What Is Cannabis and What Is A Strain
Cannabis was first referenced in recorded history in 2900 BC by Chinese emperor Fu Hsi. Fu Hsi noted that Ma (cannabis in Chinese) contained both the yin and yang (the equivalence of harmony and balance) while being a very popular medicine of the time. The first written reference of cannabis appeared in 1500 BC In the Rh-Ya, also known as the Chinese pharmacopoeia.
Cannabis, weed, Mary Jane, ganja, loud, crisp, dro, top-shelf, herb, it goes by many names, some even call it marijuana. All of these names refer to cannabis.
There's been a confusion pertaining to cannabis for more than eight decades now thanks to the United States Federal government's early prohibition of marijuana.
During a time when America was just healing from a civil war a new law was formed that was clearly a racist one. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 is that law and it stopped the growth of legal cannabis in the American culture up until recently. The thing about cannabis is that it's widely misunderstood. Cannabis sativa L is the scientific name given to the plant.
There are varieties of Cannabis sativa L that produce virtually no THC or THC percentages lower than 0. 003% called hemp. Then, there's the variety of cannabis more people are familiar with often referred to as marijuana that has a high THC percentage ranging from 6% upward of 30% or higher. The federal government was behind much of this confusion when they called cannabis marihuana and included cannabis's non-intoxicating cousin hemp, in federal prohibition.
Cannabis plants have leaves with fingers on them and the female plants produce the buds we love. There are three basic types of cannabis. Indicas (short bushy plants with leaves that resemble maple leaves), Sativas (tall lanky plants with long fingery leaves), and hybrids (a combo of the two). Indicas produce the heavy body highs with relaxing effects. Sativas give you a motivated, inspirational, and creative high. Hybrids combine the best of both worlds.
To use cannabis, you have several options. Let’s look at the most common ways to consume this incredible plant.
Dabbing- this is using cannabis concentrates and smoking them with a rig (pipe), straw, or electronic device.
Vaping- uses co2 extracted cannabis oil and heats it to just before the point of combustion. This helps remove unwanted carcinogens.
Edibles- this is a classic way to consume cannabis as most everyone has heard of reefer brownies. Today the world of cannabis edibles is a vast one with culinary creations of all sorts being infused with cannabis.
Topicals- are a growing trend with health and beauty. CBD is reported to work wonders in helping to keep your skin youthful and radiant. Cannabis is being used in pain creams and beauty products of all sorts from bath bombs and lip balms to medicated body rubs, salves, and creams.
Pharma- Cannabis capsules and tablets are a new way to get your weed on. Capsules can contain everything from isolated cannabis compounds like, THC, CBD, CBN, or CBG. There is also RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) or FECO (full extraction cannabis oil) capsules.
Flower- the old-school classic that you smoke in a joint, bowl, bong, or blunt. Flower comes in the form of buds and shake or trim.
Dry eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite (aka the munchies), happiness, and sleepiness are common side effects of cannabis that people are just fine with. Some people however experience increased heart rate, lightheadedness or dizziness, panic attacks, or paranoia. Cannabis can react to each person differently, meaning what worked for one person, may not work the same for another.
It’s best to know where your cannabis comes from. By purchasing your cannabis from a legal dispensary, you have the security of lab testing on your products. This will help give you a piece of mind as to the quality of your cannabis. Growing it yourself (where allowed) is another great option for knowing what’s in your cannabis, and it can be therapeutic in itself.
What Is A Cannabis Strain?
Cannabis strains are the different types or names of cannabis. For example, Pineapple Express is a hybrid cannabis strain, Durban Poison is a Sativa cannabis strain, and Hindu Kush is an Indica cannabis strain. Just because a strain has a name like blueberry or pineapple in it doesn’t necessarily mean it will have that taste.
Strains have different cannabinoid profiles meaning some are stronger than others. Lab tests can help you know what strains have higher THC and CBD levels than others do. Strains aren’t anything to be intimidated by or confused by. If you have ever rolled a joint, packed a bowl or consumed cannabis or that matter then you’ve tried a strain.
READ ALSO: Debunking the Indica Sativa Myth
Now that you know what a cannabis strain is, get out there and try them all. There are hundreds if not thousands to try so you’re sure to find one you love out there in the sea of green. Keep a journal of how each strain treats you to help you pick your favorite.
Education About Cannabis Advances
Fast forward 80 years and cannabis is no longer just something that is the devil's lettuce or for degenerate. The truth about cannabis has been circulating for decades being kept alive by advocates and supporters against the will of the government. The war on drugs was more like an attempted eradication of cannabis.
Today, we're learning the science behind cannabis. We’re learning about cannabinoid profiles and terpenoid profiles. As well as how they interact with our bodies endogenous endocannabinoid system. We’re learning new ways to develop new forms of medications to help treat untreatable conditions that have surfaced over the years.
On June 28th, 2018 the FDA approved a new drug for the first time in history that contains natural cannabis in the form of CBD. There so much more to cannabis than indica, sativa, or hybrid. Even the methods of consumption when it comes to cannabis have changed. Today people dab, vape, have transdermal lotions, and nano extraction edibles. One thing will always remain the same though when it comes to this plant and that is the fact that it help bring happiness and good health to millions around the globe!