Cannabis is an incredibly versatile plant that has been used for over 10,000 years. Over the history of cannabis, it has been used therapeutically, spiritually and recreationally.
With all the different ways cannabis can be used, it can be confusing when faced with the many thousands of different named strains flooding the markets worldwide. We discuss how cannabis is used, the history of it's different uses, and when humans first built a relationship with this amazing plant.
What Is Cannabis Used For?
People use cannabis is many different ways, to keep things simple we recognise medical and recreational use. Recreational cannabis consumers typically use cannabis for enjoyment, stress relief and creative stimulation. Medical users typically use cannabis to alleviate symptoms such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, appetite loss and more.
Cannabis contains an array of active compounds (e.g. cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids) that provide the benefits that draw so many people to it. THC and CBD are the most well-known compounds found in cannabis, although terpenes are starting to get a lot more attention.
Historically cannabis has been important as an agricultural resource. Hemp fibres have been used to make ropes, clothing, textiles, building materials and more. It also has a place in everyones nutritional regiment - with seeds willed with essential amino acids, protein, and other valuable minerals. Cannabis can also be used to manufacture cooking oils and biofuels.
The Cannabis Plant
Outdoor cannabis is an annually flowering plant, with distinguishable male and female reproductive organs. Males must pollinate females to create seeds (unless the rare instance in which the plant is a hermaphrodite).
Typically smokeable cannabis is the female plant that has not been pollinated to ensure there are no seeds, only flower.
Hemp is a subspecies of cannabis most commonly cultivated for its fibre and seeds. It also produces more CBD than marijuana - the cannabinoid found on HempElf.
What Are Cannabis Strains?
The origins of cannabis are believed to be found in Central Asia. Over the past 1000 years it has made its way across the world, there isn't a country you won't find cannabis in now. As the plant found itself in different countries, it was selectively bred to suit the needs of the communities it was grown for.
The first strains, "Landrace Strains", are the initial creations of cultivars across the world as they suited cannabis for their corresponding climates and needs.
These landrace strains were collected from their local areas, and brought to the West. Cultivators crossbred these strains to explore the plants potential - a process called hybridization. As different males were bred with different females, new cannabinoid ratios and terpene profiles were discovered. This is why we now have thousands of different strains.
Indica, Sativa & Hybrid
These 3 terms are often used to separate strains into 3 categories. They factor in the plants shape, structures and features. Consumers often report an energizing effect from Sativas, relaxation from Indicas, and a combination of the both through Hybrids.
At Hemp Elf we believe the most important thing to look at when considering the effects of a strain are the THC and CBD levels:
- High THC, low CBD - more euphoric
- High CBD, low THC - more clear-headed
- Balanced CBD and THC - mildly euphoric
Each of these 3 blends offer unique benefits and effects. The best way to understand the effects of cannabis is by trying different CBD and THC levels yourself. Everyones endocannabinoid system is different, and what might make one person relaxed might have the opposite effect on someone else.