Just Exactly What Is Cannabis?

It may seem like a stupid question at this point, what is cannabis? It is, after all, one of the most commonly used drugs in the world. However, it is surprising just how many people, even avid imbibers, know so little about it. Cannabis is a coverall name given to three plants that all impart psychoactive properties. Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Ruderalis, and Cannabis Sativa.

The leaves and buds of these three plants are harvested and dried and provide us with one of the most well-used drugs all over the globe. It goes by many names: weed, hash, marijuana, pot and a host of others. Whilst some think that the term cannabis is the accurate name others prefer the more neutral generic names. However, as it becomes more and more accepted, decriminalized and legalized the old nicknames like pot. Are for many just a throwback to its illegal days.

In addition to its psychotropic qualities, it has, in recent years, been accepted to have many medical uses, particularly in the treatment of chronic pain, poor appetite, anxiety and even glaucoma. 

Best Areas of Cultivation

Cannabis ideally requires a temperature range of between 24 to 30 °C (75 to 86 °F). Temperatures outside of this tend to decrease THC potency and slow plant growth. Ideally, it requires good humidity and lots of natural light. Though in modern times cannabis is cultivated indoors, traditionally it was grown in hot, humid climates. 

Traditionally the growth of marijuana started in Asia. It was possibly one of the first plants ever to be cultivated. The earliest evidence of its use are in Japan dating from 8000 years BC. In Ancient China evidence of hemp growth and use dates back to the 5th Century BC. Korea saw it as an important crop from 3000 BC. 

Throughout the Asian continent, it has been used in religious ceremonies for millennia. And let’s face it, what is cannabis if not a religious experience!

What is Cannabis Oil?

Although Cannabis has over 120 active ingredients, science still isn’t aware of what they are all capable of. Two that have been well explored are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).


It is the CBD that is interesting for the medical profession. Scientists have identified over 80 different ones, in cannabis. Although still not fully understood the results of treating many illnesses with Cannabis Oil are exciting. Seizures brought on by Parkinson’s disease have been quickly and dramatically brought under control. People with sleeping disorders are enjoying better sleep than ever before and a whole range of stress and anxiety conditions are being treated. 

Doctors are now prescribing Cannabis Oil to bring pain relief to long term pain sufferers, and people are getting help with nausea and seizures. It seems that there is a whole range of benefits to cannabis and its derivatives. This comes as no surprise to many as it has been used around the world for centuries. 


If you are looking for a high from smoking or taking any cannabis products then this is the stuff that interests you. THC is what gives marijuana its psychotropic qualities. So if weed is high in cannabidiol and low in THC then you can get the medical benefits without getting high. If alternatively it is high in THC and low in CBD, it’s party time! Let’s face it, what is cannabis all about if you cannot party. 

Effects of Cannabis

So when we look at the overall effects of weed, we can see that it can be used to treat several medical conditions and it can also be used purely as a means of getting high. Many people get enhanced senses and claim that this has dramatically improved their sex lives. 

It is not all a bed of roses and like any drug, alcohol included, it can have side effects. Some people display problems with co-ordination and reaction times. Others say it makes them lethargic and a few experience paranoia. It is important that users gain knowledge and learn which strains work best for them. 

We as advocates and users must adopt a responsible position on the distribution and use of all cannabis products. There is evidence to suggest that in the case of adolescents, cannabis use can cause memory and learning difficulties. There is not enough evidence to prove this either way, but there is certainly enough to cause responsible dispensers to limit the drug to adult use only.

There is also some evidence to suggest that people who start using cannabis in adolescence are more likely to develop a dependence on the drug. This will always be a hard one to prove, though, as some people are just prone to dependency. 


Of course, it is natural to assume that those wed users who simply smoke joints can develop the same lung problems as tobacco smokers. This is obviously true as when weed is mixed with tobacco, the user is simply smoking tobacco with some added weed. There is though evidence to suggest that bong users suffer less. Smoking weed with no tobacco, filtered through a bong, does appear to be a lot less hazardous.


We hope this article has both answered the ‘what is cannabis’ question and at the same time explained some of the myths and realities of marijuana use. It is important as with any drug that to enjoy it responsibly, you understand just exactly what it is. Used sensibly cannabis can lift your spirits, ease your pain, relieve your anxieties and improve your sex life. 

What is not to like? 

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