What is Cannabis?

A Detailed Look at the Cannabis Plant

What is cannabis?
Cannabis is a genus within the flowering group of the plant kingdom.

What is cannabis?

When many people are asked, “What is cannabis,” they may immediately think of marijuana.  While it’s true that marijuana is cannabis, it’s also true that hemp is cannabis.  Be that as it may, hemp and marijuana are very different.  We have another post to answer the question, “What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?”

For now, though, we’re going to take a look at the cannabis plant.

What does cannabis mean?

First things first:  The word cannabis simply refers to the type of plant we will describe in this article.  Many definitions include a term like ‘tall upright plant…’.

What is cannabis?

What is cannabis?  Cannabis is a genus of the flowering plant family known as Cannabaceae. That being said, hundreds of species of cannabis exist within this genus.  As a matter of fact, scientists are constantly discovering new strands of both marijuana and hemp.

What is cannabis made of?

This questions has a list of answers.  The first differentiation is in the structure versus the molecular contents.

What compounds are located in cannabis?

Cannabis contains hundreds of compounds known as cannabinoids.  Some of them like THC and a few other less known compounds are psychoactive.  As such, they produce a euphoric high.  THC is the most popular compound found in marijuana.  There are hundreds of other cannabinoids, though.  Actually, there are so many different cannabinoids that scientists are unable to identify them all.

As laws against cannabis are becoming less restrictive and scientists are able to conduct legal research, they are learning that different cannabinoids have different therapeutic capabilities.

The most notorious cannabinoid and the one that is applied to all non-psychoactive CBD hemp therapy is CBD (cannabidiol).  The next most therapeutic cannabinoid on which scientists are beginning to perform more studies is CBG (cannabigerol).  A few of the other primary cannabinoids scientists have identified include: CBC (cannabichromene), CBCV (cannabichromevarin), CBDV (cannabidivarin), and CBGV (cannabigerivarin).  Endocannabinoid professionals are studying these in order to increase the amount of CBD disease therapy available to patients who need it.

What is cannabis made of structurally?

As far as the structure goes, there are five elements to a cannabis plant.

The cannabis stalk

The stalk is the ‘backbone’ of the cannabis plant.  Without a strong and sturdy stalk, the plant will need support.  The stalk is what is primarily used for fibers – particularly from hemp.  When it comes to the difference between hemp and marijuana, the fibers of the hemp plant are longer and much stronger.

The stalk is thick, and the fibers are eco-friendly and extremely durable.  They are used to make a variety of goods including clothing, jewelry, paper, rope, structures, thread, and more.

The cannabis buds

Female cannabis plants grow a cluster of greenery referred to as ‘buds’.  Located in the buds is the largest concentration of cannabinoids.  The buds of the cannabis plant grow in the dark.  It is for this reason that they start to flower when the days get shorter.

The cannabis leaves

Cannabis leaves grow on branches from the main stalk.  Some of the ‘shade leaves’ have five leaflets.  The leaves toward the end of the branch that ‘host’ the buds generally contain seven leaflets.

The cannabis leaves play a vital role in the cultivation of marijuana.  Then again, if a grower is raising hemp plants for their buds, then the leaves would also be beneficial.  The shade leaves provide protection from the sun as the buds form.  All the while, the primary leaves hold and protect the buds as they form.

The cannabis hairs

It’s easy for one to see tiny hairs all over the cannabis plant.  There are hairs on the base of the stems, there are tiny hairs on the leaves, there are tiny hairs on the buds, and there are even hairs on the stalk.  The hairs protect the cannabis plant from invasive elements. On the buds, the hairs contain major amounts of cannabinoids.

The cannabis seeds

Not all cannabis plants produce seeds.  If a female plant is near a male plant, the male cannabis plant will pollinate the female plant.  Marijuana seeds are only good for growing more marijuana.  Hemp seeds, on the other hand, are extremely nutritious.  To enumerate, they contain a host of vitamins and minerals including Beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.  Hemp seeds are also great for improved cardiovascular health, as they contain rich, healthy fatty acids.

What is cannabis?

We’ve answered the question about ‘what is cannabis’ as far as its structure and constituents.  However, there is a much deeper, social issue remaining.  What is cannabis to the future of our health?  Furthermore, what is cannabis to the future of our economy?  Finally what is cannabis to the future of our environmental stability and the life of our planet?



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