I have nearly finished my Medicinal Cannabis course, so I want to start from the beginning and delve into the fascinating world of where cannabis came from, and why it is still so controversial.
Throughout my series I will be answering a range of questions around the cannabis plant and the way it works in the body.
How old is the cannabis plant believed to be?
27 million years old.
What features do the Cannabaceae family share?
plant family contains only 170 species
This family is known for its erect plants, trees or climbers
They have petal-less flowers
The flowers dry into fruit containing one seed
They are recognized for their palmately compound or palmately lobed leaves. Which looks like a shape similar to that of a hand with finger extended.
The palmately leaves have 3 or more veins, leaflets or lobes extending from one point.
The palmately lobed leaves have stipules, little projections from the base of the leaf stalk.
They date back to around 494BC
Which 3 species of cannabis do we recognize?
Cannabis plants are diocious, what does this mean, and how does it help recreational cannabis growers?
Dioecious plants are plants that are distinctly male or female. Typically, male flowers are only present on male plants, and female flowers are only present of female plants.
Male cannabis plants are typically only grown to create new strains, as it is the female plant’s flowers that contain the most resin, thus carrying the greatest benefits.
Cross-pollinated cannabis is considered an inferior product, because it causes the female flowers to go to seed, instead of focusing on producing more resin.
The female plants produce buds that contain THC and are higher in terpenes and cannabinoids. If the male plant is in close contact with a female, the most likely result is a lower quality seeded weed.
The grape-like buds without hairs found on male plants eventually turn into pollen sacs, while the female plant eventually can produce hundreds of flowers, forming clusters, known as colas.
Growers ideally want to avoid sinsimilla – seedless female plants so that the female plant can channel their energy to make more resin, instead of seed production. Therefore, growers tend to separate the male and female plants.
Next article will be covering what trichomes are, how to determine the sex of the plant, and what Land Races are.