Weed is big news as legalization sweeps the globe in a deluge. It's almost like marijuana is some new phenomenon, but even the word marijauna history. It’s origin is Spanish, and the word was used to stigmatize users in the 1930’s.

Properly referred to as cannabis, this plant is as old as the dirt it grows in. Humans have been using weed for millennia. Nevertheless, cannabis is now in the zeitgeist, millions of new users have come to weed for the first time, and almost all have questions about this unique and robust plant. Therefore, cannabis 101 education is more important than ever.

Cannabis education can take many forms, but its goal is always to empower individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about cannabis use. Whether a first-time cannabis consumer or a seasoned pro, there's always something new to learn about this endlessly fascinating plant. So fasten your seatbelt, place your seat back and tray table in their full upright position, and enjoy the ride as we answer all the big questions that keep popping up about this remarkable plant.

What is Cannabis?

Sure, cannabis is a plant, but that doesn't begin to encapsulate all that cannabis is, such as: 

  • Cannabis may help people heal physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
  • Cannabis expands consciousness and enhances experiences.
  • Cannabis is a cause for social justice, freedom, economic prosperity, and celebration.

Clearly, there's a lot to learn about this amazing weed. So let's step back to where we started and get the basics down.

The Cannabis Plant

Cannabis is a flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family, which includes three primary species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Various hybrid cultivars are created when Sativa, indica, or Ruderalis are bred with each other. This practice makes endless unique cultivars with different cannabinoid profiles and effects. These plants are characterized by their distinctive cannabis flowers, which contain high concentrations of cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the psychoactive and therapeutic compounds in cannabis that interact with the human body's endocannabinoid system. This system is a network of receptors and neurotransmitters throughout the body that helps regulate things like mood, memory, pain, and appetite.

THC is the primary cannabinoid in cannabis that produces mind-altering effects, or what we refer to as the "high." Conversely, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that offers many potential therapeutic benefits with none of the intoxications.

To date, 113 cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis. A short list includes:

  • THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that makes you feel “high”.
  • CBD is a non psychoactive cannabinoid that may reduce inflammation and anxiety.
  • CBN is a non psychoactive cannabinoid that may relieve chronic muscle pain.
  • CBC is a non psychoactive cannabinoid which may assist with neurogenesis.
  • THCV is a non psychoactive cannabinoid that may help manage weight in diabetics.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the essential oils in cannabis that play a role in aroma, flavor, and effect. There are approximately 400 known terpenes in cannabis, but you won't find them in every cultivar. Some commonly found terpenes include:

  • Linalool
  • Pinene
  • Myrcene
  • Phytol

This means that different cannabis strains have different balances of over 100 cannabinoids and 400 terpenes. These unique blends interact with your endocannabinoid system to create unique effects. Just try to do that math. The variations are literally endless. Ugggh. What's a newbie to do?

What Is The EndoCannabinoid System?

Cannabinoids and terpenes interact with the receptor system for cannabinoids in every human: The Endocannabinoid System. Yes, you heard that right. We all have an endocannabinoid system which can be influenced by the cannabinoids in cannabis.

While that may be the most fun fact in fun fact history, here's where things get tricky. While we all have an endocannabinoid system, different users experience cannabis differently. While a particular strain of weed may give some insight into its effects, hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes influence each user's individual endocannabinoid system.

This means that what works for you might not work for me. But don't worry. It's all good. In the modern cannabis landscape, there's literally something for everyone.

Why Use Cannabis?

So. Many. Reasons.

Humans use cannabis to expand consciousness. To inspire creativity. To open a channel to the divine. To heal. To enhance the enjoyment of art, music, film, or any other experience. To relax. To sleep. To make sex sexier. As a healthy alternative to other more toxic options like alcohol. To feel the euphoria of being "high" or for any other reason, that feels true to you. No judgment here. You do you.

The emerging science also shows that cannabis may help treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Neurodegenerative disease (i.e., ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's)

The list goes on and on. In fact, cannabis is being studied for its potential to treat an ever-growing number of conditions and symptoms.

We always recommend that you consult your physician, and if your state has medical cannabis laws, refer to them to determine what conditions qualify you to be a patient.

How Long Have Humans Been Using Cannabis?

All we can say is that the clock keeps taking us farther back in time. There's evidence that the Egyptians used cannabis before they built the great pyramids. Recently, THC was found in ancient pots in tombs in the Pamir mountains, which borders China, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Those tombs are over 2,500 years old.

Even more interesting is that chemical analysis of those pots also found evidence of THC in much higher concentrations than wild cannabis. This suggests that the civilization that built these tombs bred cannabis for higher concentrations of THC. Why? One hypothesis is that this special weed was grown to open a communication channel with the divine and the souls of the dead buried there.

What Are The Different Types of Weed?

We've covered much of this, so you already have a solid foundation. But are you ready to go deep?

In the broadest sense, we have Indica, Sativa, Ruderalis, and hybrid cannabis strains that mix and match. Different farms or brands may specialize in different cultivars and are always breeding to come up with the next big thing. Some cultivators or farmers may focus on fire sativas strains like Jack Herrer by Jetfuel, while others focus on gassy OG's. This is important because, eventually, you will figure out which farms or brands grow the weed that hits your sweet spot.

There’s a lot of debate about whether indica, sativa, and hybrid are valid ways to classify cannabis. The truth is that the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of cultivars are what actually cause the effects. Nevertheless, we can think of indica, sativa, and hybrid as a sort of short hand for the effects we are looking for.

