Marijuana is a fascinating plant genus best known for psychoactive or and medicinal or therapeutic properties. The use and cultivation of marijuana or cannabis/ weed as it is commonly called dates back as far as written language itself, and its use for therapeutic and spiritual purposes spans many cultures around the world throughout history. But despite its ubiquity, people still find it difficult to fully understand what marijuana is or why there are thousands of different identified strains flooding markets worldwide. This article will take a look into how marijuana is defined, how marijuana has been used, and why it’s taken on so many forms since its earliest uses in human society.
What is marijuana used for?
Nowadays marijuana is generally ingested for two primary uses which include recreational or medical. Recreational marijuana consumers or smokers use marijuana for a variety of purposes, including enjoyment, stress relief, and creative stimulation. The consumption of marijuana for medical purposes on the hand us done to alleviate symptoms such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, appetite loss just to name a few. The marijuana plant is composed of hundreds of active compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoidds just to name a few that provide a range of medical benefits. The two most well known marijuana chemical cpmpounds are THC and CBD; although several others exist that offer a unique range of effects.
The marijuana plant is also an important agricultural resource. This is supported by the fact the strong fibers of marijuana have been used making ropes, clothing, textiles, building materials, just to name a few. The marijuana plant also produces nutritious consumable seeds filled with essential amino acids, protein, and other valuable minerals not leaving out the fact that byproducts from marijuana can also be recycled into cooking oils, and can even function as a sustainable biofuel
How can you identify the cannabis or marijuana plant?
The marijuana plant is an annually flowering plant that displays either male or female reproductive organs, implying that a male must pollinate a female to create seeds (unless in exceptional cases where the plant expresses rare hermaphroditic features). A female marijuana plant that does not receive pollen within its reproductive cycle is often known as sinsemilia, a Spanish term that imply “without seed.” These seedless female marijuana plants produce the large, resinous buds that are commonly smoked, vaporized, or processed into oils or marijuana infused edibles.
Hemp on the other hand refers to a different subspecies of marijuana most commonly cultivated for its fiber and seeds and also due to ability to produce a modest amount of CBD that can be rendered into cosmetics, oils, and other consumables as well as used for medicinal purposes.
What is a marijuana strain?
Marijuana is believed to have originated in Central Asia, but over the course of millennia, conquest, exploration and research has carried this God ordained plant to virtually every continent with cultivators selectively breeding their marijuana plants to suit the needs of their communities. Over many generations, variations in the cultivation of this plant began to develop in each part of the world where marijuana had taken roots resulting to what became known as the ‘landrace strains’’. Most of these strains known as landrace strains were collected from their native habitats and brought to the West, where they were crossbred with one another by horticulturists seeking to explore the plant’s potential or to produce hybrid strains. The thousands of named varieties of marijuana we consume today are the fruits of this process of hybridization which consist of breeding different males with different females.
This gave birth to the use of common terms “indica,” “sativa,” and “hybrid” when in marijuana strain discussions. These three types of marijuana plants primarily refer to the various plant shapes and structures, features that are important for marijuana growers. The conception that lies strongly in the minds of most marijuana consumers is that indicas have sedating effects, sativas promote energy, and hybrid effects fall somewhere in between. However, clinical trials has largely refuted this effects-based classification and has revealed that that strains with high-THC, low-CBD are more euphoric, strains with high-CBD, low-THC more clear-headed while balanced CBD and THC strains are mildly euphoric.
Research has equally revealed that each of these three “chemotypes” offer unique medical benefits and effect profiles. It will thus be of great advantage learning more about how CBD and THC strains differ, and why not try experimenting with different strains and potencies to find what works best for you