Introduction to Cannabis 101

Weed, marijuana, dank, dope, ganja, sticky icky, broccoli, chronic…

Those are just a handful of names that the plant, officially known as cannabis, goes by.  It is one of the most controversial plants in the world and it’s been celebrated just as much as it’s been stigmatized, and it all depends on who you’re talking to.

But how can a single plant be so many things to so many people?

Like many things in life, your mileage may vary and so it’s important that you know what you’re getting into so you can make the right choice for your needs and preferences.

In this article, we’ll talk all about cannabis and take you through the basics from different types of plant, the different types of products, its medical benefits and so much more.

All About Cannabis Terminologies

  1. Cannabis is a plant from which its derivates are made. These derivates can be Bhang, Charas, Cheeba, etc.
  2. Hashish is a derivative of dried Cannabis plants and is usually derived in the same way as charas.
  3. Marijuana is a recreational drug derived from the plant.
  4. Dope is a slang terminology used for marijuana as a psychoactive drug.
  5. Weed is a recreational drug derived from the plant. The non-cannabis meaning of weed is an undesirable plant in our garden.
  6. Joint is a marijuana cigarette
  7. Cannabinoids are modified terpenoids only found within the plant.
  8. Terpenes are the volatile essential oils found in it and many other plants that account for smell, flavor, and some entourage effects.
  9. Trichomes are resinous glands produced by the cannabis plant that contains terpenes and cannabinoids.

Other slang names for Marijuana

  1. Boo
  2. Bud
  3. Bush Chronic
  4. Cheeba
  5. Grass
  6. Herb
  7. Pot
  8. Smoke
  9. Sticky icky
  10. Dank

The Different Species of Cannabis

There are 3 main species of the plant- Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalisalthough there is some debate over whether the latter two qualify as a separate species from Cannabis sativa or not.

With regards to consumers, the two most common categories of classifying the plant are Indica and Sativa, and they have different effects associated with them.

In general, Sativa strains are mainly associated with feelings of alertness and energy and they usually provide a cerebral high you feel in the head, which makes Sativa more popular during and throughout the day- a daytime smoke if you will. Popular Sativa strains include Lemon Haze, Green Crack God, Sour Diesel, and Jack Herer.

On the other hand, Indica give more of a ‘body high’ that makes them a popular way to unwind and relax after a long day’s work- there’s a reason why Indica strains are known to some users as “in-da-couch”. Popular Indica strains include Blueberry, Grape Ape, Northern Lights, and Bubba Kush.

Cannabis Seeds:

Cannabis seeds are used to grow the plants but not all seeds germinate to become a plant. We need to identify male and female plants to have more chances of getting seed into a plant.  Feminized seeds, therefore, have above 99% chances to grow as a plant and with the minimum procedure. As the name tells, feminized seeds are all female seeds or artificially derived seeds lacking male genes.

The Comparisons:

Opium vs Cannabis:

Opium and Cannabis are sometimes confused with each other where one is thought to be a derivative or a byproduct of another. It is not true, and both are different things.  Both are flowering plants where Opium produces opioids and Cannabis produces Cannabinoids.  Both products are useful in reducing pain, but they impact the brain differently.

Charas vs Ganja vs Hashish

  1. Bhang is derived from cannabis plant leaves by grinding them into a paste and then dissolved into water or milk.
  2. Ganja is a Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) word used for the flowering bud of the dried Cannabis that can be used to make Charas or hashish.  You can say that the weed consumed in its simplest form is Ganja.
  3. Charas is a resin derived from a living Cannabis plant buds or new leaves by rubbing these between two hands. This process usually coats the inside of hands with a thick layer that can be rolled up in a ball to be consumed.

Hash and live rosin vs extracts and live resin

  1. Hash is a solventless extraction of Cannabis Sativa consisting of the plant’s trichomes (resins).
  2. A live rosin is a heat-treated form of hash that was extracted from living Cannabis Sativa plants. 
  3. Live Resin is a concentrate that has been extracted from living Cannabis Sativa plants using solvents (ethanol, butane, propane, etc.).

Cannabis vs Hemp

Both Cannabis and hemp are Sativa species but have different concentrations of CBD and THC. CBD is known for its promising health benefits whereas THC is known to get people high and has legal restrictions. Hemp plants have more CBD and less THC whereas Cannabis plants have less CBD and more THC.

CBD Hemp can also be referred to as ‘Type III Cannabis Sativa’ and CBG dominant hemp is known as ‘Type IV Cannabis Sativa.’ THC dominant cannabis is a Type I Cannabis Sativa and Type II consists of 1:1 THC: CBD.

Cannabis Oil vs Hemp Oil

Cannabis oil is more potent than Hemp oil because Cannabis plants have more THC and less CBD.

