Cannabis and hemp are rather spectacular plants that produce an array of chemicals that when used appropriately can have fantastic effects on the mind and body. So here is a secret, cannabis and hemp are the same plant… Wait, what! Yep, the plant we know as marijuana and hemp both are members of the Cannabaceae family, a type of flowering plant. What makes them different is the percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in the plants, and their legality. Hemp legally must have less than 0.3% THC by dry weight if it does it is legal for anyone to have laying around. Hemp legally must have less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. If it does it is legal for anyone to have laying around. So, it follows that marijuana has more than 0.3% of THC by dry weight, and its legality is… complicated. To make this more confusion we will always refer to the marijuana plant, aka greater than 0.3% THC concentration, as cannabis. I’ll get into why later. Federally cannabis is not legal, and the legality of cannabis varies by state so sometimes it’s legal recreationally, sometimes legal medically, and sometimes completely illegal. The actual amount of THC varies by strains and in those strains, you can start getting into different terpene profiles (oh just wait, we will get to those beauties in a bit) which can give you the rich cacophony of flavors. The actual amount of THC varies by strains, and in those strains, you can start getting into different terpene profiles (oh just wait, we will get to those beauties in a bit) which can give you the rich cacophony of flavors. I know it gets confusion real fast but stick with me and we will take a look at these beautiful plants. But first! History!
History of Cannabis
So, the use of cannabis in medicine goes WAY BACK. I’m talking 2800 BC back, in ancient China where Emperor Shen Nung (who was considered the father of Chinese Medicine) wrote about it in his book the pharmacopoeia. It was also noted in the writings of Indian Hindus, Assyrians, the Greeks, and the Romans. William Brooke O’Shaughnessy was the first guy to bring cannabis to Western medicine after living in India for a time, and he studied its therapeutic effects.
Now for the controversy. TheSo, the use of the term “marijuana” is considered controversial and derogatory because of the history and use of the word. Cannabis was mostly referred to as cannabis up until the early 1900’s when there were some issues with Mexicans immigrating to the United States due to a war. People got upset and wanted to stereotype them, so , so they made anti-Mexican and anti-cannabis propaganda were created to help renforce racist and ethnic stereotype. Not cool people! CANNABIS FOR ALL!!! So, all this bad publicity led to cannabis being outlawed in the 1930sSo, in 1936 the movie Reefer Madness was released showing that cannabis made people become psychotic and violent. All this bad publicity led to cannabis being taxed out of use in the late 1930s and then classified as having no medical use and high potential for abuse in the 1970s making it illegal. It wasn’t until 1996 that California legalized it for the use in terminally ill people as an act of compassion (the Compassionate Use Act). Increased interest and research lead to science showing HEY LOOK YOU CANNAPHOBES!!! CANNABIS IS COOL!!! And 2012 CDB was shown to treat schizophrenia as well as conventional antipsychotic medications (with less side effects), and since then therapeutic application have been researched and demonstrated in a myriad of medical conditions including Parkinson's, dementia, seizures, pain, anxiety, and glaucoma to name just a few.
You know you want to touch this plant
Ok enough of all that history shit… Let's finally meet these beauties! Let's explore the anatomy of the cannabis plant. I like pictures, so here is a good one I found so you know what you are looking at:
So here we have the basic anatomy of your standard cannabis plant. Coming from the bottom you have the stem... duh. From that you got the fan leaves which you can see have the beautiful characteristic patterned edges we all associate with the pictures of cannabis. Moving up, this is a crappy pic for trichomes, but don’t worry fams, I got you, and will show you a better one in a second. Moving up is the sugar leaves. These tiny leave work great in edibles and have a high concentration of THC. Next, we got the pistils. These are actually the sex organs of the plant. The pistils are the reddish orange hairs parts that that catch the sperm for fertilizing and making seeds. Things can get squirrely with cannabis genetics, so we won't go into that just yet but don’t worry fams, we will explore that in an upcoming article. Moving up at the top you can see we have the jewel, our lovely flower also known as the calyx. This big part of the plant is called the cola, which is an area where many flower buds can be found growing tightly near each other. Let's take a closer look in the next section.