Cannabis / Dagga / Marijuana / Boom / Zol / Skyf / Mary-Jane / Pot / Saviour of Africa
The history of Cannabis use reaches back farther than many would guess. Cultivation of the plant dates back thousands of years. The first written account of cannabis cultivation (ostensibly used as medical Cannabis) is found in Chinese records dating from the 28th century B.C.E. and a nearly 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy contained traces of THC, the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis. [source: Parsche and Nerlich].
Cannabis sativa is perhaps the world’s most recognizable plant. Pictures of the ubiquitous, green cannabis leaf show up in the news media, textbooks and drug-prevention literature. Its shape is made into jewelry, plastered on bumper stickers and clothing, and spray-painted on walls. The leaves are arranged palmately, radiating from a common center, like the fingers of a hand spreading apart. Although most people know what the cannabis plant looks like, they may know very little about its horticulture and industrial value.
Above is a picture of the three families of Cannabis. Each of them have different properties and a different mix (ratio) of cannabinoids. Within each of these families we find different looking, and smelling plants. Their terpenes and cannabinoids vary and that is exactly what makes it interesting, because if we find different terpenes and cannabinoids, we can expect a different effect. The really interesting part comes when we cross two different cannabis plants from a different family or from the same family, because now we have a completely new genetic structure or cultivar with its own unique effect and medicinal value.
Take industrial hemp, officially known as Cannabis Sativa. This plant has the full cannabinoid profile, but it has virtually no THC. Compare this to a recreational Cannabis Sativa plant and you will find a lot of THC. Cross the two plants and you may find a more evenly distributed cannabinoid profile. Then we can start playing across the different families too.
As you can see the plant has endless possibilities. The art, craft, intricacy and intelligence of the plant lies in its genetics.