What are Cannabis Terpenes & How Can They Help?
Terpenes—compounds that lend the cannabis plant strains their fragrance and flavor—number well over 100, and interact with the ECS (endocannabinoid system) as well. They work in concert with cannabinoids in a wide range of activities—from promoting sleep to elevating mood and providing stress relief.
Cannabis is believed to be one of the oldest domesticated crops. Throughout history, humans have grown different varieties of cannabis for industrial and medical uses.
Tall, sturdy plants were grown by early civilizations to make a variety of foods, oils and textiles, such as rope and fabrics. These plants were bred with other plants with the same characteristics, leading to the type of cannabis we now know as hemp.
Other plants were recognized for being psychoactive and were bred selectively for medical and religious purposes. This led to unique varieties of cannabis that we now know as marijuana.
* According to Dan Sutton of Tantulus Labs, a Canadian company that specializes in cannabis cultivation technology, “the core agricultural differences between medical cannabis and hemp are largely in their genetic parentage and cultivation environment.”
In fact, scientists believe the early separation of the cannabis gene pool led to two distinct types of cannabis plants. The two species (or subspecies) of cannabis are known as Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.
Cannabis plants contain unique compounds called cannabinoids. Current research has revealed over 100 different cannabinoids so far, but THC is the most well known. THC is credited with causing the marijuana high.
While marijuana plants contain high levels of THC, hemp contains very little of the psychoactive chemical. This single difference is what most rely on to distinguish hemp from marijuana. For example, countries like Canada have set the maximum THC content of hemp at 0.3%. Any cannabis with higher THC levels is considered marijuana instead.
In comparison, medical marijuana produces anywhere between 5-20% THC on average, with prize strains tipping the scale at 25-30% THC.
Hemp and marijuana plants contain another important cannabinoid: CBD. Hemp plants produce more CBD than THC, while marijuana produces more THC than CBD. Interestingly, research has shown that CBD acts to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, separating hemp further from marijuana.
Don't miss my next post where I will write about 'cultivation and anatomy of the marijuana plant'.
Dr. Pierre Milot, PhD, PhD (tc)
Life Transition Counselling / CBD Sales Consulting
Grief Recovery – Clinical Hypnotherapy
Tel: 613 774 4389