“Cannabis is the single most versatile herbal remedy, and the most useful plant on Earth. No other single plant contains as wide a range of medically active herbal constituents.”
- Dr. Ethan Russo, Neurologist, Botanist
The natural world is full of amazing plants with impressive health qualities...but even then, cannabis is pretty special. As Dr. Russo says above, it’s perhaps the most diverse plant in the world — both in terms of its ‘active ingredients’ and what it’s capable of! Let’s dive a little deeper.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a family of flowering plants characterized by annually flowering cycles, characteristic leaves, and resinous buds.
There are three types of cannabis: Cannabis Ruderalis, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Indica. Cannabis can also be classified according to its cannabinoid content; high-THC cannabis is sometimes called ‘marijuana,’ while low-THC cannabis is called hemp.
What is the history of Cannabis?
Cannabis was one of the first plants to be cultivated. Early societies used the plant for food, fiber, oil, and medicine...cannabis shows up in ancient manuscripts and at excavation sites. It’s even mentioned in religious texts like the Pen Ts’ao and the Torah!
And no wonder: cannabis contains a rich blend of phytochemicals including cannabinoids, terpenes and phenolic compounds. Early cultures may well have seen cannabis as the perfect way to restore the body, stimulate the mind, and get closer to both self and God. Traditionally cannabis pasts were applied as painkilling topics; in other cases cannabis was used as a type of ceremonial incense and purposely inhaled within confined areas.
What does Cannabis do?
When ingested, cannabis has all sorts of positive effects. Cannabis and hemp are calming, relaxing, and stress-reducing in nature. Cannabis may also fight against inflammation and pain. Overall, cannabis modulates the endocannabinoid system, which makes it a natural way to help the body keep itself in balance.
And it’s all due to the 400+ plant compounds found in the plant:
- Cannflavin A
- Cannflavin B
- Fatty Acids
- Other Phenols
How is Cannabis consumed?
Cannabis and hemp can be taken in many different ways. They can be smoked, vaped, ingested, applied topically, and more! Cannabis can even be burned as incense or used in herb-infused baths. It’s one of the easiest plants to incorporate into everyday life.
At Toast we’re particularly enthusiastic about two of these methods: smoking and ingesting via supplements. Why? Because these two have the highest bioavailability. They also tend to allow hemp’s cannabinoids to kick in fast. Feel free to choose whatever delivery method works best for you.
What’s the future for Cannabis?
Prior to its near-worldwide ban in the 1920s and 30s, cannabis used to be a vital, normalized, and non-stigmatized part of culture. Its history was almost forgotten — but in the past couple decades people have begun waking up to this amazing plant once again.
So look for cannabis to become increasingly accepted and legalized in the future. At Toast, we’re devoted to doing our part in helping things come full circle.