Cannabis: What is It, Uses, Types, & More
It’s pretty easy to assume that we’re all here right now because we love marijuana. The smell. The taste. The effects. There are a variety of reasons why cannabis is a billion dollar industry in the United States. But what is it? How do we use it? What can the cannabis plant be turned into? These are just some of the questions we plan to answer in this resource.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a (sometimes) psychoactive plant in the Cannabaceae family and cannabis genus. The two commonly known cannabis plants are Cannabis indica, which grows short and dense, and Cannabis sativa, which grows tall and thin, but there are also countless numbers of hybrid varieties that combine both types of plants into one cultivar. Hybrids become increasingly more difficult to visually identify as genetics continue to be redefined by growers.
Notice we said cannabis is sometimes psychoactive? That’s because industrial hemp is also a type of Cannabis sativa, but it’s bred to have low, almost non-existent levels of THC. To make it easier to distinguish between psychoactive cannabis and non-intoxicating cannabis, many people use the terms “marijuana” and “hemp,” respectively.
How is Cannabis Used?
The cannabis sold in our dispensaries is consumed in a variety of ways, including smoking, vaping, and eating. Certain cannabis products can also be rubbed on the skin, dropped under the tongue, or sipped from a can. One of our favorite things about the cannabis industry is that people are always innovating, which means products constantly enter the market and provide us with new and exciting ways to enjoy marijuana.
What is Cannabis Used For?
Throughout history, cannabis has been used for a number of different purposes. It’s been cultivated for its fiber to make clothing and rope, burned for religious ceremonies, and even eaten as food (well, the seeds, at least). Of course, it has also been used in ancient medicine and even as an alternative to alcohol.
Nowadays, there are two main reasons that people consume cannabis. For recreational consumers, it’s typically to enjoy the intoxicating effects that the plant offers. For medical marijuana patients, cannabis is consumed for its therapeutic potential. While we don’t know with absolute certainty what medical benefits cannabis might have, we do know that some people find symptom relief when consuming marijuana. Both reasons for consumption have led to the legalization of cannabis around the country, with more and more states going green.
What are the Different Types of Cannabis Products?
There are countless types of cannabis products, but there are certain categories of products that are more common than others. The most common types of cannabis products you’ll find at our locations are:
This product is the dried and cured bud of the marijuana plant. It can come in a variety of forms, including popcorn, shake, premium flower, and even wrapped up in a pre-roll. Cannabis flower is most commonly smoked or vaped, though there are other ways to use your flower—like when making hash.
When cannabis flower is put through extraction, both solventless and solvent-based, the result is a cannabis concentrate. There are countless varieties of concentrates, including shatter, resin, rosin, budder, batter, hash, distillates, and more. While cannabis concentrates are typically dabbed, they can also be added to edibles and used as toppers in hand and water pipes.
Prefer not to inhale cannabis smoke or vapor? Cannabis topicals might be for you. Topicals come in different forms, including lotion and salve, and they contain cannabinoids meant to be rubbed on the skin. When using topicals, most cannabis enthusiasts are interested in a localized effect; however, there are transdermal patches that provide a more full-body psychoactive experience.
If you can eat it or put it in your mouth, and it has cannabinoids in it, it’s a cannabis edible. While marijuana brownies are likely the first things that come to mind, there are also candies, gummies, popcorn, crackers, beverages…the list goes on. If you can dream it up in the kitchen, you can put cannabis in it and turn it into an edible.
Tinctures are similar to an edible except they’re usually consumed under the tongue (sublingually) or through the cheek (buccally). Tinctures are cannabinoids suspended in alcohol and may have flavor or may taste like nothing. Tinctures can also be added to your drinks and recipes, so cannabis tinctures can even be used to make edibles.
How is Cannabis Grown?
The high quality cannabis you purchase from our shelves can be grown one of two ways—outside and in a specialized, growing facility or greenhouse. Here are some of the differences:
- Grown outdoors: While it’s always good to grow plants in their natural habitats, cannabis can be tricky to grow. Growers have to ensure the crop isn’t going to be affected by a local farmer spraying pesticide nearby, and they’ll have to monitor and plant during the right times of the season or risk losing their marijuana to bad weather. Because it’s a little harder to grow outside, marijuana tends to have a longer grow time and a limited harvest.
- Grown indoors: There are a lot of advantages to indoor cannabis gardening. Ultimately, growers can control all the unknowns of the outdoors, creating the perfect environment for marijuana to thrive. The downsides? It’s expensive to build and maintain a grow facility, and a threat that enters the greenhouse could quickly take out your entire crop. This can be the result of a bad pest or a blight that just gets passed from one indoor plant to the next until there’s no marijuana left.
For most cannabis consumers, you would never know the difference between outdoor-grown and indoor-grown marijuana—and that’s exactly how growers prefer it.
Learn More About Cannabis
If there’s one thing to take away from this guide, it’s that there’s a lot to learn about cannabis. Whether you want to know more about cannabis products you spot when you view our menu, dosing, tools to smoke, vape, or dab, or a different topic entirely, we keep cannabis experts (our budtenders) on staff to ensure you don’t ever leave without a marijuana question answered.
Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.