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What Is Cannabis, Anyway?


Cannabis, also known as weed, pot, and marijuana, refers to the annual flowering herb known for its intoxicating flower buds. As a dioecious plant, cannabis can be either female or male. In the wild, cannabis plants can live up to a year and fully mature in the fall. Seeds that drop from the plant can start to grow the following spring.

As more markets continue to legalize cannabis, licensed cannabis producers can grow outdoors, indoors, or in a greenhouse setting. Under an optimal grow environment, farmers can harvest several times a year. Generally, cannabis plants require at least a couple of months to complete their flowering period. Cannabis has been legalized in Canada since October of 2018. Since legalization, many cannabis shops in Canada have popped up. At the end of this article, we will show you the best cannabis dispensary in Canada and who to order from. 


Cannabis Use Beyond the Bud

Consumers may only be aware of the plant’s dried flower used for smoking and making infused products. However, there’s more to the plant than the dried herb. Everything from its seeds to its fiber has many practical uses.

  • Cannabis seeds contain oil that can be extracted and used in food and skincare products. In addition, seeds can be used to grow new cultivars, also known as strains.
  • Cannabis fiber found in the plant’s stalk has many industrial applications including clothing, paper, plastic, and rope.
  • Cannabis flower buds from female plants elicit psychoactive effects. Dried and cured flower buds can be smoked or vaporized. In addition, the therapeutic oils from the flowers can be extracted and infused into a variety of consumables.


Anatomy of a Plant

Cannabis is composed of over 120 chemical compounds, primarily cannabinoids. It’s two main cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are the most sought-after and understood cannabinoids of the bunch.

  • CBD: CBD is the non-intoxicating compound known for its ability to relax the body and mind without the signature cannabis high.
  • THC: Cannabis’s most common compound known for its highly intoxicating effects.

Cannabis contains a wide range of minor cannabinoids in trace amounts. Current research indicates that these minor compounds provide a synergistic effect when consumed alongside CBD and THC. 

A major therapeutic component of the plants are its resinous trichomes. These mushroom-like glands can be found throughout the plant, but are primarily found on the flower bud’s bracts (leaf clusters). These clear or amber-colored trichomes contain the plant’s essential oils including cannabinoids (effects), terpenes (aroma and flavour), and flavonoids (colour) responsible for its therapeutic effects.


Effects of Cannabis

Cannabis users experience a wide range of short-term and long-term effects that vary from person to person. 

Short term effects include:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Heightened sensory perception
  • Focus
  • Creativity
  • Increased appetite
  • Altered time perception

THC is the main psychoactive component responsible for these intoxicating effects. Cannabis products with a higher CBD concentration elicits milder, non-intoxicating effects.

In the event a person consumes too much cannabis, they may experience mild adverse side effects including:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Increase heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Delayed reaction time

Effects of cannabis are influenced by the delivery method, potency of the product, frequency of use, and a host of other factors. Smoking or vaping cannabis delivers nearly instantaneous effects, while ingesting cannabis can take several hours to take effect.

In terms of long-term effects of using cannabis, the jury is still out. A lack of scientific evidence  and sometimes conflicting results make the long-term effects of cannabis hard to determine. However, there is some evidence of the dark side of cannabis use.

  • Cannabis use during adolescent brain development has been linked with memory and learning issues later on in life. In addition, studies have linked teen cannabis use with mental health problems, including schizophrenia.
  • For heavy and frequent users, cannabis use may cause cannabis dependence and withdrawal symptoms (irritability, reduced appetite, mood swings) when people stop using cannabis.
  • Smoking cannabis may increase the risk of respiratory issues involving inflammation of the airways. 


Cannabis Use Around the World

In the majority of the world, cannabis is illegal. Luckily, governments around the world are turning a new leaf by legalizing cannabis, which is especially important for its research and development.

In the United States, a majority of states have legalized cannabis for medical use. Several states have also legalized adult-use cannabis. Cannabis legislation in the US has never been closer to becoming a reality.

Up north, Canada has fully legalized the recreational and medical use of cannabis. Down south, the Mexican legislature is a stone’s throw away from legalization. In short, the cannabis plant is finally getting the recognition it deserves. 

If you’re located in Calgary, Canada, the best option for a safe and trustworthy cannabis store is one of four Dank Cannabis dispensaries. We offer cannabis products that can be pre-ordered online for an in-store pick-up or delivered right to your door. View the full Dank menu and start shopping!

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