first law in the United States that restricted the sale of cannabis, except by only licensed pharmacists provided with a doctor’s prescription. It has been argued that the first state banned the drug in 1914, however either way, it took almost another 100 years for the state to propose new legislation. By 2008, voters had approved a ballot initiative that decriminalized the possession of marijuana. This means that adults could now possess up to an ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six mature cannabis plants. Then in 2012, voters once again moved forward by approving medical marijuana, so now patients that have qualifying conditions can easily purchase from registered marijuana dispensaries. Now, Massachusetts pushes forward with marijuana reform. As the state comes close to establishing a regulated marijuana market similar to that of alcohol.

Sativa, Indica or Hybrid?

A wide variety of retailers classify cannabis into three main categories: sativa, indica or hybrid. Over the years, there has been an increasingly considerable debate over these terms and their applications. Some have claimed there is little difference between the two species and their effects, contrary to popular belief. It is important to consider the commonly associated effects: Sativa strains are associated with an upbeat, stimulating head high and are commonly associated with daytime use. This will leave users feeling invigorated. Indica strains are associated with relaxation, drowsiness and pain relief. Indica strains are commonly associated with nighttime use and are considered to promote a mellow feel. Hybrid strains are a type of cannabis created by combining the two species of weed: sativa and indica. This will produce effects that will be more balanced throughout the body. This makes hybrid strains a great choice for a wide variety of users.

Sativa: One type of marijuana classification is sativa. Leaves of this species of marijuana plant tend to be lighter in color as well as narrower than that of Indica.

Cannabis harvested from this species of plant is associated with a boost of energy, stimulating effect that gives users a buzz that doesn’t make you drowsy as much as it is uplifting. Sativa marijuana plants tend to grow in hot, dry climates and can be found growing in various regions across the world. Sativa also typically has less CBD and more THC and promotes productivity as well as creativity.

Indica: Another type of marijuana classification is indica. Leaves of this species of marijuana plant tend to be darker in color as well as wider than that of sativa.

Cannabis harvested from this species of plant can be associated with sleepiness, relief to those suffering from chronic pain, appetite, reduced nausea, relaxing and therapeutic qualities. Indica typically grows faster, strains tend to have higher doses of CBD and lower levels of the psychoactive compound THC.

Hybrid: A cannabis plant that’s bred to inherit the most favorable characteristics from its two parent plants.

Hybrid strains can be a combination of any plant varieties and will typically depict phenotypes that are either sativa-dominant, indica-dominant, or equally balanced. Hybrid weed plants may also contain genetics from ruderalis varieties, a third variety of the cannabis plant that isn’t dependent on light exposure to start flowering, a process known as “auto-flowering.”