Cannabis (/ˈkænəbɪs/) is a flowering plant with a close relation to Hops.

 

There are three main types that can be visually recognized.

 

 

Cannabis sativa leaf.png

Cannabis sativa,

Characteristics of the plant:

  • Very tall, they can reach a heightof 4.5 metres or more
  • Long branches with large distances between nodes
  • Expansive root system
  • Long, thin leaves

Crop characteristics:

  • They usually produce few flowers when grown indoors
  • They produce a good yield outdoors
  • They can become too high in very little time
  • Their flowering period starts later than Indica strains’
  • All industrial hemp varieties are considered Cannabis Sativa

 

 

Cannabis indica.png

Cannabis indica,

Characteristics of the plant:

  • Small in size, stocky and compact
  • Condensed root system
  • Robust stalks
  • Wide, dark green leaves
  • Dense, heavy buds laden with THC and surrounded by small leaves that sometimes have reddishand purple tones.
  • This type of marijuana plant is much smaller than the Cannabis Sativa; it usually reaches a height of 1.5 metres and looks like a fir tree.

Crop characteristics:

Indoor: Indica marijuana plants are ideal for rookie growers due to their small size and short flowering period.

Outdoor crops: An excellent option for terraces, balconies and growers who want discretion. They’re harvested in September and this makes them highly appreciated in cold regions and where rain is frequent.

 

 

Cannabis Ruderalis.png

Cannabis ruderalis;

Characteristics of the plant:

  • Small in size and wild-looking
  • Looks like a roadside weed
  • Has fewer branches than Sativa or Indica specimens
  • Conical shape

Crop characteristics:

The photoperiod does not affect flowering

 


Marijuana is the slang term for portions of the Cannabis plant. It is one of the oldest psychoactive substances used by man.

Marijuana, also called pot, weed, ganja, mary jane, and a host of other nicknames, is made from the Cannabis plant. The plant can grow to 16 feet (5 meters) high, likely originated in the Central Asian steppe, near the Altai or Tian Shian Mountains, and was first cultivated in China and India, according to “Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Potential,” (Routledge, 2002).

The leaves, stems, flower buds and extracts from the marijuana plant can be eaten, brewed in a tea or put into a tincture.

There are hundreds of compounds in marijuana, but scientists believe the one responsible for the drugs’ psychoactive effects is tetrahydrocannbinol, or THC. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, and marijuana’s “high” comes from THC’s binding to CB1 receptors, responsible for pleasure, time perception and pain.

Medical marijuana can soothe nausea and increase appetite, quiet pain, soothe anxiety and even reduce epileptic seizures. Other research on the healing effects of cannabis is being examined. For example, research suggests that THC may be able to improve memory according to a 2016 study on mice.

The amount of THC in marijuana has grown over the past few decades. In the early 1990s, the average THC content in marijuana was about 3.74 percent and now, its most probably around 13%.

So why is THC psychoactive and CBD is not? How can one cannabinoid alter the mind so profoundly, and the other seemingly not at all?

When talking about cannabis and psychoactivity, we are exclusively talking about CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain, central nervous system and more recently identified, pituitary glandthyroid gland, and possibly in the adrenal gland. The CB1 receptor is also ‘expressed’ (or found) in several cells relating to metabolism, such as fat cellsmuscle cellsliver cells (and also in the endothelial cellsKupffer cells and stellate cells of the liver), and in the digestive tract. These receptor also expressed in the lungs and the kidney.

CB1 is present on Leydig cells and human sperms. In females, it is present in the ovariesoviducts myometriumdecidua, and placenta. It has also been implicated in the proper development of the embryo.

The difference between CBD vs. THC comes down to a basic difference in how each one interacts with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor. THC binds well with CB1 cannabinoid receptors. CBD has low binding affinity for CB1 receptors. That’s where the two diverge.

THC partially mimics a naturally produced neurotransmitter known as anandamide, aka “the bliss molecule.”Anandamide is an endocannabinoid which activates CB1 receptors. Animal studies have taught us that anandamide can increase appetite and enhance pleasure associated with food consumption, and it’s likely responsible for some of the rewarding effects of exercise (e.g. the “runner’s high”). Anandamide also plays a role in memory, motivation, and pain. THC is a “key” that so closely resembles anandamide that it activates CB1 receptors, allowing it to produce some of those same blissful feelings.

Think of it like an electrical plug connecting to a wall socket. A THC molecule looks more like the Anandamide and so fits perfectly on to CB1 receptors. When that connection happens, THC activates, or stimulates, those CB1 receptors, just as Anandamide would naturally in the body.

Researchers call THC a CB1 receptor agonist, which means THC works to activate those CB1 receptors.

CBD, by contrast, is not a good fit with CB1 receptors. It’s categorized as an antagonist of CB1 agonists. This means that it doesn’t act directly to activate or suppress CB1 receptors—rather, it acts to suppress the CB1-activating qualities of a cannabinoid like THC. In other words, when you ingest THC and CBD, the THC directly stimulates those CB1 receptors, while the CBD acts as a kind of modulating influence on the THC. As Project CBD co-founder Martin Lee once wrote: “CBD opposes the action of THC at the CB1 receptor, thereby muting the psychoactive effects of THC.”