An Overview of Cannabis
Cannabis plants have been living on the earth for millions of years.
The plants grow naturally outdoors in areas where the temperature is not too low, and there is adequate sunlight and nutrients for the plants to prosper.
The annual cycle for naturally occurring outdoor plants begins in the spring time and continues for several months into early fall. (April to October)
In Asia, marijuana plants flourish and can be seen covering entire hillsides without the help of human intervention. It is widely believed that these plants originated somewhere in the Himalayas.
Marijuana grows wild on every continent on the earth except for Antarctica, and is the only plant on the earth that yields both a drug, and a useful fiber.
Its many uses as a medicine have been traced back as early as 2737 B.C.
Hemp, a distinct variety of the sativa plant, can be grown for the fibers in the stalk of the plant, or to maximize the production of seeds. Hemp is non-psychoactive and has many uses, ranging from paper, fuel, food, medicines, oils, livestock feed, and hundreds of other amazing useful applications.
Unfortunately, hemp cultivation is still outlawed in much of the world for many unfortunate reasons. Marijuana plants, like people, can be male, female, or both, known as a hermaphrodite.
The female plants are the ones that flower and produce buds. Male plants produce pollen and try to pollinate the females.
In nature, wind blows the pollen from the male plants onto the female plants, resulting in fertilization. After the male plants release their pollen, they wilt and die, completing their life cycle.
Male plants have very low levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis, and therefore are not often smoked.
As a cannabis grower, unless you are going to be breeding your own strains, it is important to eliminate male flowers from your garden as soon as the sex is determined. If the female plants are pollinated they will still produce some buds, but will also produce seeds and will not be able to grow large amounts of buds.
Once pollinated, female plants begin to devote energy to producing seeds, and therefore, soon afterwards will die. Outdoors in nature, the dying male and female plants leave seeds on the ground, and as a result a genetic offspring of the two begins to grow once again.
A grower that wants to produce large, frosty THC filled buds wants to grow the non-pollinated female plant, known as a “Sinsemilla Plant”.
Sinsemilla (without seeds) plants will produce a larger number of flowering buds and an increased level of THC when compared to a male plant or a seeded female plant.
It is grown for three main reasons:
1. Seeds (for nutrition and breeding)
2. Fiber (many products)
3. Flowers (for medicine)
Seeds are often used as animal feed and are high in oil and protein. They have also been found useful in skincare products and as a source of oil for fuel.
Marijuana fiber is found in the stalks of the plant. The fiber is beneficial for hundreds of different applications, including: cloth, paper, and rope. Cannabis flowers are grown for their resinous chemicals and are used both medicinally, recreationally, and spiritually around the world.
The many different varieties can differ in numerous ways such as:
• Effect of High
• Flowering Time Needed to Yield
• Leaf Size
Growers can choose between different species that meet their particular needs. There are literally thousands of different strains available, all having their own unique characteristics.
The many amazingly different smells from marijuana are a result of oils found in the plant, knows as “Terpenes”. Marijuana has a range of smells that is not found on other types of plants, varying from sweet and fruity, to earthy and spicy.
This has been an overview of cannabis. But we have only just begun to cover the amazing aspects of this plant!
To learn more about this plant and how to grow it from award-winning growers, follow this link.