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What is Cannabis?...

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

This is an easy one. It’s marijuana! It’s Sarah Jessica Parker to Carrie Bradshaw – I may be dating myself here.

Also known as weed, pot, ganja, grass, reefer and on and on. I actually got curious as I wrote this…what are other names for cannabis? So I did some googling…

I found 2 that I hadn’t heard before, but had immediate fondness for:

rainy day woman — this may come from the Bob Dylan song with the chorus line “Everybody must get stoned”

thirteen — the first letter of marijuana is the 13th in the alphabet

Interestingly, they came from TIME magazine article. You know this country must love weed if TIME is telling you about the “slang names” it has :)

Cannabis and Marijuana have always been the same thing. However you may notice that you are hearing Cannabis in lieu of Marijuana more. This is part of the industry’s effort to rebrand. A new name = less scary to new and non users. Try looking up marijuana on Wikipedia…it will bring you right to its cannabis page – so the industry’s efforts seem to be working. I should also add that Cannabis is Marijuana’s scientific genus classification.

Looking at this from a more serious perspective, Cannabis is naturally occurring flowering plant that originated from Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). It’s earliest recorded use dates back to 3rd millennium BC – so before today’s calendar started. It had numerous uses including fabric, rope, ritual practices, smoking and wait for it….as a regularly “prescribed medicine” for over 100 ailments in the United States from 1840 to 1930. Interesting how Reefer Madness didn’t mention that…

It has two main naturally occurring chemical components TCH and CBD. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is what gets you “high” or “stoned” – the fun stuff. It is also the federally illegal component. It provides a psychoactive effect that many find induces relaxation, creativity, facility for philosophical thinking, introspection, metacognition or the perfect cure after a long day.

CBD or cannabidiol is not federally illegal and has no psychoactive effect. So you won’t be getting high with CBD alone. It is rapidly growing in popularity to the degree it’s showing up in gas stations. Who would have guessed? While it lacks the ability to give the user fun brain effects, it makes up for it in its use to reduce nausea, decrease inflammation, reduce stress and help with anxiety. Both THC and CBD have a litany of uses FAR beyond those listed here – with more being developed/discovered every day.

Whether you call it cannabis, marijuana or rainy day woman – it is knocking on the door of society and people are talking about. Whether you choose to try it, use it, love it or bitch about its theoretically negative effects on our society that is completely up to you. I however, at the end of my day… will be smoking up before I take a long relaxing walk with my dog at the beach…personal choices ;)

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