Hemp and marijuana are grown for different uses, and therefore require different growing conditions.
Medical cannabis has been selectively bred over generations, and its characteristics are optimized in its cultivation environment to produce female flowering plants that yield budding flowers at the flowering stage of their life cycle,
In contrast, hemp plants are primarily male, without representing flowering buds at any stage in their life cycle. Instead, centuries of selective breeding have resulted in relatively low concentrations of THC, and tall, fast growing plants optimized for higher stalk harvests.
* Achieving maximum THC levels in marijuana is tricky and requires close attention to grow-room conditions. Marijuana growers usually aim to maintain stable light, temperature, humidity, CO2 and oxygen levels, among other things.
On the other hand, hemp is usually grown outdoors to maximize its size and yield and less attention is paid to individual plants.
A Bit About the Anatomy of the Marijuana Plant
Most people know that THC is only present in the female cannabis plant, because this is the one that produces those resinous flowers that are able to provide the high that so many marijuana consumers desire. On the other hand, the male cannabis plant, which is also known by some as hemp, might not have any THC present, but it does contain some CBD. Both the female and male cannabis plants have a source of CBD, so they both make suitable options for cannabidiol oil extraction and processing.
* In addition to being female and male, cannabis plants can also be hermaphroditic (a.k.a. both!). Pretty neat right? Hermaphrodite plants are capable of pollinating themselves, because they contain both female and male sex organs. This is a nuisance though for marijuana growers, because it means their final product will be filled with seeds and the hermaphrodite genetics can be passed down onto other generations, which defeats the purpose of having feminized seeds. To ensure a female plant, either specifically bred feminized seeds can be purchased, or clones of a female cannabis plant.
The structure of a female cannabis plant, also known as the marijuana plant, is typically built up of a stem with roots that dig deep into the earth, with fan leaves and sometimes colas that stick out in between some of the fan/water leaves. These colas are a mass collection of the buds, which are the flowers and the part of the plant that can get you high.
* These buds contain sugar leaves, which are coated with those crystal-appearing trichomes (the component that directly contains the THC). Additionally, pistils and stigmas are those tiny, usually orange hairs mixed amongst the sugar leaves. Lastly, there are calyxes and bracts, which also contain potent quantities of cannabinoids.
Dr. Pierre Milot, PhD, PhD (tc)
Life Transition Counselling / CBD Sales Consulting
Grief Recovery – Clinical Hypnotherapy
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