Beginners Guide to Cannabis

Beginners Guide to Cannabis

Over the years, cannabis has been re-introduced into our society on a whole different level. From hemp becoming federally legal to recreational dispensaries…let’s just say there are a lot more options to enjoy this plant than ever before.

The days of dealing with sketchy people with crumbles of herbs that used to be considered “cannabis flower” are gone.

Instead, with the resources available, consumers realize not all cannabis is created equal. Different strains and products can offer various effects, which is why some prefer one over another.

But despite being familiar with these products, you may not know much about the plant. Or the laws that surround it.

If you’ve ever wondered this, you’ve come to the right place. So kick back and get comfortable, because we’re about to dive into the world of cannabis…and so much more.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is like an “umbrella term” for marijuana and hemp.

And while you may assume that both are different, they’re the same species that evolved over 28 million years ago. It is theorized that it originated in Central Asia, with its use dating back thousands of years ago.

Although the laws around this plant have a shaky past, the same practices used by ancient cultures continue to be performed. Simply put…cannabis is historic and evidently, still useful. But the American government does not view hemp and marijuana as the same.

Cannabis Legality: Past To Present

It’s important to note that cannabis is not new in America. And if you believed it was, your history teachers may have left out a lesson or two in American history.

Before the original settlers came to this land, the British and French cultivated cannabis for industrial use. This includes:
  • Ropes
  • Clothing
  • Ship sails
  • Rigging
  • Paper
  • Canvas
Hemp cultivation offered various advantages to governments throughout the world, as it made products that were durable and long-lasting, so it became suitable for trade on an international level.

By the early 1600s, our first settlers arrived on this land and began growing cannabis to produce the items above. For over a century, cannabis continued to be valuable in society until propaganda made its way to the surface.

During the 1890s, Mexican migrant laborers slowly made their way to America due to mining and agriculture opportunities. However, the U.S. didn’t see a vast movement until the Mexican Revolution occurred from 1910 to 1920. During that period, immigrants and refugees fled Mexico to find a haven in the U.S.

As the number of families increased, their cultures and practices were shared with other Americans, including the recreational use of cannabis. Due to prejudice and misinformation, the narrative of cannabis quickly changed. And a few short years later, the Marijuana Act of 1937 passed. This bill made hemp production nearly impossible because the taxes to cultivate it were gauged to the point that it was not sustainable.

Over 30 years later, the federal government passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and made all forms of cannabis federally illegal and a Schedule I Drug. According to the eyes of the law, there was no difference between hemp and marijuana.

The 2018 Farm Bill

Although there were obstacles, cannabis rights leaders and activists fought to end the cannabis prohibition. This led to the authorization of medical and recreational marijuana in some states. However, there wasn’t a massive impact until the 2018 Farm Bill.

After decades of protests and some states amending their laws, the federal government legally separated hemp from marijuana and made it federally legal by passing the 2018 Farm Bill. According to the document, the production and sale of hemp products are federally legal. All cannabinoids and parts of the plant are authorized. Including up to 0.3% of hemp-derived Delta-9 THC on a dry-weight basis. 

The Legal Differences: Hemp Vs. Marijuana

Let’s take a step back and focus on hemp and marijuana. If they’re the same species, why do they have different laws?

Although hemp was removed as a Schedule I Drug, marijuana remains there due to its active properties. To our government, the only distinction is the concentration limit. As stated above, hemp is cannabis with 0.3% or less of Delta 9 by dry weight. If the threshold is exceeded, it’s considered marijuana.

This distinction is small yet makes a massive difference in terms of legal status. As of this writing, recreational marijuana is legal in 19 States:
  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut
  6. Illinois
  7. Maine
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Michigan
  10. Montana
  11. New Jersey
  12. New Mexico
  13. New York
  14. Nevada
  15. Oregon
  16. Rhode Island
  17. Vermont
  18. Virginia
  19. Washington
However, hemp is legal in all 50 states, with hemp-derived Delta 8 THC legal in most. Along with this, hemp is allowed to:
  • Cross state lines
  • Be purchased with a debit or credit card
  • Ordered online
  • Be shipped in the mail
  • Be on some domestic flights (not all airlines, so contact the airline to confirm)
Marijuana cannot do any of the above, and doing so with marijuana-derived products could lead to problems with the law. 

What Are Cannabis Strains?

strains of cannabis buds

When you hear the word “strain,” you may think of the two different species of the cannabis plant. These are called “cannabis indica” and “cannabis sativa.”  They both share similar features, but they have a few distinctions.

Some researchers theorize that unique traits such as appearance and effects are attributed to the geographic location where it evolved.

While it’s still debatable whether or not these strains produce contrasting effects, it’s worth finding out if you can notice the difference for yourself. But remember, effects vary. 

Indica

Cannabis indica traces back to the Hindu Kush mountain range between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Because of the cold climate in the mountains, it has a naturally short, woody stock with fuller leaves. Some may even compare it to a bush.

The cannabis flower of indicas grows in clusters, naturally producing a higher ratio of Delta-9 THC with a lower level of CBD.

Some well-known Indica strains include:
Some have preferred this type due to its relaxing and zen effect. Often, this strain is combined with activities such as reading books, watching movies, or unwinding before bed.

