What we should know about the Cannabis Plant
What do I know about the Cannabis Plant? Other than having lived around it for most of my life, I knew very little. So it was time for me to do a little research and see what this miracle plant is really all about. I went to a used book store here in Dallas and used “Hemp” as my keyword and here is what I found.
I found that The Cannabis plant or Cannabis Sativa is a member of the Cannabaceae family. Today’s modern cannabis strains are a result of crossbreeding and hybridization but their genesis is in the Cannabis Sativa. Hemp is the common name for plants of the entire genus C. Sativa has somehow been hijacked only to refer to hemp fiber and not the drug cropsDitchfield, Jeff, Et. Al. The Medical Cannabis Handbook
Which information is important?
Apparently, sex is important, but in plants? Cannabis is dioecious, meaning that the plant will be either male or female. In unusual circumstances it can develop into a hermaphrodite plant. This means that both male and female flowers appear in the same plant. However, as some of you know, only the female produces flower thus containing significant amounts of Cannabinoids. These flowers are called “buds” and are more potent if they are unfertilized by males. This explains why we spent several weeks at our family’s farm removing male plants from our fields. We must ensure that we only cultivate an all female crop. Female plants are also known by their Spanish name “sinsemillas”, without seeds.
To regulate its growth, the plant reads the amount of light it receives through its phytochrome hormones. Hence, pigmentation in the leaf act as light receptors. When the plant receives approx. 12 hours of light, it assumes that its early in the season and grows. As a result, the plant enters the vegetative stage where roots, branches and leaves are formed. As the daylight amount drops as in the fall, the plants go into its flowering stage. Those of you growing indoors can force the plants from the vegetative stage to its flowering stage in as little as two weeks. By manipulating the light cycles, the plants think the season has changed and will respond accordingly. There is no fundamental difference in cannabinoid content between the short cycled plants and those that are allowed to go full cycle. They are just shorter and yield less.
A landrace is a word used to describe a wild-growing strain that has evolved in isolation in specific regions. The Cannabis Indica is such a landrace, as it originates in mountainous regions of Central Asia. Cannabis Indica rarely reaches a height of 7 feet and is stocky. This strain is very high in psychoactive content. Indica dominant hybrid plants are used for grow rooms and smaller medicinal cultivation set ups.
A debated third landrace of cannabis found in Russia, Poland and other Eastern European countries exist. The debate circles around the formation of the seed pods. It has large seeds and weedy plants that grow to about 5 ft. Consequently, this variety produces lower levels of THC than C. Sativa and C. Indica. However, this hardy plant flowers early regardless of the photoperiod (season). Thus, Auto-flowering genes of the Ruderalis have been bred into the strains of auto-flowers. Because of auto-flowering, this strain of cannabis plant is good for use in medicinal cultivation as some strains can be high in CBD.
Breeding and Genetics determines yeilds
Breeding and genetics determine whether a cannabis strain is fiber hemp or has high cannabinoid content. Hemp grown for fiber and seeds contains little THC. Typically between 0.01% and 0.05% content compared to well over 15% in herbal cannabis grown for recreational and therapeutic use. Our Hemp plant goal in growing and processing into a product that is anywhere from 13% to the typical 15%. of cannabinoid yields. We then use these rich CBD content oils to manufacturer our products.