The Cannabis Plant

The term cannabis most accurately refers to a whole plant species known as Cannabis sativa (L). There are cannabis sativa, indica, and hybrid sub-types, but most weed consumed is a hybrid of some sort.

The plant is comprised of various parts (stem, leaves, flowers/buds) used for different purposes:

  • Dried buds/flowers and oils from the female cannabis plant—the richest source of cannabinoids (psychoactive and non-psychoactive)
  • Fibres, seeds, and oils from other parts of the female plant and the entire male plant (hemp plant)—used to create lotions, fabric, plastic, and much more, and do not contain potentially intoxicating cannabinoids
  • Terpenes are oils found in plants responsible for taste and smell—there are many terpenes specific only to cannabis and differ among strains giving them unique aromas
  • Flavonoids are compounds in plants which give plants their pigmentation (colour) and play a role in plant health—flavonoids in cannabis are thought to have beneficial effects, in particular, anti-inflammatory effects