There are different types of cannabis and they prove the versatility of the plant and expand its use in medicine. In view of this impending expansion, it is essential that the market is informed to better understand what it means to introduce cannabis-based compounds into drugs and products, such as oils, ointments and many other presentations.
The use of medicinal cannabis appears in the treatment of several diseases and with an effectiveness attested by a series of scientific studies. It is no coincidence that the plant is of great value to the pharmaceutical industry. In the United States alone, it is estimated that in the next 3 years the cannabis market will have a significant volume.
What type of plant is cannabis?
Just as in the animal kingdom there are mammals, rodents and birds, among plants we have different forms of classification. In the case of Cannabis, this means that it belongs to the order of Rosales (flowering plants), the family is Cannabaceae (which also includes hops, used in the making of beer), and the genus is Cannabis.
As we will see later, there are three plants of the genus Cannabis known and cataloged.
Each of them has unique uses, also distinguished by the concentration of active substances.
Historical origins of the main types of cannabis
The “birthplace” of cannabis is the Asian continent. It is believed to have been in use for at least 6,000 years, since it was cultivated in the huge region between China, Mongolia and southeastern Siberia.
However, it is estimated that the plant has been consumed for at least 10,000 years. In other words, it has been with us since the Neolithic Revolution, when man left the nomadic way of life to become sedentary and agricultural.
The first traces of the use of cannabis for medicinal and even spiritual purposes come from this remote period.
In 1578, the Chinese book Pen-Tsao, considered the most comprehensive in the history of traditional Chinese medicine, described the ancient use of cannabis as a medicinal plant, considered effective in the treatment of joint pain, gout and malaria. Regardless, cannabidiol, one of the main substances extracted from the plant and used in modern medicine, was only isolated in 1963 by Bulgarian-Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam, the father of medicinal cannabis.
This discovery is seen as a turning point, and after that, a new era of cannabis studies has begun.
It is even from there that science will discover the endocannabinoid system, responsible for the regulation of several functions, including the reproductive system.
Types of cannabis (subspecies)
Today, the main pharmaceutical companies dedicated to the study and research of cannabis are concentrated in three subspecies of the plant: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. All have the same center of origin, but they have adapted to different parts of the world. As we pointed out earlier, cannabis is one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans.
Over the millennia, different types of cannabis have been cataloged by biology. Despite the discoveries made by taxonomists from different historical periods, there are those who consider that the Cannabis sativa species only exists.
Cannabis use is not higher due to ignorance or prejudice
We are not talking about the recreational use of marijuana, which has nothing to do with the use of the plant for medicinal purposes, in the fight against a series of diseases. In addition, a product derived from cannabis, the CBD flower, serves as raw material for the manufacture of a wide range of products and inputs.
Widely documented, the medicinal use of cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating a range of health problems. It can be used in multiple presentations, and it can be administered in multiple ways. Check out some examples:
– cannabidiol capsules
– CBD oils and dyes
– Topical products (creams, ointments, among others)
It is clear that despite the negative perception of cannabis by many people, the plant does have some health benefits.
Interesting related article: “Cannabis in the United States”