What is Marijuana used for?
Marijuana is big news these days, as laws are relaxing in the Canada and the USA regarding selling and using. Canada is close to having it accepted on a nationwide basis but every community is allowed the choice of whether Marijuana will be allowed to have it sold in their jurisdiction or not. Our local town has decided on No , but the Municipality around us has said ‘Maybe’, that they are waiting for more information. What is the big deal? What is marijuana used for? I am going to keep it simple.
For an estimated 3 thousand years, people have been using marijuana as a medicinal plant. However, during the 50s and 60s, the plants were being bred more so for the THC, to get that euphoric high. Politicians used that aspect of Marijuana as an excuse to ban Marijuana and Hemp both.
The story for Hemp and Marijuana becoming illegal Category 2 drugs are based on the same facts. You can read that story in my post called Stop the war on Hemp. Marijuana is Cannabis, as Hemp is also Cannabis, however they have branched off into different types. Marijuana is bred in hundreds of strains as either Cannabis Sativa, or Cannabis Indica or a hybrid of the two.
Breeding various types of Sativa and Indica are used to create plants that have different proportions of THC and CBD. There is a third too but is less well known called Cannabis Ruderalis. There are also hybrids of these but for simplicity sake, I won’t go into that here.
Both Hemp and Marijuana contain CBD and THC, CBD is short for Cannabidiol and THC is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol. Hemp only has trace amounts of THC and is bred for its valuable CBD oils, seeds and its fibers. Marijuana is bred primarily for it’s potent oils, found in the buds and smaller leaves.
Marijuana’s buds and leaves contain CBD as well, but with higher amounts of THC. THC is the chemical that produces the euphoric effects on the brain but also has medicinal value. Both plants also contain Terpenes and Flavonoids.
For a more detailed explanation of what CBD is and how it affects the body, go to the Hemp page.
The oils from the plant, that have so much medicinal value, come from the Trichomes, which are little glands on the flower buds, parts of the stems and on the smaller leaves.
The larger leaves, called Fan Leaves have nutritional value that can be used in Teas or in Juices.
The Fan Leaves have very little medicinal value as they contain no Trichomes however they do have nutritional value. Generally only the female plants are used for their flowers.
The male plants also develop flowers but they do not develop the potent cannabinoids that the female plants. do.
When the female plant is pollinated by a male plant (or another female plant), the flowers eventually become seeds. The seeds are only used for creating more plants, and have no value for producing CBD/THC oils. The quality and potency of the buds are higher in a ‘virgin’ female plant, as the plant’s energy is not focused on creating seeds from the buds.
What are the health benefits of THC?
Actually there are many health benefits already apparent, but with legalization of Marijuana, much more research will be done. What we do know right now is that THC in Marijuana gives the user pain relief, from arthritis, cancers, and other diseases like Lupus, Crohns, MS and others.
Marijuana has been shown to slow the progression of cancers, and even Alzeimers. There is more research being done to see which compounds in Marijuana will even kill cancer cells.
We also know about Marijuana’s effects of halting seizures and even curing them for many. Marijuana controls seizures in diseases like epilepsy, or muscle spasms in Parkinsons, Multiple Sclorosis and others. Is it any wonder that there is so much interest in Marijuana?
Marijuana has also been proven to take away the nausea that is common with cancer treatments, and increases interest in eating food. Ironically, while the components in Marijuana increase appetite, most marijuana users tend to be on the slim side. So it increases appetite but also burns calories? Sounds like a win win to me!
Marijuana is famous for it’s affect on the brain, not just for its ability to ‘get you high’, but to ease anxiety in PTSD sufferers, and also has the ability to help heal the brain after trauma or injury.
The components of CBD, can take credit for many of these health benefits too, so therefore Hemp has similiar health benefits attached to its reputation. However, THC has a stronger effect on the brain, and together with CBD, they are a powerful duo indeed! You can check out a more complete listing of benefits from the Business Insider.
How do you use Marijuana?
There are a variety of ways, from smoking Hash,vaping Marijuana concentrates (wax, shatter,rosin), eating candy or baked products with Hash or concentrates added or ingesting the potent oils through capsules and tinctures.
Smoking can be in the form of a cigarette, often a mix of marijuana, hemp and rice rolled up in paper to be smoked, known as a Joint.
