What are the main active ingredients in cannabis?

There are no singular main ingredients in the cannabis plant, the the most well known however are, THC and CBD, both cannabinoids. There are 4 main groups of components in the cannabis plant; cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids and nitrogenous compounds. THC is the most potent psychoactive ingredient responsible for the ‘high’ experience. On the other hand, even though CBD is psychoactive as well it is unlikely it can produce the “mentally high” feeling one gets. CBD is important as well because it works to maintain and counteract some of the effects of THC. (DocMJ, 2017National Academies of Sciences, 2017)]

What is hemp?

Hemp is considered a variety of Cannabis sativa L. Hemp, however, is defined by Health Canada as cannabis strains that contain less than 0.3% THC. Both hemp and cannabis come from the cannabis species but hemp is easier to grow and is prized in industry for a variety of uses. It is not classified as a “drug” because of its low THC content – not enough to get anyone “high.” Hemp has many uses, as it can be used for clothing manufacturing, construction as insulation material, paper, food, and as a biofuel. (Health Canada, 2017).

How many different cannabinoids are there?

More than 104 cannabinoids have been identified, out of those THC and CBD are the most studied and commonly described and well known. Others includes; CBG, CBC, THCV, and each one of those have acid forms (The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 2017).

How many strains are there and which strains are better?

There is a large selection of cannabis strains, but there are only 3 accepted varieties; indica, sativa and ruderalis. Some of them are pure indica or sativa and others are crossbred balanced hybrid between the 3 varieties. They can be balanced hybrids, predominantly indica or predominantly sativa strains, they can be classically from one region of the world or a landrace. (Hillig et al., 2004, Leafly, 2018).

  • We can find more than 1,000 crossbred hybrid strains
  • There are more than 700 indica strains
  • About 500 sativa strains.

What is the difference between Sativa and Indica?

Contrary to popular belief, the difference between C. sativa and C. indica is not the psychoactivity but its morphological, cannabinoids concentration, terpenoid profile, flavonoid content, harvest cycle and historical origins (McPartland & Guy, 2017).

What is the difference between male and female plants?

The difference lays in the active molecular profile and its forms (calyx, seeds, etc.). Male C. sativa is commonly known as hemp. The male plant has higher concentration of CBD and over 142 cannabinoids. Comparatively the female plant has higher concentrations of THC and has over 106 cannabinoids (McPartland & Guy, 2017) .