Cannabis Education: What is marijuana?

 

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Cannabis and marijuana refer to the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa). The hemp plant has trichomes, crystal-like structures producing chemicals called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are responsible for the psychoactive effects experienced when consuming cannabis. They all have their own role to play in how the plant interacts with the human mind and body. The most commonly known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. They tend to be focused on because of the illegal national status for THC. This gives CBD, a much less psychoactive cannabinoid, an advantage being nationally recognized and legal. The legal limit for a marijuana plant’s THC levels is 0.3%. Once it passes this threshold it is illegal in multiple states and nationally. 

Both of these cannabinoids are found in indica, sativa, and hybrid plants. These classifications are common terms that help us understand some of the likely effects cannabis will have. They are also easy to visually see when looking at the way the marijuana grows. Sativas are thinner, taller, and more spread out while indicas are broad leafed, short, and dense. Hybrids are a widely varying mix of the two. With these five common terms understanding cannabis will be simple.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is what gets you “high”. It is the biggest contributor to the psychoactive properties experienced, the effects of which can also be described as euphoric, uplifting, time bending, which would make sense. This stuff isn’t your grandma’s weed. The average THC hovered around 3-5% until the 1970s. Now the average selection has 15% and can be found pushing 40%! With the increased THC lesser known cannabinoids are lost. This affects the benefits of cannabis. A balance of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids is ideal.

THC is much more than just a way to get “high”. Humans have been using it to provoke thought for thousands of years. Today it is used across the globe to help people. Whether it is someone who struggles to relax, or someone in a dire medical situation, it can give back agency and control. This cannabinoid is a versatile one that can provide a surprising amount of perspective and reflection. 

THC can be found pushing 90% in concentrates, and up to 500mg in some states as edibles

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD has been a growing industry as more and more information has been circulated. It can help people physically relax which lead to its first approved drug use. The FDA approved Epidiolex which is used to help people experiencing seizures. This has helped boost its public image and there for its market. You can now find CBD only products in pet stores, coffee shops, and online. There are lots of great effects you can experience from high CBD cannabis. However, isolating CBD means cutting out a majority of the other cannabinoids. 

THC and CBD are a great starting point for smoking cannabis because they are so widely known and general effects are established. For a look into what other possibilities there are out there Tweedle Farms is a great place to start. They are an online cannabis retailer out of Oregon with non-THC products that include a breakdown of the cannabis including cannabinoids and terpenes present. For everyone interested who doesn’t want to have a classic high non-THC is the way to go.

Indica

The “head high”. A great choice for relaxing and creative thinking. This heady cannabis includes fan favorites like Northern Lights, and Grape Ape. If you are new to the cannabis scene this would be good to test out on a day with some free time to just hangout and lounge around. Maybe watch some Netflix, play some video games, or devour leftovers. Much like cuddling into your bed on a cool day you will be comfy and stay put. 

An easy tool to remember its effects is In-Da-Couch. 

Sativa

The “body high”. It is the cannabis to use if you are going on a hike, doing gardening, or have some chores. Popular kinds include Lemon Haze and Amnesia Mac Ganja. Once it starts to kick in you will be more aware of the world around you. As the temperature changes and you are you will notice quickly. If you smell the trash it may stick in your nose longer. Colors jump out more than usual and physical textures are more enticing. 

Hybrid

History has categorized cannabis plants in three ways indica, sativa and hybrid. Indicas used to mean having more than 80% indica and less than 20% sativa (or 80/20 for sativa). Today it is rare to find a strain in dispensaries that is more onesided than a 70/30 split. Because of this, the categories of true indica and sativa have become a top shelf product. This means we are in a golden age of hybrid strains with a wide variety of physical and psychoactive characteristics. If you know what you are looking for in a cannabis plant then budtenders or leafly will be able to find something to suit your needs.

Here is the breakdown

Marijuana is a variety of plant that develops trichomes. These trichomes form cannabinoids like THC and CBD which are important when deciding what kind of cannabis you want to use. They create the profile of effects you experience. Then there are the broad categories of marijuana plants called hybrid, sativa and indica. These three types help simplify the process of identifying your ideal cannabis strain. Sativa tends to be more energized and indica tends to be more sedative. Hybrids are a great way to combine the best parts of indica and sativa to find your ideal cannabis profile. There are so many great options to explore and try so don’t wait, give it a try and let us know how it goes!

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Cannabis Plant

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