The Plant Synergy

The Plant

Marijuana is the slang term for cannabis. It is one of the oldest psychoactive substances used by man. Marijuana, also called pot, weed, ganja, mary jane, and a host of other nicknames, is made from the Cannabis plant, which has three species: Cannabis sativa; Cannabis Indica and Cannabis ruderalis. The flowering plant, which can grow to 16 feet (5 meters) high, likely originated in the Central Asian steppe, near the Altai or Tian Shian Mountains, and was first cultivated in China and India, according to "Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Potential," (Routledge, 2002).

The leaves, stems, flower buds and extracts from the marijuana plant can be eaten, brewed in a tea or put into a tincture. It can also be vaporized using an e-cigarette pen.  There are hundreds of compounds in marijuana, but scientists believe the one responsible for the drugs' psychoactive effects is tetrahydrocannbinol, or THC. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, and marijuana's "high" comes from THC's binding to brain regions responsible for pleasure, time perception and pain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This binding in turn triggers a chemical cascade that eventually stimulates the production of dopamine, a brain chemical often called the "feel good chemical," which is part of the body's reward system," said Mitch Earleywine, a psychology professor at the University at Albany in New York, who studies marijuana's health effects. "Subjective effects really vary," Earleywine said. "Folks who like it emphasize the euphoria and the relaxation, and then depending on the strain, it's mildly stimulating, or mildly sedating."


Medical Cannabis can soothe nausea and increase appetite, quiet pain, soothe anxiety and even reduce epileptic seizures. Other research on the healing effects of cannabis is being examined. For example, research suggests that THC may be able to improve memory according to a 2016 study on mice. More than half of the United States has legalized marijuana for medical use. Canadian doctor's have been able to prescribe since 2001. The amount of THC in cannabis has grown over the past few decades. In the early 1990s, the average THC content in cannabis was about 3.74 percent in the early 1990s and in 2013 it was almost 10 percent, according to NIDA. 


 10,000-year-old archaeological site in Taiwan contains pottery fragments with a twisted strand imprinted around the edge, which some believe was made by pressing a rope made of hemp, the fibers made from the cannabis plant, across the wet clay, according to "Marijuana: The First Twelve-Thousand Years," (Springer, 1980).


Hemp Fabric was widely used in ancient China to make clothing. A Chinese medicinal textbook, the Pen Ts'ao, which is credited to an emperor in 2800 B.C., claims that "Ma," or marijuana, was a powerful medicinal plant. Siberian burial mounds have traces of burnt cannabis seeds dating to 3000 B.C. The plant was first given its taxonomic identification by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 and thoroughly described to Westerners in the 1800s, when the medical doctor William O'Shaughnessy gave a report to the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta in India in 1839. The doctor described its effects on people and did a few case reports on "gunjah," the Indian name for the drug. "Almost invariably the inebriation is of the most cheerful kind, causing the person to sing and dance, to eat food with great relish, and to see aphrodisiac enjoyments," O'Shaughnessy wrote in his paper. The drug first became popular in Europe when Napoleon's troops returned from Egypt.

Sativa

Sativa is a tall and lanky, with long, narrow, pointy leaves that are fluffy, fruity flowers. When consumed, it delivers a bright, uplifting euphoria that many people appreciate for daytime use.  Sativa Marijuana Plants, opposite from Indica plants, Sativa plants grow tall and thin, making them better suited for out door growing – especially since some strains can reach over 25 ft. in height. A Sativa high is known to be more energetic and uplifting. Sativa-dominant marijuana strains tend to have a more grassy type odor to the buds providing an uplifting, energetic and “cerebral” high that is best suited for daytime smoking. A sativa high is one filled with creativity and energy as being high on sativa can spark new ideas and creations.   


Caution is required with conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar specifically mania, PTSD and anxiety because sativa is uplifting. Most often using Sativa with a lower THC ratio is recommended or a hybrid 


Benefits Of Sativa

  1. Feelings of well-being and at-ease  
  2. Up-lifting and cerebral 
  3. Thoughts  
  4. Stimulates and energizes  
  5. Increases focus and creativity  
  6. Fights depression

Indica

indica is a low and dense, with wide, rounded leaves and tighter structure. 


Indica plants typically grow and wide. This growth pattern makes Indica plants better for indoor growing. The high produced from smoking Indica bud is a strong physical body high that will make you sleepy or ‘couch-locked’ and provides a deep relaxation feeling.

Indica-dominant marijuana strains tend to have a strong sweet or sour odor to the buds providing a very relaxing and strong body high that is helpful in treating general anxiety, body pain, and sleeping disorders. Indicas are very effective for overall pain relief and is often used to treat insomnia for many people. Indica buds are most commonly smoked by medical marijuana patients in the late evening or even right before bed due to how sleepy and tired you become when high from an indica strain of marijuana. 


