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Cannapedia Encyclopedia of cannabis strains

Cannabis

Cannabis is a plant that has been grown around the globe for millennia. It has been used for cooking, to make cloth and as medicine. The genus cannabis contains a lot of species and subspecies (strains) that differ only slightly in chemical composition.

In each plant, the composition of cannabinoids is of the utmost importance, and the content of the most famous cannabinoid THC is what led to the basic distinction between “marijuana” and “hemp”.

 

What are cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds contained in high amounts in cannabis (and in very little amounts in different plants) which interact with human endocannabinoid system of receptors. Every cannabis plant contains more than one hundred different cannabinoids with various (often therapeutic) effects. The most famous one contained in the highest amount is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes psychological effect called colloquially “high” or “stoned”.

The amount of THC is crucial for legal distinction between hemp and “marijuana”. In order to be classified by law as legal hemp, the plant needs to contain less than 0.3% THC in the Czech Republic (0.2% in EU), which is an amount that would never get anyone high. By way of contrast, illegal cannabis (marijuana) usually contains 5-10% of THC when grown outdoor, while indoor plants usually contain 10-20%.

 

Healing effects

In terms of effects of cannabis on human health, the newest research shows that THC has a range of positive effects, and even more various therapeutic qualities are being discovered in the second most commonly occurring cannabinoid – CBD (cannabidiol). This cannabinoid, which has no narcotic effect, is legal and that is why many companies try to extract it from hemp and then use to make pure CBD products with no THC. However, experts warn about the so-called synergic effect, which seems to indicate that cannabis medical treatment is more effective when it contains more cannabinoids that mutually intensify each other’s effect, than when it contains isolated individual cannabinoids.

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