Grandpa Wants a Doobie

For a very long time, the quest in cannabis growing for the recreational market has been centred around reaching maximum potency. With flavour and effect considerations coming in a very close second. The benchmark, however, was always about potency. Even as legal consumers, it is not rare for someone to ask, “What’s the strongest stuff you have?” Clearly there is a strong voice in the market demographic for the highest high test.

There is a new voice starting to be heard now that the stigmas are fading away. Perhaps they were always there, but as a minority were well drowned out. My first realization that we are not paying enough attention to the wants and needs of the whole market came through the voice of another and initially surprised me. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized there is a massive market not being catered to; incredibly massive!

While sharing the different flowers from last years harvest, I did as most might do: I offered up my best first. Somewhat deflated when the response was just ok, I went to the next best. Still the reaction was lackluster. Now I was getting really confused. I was proud of these two flowers, but fully understanding that everyone has their own preference in the type of effect, I offered up my 3rd best.

The reaction to this third choice was much more favourable. For the next round came my least favourite and, ironically, the largest amount I harvested. The response shocked me: “We love it! That’s the best one yet!” Puzzled, I sat down and asked myself, “Why is this one so good over the others? It’s my least favourite.”

The reply was simple and clear. “This one is a lot closer to the stuff we used to smoke when we were young. We get a nice buzz that we enjoy, but it’s not so strong we feel stupid or debilitated. We don’t want to get wasted, just relax and feel good”. These are folks in their 60’s who wanted an effect like they remember from their youth.

It makes great sense. In those days if you wanted to go full wasted, you could just smoke one after another until you got there. I was one of those types as were many others then labelled ‘pothead’. Today the softer ‘chronic’ is far more palatable.

When we look at legal recreational use in Canada, for the most part the focus seems to have been capturing the legacy market and converting them. Potency is a solid strategy to that end with price coming in a very close second. But massive potential is being left on the table.

There is a very large number of Canadians in the aging population, some continued to use cannabis, but many left it behind with their youth. Now facing the ills of age, aches and pains and medical treatment becomes a necessary normal along with prescription medications. More and more of this demographic are going back to cannabis, not only for it’s recreational and nostalgic value, but because of the understood benefits that can come with it.

An entire line of products geared to the 40+ crowd would do extremely well with a mid-to-low THC-, mid-to-high CBD-content flower of varying phenotypes. Unlike the youngest cannabis consumer demographic, the 40+ market has far more disposable income available to them.

Perhaps a tamed down White Widow would work. How about “Grey Bearded Widow” or “Geriatric Kush”? All kidding aside, this is where the next big market push should be geared. There are millions of Canadians who, unhindered by legal ramifications, would very much enjoy partaking in some great tasting flower that does not leave them couch locked or drooling while wondering what their name was.

If you really want to cash in on the growing Canadian cannabis market, look to your elders.

You May Not Have Known This

Two days. That is how long this title has sat there while I contemplated just how to go about this article. The original premise was to be a series of small anecdotes of fake names and made up circumstances. All would relate to a perspective into why any given person on any given day could be so easily overwhelmed or in pain of some kind and lash out at a stranger online. It does not even have to be lashing out; a not well thought out reply is often enough to offend someone.

Yes, we are going to discuss social media interactions and the bitterness that seems to be so prevalent of late.

To save some of you some time, I have no idea what I am talking about. I can relate only my own personal experience and I have no business or intent to speak for anyone else. I am without post-graduate education of any kind and therefore have no qualifications or belief that would make me an expert of any kind.

OK. Let me know when they are gone.

Are they gone? It’s just us? Excellent! Let’s try and have a discussion. I think if we focus on influence and choices, we might find that great nirvana that frees us all: An alternate perspective.

Influence, while seemingly more powerful than choice, is incredibly powerful but truly second to informed choice. It is all around us every day. We constantly see Republicans bashing Democrats and, in other countries, Conservatives bashing Liberals. Public discourse among nations’ highest leaders offer little in terms of having respect for political opposition. Recent years have seen this ramped up to extraordinary levels with veiled insults being set aside for openly abusive language.

