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Now that Canada has legalized recreational cannabis, one option for consumers is to buy seeds from producers and grow the plants themselves. The Cannabis Act limits four plants per household, not per person.
An overview of some of the technological advancements, like rosin presses, of interest and available to medical cannabis patients.
Hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis sativa, one of the three main subtypes of the cannabis plant, has long been known to be an effective alternative to cotton clothing and nylon ropes, but it is also being harnessed for a more surprising application: acting as a vacuum cleaner for toxic substances found in soil.
Regardless of how diligent growers and commercial cannabis companies are when pushing up cannabis plants, problems can sometimes arise. The laundry list of prospective issues includes microbial offenders with nasty-sounding names like powdery mildew and botrytis cinerea, and pests that pose a range of threats: spider mites, aphids, gnats, thrips and caterpillars, to name but a handful.
Depending on the lens affixed to the discussion, cannabis can either be one of the easiest or hardest crops on the planet to cultivate. For centuries, cannabis sativa pushed up wildly, naturally, in the Himalayas and other parts of the globe, like Mongolia and Afghanistan. In recent decades, as cannabis has been domesticated and grown for both commercial and therapeutic reasons, it has also found a home in indoor and greenhouse settings.
The simple answer to the question of how science has helped cannabis is that, more than anyone or anything before or since, science has loaned cannabis a sense of legitimacy.
In a remarkable discovery, Canadian researchers have found 21 previously unknown cannabinoids when they were studying the chemistry of various strains.
Innovation is one of the lead characteristics that define the cannabis industry. In the context of growing cannabis, the term is more loaded than ever – connoting everything from basic adjustments to revolutionary changes in cultivation practices. Every one of these innovations is designed for many functions and one underlying goal: increasing crop yields and the quality of the cannabis being grown.
One of the most easily-overlooked aspects of the cannabis conversation is the proper sterilization of equipment. While assuredly relevant on the commercial side of the industry, sterilization is also important in a residential setting, where cannabis equipment like pipes, bongs and vaporizers are being used.
As the breadth of cultivation techniques evolve, so too has the sheer number of grow mediums increased. Where traditional mediums like soil and coco have continued to be used for medical and recreational cultivation, there are now more options than ever – aeroponics, aquaponics and deep-water culture – that breeders and growers can use to push up cannabis plants.
For the past 100 years, cannabis consumers, growers and advocates haven’t been alone in dealing with the ramifications of strict laws governing the cannabis plant, nearly the world over. The so-called velvet handcuffs have also hindered researchers in the space, with many advances accomplished behind closed doors, or in laboratories where courageous researchers have pushed the boundaries of what the scientifically permissible, or then possible.
Robust is one way to define the current breadth of research that involves the cannabis and its chemical parts. Across the planet – namely in states and countries where medical cannabis is permitted – scientists are becoming increasingly invested in discovering the full potential of the cannabis plant. To date, those studies have focussed tightly on the isolating and use of particular cannabinoids, and the prospect that isolated cannabis molecules may hold the key to any number of conditions. With these advancements, researchers have been able to add significant scientific knowledge, data and innovation to the medical cannabis discussion.
The future of cannabis research is rife with potential. As more countries and states move quickly to incorporate reforms to age-old drug policies, cannabis has moved out of the shadows of its former self, and now stands tall as a therapeutic agent of much interest to the scientific community.
Greenhouses have long been a fixture on country roads and highways outside of small towns, the world over. More of a visual enigma than anything, few people have the chance to learn about the importance and significance of greenhouses, a place where crops of every stripe can be cultivated year-round and help to feed the population in countries like Canada that only have short grow seasons.
For decades, cannabis has found itself a slave to stereotype characterized by anachronistic tokens of a sluggish, yet peaceful, past. These cultural artifacts – bongs, tie-dye shirts and Grateful Dead posters – have in recent years started to be replaced by a new guard, and a sophisticated new treatment of a plant that has long been held in the shadows.
The sheer number of cannabis products available on the market these days is nothing short of impressive. For the better part of the 10,000 years that the plant and its derivatives have been consumed by humans for therapeutic reasons, the product offering – flowers and basic concentrates – has remained virtually static. In the last 20 years, however, there have been innovations and advancements of every shape and type, translating to one of the most creative and robust consumer markets on the planet.
The days of setting and forgetting cannabis plants are long gone. There are few breeders and growers who simply plant their crops and walk away, hoping that the latest round of yields is better than the last. In fact, the opposite is very much the truth. Contemporary cultivation techniques now number in the dozens, with a handful of styles being held up as the most effective means of maximizing the strength and volume of the yield.
Cannabis concentrates are all the rage today, thanks to the technique of extracting as many cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids as possible. For example, THC levels in concentrates can be as high as three-or-four times the amount of flowered cannabis.
The future of medical cannabis is bright. Few weeks pass these days without a new product, advancement or innovation being introduced to the budding cannabis marketplace. For patients, this wealth of choices has translated to options, both in the types of products available for cannabis therapy, but also in the way those products are consumed.
Cannabis has been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years. Until very recently, most of that use – whether for therapeutic or recreational purposes – was reserved to the shadows. As cannabis has been accepted as a viable medical treatment, so too have measures been implemented to protect patients.