The marijuana leaf has been a popular symbolic symbol of the marijuana community for a long time. Long before it became an iconic symbol for the global cannabis community, however, the marijuana leaf has been a favorite source of strong inspiration (and indeed, beautiful art) for many stoners throughout history. Today, we’ll take a look at the physiology behind the many different forms of this potent herb as well as briefly describing some classic examples of the marijuana leaf. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll be able to begin exploring images of marijuana through the ages and understand its place in the culture today.
Historically, marijuana plants were originally grown by the Incan empire. They relied on the leaves and stems for both sustenance and as a form of protection from the harsh desert weather. And though the Incan empire collapsed in the 5th century CE, their use of marijuana plants as medicine and for psychotropic purposes is still widely believed. Today, we’ll examine the physiology behind the various forms of marijuana leaf, how it’s used in both the medical and recreational context, and the various effects it may not have on the body.
Let’s start with the basics. In general, marijuana plants contain about three times more THMs than tea leaves. THMs are by-products of chemical conversion of alkaline cannabis plant matter into the psychoactive effects it produces. It’s important to remember that the “hot water extraction method” that’s often associated with scientific cannabis research actually sterilizes the cannabis plant to a degree that kills all of its naturally occurring THMs. Any leftover chemicals are then eliminated by means of a process called caustic or pyrophosphate disinfection.
The two primary ways that humans consume marijuana leaves are through smoking and ingesting. Smoking produces a much more intense and rapid experience than ingesting. Because of this, smoking is typically the preferred method for introducing the plant into the system. However, smoking also causes immediate withdrawal symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and light burn. Ingesting causes much less discomfort, but can be highly addictive in certain individuals, especially when used over a long period of time.
When consumed regularly, marijuana leaves do supply much of the necessary nutrients for human consumption. However, these nutrients are poorly absorbed by users who have developed a genetic tolerance to the plant. Additionally, long-term regular use can lead to a lack of energy, poor appetite, and a steadily declining sex drive.
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So, we’ve established that marijuana has a number of health benefits, but how do the different forms of cannabis fit into this picture? We’ve already discussed the differences between the resin type plants and the grassy, flowering type plants. We now want to discuss the differences between cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Sativa plants contain only one phytochemical, and the entire plant is hypoallergenic. Indoor growing of these plants is ideal for anyone with a busy schedule who needs to limit marijuana consumption while meditating. However, outdoor growing is highly recommended for those who live in a tropical or warm climate year-round.
In order to appreciate the full effects of marijuana leaf eaters, it’s important to understand how they work. The active ingredient in cannabis sativa, called THC, passes through the body much like water does. It travels to the brain, where it triggers the brain’s natural pain receptors, or terminals. The THC in marijuana leaves is absorbed by the brain cells, and this causes the same kinds of “high” feelings as one would get from using illegal drugs. However, these feelings do not last very long and often produce only a short-term buzz. The high quickly wears off and is followed by a dull, drowsy feeling that can lead to insomnia and sleep problems.
Many indoor marijuana growers have begun to use low voltage lighting systems that resemble what you might find at your local Wal-Mart or K-Mart. These systems reduce the amount of heat that is generated inside the home, allowing the plant to grow more marijuana leaves without going into a “grow light” mode. Many of these lights also incorporate a temperature control feature so the grower may monitor plant temperature. Today, most growers use webbed cannabis leaf growers. A webbed set up consists of several metal grids that are connected to a small electrical generator.