Before long, the neighbour who displays a different political affiliation on their lawn goes from respected to hated because that is what leaders are telling them. Human exploration into global connectivity and intercommunication on levels never seen before comes with it’s own downsides. The widespread belief that free speech is just that — regardless of the media or intent — is as false a human premise as could be imagined. It is a myth, a carrot held over our heads by those who would choose to use the stick.

Everyone has a right to life free from abuse. Any law or given right that permits violation of that right is immoral. Yet so often it is the cry of the oppressor that it is their right to be abusive. What it is, is a choice that is made. A choice to be abusive, condescending and to try to unload some personal baggage onto someone else. A choice to respond in anger instead of with understanding. Sadly, it’s the easiest choice, but it’s far from the most powerful.

Setting aside influence, choice is the path past anger and hostility. Just as those going after another, for any reason, seem to be able to justify it a hundred different ways, the hardest choice requires no justification. Choosing to attack someone who was rude only keeps the cycle of negativity going. Yet some seem to derive great satisfaction from it. In the moment, they are fully unaware that they are elevating themselves by stepping on another.

Choice is the great power we all possess. It is ours alone and, used well, great benefit for oneself and others is easily found. If, that is, we make the right choices.

Choose to be aware that everyone you encounter on social media is damaged in some way. We all are. No human walks this life without knowing difficulty in some manner, visible or otherwise. Choose to be aware. Communication is a gift and a skill some are much more proficient at than others. Choose to look at intent over content. Quite often they can be polar opposite, again reflecting a lack of communication skills.

You can choose to create and feed fires or you can choose to put them out. You can choose to be understanding, perhaps offering a hand in friendship. Inspiring gratitude for even a small kindness in another is a gift that everyone receives.

You can choose compassion.

You can choose to embrace the positive.

You can choose to be happy.

These are the only rights that matter and that no one can take away.

What will you choose to do?

Cannabis Legalization in Canada: It’s Not All Bad

It’s now mid-2019 and cannabis has been legal for recreational use for over half a year. This far in, there is no shortage of directions to look that lead to head-shaking disbelief. It started in some sense back in 2017, when we were getting the first glimpses into what the government thought legalization should look like. It really did not get much better leading up to oct 2018 when it came into effect. It may even have gotten worse, as confusion and frustration over access and prices led established consumers to stay with current black- and grey market sources.

To use a basketball analogy: When it comes to cannabis legalization, our federal leaders are no Harlem Globetrotters. Fumbles and whiffs are plentiful and consistent. That is not, however, what this article will be about. We don’t get a lot of articles on the subject of the best parts of the new normal. Exposés and feel-good stories are as near an oxymoron when used in the same context as it gets. But feel-good, upside stories exist and are plentiful when one goes looking for them. Most centre around an individual’s accomplishments, but some are bigger stories such as the one we will now get explore.

Gifting and Trading Cannabis: A Jewel in the Crown

Have you done it? Has a friend done it? Do you know anyone who does it? Lots of people are doing it every day! And it’s fun as hell! You should try it.

The best thing we were given in the new regulations is the legal ability to gift or trade cannabis freely among legal-age adults anywhere in Canada. It was not long after the new laws came into effect that people saw there would be potential in gifting and trading. Websites designed to facilitate people coming together for that purpose arrived soon after. Having never utilized one for any purpose, I will not suggest an opinion on them one way or the other.

Social media interactions became an important part of trading for myself and, I suspect, many others. We own our social media in the sense that what we publish says who we are or who we want the world to see. Reputation and credibility come into play and, based on ongoing interactions, trust is formed.

For me, trading was initially about trading seeds. We all know how expensive good genetics are. So, I was really not disappointed with the result of my hedonistic exuberance last season and the 800+ seeds that it yielded. That first trip to Canada Post to send off a package was a pleasure, even when I was told how much it would cost. Knowing it was legal made it fun, even if it was only for the novelty of doing it. Quickly, however, one trade turned into several and not all were seed-for-seed. Through the process of building relationships over the course of the next few months, my experiences went beyond trading and into gifting. There is no feeling quite like opening a package or being handed a bag or two of such premium flower that it would be otherwise unaffordable, which was sent only because someone knew of a need or simply wanted to do so.

