Cannabis sativa is a remarkable species. Aside from the cultural connotation, the plant itself has developed fascinating qualities throughout the course of its evolution. Now that cannabis is gradually becoming more accepted, both legally and socially, new opportunities are emerging for scientific study. Legally sanctioned research now has the potential to unlock the unsolved mysteries of the ancient remedy.
The sticky resin glands coating the outside of female flowers (trichomes) are of particular interest. One compound found within those glands, which most people are familiar with, is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is a type of molecule known as a cannabinoid, and its unique molecular shape triggers a response in the brain which produces a psychoactive effect in conjunction with other cannabinoids.
Another cannabinoid now drawing attention in the world of medical marijuana is cannabidiol (CBD). While CBD alone does not cause a psychoactive response, it does augment the effect experienced when THC is also present. Most strains on the market today are upper-level potency in terms of THC, and so consumers are recognizing preferred effects have more to do with the ratio of given cannabinoids (THC:CBD) than their individual levels of concentration.
This is exciting for future research, as THC and CBD are but two of 85 known cannabinoids. Given such a unique classification of molecules, able to produce noticeably different effects, experimenting with the lesser-known types could very well reveal the answer to any number of medical conditions; extracts of CBD have already proven useful in the treatment of certain types of cancer as well as seizure-causing disorders in children. Time will tell what other benefits might be hidden in those incredible trichomes!
The resin glands themselves depend on natural processes in order to reach their full potential. This is the reason organic growing is the preferred growing method when it comes to producing the most effective medicine.