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Pulling Back the Curtain on Cannabis

April 24, 2023

Whether you’re a beginner, a dabbler, or a regular, there’s always something new to learn about adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts. Since education is such a big part of what we do at CastleLeaf, we wanted to let you in on the process, answer common questions, and pull back the curtain on some of the words you may (or may not) have heard before.

What’s the difference between Cannabis and Hemp?

Cannabis – Cannabis is a stout, aromatic, annual herb that originated in Central Asia. Now cultivated worldwide, the flower of the cannabis plant contains cannabinoids that, when smoked or consumed, have an effect on the human endocannabinoid system and can provide a range of effects from psychoactivity to physical pain relief. 

Hemp – While hemp is the same species of plant as cannabis, hemp contains almost no THC (the main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis). Hemp does, however, contain other active cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG, which are both great for pain and sleep.

What part of the plant creates the “effects”?

Cannabinoids – It all depends on the compounds, really! THC gets a lot of love, but there are all sorts of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that provide varying types of relief. Keep in mind that everyone will react differently to different combinations of cannabinoids. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some trial and error to find what works for you.

THC – The most common cannabinoid found in cannabis, and the one you may be most familiar with. This is the primary psychoactive compound, responsible for those fuzzy feelings.

CBD – Cannabidiol (CBD) is another common cannabinoid found in both cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and will not cause a “high”. It has been said to provide relief from anxiety, pain, and may be helpful as a sleep aid. CBN – Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid that is created when THC is oxidized, and may help with inflammation and sleep.

What the heck are terpenes and why should I care?

Terpenes – While the most popular way to categorize the cannabis plant and its effects is to label it an indica, sativa, or hybrid, terpenes and cannabinoids go much further in determining the plant’s effects.

Simply put, terpenes provide the aroma and flavor of cannabis and other plants. Think earthy, floral, spicy, herbal, woodsy, pine, or citrusy. We recommend keeping a cannabis journal to track which strains suit you best.

To learn more about terpenes, stay tuned for an upcoming blog post!