Benefits of Indica

  1. Relieves body pain  
  2. Relaxes muscles  
  3. Relieves spasms, reduces seizures  
  4. Relieves headaches and migraines  
  5. Relieves anxiety or stress

Hybrid

Choosing the right marijuana strain is important to have the best experience possible. There are more than 1000 different strains. that range from pure sativia to pure indicia and in between. A hybrid strain is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a combination of sativa and indica plants and can be bread to provide specific qualities giving consumers the best of both worlds.

Hybrids can be dominant to either sativa or indica. If you choose a hybrid strain that is dominant to one way or the other, expect to experience more of the effects associated with the dominant strain.

Hybrid strains fall in to one of three categories:

  • Sativa Hybrids. These hybrids typically provide a heady high that pairs well with a relaxing body feeling. Sativa dominant hybrids are typically used to relax and unwind both physically and mentally.
  • Balanced Hybrids (50/50) These are typically a true balance of indica and sativa plants. These strains are ideal for those looking to balance mind and body highs.
  • Indica dominant hybrids generally provide a strong body high which makes them ideal for moderate pain relief or relaxation and sleep in the evening.

Terpenes

The cannabis plant consists of a wide variety of chemicals and compounds. About 140 of these belong to a large class of aromatic organic hydrocarbons known as terpenes (pronounced tur-peens). You may have also heard people talk about terpenoids. The words terpene and terpenoid are increasingly used interchangeably, although these terms do have different meanings. The main difference between terpenes and terpenoids is that terpenes are hydrocarbons (meaning the only elements present are carbon and hydrogen); whereas, terpenoids have been denatured by oxidation (drying and curing the flowers) or chemically modified. It is well established that cannabis is capable of affecting the mind, emotions and behavior. The main psychotropic cannabinoid, THC has been intensely studied. However, many of the other cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids found in medical marijuana that play a big role in boosting the therapeutic effect of cannabis remain understudied.

Terpenes are common constituents of flavorings and fragrances. Terpenes, unlike cannabinoids, are responsible for the aroma of cannabis. Terpenes act on receptors and neurotransmitters; they are prone to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats; they act as serotonin uptake inhibitors (similar to antidepressants like Prozac); they enhance norepinephrine activity (similar to tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil); they increase dopamine activity; and they augment GABA (the “downer” neurotransmitter that counters glutamate, the “upper”). However, more specific research is needed for improved accuracy in describing and predicting how terpenes in cannabis can be used medicinally to help treat specific ailments / health conditions.

Cannabinoids

The most important chemicals in marijuana are the cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are the chemicals which give the cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with different receptors in the body to produce a wide range of effects, such as feeling high. But what exactly are cannabinoids? why are they able to interact with the body? The answer has to do with cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Which is incredibly fascinating. The marijuana plant produces as many as 113 different cannabinoids. Among these cannabinoids, THC and CBD are the most prevalent and the most well-understood.

Marijuana’s cannabinoids are produced and stored within the trichomes (crystals) of the plant. These trichomes give cannabis flowers their shiny and sparkly appearance.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and actually works to counteract the high. CBD also has numerous beneficial properties, such as anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

While THC and CBD are the most well-known cannabinoids, there are many other cannabinoids in marijuana that offer health benefits. Some of these include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabichromene (CBC)Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the human body. “Endo” stands for endogenous, which means originating within the body. While these cannabinoids are distinct from those produced in marijuana, they share many similar properties and effects. This is because they interact with the same pathways in the brain and body called cannabinoid receptors.

Scientists believe there are many different endocannabinoids, but the most studied and understood are 2-AG and anandamide. 

Other endocannabinoids include noladin ether, virodhamine, and N-arachidonyl dopamine (NADA).

While the functions of these cannabinoids within the body are wide ranging, it is believed that their primary function is to promote homeostasis. In order to understand cannabinoids, you have to know a bit about the endocannabinoid.

The endocannabinoid system is a system in the human body consisting of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. These receptors and cannabinoids can be thought of as a "lock and key" system. Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors like a key fits into a lock. Unlocking the receptor causes changes in how cells function, leading to different effects in the body.

When cannabis enters your body, THC activates the endocannabinoid system by attaching to cannabinoid receptors.

There are two different types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, and are responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. 

On the other hand, CB2 receptors are found mostly in other parts of the body. They are responsible for a wide range of biological functions.

The functions of the endocannabinoid system help explain the effects of cannabis. The endocannabinoid system is involved with regulating appetite, sleep, pain, mood, memory, and much more. Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) are cannabinoids produced naturally within the body. Exogenous cannabinoids are cannabinoids produced outside of the body.

Exogenous cannabinoids are also known as phytocannabinoids because they come from plants. The Greek root “phyto” means plant. The cannabinoids in cannabis are phytocannabinoids.