MEET THE CANNABIS PLANT
Updated: Feb 4, 2021
The scientists are still discussing which is the best way to classify the different subtypes and strains of cannabis. In this occasion, I would like to make it easy for you to get familiar with the language used in the label of the products and that way to understand what you are buying and the effects and medicinal effects of them.
Trichomes: where the magic happens
Trichomes are tiny sticky resinous hairs that cover the leaves and female plant flowers of the cannabis plant. Actually, that acts like a defence mechanism against fungus, insects, UV damage from the sun and animales.
Here is where the magic happens on the cannabis plant, because they produce the bulk of the cannabinoids. The more stress the plant is under, the more cannabinoids the trichomes make in response.
The flowers are where most of the trichomes are, but there are smaller amounts of cannabinoids made in the leaves too.
Of the 700 plant chemicals found so far in the cannabis plant, phytocannabinoids are the group that have been the most studied so far for their effects on human health. The most well-known, so far, are THC and CBD, however, there are dozens of others that contribute to the overall health, wellness and medicinal effects.
Probably you are wondering how the cannabis plant makes the cannabinoids. It is pretty easy: the leading cannabinoid, called CBGA, is made first, and is then converted through a number of enzymes and pathways into the other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC.
The acid forms of both CBD and THC have an A at the end: CBDA and THCA. These are their forms in the raw plant, before it is heated up. That means, if you eat a raw cannabis flower or leaf, you would not get high, but the acid forms do have medicinal values too.
We will explain in another post the most well-known phytocannabinoids, putting more attention into each other.
Terpenes are a big group of aromatic chemical substances within a big variety of plants, food and essential oils. Its main purpose is to protect the plant from bacteria, fungus and pests. Cannabis contains around 200 different terpenes depending on the strains and they are in the trichomes.
Research has shown that these CBD products are more effective when they are full-spectrum (where THC is not allowed, CBD broad-spectrum is best, which removes the THC but tries to retain the other cannabinoids), including terpenes and other minor cannabinoids.
In the next picture you can check some of the most common and interesting terpenes for wellness and medicinal purposes within cannabis.
Flavonoids belong to a group of plant chemical compounds called phytonutrients, known as polyphenols. In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, polyphenols were often used to enhance skin protection, brain function and proper blood sugar and blood pressure levels. They were also known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Practically, they are present in all fruits and vegetables and are often responsible for their bright and attractive colours.
Nowadays, research suggests that flavonoids may also help with longevity, weight control, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and Neurodegeneration.
I hope this information has been useful for you to understand the label of products containing some of the components of hemp. If you would like to know any other important information to take into consideration before buying a product, leave it in the comments and we will reply as soon as possible.