This is the very heart of who we are when we are at our best.

The idea for an article around this phenomenon has been with me for while. It was the culmination of a period of vitriol and bitterness that led someone to finally almost beg for a good-news story that fuelled my motivation. That and it’s raining today.

If you have yet to do some trading, don’t be afraid to say you are looking to do some trading. Or if you’re in a position to perhaps send some gifts, find some people who could use a little boost. It’ll make everyone feel good.

Each and every day, we are in a position to make someone else’s day a little better. Often, it isn’t even obvious because it seems so small and insignificant. In truth, small kindnesses have huge impacts on people’s everyday lives. You might let someone in line with two items checkout ahead of you with your 40. As has become popular with the drive-through coffee crowd, you might pay for the person behind you in line. There are a million ways to be kind in a world that bombards us with hate and intolerance. It’s a simple choice where no one loses.

What better gift is there to someone having a bad day than finding a way to make it better, even if only for a little while?

Tips for Gifting/Sharing

Social media: Be aware with whom you are gifting or trading. Never engage in illegal trades, such as crossing international borders. Mailing: If sending flower, use vacuum-sealed, odour-proof bags. There is also a smell-proof mailing envelope available for purchase. The smaller the package, the less it will cost. If sending seeds, try to avoid using things like greeting cards and flat envelopes, which get run through processing machines and will crush seeds.

Most importantly, pay it forward. Be good to each other; it elevates us all.

Ending the War: It Has to Start Somewhere

Maybe it has to start with me. Or you. Us. How about everyone? Who cares, as long as it begins.

Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s lay out some context. Following the lead of the United States, Canada long ago created laws to make cannabis use illegal. Since that time, a massive number of Canadians have been persecuted and faced criminal charges, criminal records and suffered all the downsides that come with that. All for the desire to consume cannabis.

This would be normally a good place to go into benefits verses harm of cannabis; however, the reality of it now being legal for recreational use makes a much stronger case on its own merit. For a long time it was clear, sort of. We knew growing up that cannabis was illegal, like theft. We also later learned, through parents or peers, that cannabis use was, well, fun, not to mention a lot more benign than the other rebel option, alcohol. Grass fit easily in your pocket and was a heck of a lot easier to carry 3 miles across town than a two-four of bottled beer.

Even interactions with law enforcement in my youth betrayed the letter of law in how those who were meant to enforce said laws almost did not want to. There were far more serious things they could be concerned with. In many ways those early interactions were as much responsible for my own skepticism of the official legal position of our government. The first of those interactions is one of the funniest: After catching me and a friend at 1 am sitting behind a building smoking hash and seeing the hash sitting in the open, he sent us on our way. He surprised us when he pulled up and rolled his window down and asked, “What are you boys doing here?” I panicked and replied, “Just smoking some hash. It’s well lit so I can see to roll”. It was not the answer he was expecting, I suspect. After asking who we were, he sent us on our way with, “Well, we had a noise complaint, so go smoke your hash somewhere else”. We did.

It was not until some years later when getting involved with medical cannabis and cultivation of same I began to really understand the division. The ‘no big deal’ attitude I had learned was in stark contrast to the reality for many. Seeing a simple plant medication being denied to the most in need was bad. Seeing those same people being punished for trying to live a healthy life was just wrong. It breeds anger.

Anger and frustration became common for many on the pro side who were fuelled by a senseless drug war with no logical reason to exist. That war was only born of hatred and discrimination. It has gone on for decades now, with two fairly clear sides.

Sort of.

What also became clear at some point was that my experience was not necessarily representative of others. That everybody had their own unique entry and interpretation of cannabis and it’s standing in society. Much of which I did not understand was regarding its opposition.

For the opposition side there were a few different, key positions depending on context and employment. Doctors who prefer to stay inside the box, for example, claim no benefit based on no studies. Recommending illegal substances does not tend to go over well with medical boards and administrators to whom they must answer. Law enforcement? The name says it all. If it’s illegal, it is their job to enforce those laws. It is only natural that after many decades, the perception and language used would evolve to suit the goal. It was clear, however, that many really did not buy into the Reefer Madness mentality. The result was a wide range of reactions depending on who you happen to come in contact with and the scope of the situation. A joint may get dumped or ignored; a couple of pounds might present a more sticky situation.

