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Cannabis is a very old plant. It was on this planet long before a human being took his first bipedal steps. Recent studies on fossil pollen have shown that cannabis has since its origins demonstrated its attitude for heights. In fact, it seems to originate on the Tibetan plateau, not far from the places where our Denisovan cousins lived 160,000 years ago.
But while our ancestors could come across a cannabis plant very easily, it became much more difficult for us, also due to the restrictive policies implemented by many nations.
Sativa, Indica and Hybrid: Anatomy of a Cannabis Plant
As Wikipedia points out, Cannabis (or marijuana, pot, weed, bud, green as you like) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae.
There are hundreds (thousands, according to some experts) of cannabis strains, but they all fall into three macro categories:
- Sativa, with long, thin, light-colored leaves
- Indica, with larger leaves and deeper color
- Ruderalis, a type that you will never have heard of due to its very small size and very low THC level
Cannabis growers have improved these macro-species by using ruderalis to obtain auto-flowering species and by mixing sativa and indica to obtain hybrid species.
The following infographic explains at a glance the differences in terms of botany, cultivation and the effects of consuming the different species.
Source: Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana by Dan Michaels
Obviously for many of us the plant's most important part is the flower: the 113+ cannabinoids (the active compounds of marijuana) are all concentrated here!
We compiled a list of resources that will allow you to learn more about the main botanical aspects of the cannabis plant.