Sativa

Cannabis sativa originates from a far different climate than indica. Cannabis indica originated from Central Asia but can be indigenous to areas such as Mexico and South Africa.

As for physical features, Sativa plants have tall, thin fibrous stalks with narrow leaves. Compared to Indica, this strain tends to have an equal balance of THC to CBD.

Some notable sativa strains include:
Based on the cannabinoids, sativa strains have often helped boost energy and creativity.

So if you need an extra push to get started on chores or haven’t picked up a paintbrush in a while, sativa may be ideal.

Hybrid

Hybrid strains are the best of both worlds. By cross-germinating the seeds of indica and sativa, cultivators have created a cannabis plant that offers a more balanced experience.

This evolution of cannabis has created varying versions of hybrids that have turned into different strains all on their own.

Often called “designer strains,” this type of cannabis is a hybrid that carries notable effects with distinctions in scent, appearance, and taste.

Some of these include:
  • Orange Creamsicle
  • Gelato 
  • Strawberry Banana 

How To Choose A Strain

As you can see, each strain has a unique name. But how do you pick one? Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight answer. The best way to determine the type you want to consume is by trying it.

Each person has a different experience from the next because we all process cannabinoids in our own way. So if one person found it relaxing, the other may feel it was energizing.

However, to give you a range, Hometown Hero has created an array of unique hemp-derived Delta-9 gummies so you can try each one and find the perfect fit. 

Our hemp-derived Delta-9 Live Rosin Gummies come in five different strains:
A single gummy holds 25mg of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC with 5mg of live rosin. In case you were wondering, live rosin is a type of concentrate we press from cannabis to get the aromatic compounds known as terpenes that give cannabis its essence and help define its effects. Each strain has a flavor and experience far different from the next, so when it’s time to have a session, you have a product that can match your mood.

Have household chores and need the energy to get started? Try a strain with Sativa-dominant terpenes. Ready to unwind after a long day of work? Consider the relaxing terpenes of an Indica-dominant variety. Or maybe your style is a Hybrid, which offers a more balanced blend.

Cannabis Usage: Different Consumption Methods

Now that we covered laws and different strains of cannabis, it’s time to look at the various ways to consume it. 

Some of the most common forms of consumption include smoking, vaping, eating, and drinking. Depending on your preferences, you may need different tools or materials. Aside from that, let’s dive into each method.

Delta-8 Flower

fresh cannabis flower buds

When it comes to hemp flower, Delta-8 flower is among the most popular types for its various strains and effects. Delta-8 flower is actually CBD flower that's been coated with Delta-8 THC distillate to highlight other active cannabinoids and terpenes. 

You can consume flower by inhalation (smoking). This method of consumption is effective for those looking for a quicker onset of effects.

As stated above, each strain has something unique to offer, and if you want to find the best one for you, test them out. 

After you find a strain of Delta 8 flower to try, you need to buy instruments. Such as:
  • Glass pipe
  • Water pipe
  • Rolling paper
  • Dry herb vaporizer
Suppose you’re without tools, no worries. You can grab an apple or potato and turn it into a smoking device. Once you have a tool to smoke from, remember to start small and adjust as needed.

Delta-8 Cartridges

Delta-8 cartridges are accessible and easy to use. The bonus is the fast onset of effects without the lingering scent that comes from lighting flower.

This item comes in a pre-filled tank with Delta-8 distillate that requires a vaporizer battery to attach to.

Unlike most vape products, these cannot be refilled. In other words, once the tank is empty…it’s done.

When the tank is finished, toss it in the trash, and replace it.

This product is ideal for those looking to consume their product discreetly and on the go.

Edibles

Hemp-derived edibles come in varying forms and cannabinoid profiles. If you want a more acute experience, Delta-8 edibles or Delta-9 edibles may be a route to venture down.

Depending on the brand and type of product, the taste and scent will vary from item to item. For example, our Delta-9 baked goods have little to no pungent earthy taste that others do. Instead, because each item is infused, you’ll be greeted with a gooey, decadently sweet cereal bar or fudgy, chocolatey brownie.

So if flavor is a big deal to you, choose a product that your palette will enjoy. Either way, edibles allow you to enjoy hemp without the drawbacks of its natural flavor.

Whatever you choose, it’s essential to recognize that edibles take longer to process. This means effects are delayed. So if you’re new to this, start small and wait for the cannabinoids to activate.

Tinctures

We are in love with tinctures, and once you try them, you will be too. They are by far the easiest, most straightforward hemp product available. These tiny glass bottles have everything to offer, from easy, precise measurements to versatility in applications.

Upon ordering this, you can expect it to arrive in a small container with a dropper cap. Within this, there is distillate. The oil can be consumed sublingually or mixed, hot or cold. 

If you consume it sublingually, you get fast effects. If you add a drop into your drinks or food, effects should appear at a similar rate as edibles. So start with a drop or two (not the whole dropper), and then wait for results.

Cannabis Guide: Final Thoughts

As easy as it is to assume that cannabis is one size fits all, it isn’t.

This plant has everything to offer our society. From being useful industrially to recreationally, the possibilities are endless. However, without the historical journey it endured, it would not be here today.

Thanks for coming along this far, as we hope we covered everything you needed to know in this hemp guide. We hope that your path of trying new strains and different products is smooth sailing.

And lastly, if you don’t have experience with hemp, it’s always best to consult your doctor before use.

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