For many in every day society who simply had no real world experience with cannabis, what they were told by authority, medical and legal, was what they believed. Why wouldn’t they? We believe many things based on what an expert or educator tells us and we are quite content to do so. Were that not true, I would be building a particle accelerator instead of penning this op-ed. Today there are many conflicting viewpoints around cannabis, even though it is a legal substance. More and more we also have an extremely diverse number of incredibly talented individuals in a wide range of careers who, for whatever reason, have an interest working in or even trailblazing in this new legal landscape.

Maybe we are getting onto the main point. Many social media interactions led me to want to write this article. There are situations where someone working in the cannabis industry, for whatever reason, does not seem to fit the perception of another of who belongs in those jobs. As a result, some people feel it is appropriate to question, interrogate and sometimes even berate them openly and publicly. It’s as though they have committed some offence for being successful or having a high profile.

Some of these attacks are made by high-profile advocates who, for whatever reason, see these newcomers — I was tempted to say ‘corporate newcomers’, but it is broader than that — as unwelcome intruders who have no right to be where they are. There are several problems with a purely confrontational approach to the emerging legal cannabis sector professionals. Not least of these problems is the stark contrast to what the entire cannabis culture and society is built around: The acceptance of those who accept cannabis, without judgement or preconceived notions as to why. That “stick together through adversity” belief permeates deeply into the culture.

When did it become acceptable to degrade someone pro-cannabis only because they are wealthy and you have never seen them smoking a joint? It makes absolutely no sense to attack, berate or demean anyone who is pro-cannabis for any reason, whether they be an executive or craft grower.

I know some of you who have gotten this far might be a tad triggered and ready with all kinds of ‘But, but, but’ rebuttals and justification for the aforementioned attitudes. Let me, however, explain why that is a dead end approach that actually hurts the progress of the current legal cannabis landscape in Canada.

First off: Quality. Let the quality of a product stand on the company name, not individuals who quite often have had little or no ability to affect end-result retail product. Over time, product quality will allow the market to determine who should survive and who should not. The barometer for any professional individual is how well the decisions and career choices see them progress based on results. The best will rise, the good will survive and the rest will recycle into something else or get out of the game. That’s how it should be with any profession.

Second: The changes we still wish to see. Consumers want good product at affordable prices. Companies want to make money. Both sides want a market that meets those needs. Consumers need products. Producers need clients. It is a very simple formula. We will have a much harder time getting the changes required to establish a stable and effective retail cannabis system when we are too busy fighting with each other to focus on where real change needs to happen. The government’s intended goal of illicit market elimination also is very much dependent on a good quality, affordable, retail marketplace.

Some things will take time. Medical acceptance is growing by leaps and bounds, as is the research that is so long past due. Schools will adapt fairly quickly, as will much of the medical establishment. The landscape in 5 years will look very different from today.

I remember vividly as a teenager smoking and pondering why weed was illegal. Even then it seemed simple. Many of us said it: “They should just make it legal and tax it. It would pay off the deficit”. Maybe 30 years ago it could have, but not today and not in its current form. That form will be much better suited to our needs and closer to our desires when we accept without pre-qualifiers. If you accept cannabis we accept you, unless you’re a pedophile or some other horrid creation.

Personally, I find many of the high-profile individuals very interesting. There are perspectives shared through curiosity and asking civil questions that provide ideas and concepts I may never have been able to consider. Perspective is a pretty major thing. Moreover, we need these leaders and trailblazers as allies. Far more can be achieved in attaining mutual goals as a united, well-informed front. Well-informed goes both ways. I am sure there are questions and opinions to be shared almost equally among all parties.

Unless we all sit at the same table, in respect and acceptance, how will we ever find reconciliation with the other side? How will the war ever end? Personally, I want to learn, engage and be active in this new green reality.

Let’s finally make it what we once envisioned. Let’s not perpetuate what was once forced upon us.

