The first written account of cannabis cultivation is found in Chinese records dating from to the 28th century. It is a genus of flowering plants that includes three different species, Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis
Sativa is believed to be a native plant of India, likely originated in the region just north of the Himalayas. It's an herbaceous annual that can grow to a height of 8-12 feet (4 to 5.4 meters), with reports as high as 20 and 25 feet. The flowers of the plant bloom from late summer to mid-fall, when grown outdoors.
Indica originated from a higher altitude and can be found predominantly in countries known for their hash culture such as Morocco, Afghanistan, Nepal and Turkey. These plants are shorter, fuller plants compared to their sativa counterparts.
Ruderalis is an uncultivated strain native to Russia, central Europe and central Asia and is adapted to the harsher environments found in these regions. Ruderalis grows considerably shorter than its other family members and produces flowers based on its age, rather than light cycle.
Normally these plants have one of two types of flowers, male or female, and some plants have both. Male flowers grow in elongated clusters along the leaves that turn yellow and die after blossoming. Female flowers grow in spike-like clusters and remain dark green for a month after blossoming, until the seeds ripen. Female plants that have not been exposed to male pollen will typically bloom without seeds, if they have not been put under undue stress from heat or other environmental factors.
There are over 400 chemicals in the cannabis plant, of which 109, fit into a category called cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC) is one of these cannabinoids, and it's the chemical most often associated with the effects on the brain. The concentration of THC and other cannabinoids varies depending on growing conditions, plant genetics and processing after harvest. Each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use. In raw form the plant will not cause you to feel high when ingested. The leaves and flowers must be heated to activate the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Actually it is shown to be quite beneficial in its natural form and in juicing.