  • Indica = In-da-couch. You want to smoke these strains when you want to relax, chill out, and maybe watch some Netflix.
  • Sativa = Up-da-couch. These are the strains you want to smoke when you want to be productive, creative, or get outside and explore.
  • Hybrid = A mix of two or more of the above.

With this bit of cannabis education under your belt, you should be feeling pretty good about weed.

How Do I Choose The Right Cannabis Strain for Me?

Just chill. Ask your budtender questions; that's what they're there for. Then, give that weed a sniff. The nose knows. If it smells good, it will likely feel good.

Being curious also helps. Try different things. Go slow. Be patient. Have fun with it. Your experience with cannabis is like life: it's a journey, not a destination. The point is to enjoy it. Every step. Every toke.

However, there are a few tips that can help you choose the right cannabis strain:

  • If you're a beginner, start with a low THC strain.
  • If you want to relax, try an Indica.
  • If you want to be productive, try a Sativa.
  • If you want the best of both worlds, try a hybrid.

Ask your budtender for help. They love talking about weed almost as much as they love smoking it.

Cannabis Consumption

We've come a long way from blazing bowls in an ancient Chinese burial chamber. Let us count the ways cannabis may be consumed...in a hand-rolled joint, a pre-roll, a pipe, a bong…or in desperate situations, from an apple, soda can, or toilet paper roll. Necessity is the mother of invention. But we'll go over the most common methods.

  • Joints: The most common cannabis consumption method is the good old-fashioned joint. It's simple, classic, and effective.
  • Blunts: A cannabis blunt is rolled in tobacco paper.
  • Bongs: A bong is a water pipe used to smoke cannabis. The water cools and filters the smoke.
  • Bowls: A bowl is weed smoked out of a pipe.
  • Vapes: Cannabis may be vaporized in flower, oil, or concentrated form like wax, shatter, sauce, or even diamonds. Vape pens, rigs, and electrical rigs like the Puffco are the tools of the vape trade.
  • Edibles: Eat some weed as a delicious cookie, brownie, gummy, mint, candy or even beef jerky. Yes, beef jerky.
  • Drinks: You can drink cannabis in an infused beer, wine, seltzer, syrup, or powdered mix. So refreshing and a great happy hour alternative.
  • Capsules: Cannabis may be taken in pill form. Many pills come in effect-specific ratios and precise dosages, so you know exactly what you take every time.
  • Tinctures: Take your weed sublingually with tinctures. These also offer precise ratios and dosage by measured eye dropper.
  • Topicals: Apply some THC to your skin via lotions, creams, or balms to massage away those aches and pains. 

At Airfield, we carry it all, and our highly trained flight attendants can answer any questions you may have before takeoff.

History of Marijuana and Prohibition

Way back in the day in the good old U.S. of A, weed was a fact of life. George Washington himself grew hemp. Cannabis was legal and used medicinally without issue until the Mexican Revolution ended in 1920. This event spurred a large influx of Mexican Immigrants. Cannabis was a part of their culture.

When Was Cannabis First Outlawed In The U.S.?

White politicians who opposed this Mexican immigration were the first to fire up the cannabis propaganda machine, calling it "Locoweed" to vilify cannabis and the Mexican immigrants who used it. By 1913, California outlawed the plant. By the 1930s, 29 states had banned cannabis, and the yellow journalism of William Randolph Hurst fanned the flames by depicting cannabis as a drug that drove African-Americans and Mexicans to lives of crime.

Reefer Madness, Marihuana Tax Act & the Controlled Substances Act

The propaganda reached a fever pitch when the film "Reefer Madness" was released in 1936. Congress responded by passing the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, effectively banning cannabis at the federal level.

But the mushroom cloud in the "war on drugs" hit in 1970, when Tricky Dick Nixon went nuclear with the Controlled Substances Act. The Act established a federal law criminalizing drugs.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, cannabis was placed on Schedule 1 for drugs considered dangerous, with no medical use, and a high potential for abuse. Most believe this decision was motivated by Nixon's fears about the Black Panthers and subversive hippie culture. Nixon criminalized cannabis as a way to control those perceived threats.

The Impact Of The War On Drugs

This federal law radically accelerated the rate of arrests and incarceration for non-violent cannabis offenders. Three strikes rules and mandatory minimums only worsened the gross injustice. But what made these policies absolutely appalling was pervasive racial targeting in how they were enforced. The U.S. used these laws to incarcerate African American men at four times the rate of black men in South Africa under apartheid.

These laws were a complete failure. Not only did they not achieve their stated goal, but they ruined countless lives and cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Is Cannabis Legal Now?

In 1996, California was the first state to wake from this nightmare and legalize medical cannabis. Since then, 37 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have had some form of recreational or medical cannabis law. Some municipalities have gone further and provided social equity programs to benefit those people disproportionately impacted by unjust drug laws.

Despite this progress, Cannabis remains on Schedule I, federally illegal, and thousands of people remain locked in cages for using a plant that benefits humanity. The progress feels good, but a lot of war is still left to fight. 

Your voice counts. Your vote counts. Your actions count. Together, we will win this war.

Get Ready for Takeoff with Airfield Supply Co.

Airfield Supply Co loves cannabis almost as much as we love people. Sharing cannabis knowledge is just one way we like to show it. Providing a top-shelf cannabis shopping experience is another.

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