For the last few years, there has been much media hype about Cannabis. There have been talks about medical Marijuana, allowing farmers to use low THC types of marijuana for hemp, and completely legalizing Marijuana. The fiery debates have been brought to my attention by the media just recently. Being a teenager myself, I have become quite interested in Marijuana. Although most of my friends have tried Marijuana, and Marijuana is quite easily available where I lived in California, I have never tried it myself. I remember the time when my friend, Jeremy, was selling Marijuana right out of his locker. It was last year during PE, and I distinctly remember it. When I realized what he was doing, I asked if I could look at the Marijuana because I had never seen any before. When he showed it to me, it was not what I had expected. It was in a little plastic bag, called a dime (10 dollars worth), and was a sticky darkish brown with little red hairs. The street name for this sub-specie of Cannabis was Skunk.
Being as interested in Anarchy, bombs, and basically anything that’s illegal, I know quite a lot about marijuana. I know that there are male and female marijuana plants and that the female marijuana plants are more prized for their higher THC content. I also know that there is a different species of Cannabis other then Cannabis Sativa. One popular one is Cannabis Indica. I also know of the street name of the many sub species of Marijuana: Northern Lights, Super Skunk, Orange Bud, Durban, and literally 20 more. I know the physical dangers of using Marijuana (unfortunately from a biased point of view – a teenager’s), and I know that Marijuana is prohibited.
Ever since then, I have wanted to learn more about Cannabis. I have many questions about it. What is the classification for Cannabis? What are they different types of Cannabis? Where does Cannabis grow and what is the history of Cannabis? What type of plant is Cannabis? What are the uses of Cannabis? Although I have many questions, I will attempt to accurately answers all of them as well as I can in this I-search
Before I can research about the uses, benefits, harms, or any other aspects of Cannabis, I have to research the physical aspects of the plant. In order to find out specific information knowing only the name Cannabis sativa, I looked in Chinese herb books, botanical books and in encyclopedias. I found out quite a lot of good information, but unfortunately, not as through as I was hoping for.
Cannabis is botanically classified as a member of the family Cannabaceae and the genus Cannabis. There are 3 known species of Cannabis: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. I had never heard of Cannabis ruderalis before, and it was sort of a shock when I discovered it. I went ahead and found specific information about each species.
Cannabis sativa is a tall plant, generally between 8 and 12 feet. The leaves have long thin fingers and are light green. The more equatorial varieties have more yellow pigments to protect the plant from intense light. Sativa seed pods are long and thin and turn red as they mature in a warm environment. In cooler environments the buds may be slightly purple. Sativa plants smell sweet and fruity and the smoke is generally quite mild. It is a source of fiber for rope and other products and it contains THC, which gives smokers the psychic effects they seek. The leaves of this plant are smoked but the most highly prized part of the plant is the top.
Cannabis indica is plentiful in the Mid east, India, and Central Asia especially Afghanistan, Kashmire, and Pakistan. It is a short plant, generally between 3 and 6 feet, and its leaves have short broad fingers. The leaves are generally dark green sometimes tinged with purple. As they near maturity, the leaves may become significantly more purple. It is a strong smelling plant with a stinky or skunky smell. The smoke of indicas is generally thick and more prone to cause coughing when inhaled. Indicas are the traditional source of hashish.