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Marijuana Plant Definition and Info

What is a Marijuana Plant ?

Written by Neal Brown . Updated: October 9, 2021

What Is A Marijuana Plant?

While marijuana is a very well-known substance, defining a marijuana plant can be a little bit tricky. Marijuana belongs to the genus Cannabis. According to some sources, there is only one species of cannabis, sativa, which includes both marijuana and hemp. Hemp is simply a Cannabis sativa plant with a low concentration of THC, the psychoactive chemical in the plant. Thus, a plant with a THC concentration of 0.3% or higher is a marijuana plant, while any plant with less THC is hemp.

Cannabis Species and Strains

Cannabis is more commonly considered to have three separate species (sativa, indica, and ruderalis) with distinct characteristics. Sativas, for example, tend to be tall plants with long, thin leaves. When consumed, sativa buds produce an alert, energetic high. Indicas, on the other hand, are bushier plants that grow lower to the ground. Their effects are more sedative. Ruderalis plants are so low in THC that they are rarely cultivated.

Over the years, breeders have combined these two species to produce a huge variety of hybrid strains. Nowadays, if you are looking for marijuana or ganja seeds, you can find an array of options that boast characteristics of both sativa and indica plants. Some strains are higher in CBD, a cannabinoid that has many health benefits but does not produce a high. Different strains also have distinct terpene profiles. Terpenes are the essential oils that impart flavor and aroma to the buds.

History of Marijuana Cultivation

Marijuana plants were originally native to India, and people have been growing them for medicinal purposes throughout Asia for thousands of years. From Asia, the plant spread to North Africa and Europe. European colonists brought cannabis to North and South America, where they cultivated hemp for use as rope. Both hemp and marijuana were legal in the U.S. until the 20th century.

In the 1900s, recreational use of marijuana became popular for the first time in the U.S., but the government made it illegal with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Thus, for many years, few growers were taking the risk of growing their own cannabis. Nowadays, however, many states have legalized medical and even recreational marijuana, which has led to a surge in interest in growing marijuana plants. Currently, nineteen states have approved home growing of marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational purposes.

Parts Of The Plant

Successful growers don’t need a degree in botany, but they do need a solid understanding of plant biology. Marijuana plants are composed of many parts that function together as a system. When one part is unhealthy, the whole system is at risk. The following are the major components of the cannabis plant, starting from the top.

Growing Cannabis at Home: Know Your Plant

What is a cannabis plant ?

What is a marijuana plant ?