The Biology of Cannabis
December 18, 2018 | Custom Cannabis
Not unlike traditional crops, cannabis grows annually, living and dying in a single season. Cannabis is a complex plant with multiple elements working together to make it unique. Modern science has now discovered more than 400 chemical properties in the cannabis plant, consisting of cannabinoids and terpenes that directly interact with the human endocannabinoid system.
At Custom Cannabis, we are continuously working on developing these properties to their fullest genetic potential in order to provide the best possible medical cannabis. Here’s the break-down of cannabis biology.
- We are sexist when it comes to our plants: We only want the females! While male cannabis plants are necessary for the pollination that results in new plants, they are no good when it comes to producing the rich cannabis flowers we’re looking for. Only female cannabis plants are capable of growing what we want – a luscious green flower. Officially known as the cola, this is the tight grouping of female flowers (or buds) you may be familiar with when you think of cannabis. Coated in trichomes, the flower holds the terpenes and cannabinoids that bring you the feelings you seek.
- Wait, what are trichomes? Trichomes are tiny mushroom shaped crystals that cover the flower of the cannabis plant. They are a defensive precaution developed for the plant’s protection, but they contain the terpenes and cannabinoids that work hand in hand to create the effects that make cannabis special.
- Cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system: There are 109 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that bind to the endocannabinoid system present in the human body known to cause different effects. Of the 109, there are two key names to remember: Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the primary psychoactive element of cannabis that leaves people feeling “high”. CBD, on the other hand, lacks psychoactive effects and is preferred for its medicinal properties.
- What about the Terpenes? Terpene’s aren’t unique to the cannabis plant, but they are a critical part of it. Terpenes are organic, aromatic compounds found in the oils of all flowers. They contribute to distinct smells and flavours of different plants. The most common terpenes in cannabis are myrcene, pinene, and limonene. Each terpene has a different aroma and contributes to different effects on the human body.
- Strains: Just in case cannabis isn’t complicated enough, it also comes in different strains. We’ll talk more about strains later, but for now there are three different strains you should know, they are indica, sativa, or hybrids. A sativa plant contains high levels of THC and low levels of CBD. Indica, on the other hand, contains more mid-range levels of THC and CBD and is preferable to nighttime usage. A hybrid strain of plant brings together the best qualities of each strain into one plant.
At Custom Cannabis, our purpose-built greenhouse is powered by natural light and equipped with light deprivation curtains, computer-controlled airflow, irrigation and environmental controls allow us to literally work with mother nature to produce only the highest quality female plants with dense, large flowers packed with the cannabinoids and terpenes you need and want. We’re custom for a reason.