. . .what all plants do best; it produces an amazing variety of chemicals. Researchers have isolated over seven hundred and fifty compounds in cannabis. Out of those, there are about eighty that are referred to as “cannabinoids” that our bodies respond to and heal in ways we barely understand. As we begin to tease apart the mysteries of the real cannabis plant, the big revelation has been that this is not your Daddy’s pot, there is so much more to cannabis than just getting high.
Of the eighty known cannabinoids, researchers have only focused on three which have the most pronounced effects: THC, which has a psycho-active property for recreational users, and the compounds CBD and CBN. These last two have amazing properties for medicinal uses (interestingly, CBN is created when THC ages and oxidizes in a dried cannabis plant).
One of the big reasons this is not your Daddy’s pot
Paradoxically, the one reason cannabis of today is so different from the days of Woodstock and the “Summer of Love,” is a forty-year drug war.
The idea is referred to as the “Iron law of prohibition.” and suggests that the tougher law enforcement is on a drug, the more potent it will become.
For example, when prohibition went into effect here in the US in 1919, rather than moving beer to the black market and speak-easy bars, bootleg operations began to focus on running hard liquor and even moonshine because it was concentrated alcohol.
The cartels responded to the war on drugs in a similar fashion by cultivated strains of cannabis that produced very high levels of THC.
More THC per plant meant the product could be shipped to markets, again as a concentrate, in smaller and more easy to conceal bundles.
These more potent strains of cannabis have since been introduced into mainstream production here in the US.
This contributed to the cannabis product on the legal market now containing much higher levels of THC than that which was circulating forty years ago.
What a difference a vote makes
But another very big reason the cannabis available today is stronger than in years gone by, is that, in some states, it’s legal. In those states, Cannabis is now openly cultivated, harvested, and moved to market as any other commodity.
They are able to focus on a quality product, cross-breeding strains for the chemistry the plant is producing, rather than just growing as many plants as possible.
The cannabis that was on the street 40 years ago, your Daddy’s pot, typically came to the end users as 1-ounce baggies of chopped plant matter. No one, not even the drug dealers, could say for sure what was in the baggie.
Moreover, there was no way to tell how old it was or if the product had been tampered with or diluted. No one was accountable.
In contrast to your daddy’s pot, where the entire plant was chopped up, crushed into a “brick” and shipping that to market, producers now harvest just one part of the plant called the “sinsemilla.”
This is the flowering “bud” of the cannabis plant and has the highest concentration of cannabinoids, and is the only part of the plant you see sold in the dispensaries.
Why all the rush?
But the chemical compounds in a cannabis bud that induce a buzz are not that stable, and they will degrade over time.
So these buds are moved to the dispensaries much more rapidly because, like produce in a grocery store, time is of the essence.
The sooner this product gets into the hands of the end users, the more the bud will retain its potency.
Cannabis that was on the street 40 years ago, typically came to the end users as 1-ounce baggies of chopped plant matter. No one, not even the drug dealers, could say for sure what was in the baggie.
Now, the qualities of various strains of cannabis are listed, cataloged, and can be reviewed online.
If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, whether for medical use or for recreation, you can now enjoy the windfall of access to the best cannabis product available.
Or if you live in a state where the cannabis vote will soon be on the ballot, you should carefully weigh your choices when you vote. I feel it’s time to make it legal, but you must decide for yourself.
If your daddy enjoyed cannabis in days gone by, or even if he still does, then I think he would be very pleased to know how far it has evolved – once it was allowed to step into the light.
Cannabis is a plant that we are only just now beginning to understand and it offers an amazing variety of promising compounds our bodies respond to in ways that even expensive pharmaceuticals cannot equal.
The more we understand cannabis, the more we are destined to embrace it.