Cannabis Oil vs CBD Oil

Cannabis oil is more potent than CBD Oil because Cannabis plants have more THC than CBD Oils.

Hemp Oil Vs Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil has no CBD content and is a nutritional supplement available as an OTC product and Hemp Oil has CBD and THC.

Indica vs Sativa vs Ruderalis

  1. Cannabis Indica: Shorter plant, broad leaves, dense flowers, cold climate and can grow in rain and shade. They usually flower in lesser time than Cannabis Sativa. Indica has lower levels of THC as compared to Sativa but flowers multiple times in a year.
  2. Cannabis Sativa: Tall plant with thinner leaves and usually grow in warmer climates. This plant is native to Asia and needs sunlight.  Sativa produces the highest levels of THC but needs more time to flower.
  3. Cannabis Ruderalis: This species falls in between Indica and Sativa with medium height and thicker leaves.  This species is the lowest of all in terms of THC.

THC, CBD, and Terpenes

While THC and CBD are the most prominent cannabinoids (chemical compounds found in the plant), there have been over 100 identified in cannabis.

THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most famous cannabinoid of all because it’s the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis- that means it gets you high.

CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive, so it won’t get you high. But it has many medical benefits that make it highly sought after, and it is often the first step for cannabis legalization. CBD is used to help treat severe epilepsy, and it may also have anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic effects. CBD can also help reduce pain and has shown potential in treating side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in the essential oils of many plants and trees, and cannabis is loaded with terpenes, which are responsible for the massive diversity in fragrance and scents of different strains. From sweet and citrusy to dank and earthy, if you follow your nose when it comes to picking your strains, then you’ve got terpenes to thank for it.

The many ways to consume cannabis

There are so many ways to enjoy cannabis you’re all but guaranteed that with a little exploration, you’ll find what works best for you.

The three major ways to use cannabis are:

Methods to Consume Cannabis

One can smoke Cannabis, add in food recipes, and create beverages to consume Cannabis.

Hookah:

hookah

It is a type of water pipe that heats up tobacco or Cannabis to vaporize it to smoke which then passes through a water chamber to be finally inhaled.

Chilum:

It is a reusable clay pipe used to smoke dried marijuana.

bhang

Edibles:

Cannabis is added to create food recipes like cakes, brownies, jelly, and drinks, etc.

cannabis

Flower

The flower is one of the most popular and well-known ways of using cannabis. The flower comes from the female cannabis plant, and the actual buds are what we’re after here- not the leaves, stems, or seeds (Please read more at CLN news or visit crop king seeds). After the buds are dried, trimmed, and cured, they are ready to be smoked and you’ve got your options to choose from.

all about cannabis

Here are a few of the most common and popular ways of using cannabis flowers:

Joint

It is a cannabis cigarette rolled in gummed paper. The joint (also known as a doobie and jay, among other terms) is an icon in the cannabis scene and is often many people’s first experience with cannabis. Put simply, a joint is a rolled cannabis cigarette, and there are variations to it, such as a spliff, which contains a mix of cannabis and tobacco, and a blunt, which is a cigar that’s been hollowed out and filled with cannabis.

Pipe

Pipes are also very popular for cannabis and they are easier to set up than a joint because there’s no rolling involved- all you must do is break up (or “grind”) the cannabis buds up, pack it in your bowl, and light it.
Glass pipes are the most widely used kind of pipes when smoking cannabis.

Bong

While bongs are technically another category of pipe, they are different enough to warrant their own entry because of their water chamber, which is why bongs are also known as “water pipes”. It is an upright waterpipe that has a bowl attached with an o-ring or glass-on-glass connection. A bong could be mistaken for a flower vase by the uninitiated, and they are popular because they offer a smoother smoke than other methods as the water filters the smoke as it bubbles through the water before being inhaled.

There are also variations of bongs like bubblers and gravity bongs.

Vaporizer

Vaporizers offer a distinct advantage over other ways of smoking cannabis because when you inhale off a vaporizer, you’re not inhaling any smoke, you’re inhaling vapor instead, which is much better for your lungs.

Vaporizers work by heating the cannabis up to a point where the cannabinoids (like THC) and terpenes (which give cannabis strains their specific fragrance) become vapor WITHOUT burning the cannabis as you normally would in a bong, pipe, or joint.

You can even see the difference after you’re done vaporizing if you look in the chamber since vaporizers do not create the black, burnt ash of the other smoking methods listed above. Instead, the flower in the vaporizer chamber will have turned a brownish color and will look similar to dried tobacco.

It should be noted that while there are vaporizers that work on cannabis concentrates, this entry focused on vaporizers designed specifically for dried flowers.