Reconsidering Marihuana Reconsidered 47 Years On

Scan of book cover of Marihuana Reconsidered, written by Lester Grinspoon, M.D.

There are all kinds of awards in professional life. For one like myself, the theme is a bit repetitive, such as a particularly good crop or some new well-crafted flower to sample. Every once in a while, really helping someone better their life in any manner is a real high point.

When I recently had the opportunity to acquire a 1st edition of Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s 1971 Marihuana Reconsidered that was in excellent condition, I did not let it pass by. Over a series of mini reports, we will look into the message shared by Dr. Grinspoon, discuss notable points of interest and relevant predictions and comparisons.


The book begins with general information to provide context and quickly delves into history, cultural attitudes and policy. It is also full of little surprises. When discussing tetrahydrocannabinol on page five, Dr. Grinspoon writes, “It is possible that other cannabinol derivatives do have pharmacological activity”. This statement immediately prompted my realization that D.r Grinspoon suggested CBD benefits in 1970!

A great deal of the introduction addresses clinical confusion and the difficulties surrounding cannabis medicine stigma and flawed research. In the book clearly outlining just how muddled the whole issue had become by then, I was reminded of some of the positions I see taken by a segment of clinicians that there are no supporting studies, so, no it does not work. Since the anecdotal evidence is so prevalent for many cannabis treatable conditions, such contrary positions always surprise me.

Grinspoon writes on page eight, “Of the body of knowledge known as modern medicine, the clinical segment particularly was largely derived from observations and studies which could hardly be considered controlled, rigorous, or even scientific.” The statement left me wondering just how relevant the statement is today versus in 1970 when Grinspoon penned it. An insight into the problems around cannabis, as well as a few interesting questions, are found in and around the introduction. At the end of the introduction, our confusion and frustration at the apparent madness being explained before us are brought gently back down with the last line penned on page nine: “It is still better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Yes, yes it is.

Chapter One: The History of Marihuana in the United States

In the first chapter, Grinspoon immediately addresses the love-hate relationship between cannabis and United States interests. He goes on to explain in great detail the history of hemp from George Washington to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) and the significance of one Mr. Harry J Anslinger. Myths surrounding George Washington and hemp are as old as he would be now. Did they smoke it or use it for medicinal purposes? Did they grow it for flower or just for hemp fibre and feed? I will not attempt to answer any of those questions, but I will make note of a very relevant note made by George Washington in his diary where he writes on page 12, “Aug 7, 1765: Began to separate the male from the female hemp, rather too late”. The only reason I know to separate male and female cannabis is for increased flower mass by not pollenating. I am unaware of a different reason for hemp to be separated should one exist.

Discussed along with Washington separating male and female plants were some studies that claimed separating the sexes was a waste of effort as it did not increase resin production. This reasoning seems to indicate a failure in realizing that it is the increase in flower production from denying pollination that is the sole reason to separate male from female plants.

The discussed decline in industrial hemp was a multi-factor, downward spiral tied to several changing industries and growing offshore competition offering cheaper product. By the time the idea of a drug war was beginning, hemp was on a steep decline a just few strides ahead of the cotton industry.

By the 1930s, the FBI had placed cannabis smoking in their sights and, despite credible evidence to the contrary, began a media campaign claiming cannabis use was responsible for most of the violent crime that occurred. FBI propaganda surrounding cannabis use involved such terms as “The Killer Drug Marihuana”. The propaganda was so effective that in August 1937, House Resolution (H.R.) 6906 was brought before the House of Representatives. Also known as The Marihuana Tax Act, the legislation imposing a tax on cannabis use had no difficulty being passed in the House.

The main reason The Marihuana Tax Act passed so easily was due in no small part to several years of negative and outright false claims and reports by the FBI. Additionally, the presentation of the bill claimed that it would channel cannabis into industrial and medical research hands and “discourage the current and widespread undesirable use of marihuana by smokers and drug addicts”. (Page 21)

The majority of the testimony for H.R. 6906 was negative, comprised mostly of newspaper stories and supportive mythology. The mythology went so far as to share a long believed false twist in Homer’s works, claiming the Persian assassins of which he wrote derived the name assassin from hashish. There was one man, however, who sought to be the voice of reason: Dr. W. C. Woodward, Legislative Council for the American Medical Association.

