The earliest cultural evidence of Cannabis comes from the oldest known Neolithic culture in China, the Yang-shao, which appeared along the Yellow River valley about 6500 years ago. Cannabis was a dominant textile plant in the ancient world and was even used to make paper. The seeds were one of China’s major staple food items, alongside millet and other grains, and were also pressed for oil used for cooking, lamps, and other things. The leaves and buds were used medicinally.
Sativas are taller and more leggy plants. They originate from Colombia, Mexico and Southeast Asia. Once flowering has begun, they may take 10 – 16 weeks to fully mature. Sativa leaves are much smaller and thinner than Indica leaves. Sativas are characterized as uplifting and energetic with higher THC than CBD. These effects give a feeling of well-being, stimulate brain activity and can provide pain relief for certain symptoms such as:
- Chronic pain
- Increased focus
- Increased creativity
- Increased serotonin
Indicas look more like small shrubs. Indicas originally come from the hash producing countries of the world like Afghanistan, Morocco and Tibet. After flowering starts they mature in 6 to 8 weeks. Indica yield is usually higher than Sativa, and has a shorter growing season. They are better for indoor growing because they don’t get as tall. Indica’s higher CBD than THC makes them effective for overall body pain relief, and they are often used as:
- Muscle relaxants
- To decrease nausea
- Acute pain reliever
- Appetite stimulant
- For insomnia
- Increases dopamine
Ruderalis–a relatively unknown strain of marijuana from Russia and Poland is considered a wild sub-species and is not used much in medical marijuana currently. This type flowers depending on the age of the plant. Ruderalis strains are typically not known for their medicinal values, but can be interbred with other strains.
Aryan Cannabis Culture
The Aryans brought Cannabis to India around 4,000 years ago. They had a Shamanic tradition involving communication with the spirits of plants and animals. Marijuana played an active role in their rituals. Pollen analysis dates the cultivation of Cannabis to 400 B.C. in Norway; 150 A.D. in Sweden, and 400 A.D. in Germany and England.
With the rising power of Islam, marijuana flourished in popular form as hashish.
Hashish is obtained by collecting the trichomes (fine outgrowths or hairs on plants that produce a sticky resin high in THC) from the flower tops of female cannabis plants. These are then pressed into a mass which is known as hashish. Hashish is usually more potent than marijuana but it looses potency as it ages. In Morocco and Lebanon they traditionally use a process of continual sieving to refine the hashish until only the best quality powder remains. In the Himalayas and Nepal they collect hashish by rubbing the plants. In this case the quality depends on the quality of the plants used.