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Basic Guide Of Weed: Learn About Hemp, Marijuana, Indica & Sativa

Learn About Hemp, Marijuana, Indica and Sativa

Read here an introduction to the basic of weed.

What is WEED?

Weed also commonly known as cannabis has been used as a medicine, food and fiber for thousands of years. The flowers and leaves of cannabis plants are covered with small crystal structures, and it is these structures that produce the active ingredients of cannabis, cannabinoids (THC and CBD) and terpenes. 

THC, also known as Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, has a toxic effect on cannabis, while CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is said to regulate some of the effects of THC. In addition, both THC and CBD have other properties that are beneficial when used alone, together, or in combination with other chemicals used in cannabis, such as terpenes (also known as aide effects). The amount and proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes consumed during cannabis use affects a person’s experience.

Why are there so many cannabis strains?

Selective breeding is a process used in plant cultivation to develop crops with unique and desirable properties. For example, all apples purchased in supermarkets are selectively grown to provide a variety of flavor profiles (sweet, sour, etc.) and physical properties (crispy, soft, hard, juicy). These differences determine how apples are used. For example, some apple varieties are good to eat (good taste and texture profile) and some are good to cook (rich in sharp taste and starch).

Like apples, various “hemp” or “marijuana” varieties are available in Canada. They differ in both appearance and chemical composition and affect how they are used. Generally, various hemp varieties are called cultivars, and cannabis strains are called “strains”. The reason for this difference is due to the fact that hemp breeders had the opportunity to formally register new hemp varieties under the rights laws and regulations of plant breeders. 

A less formal system was created to distinguish between varieties, using the term “strain” to classify chemically and physically unique varieties. Because these “strains” were named according to a non-standardized approach, plants with the same strain name could exhibit very different chemical and physical profiles during culture, and strains with different names were very similar. 

With the legalization of cannabis, there is a great impetus for a better understanding of the genetic relationships between strains, which in turn can lead to integration and the use of more standardized terminology.


Basics of Indica and Sativa: 

As discussed above, cannabis has been cultivated in physically and chemically unique strains called marijuana and hemp.

Domestication of cannabis is believed to have started in China over 10,000 years ago, and since then a unique population of hemp and marijuana has been born around the world. Cannabis has so many unique chemical and physical properties that it was initially thought that different strains existed. As a result, certain plants were called cannabis sativa and others were called cannabis Indica. Other names, Cannabis ruderalis, were sometimes used. The use of these names was inconsistent and changed over time as various philosophical and political interests emerged.

There is still some debate among scientists, but today all cannabis is widely recognized as the cannabis sativa strains. However, the terms Indica and sativa remain and are used in different ways by different groups of people. For breeders, Indica plants are defined as moderate THC content and were once native to Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India. Sativa plants are high in THC, occur in ancient South Asia, and have recently spread worldwide.

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