Being the voice of reason did not go well for the good doctor. He was harassed and ridiculed, presented at length with newspaper stories and being asked to explain the propaganda. Ultimately, his efforts proved to be a waste of time. Those who were meant to listen instead sought to dismiss the testimony. In the end, they claimed Dr. Woodward was uncooperative and should have arrived with “constructive proposals rather than criticisms”. (Page 26)

Not all were willing to simply be told cannabis was evil and leave it at that. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia championed a sensible approach to cannabis and commissioned the La Guardia report in 1938 with the help of the New York Academy of Medicine. Shortly before its release in 1943, Colonel J. M. Phalen, a Military Surgeon editor, printed an editorial called “The Marihuana Bugaboo”, in which he claimed cannabis was no more harmful than tobacco.

The La Guardia report was widely and strongly criticized. Harry Anslinger was very vocal in his firm belief that cannabis was evil and should be eradicated. His voice was so strong that both the League of Nations drug expert and the AMA denounced the La Guardia report. In April 1945, the Journal of the American Medical Association posted an editorial claiming the LaGuardia report was causing harm. The editorial claimed that the report was causing damage to law enforcement and advised public officials to disregard it and treat cannabis as a menace.

The desire of the American Medical Association to stay in close alignment to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics is a testament to just how powerful the opposition to cannabis medicine was. Going back to the early 1930s, you can find Anslinger’s name in and around cannabis falsehoods and fear almost everywhere they arise. Even today, we are still dealing with the fallout of his less than honourably motivated actions. Harry J. Anslinger truly is the father of cannabis prohibition.

Note: All page references apply to the 1st pressing of the Harvard University Press release of the book.

The Name Game: Indica and Sativa

The evolution of language involves a complex history that is written daily. Trends, fads, songwriters, events, etc., all nudge and influence what we say and how we say it. Language is fluid and dynamic, being driven by popular usage. In relation to the popular cannabis terms, Indica and Sativa, there is a growing number of voices declaring those terms to be incorrect or even irresponsible and invalid.

Everyday people by the hundreds of millions use popular and familiar cannabis terms such as Indica, Sativa, Ruderalis, Hybrid and Hemp to effectively and clearly communicate in any number of cannabis-related discussions. The clarity of these terms is such that a consumer at a dispensary who is asking for a nice, sleepy-time, bye-bye Indica to help offset insomnia will almost assuredly get exactly what he or she wants. That clarity is akin to walking into a pharmacy to get aspirin and actually walking out with aspirin. These few terms are incredibly effective and efficient at creating the desired outcome.

The history of these terms and their widespread use is another byproduct of prohibition and research restrictions. Left without the benefit of scientific coevolution, the medical cannabis civil disobedience movement grew and learned as they went along. Breeders were able to buy strains based on these predications and to consistently and effectively achieve the desired results.

That same special breed of cannabis devotees grew, bred and learned about what this plant would offer. They learned about phenotypes and chemovars, how they interact and how to cross-breed for desired results. Such learning was mostly done without the input of the greater scientific community and the many relevant specialties. Yet when effectively communicating about cannabis, the terms Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, Ruderalis (AKA auto flower), etc., are still very much the most used tools in the cannabis vernacular toolbox.

Enter The Shift

Realistic attitudes are spreading globally at a pace cannabis proponents could only have dreamed of even a mere 10 or 15 years ago. Laws are being changed and attitudes are changing. The science that medical advocates and patients have desired for decades is finally seeing promise. The answers as to why cannabis is so beneficial on so many levels are finally going to be known.

One shift that was not so easily foreseen, however, was the effort to convince hundreds of millions of people that suddenly, after many decades, everybody is saying it wrong. There are many who claim that the terms in popular usage are invalid, an exercise in futility and/or total nonsense. That presents a couple of problems. Because research is just at the beginning of the journey, many of the whys, particularly regarding entourage effect, are still unknown. Aside from discussion of terpene profiles and specific terpene effects, science is only beginning the path to understanding the millions of ways cannabis interacts with our bodies.

