Know where your medicine comes from.
Canada has a mostly forgotten Cannabis history. It begins in what is now Nova Scotia in 1606 when botanist / apothecary Louis Hebert planted the first crop. Canadian cannabis grown for agricultural and medicinal consumption peaked in the mid 1800s to early 1900s.
Early Canadians used medicinal cannabis mostly as an extract to treat a variety of ailments; migraines, depression, menstrual cramps, chronic pain and anorexia. Cannabis was widely discussed in medical periodicals and in 1897 Dr. F.W. Goodwin, president of the Nova Scotia Medical Association, lectured on the topic. By 1923 all forms of Cannabis became prohibited by parliament and it wasn’t available again as medicine until 1997 when an Ontario Superior court ruled Canadians required access to Cannabis for medical purposes.
Cannabis in Canada has changed dramatically since Louis Hebert planted his first crop, but the Cannabis plant itself hasn’t changed much from those early pioneering beginnings. It’s the same plant, but our knowledge has grown incredibly. The Cannabis plant can be found in cultivation all over the world, under different legislative ruling. Different regions, offering different environmental conditions, promote the growth of unique varieties. All of the world’s Cannabis varieties fall within one category of the main types of Cannabis.
These are the 3 most common types of Cannabis plant:
IndicaOriginating in Central Asia, Indica Cannabis varieties are typically short structured with wide leaves. They generally have a shortened growth cycle to match their region of origin planting seasons. Indica dominant varieties tend to give off earthy or musky aromas and have become popularly known for their physical relaxing, calming qualities.
SativaOriginating in Equatorial regions, Sativa Cannabis varieties are typically lanky with short thin leaves. They generally have a long growth cycle to match the seasons of their originating region. Sativa dominant varieties tend to have a spicy or floral aroma and are popularly known for their uplifting positive mood enhancing effects.
HybridHybrid Cannabis varieties are a combination of Indica and Sativa. They have been developed by plant breeders using natural breeding techniques to bring out desired traits. Hybridization has created a growing plethora of varieties with traits from both Indica and Sativa. Generally, hybrids may be more Sativa, Indica or a balance of both.
Next, let's explore the active ingredients in medicinal Cannabis...
CannabinoidsCannabinoids are a diverse group of chemical compounds found in the Cannabis plant. They engage our body’s natural cannabinoid receptors. Until these receptors were discovered in 1980 scientists didn’t understand how Cannabis’ different cannabinoids interacted with our body. We now have a better understanding of the science behind cannabinoids and much more research is underway with the Canadian legislation allowing for exploration. Cannabinoid receptors have been discovered in mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. There are over 600 active compounds that we know of found in the Cannabis plant. We’ve listed the most common ones here.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol is commonly referred to as THC. It’s a neutral cannabinoid popularized by its psychoactive effects. THC acts as a mental stimulant and is known for fueling appetite and increasing mental acuity.
Commonly referred to as CBD, Cannabidiol is a non psychoactive compound. Concentrations of Cannabidiol counteract THC, while maintaining symptom relief. People have become interested in medicinal Cannabis because of CBD.
Found in much smaller percentages than THC or CBD, CBN begins to appear only when THC starts to degrade. It’s not a weakness. CBN is an important chemical compound aiding in sleep and pain relief.
Cannabichromene (CBC) is more bountiful by percentage than CBD, but has received much less research attention. This second place compound may be mood enhancing. Think positivity and relaxation.
Before becoming THC or CBD, life begins as Cannabigerol. CBG is non psychoactive and a minor compound found in trace percentages in medicinal Cannabis. CBG is more detectable in hemp.
Closely related to THC, Tetrahydrocannabivarin’s chemical structure is similar, but engages our cannabinoid receptors differently. THCV is psychoactive. It’s being researched for its appetite suppressant and anticonvulsant properties.
We can’t forget Terpenes!
Terpenes are active compounds found in most plants, not only Cannabis. They contribute to making various plant species taste and smell different from one another and often offer their own therapeutic benefits. Peace Naturals takes great pride in providing our clients with premium, terpene rich medicinal Cannabis.
Until recently, Cannabis research hasn’t focused on terpenes, however, recent research demonstrates not only tremendous promise but a need for greater understanding. Research shows terpenes work with cannabinoids to attune our body’s receptors. To date researchers have discovered over 100 different terpenes in Cannabis varieties, but we’ve listed the most popular Cannabis terpenes here. Explore their documented aromas, flavour profiles and benefits.
How do I consume my Cannabis?There are many different methods available to consume medicinal Cannabis. Each option for medicinal Cannabis ingestion may have a dramatic impact on its effectiveness. The Peace Naturals Project philosophy is simple, no matter your chosen method: Start slow and with small amounts. Each client is unique in how different Cannabis varieties will affect them. By starting with small amounts and consuming slowly, our clients can mindfully self manage for relief and comfort.
CombustingCombusting (or smoking) is a popular method of consuming medicinal Cannabis because it’s fast acting. Many cannabinoids are destroyed due to the high heat from combustion. Smoke is harsh and may mask terpene flavours.
VaporizingVaporizing releases up to 95% of all cannabinoids. Vapour is achieved by heating Cannabis to a certain degree, typically right before the point of combustion. Anecdotal evidence shows clients use less Cannabis when vaporizing.
Oils & ExtractsCannabis oils may take 30 – 90 minutes before their effects begin to manage symptoms, though effects typically last longer. Cannabis oils are processed by the liver. Peace Naturals Cannabis oils are designed to be taken with food or sublingually.
EdiblesThough we are not permitted to manufacture edibles at this time, many clients make their own using their Cannabis. The onset and duration will be similar to extracts and oils. There are many resource websites offering edible recipes.
Is medicinal Cannabis right for me?
Most of our clients have chosen to incorporate medicinal Cannabis into their treatment with support of their physician after exploring other options with little or no success. Our clients have determined based on their current treatment regime, their lifestyle and support from their family and loved ones, medicinal Cannabis therapy is a suitable option. Consider not only your conditions, but also your lifestyle and the areas you are hoping to improve as you explore Cannabis as adjunct therapy.
Only you can decide, “Is medicinal cannabis right for me?” When you’re ready to proceed, review: Talking To Your Doctor. Our Client Care Representatives are always here to offer support, guidance and experience.