Cannabis is also smoked in cigars called Blunts. The best blunts are wrapped in Hemp leaves instead of paper.
Water pipes have traditionally been used (and still are), coming in different forms like Bongs, Bubblers, hand pipes and other homemade devices.
Water is heated with the marijuana, releasing the potent oils in the plant and then is inhaled into the lungs to be absorbed.
These days, vaporizing devices in the form of vaping pens are reaching high popularity, as there is no smoke and very little smell involved.
Vaping devices use cannabis concentrates like Wax, Oils or even bits of Shatter, made from either Hemp or Marijuana. The devices have a heating mechanism powered by a battery, which gently heats the concentrate used, and produces a mist that is inhaled.
Vaporizing with pure organic concentrates has the advantage of having none of the toxins that smoking produces, like tar and carbon monoxide.
You must be careful to buy and use only organic and pure oils from reputable sources. Some sources use dangerous solvents to extract the chemicals from the plant.
Soft gel Capsules are filled with the CBD/THC oil in different strengths. Absorbed through stomach digestion.
Tinctures are concentrated formulas of the plant (using the Kief), either made with alcohol or with water using nano technology. Tinctures are placed by the drop, into your mouth to be absorbed.
Absorption is as quick as smoking or vaping, but without the side effects that inhaling smoke causes.
Topical products– lotions, butters, and salves combined with cannabis oils. These products are all rubbed onto the skin to be absorbed slowly, used for muscle pain and relaxation.
The video below gives you a quick summary of various ways of delivering the benefits of Marijuana into your body.
Types of Marijuana extracts that are used, either for edible products or as concentrates are:
Kief– are the Trichomes or crystalline structures that coat the outside of the Cannabis flowers (basically the little hairs or glands that cover the flowers), and the smaller leaves of the plant. Using filters, the resulting product is known as Kief, which can contain percentages of THS from 20 to 60%.
Dry Sieve or dry sift – is simply a more filtered version of Kief, leaving the pure and potent Trichome heads as the final product.
There are other processes using Ice water or ethanol that strip the Trichomes from the plant, still leaving a clean and natural Hash
Hash– using compressing devices, Kief becomes Hash, in the form of a block. The best Hash is made with the filtered Dry Sift, leaving a finer product.
Shatter– A cannabis concentrate made by forcing a solvent through a tube of Marijuana buds, using heat and other finishing methods.
As the oils come out and cool, the result is a hard product, like peanut brittle, breaking easily, hence the name.
BHO shatter– oil concentrate made by using Butane as a solvent. The Butane is heated to a certain temperature and is poured through a tube of Marijuana buds or Kief.
The oils come out of the Kief and cool to become BHO shatter.
CO2 shatter– oil concentrate made by using the much safer method (and healthier) using Carbon Dioxide that is forced through the tube of Marijuana. The oils come out of the Kief and harden to the product called Shatter.
Wax– another Cannabis concentrate, using the same extraction methods as Shatter only using lower heat and less finishing procedures.
The oils from the Kief cool out to become a waxy product. It’s called Wax because it actually looks like ear wax!
Both Shatter and Wax are the same in terms of concentrate percentages, the main differences are in appearance, the harder Shatter has a longer shelf life and is more difficult to make (according to research).
Here’s a quick link to a dictionary of Cannabis terms
Regarding smoking versus vaping……
For the purposes of clarity, the term Cannabis usually refers to Marijuana, even though both belong to the same family of Cannabis Sativa. For the rest of the site, Cannabis or Medicinal Cannabis will refer to Marijuana. I will refer to Hemp products as Hemp products… ok?
As our laws stand today, Canada allows for Cannabis or Medicinal cannabis to be grown (under license) and sold within our borders. For Cannabis, check out the sources on the Canada page. Hemp CBD is allowed for cross border business in most countries.
I have Source pages for Canada starting with Herb Approach, USA starting with Hemplucid, United Kingdom (under construction) and Europe (under construction), Cannabis Seeds starting with I love growing Marijuana or ILGM. I will add to them as I review the stores or companies.
I will clearly state whether they are Hemp or Cannabis and whether they ship INTERNATIONALLY.
page to Hemp
page to Decarboxylation