The other problem is imposed, unnecessary context. A teaching physicist for example, will use terms that are familiar and understandable when speaking to the general public to help explain a broader meaning. When conversing with colleagues, however, that same physicist will revert to terminology with colleagues that would leave me — and most others — dizzy and confused. The language used is of critical importance to the context.

Currently, people are making cannabis purchases, getting what they want and are quite content using the terms with which they are familiar and prefer. Were those serving the needs of customers to start trying to ‘educate’ every customer beyond that familiar vernacular, they would likely lose a lot of business. Of course, there is a place in the discussions for terpene profiles. Consumers and providers are not at all unfamiliar with the technical details that they require and wish to discuss. That stated, almost every discussion centred around ‘What are you looking for?’ will invariably have Sativa, Indica or a hybrid variation as an initial qualifier.

Terms such as Indica or Sativa have evolved into entry points for discussion. They are a predictable indicator of what you are seeking. It’s not about species anymore. Instead, such terms are more of an amorphous designation that enable us to quickly and clearly drill down into specific detail.

As research develops, horticulture, plant biology, biochemistry, etc., will all bring with them new ways of describing specific plant function and composition. That will drastically change how the cannabis plant is seen in the learned community and the language used to describe it. That is what we all want. We do not, however, all want to become scientists. Just as it is not a requirement of every day life to know the exact molecular make up of your favourite beer, it is unrealistic to expect the general public to suddenly learn an entire new cannabis language.

Although the current terms are not conforming to the new profiles being discovered, they’re still extremely useful. It is counterintuitive to expect that the suggested changes would be welcome and accepted. Without an easily explainable alternative that can serve as an adequate replacement, how could they be? The general public converses in common, everyday vernacular; that will never change and attempting to change it is futile.

While terms such as Indica and Sativa will find they have no place in laboratory or horticultural settings, they will remain with the public. Does that mean they are not translatable or usable when endeavouring to explain the science in laymen’s terms? Perhaps.

Ultimately, the terms have come to mean something else entirely. When I enter a discussion about obtaining a specific phenotype, generalized terms such as Indica or Sativa and the meaning behind it is end result effect. Growers will attest that Indica and Sativa do indeed show different growth traits, with hybrid versions expressing variations. Beyond that, specific lineage and terpene profiles are the relevant factors in the conversations. So, in pure science terms perhaps they do not translate.

Indica. Sativa. Hybrid. These are basic roadmap terms that provide information similar to describing directions, such as north and south. They are effective terms that serve the basic purpose for which they are required. Nothing more, nothing less.

There is no need to require everyone to be able to understand the physics of an engine in order to drive a car.

Cannabis History: A Brief Summary

Twelve thousand years. One hundred and twenty centuries. Four hundred-plus generations. While the number may actually be much larger, archeological records confirmed that we have cultivated cannabis for at least 12,000 years. How much longer is impossible to say, as it predates any form of recorded history. Prehistoric hunters found with hemp clothing and cannabis itself open the possibility that humans have always used cannabis. The first known medicinal use of cannabis dates back to 4,000 B.C. in China. Cannabis was used as an anesthetic for surgery. Throughout the B.C. era, period cannabis flourished from Asia and Siberia into the Middle East and Europe. The plant was widely used for many purposes, with hemp and fibre production being the vast majority of use. From the A.D. era, cannabis spread first into the African continent, followed by the U.K and, later, South America. While it may have landed in South America as early as the 1600’s, it did not find its way to North America until the 1800’s. In North America, Cannabis flourished as a miracle medicine whose main ingredients were components of thousands of medical elixirs sold by everyone from doctors to snake oil salesmen. Hemp farms were commonplace and provided significant quantities of valuable fiber and oils at low cost. Our history with this ‘weed’ has been quite peaceful one, save for approximately the last 100 years. With social and industrial pressures turning against Cannabis use and hemp production, the war on cannabis has been a tragedy of epic proportions. We’ll discuss prohibition as the topic of a future blog post. Until then, may health, healing and herb be with you. Stay Mellow.