A Brief Guide
In this article, we’ll be covering a few bits about Cannabis basics.
There are many different things that can be grown with an indoor grow setup, but we’d be amiss if we didn’t write at least one article on one of the most popular: Cannabis.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plant, that belongs to the family Cannabaceae.
Three species are often recognized:
- Cannabis Sativa
- Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis Ruderalis
Research suggests Cannabis may be indigenous to Central Asia, with further research possibly pointing to upper South Asia as its origin.
The plant can also be known by another name, Marijuana.
Another term which is incorrectly but widely used when talking about Cannabis is, Hemp. Although Hemp is from the same Sativa family, it is actually a different plant variety altogether and shouldn’t be confused with Cannabis.
The term hemp is primarily used to refer to varieties of Sativa cultivated with low levels of the psychoactive compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
Cannabis Basics: A Little History
The word Cannabis originates from the Greek word κάνναβις (kánnabis) which is thought to trace back to either Scythian or Thracian.
One of the oldest documentation of Cannabis use for possible medicinal purposes comes from the Yanghai Tombs. Where researches uncovered a grave of a 2700-year-old shaman, thought to belong to the Jushi culture.
As well as the shaman, the researches found what looked to be well-preserved Cannabis. Upon scientific analysis, the sample was confirmed to be just that and found to contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the psychoactive component. It has been theorized that it was possibly used within his culture for it’s medicinal or psychoactive properties.
Cannabis usage as a mind-altering drug has also been documented in prehistoric societies in both Eurasia and Africa.
One of the oldest documented records of recreational cannabis use is from the Greek historian Herodotus’s reference of Eurasian Scythians taking cannabis steam baths.
Recreational Cannabis use was also popular among the Greeks, Romans and the Middle East, it’s usage spread throughout the Islamic empire and then into North Africa.
The spread of cannabis eventually reached into the Western hemisphere. The Spaniards are then thought to of imported it to Chile for its fiber.
In North America, Hemp was primarily grown for making rope, clothing, and paper.
Hemp is the name given and commonly used to describe the durable soft fiber from the stalk of the plant. The plant species often cultivated for Hemp is Sativa, this is due to its long stems, some varieties have been known to grow to more than six meters tall.
The term Hemp can also refer to any industrial or food product that has minimal or no trace of the Cannabis compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Hemp can be used for a variety of different commercial products, these can range from paper, clothing, food products, health products, production material to most textiles in general.
Although Hemp has had a bit of a resurgence in recent times, it’s actually been used by civilizations for thousands of years, it’s one of the most diverse materials there is.
Biochemistry & Reproduction
Cannabis plants are made up of compounds called Cannabinoids.
Cannabis plants are mainly annual (meaning it completes a full life cycle in one season) and dioecious (which means it has male (staminate) or female (pistillate) flowers on separate plants).
Cannabis flowers are also imperfect (meaning some parts that should be present are not, or if they are present, they will not be developed).
Cannabis has one of the most complicated mechanisms of sex determination in dioecious plants. Many models have been proposed to explain sex determination in Cannabis.
It’s theorized by some researches that sex determination in a variety of cannabis species can be influenced or even determined due to environmental conditions.
Some treatments with auxin and ethylene have been known to have feminizing effects, whereas similar treatments with cytokinins or gibberellins can sometimes have masculine effects.
In 2019 the cannabis landscape has undergone a huge transformation. This is in part due to the changes in legalization and the frequent medical studies being released on its benefits for a variety of different illnesses and diseases.
It also correlates with the public’s online use, and the ways they now go about getting their information. It’s no longer kept behind closed doors and filtered down through traditional means to show only one side. Because of this, and the increasing failure on “the war on drugs” a different approach was necessary.
As well as cannabis being sought and legally sold in a growing number of states and countries, there’s also a growing list of commercial products that can be found under health & well-being and sold online and in most health stores for medicinal purposes, a few are:
- Cannabis/Hemp oil (Drops, taking orally)
- Cannabis/Hemp tablets
- Cannabis/Hemp oil & Butter (Cooking)
- Cannabis/Hemp body cream
- Cannabis/Hemp body oil
- Cannabis/Hemp gel
- Cannabis/Hemp gummies
Legalization & Benefits
With Government opinion and laws finally starting to change and catch up with the public’s feelings, and with frequent medical studies being released, everyone is starting to see cannabis in a whole new light.
One of the main sectors seeing these benefits and changes in real time is the medical community. Cannabis and its extracts are now being studied and used to help treat a variety of different illnesses and diseases with success.
Another area seeing benefits of legalization is communities themselves. States and Towns that have legalized cannabis have seen a massive increase in revenue. Which has then been reinvested back into to community.
Legalization also takes it out of the criminals’ hands and puts you the consumer back in charge.
Presently, the recreational use of Cannabis is becoming ever more popular. In the United States alone, it is believed that over 100 million Americans are regular users of Cannabis.
In the above article, we’ve written about some Cannabis basics, in what is hopefully easy to read, condensed and informative way. But the history of Cannabis is long, and its ongoing journey has further to travel yet. If anything, it’s more popular than ever, with plenty more to come.