Edibles: Start Low and Go Slow

Cannabis edibles include any cannabis-infused food or drink, which makes it a huge category because practically anything can become edible with a few drops of a cannabis tincture or oil.

There are hundreds of edibles makers creating everything from cannabis-infused candies like gummies and lollipops to baked goods like brownies and cookies, making edibles a great way to discreetly enjoy your cannabis, but there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to edibles.

Unlike smoking flowers, edibles take a lot longer to kick in. Whereas with smoking, you can usually feel the effects after a few minutes, with edibles, it can take over an hour before you feel anything. This can lead many first-time users to eat too much because they were too impatient waiting for the high to kick in, only for it to all hit the fan at once, leaving them uncomfortably high.

That’s because edibles can range in strength, anywhere from 5 mg of THC to over 400.

To avoid any uncomfortable edibles experiences, pay close attention to the dosage of THC, which should be clearly labeled on the package. For newcomers, a low dosage of 5-10 mg of THC is recommended to begin with, and you should wait for over an hour to see if you feel anything before eating another piece.

The biggest thing to remember with edibles is “Start low and go slow”.

Concentrates

The types of cannabis concentrates are so diverse that multiple articles could be written on this category alone. As the name implies, this category is a stronger form of cannabis.

Think of concentrates this way: If the flower is the cannabis equivalent to beer and wine, then concentrates would be the cannabis version of spirits and hard liquor.

We’ve been making concentrates since the 12th Century when people rubbed cannabis flowers between their hands to make hash. Nowadays, where we’re using state-of-the-art, lab-grade extraction systems to make concentrates like shatter, wax, and budder.

There are two ways of making concentrates: Solvent-based extraction and Solvent-less extraction.

Solvent-based extraction: Solvents are the liquids used to extract the THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids from cannabis plants, and there are 4 solvents commonly used: CO2, Butane, Propane, and Alcohol.

Solvent-based products include CO2 oil, Wax, Budder, Live Resin, Shatter, Distillate, Pie Crust, Jelly Hash and Caviar, and Rick Simpson Oil.

Solvent-less extraction: This type of extraction typically uses pressure, water, temperature, and/or agitation to create concentrates.

Solvent-less products include kief, bubble hash, dry sift, and rosin.

Is it an Entheogen?

Yes, it is an entheogen.

What is an entheogen?

Something is entheogen when it is used in cultural, spiritual, and religious rituals.

Cannabis Culture

The term Cannabis Culture is used to describe a culture or an atmosphere supporting the use of Cannabis as a medicine or as a recreational drug. The use of cannabis dates to 2000 BCE (Before the Common Era) is associated with ancient cultures in Asia that mainly include India and China.

Fossil studies suggest cannabis originated from the Tibetan Plateau in China.

The use of cannabis in India has been associated with different names like Bhang, Ganja, and Charas, etc., and has been used in cultural activities for several decades.  In India, although illegal, cannabis is consumed in various forms like drinks and eatables which describes it as a part of the Indian subcontinent and hence can be seen as a culture or cannabis culture in India. 

1..Courtwright, David (2001). Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World. Harvard Univ. Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-674-00458-2.

420 Cannabis:

Four Twenty is a Cannabis smoking event happening on the 20th of April every year at 4:20 PM.  The term 4:20 was used by five high school students to search and consume cannabis which later became famous and got international recognition.  On this day, there is a huge gathering of people to celebrate this event and to smoke cannabis.  420 event is mainly celebrated in North America, and it is also related to the Cannabis movement demanding the legalization of Cannabis.

Why does Cannabis fall under a restricted drug category?

It is a plant with three different species: Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis.  All three have different physical and growing characteristics with different concentrations of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) content.  It is the THC that is known for its cerebral high and can alter mood by inducing euphoria. Legal restrictions are meant to control the usage of substances with high THC levels.

Is Cannabis Legal?

It depends where you are and whether you’re talking about recreational or medical one, which might strike you as odd since the only difference between the two is the reason why you’re using them. But it’s just the way it is, although many countries have adopted policies of decriminalization instead of outright legalization, where it’s possession will result in a fine instead of jail time.

Over 15 countries across the world have legalized medical cannabis, while in the USA, it remains illegal at the federal level for any purpose, even though 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis.

When it comes to recreational cannabis, Canada and Uruguay are the only countries in the world to have legalized its use and sale, although, in the USA, 10 states plus DC have legalized recreational marijuana, too.

What’s interesting is that legalizing medical cannabis is often the first step towards legalizing it entirely… a legalization “gateway”, if you will. So, while it may be discouraging to learn that only two countries so far have legalized recreational cannabis, there are 15 countries that have medical cannabis and already made that first step.

Read more about its Classification:

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