A bit of Marijuana History.
Since its very first known appearance in 2700 BC in Ancient China, marijuana has carried out a long trip around the world. After spreading to North Korea and later to South Africa, it reached Europe, which acted as the perfect getaway towards the Americas.
Along its journey, weed (a popular name for marijuana) grew a strong reputation as a painkiller, a solution for anxiety, and as a treatment for malaria.
Although its recreational use has been present throughout history, it wasn’t until the 1920s when it caught on as a result of the prohibition of drugs (as some say) by European and American legislators.
The available types.
Although there is a wide variety of strains, there are two generic groups or types of marijuana. They are known as Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.
Today, “sativa” refers to tall, narrow-leaf varieties of cannabis, thought to induce energizing effects. However, these narrow-leaf drug (NLD) varieties were originally Cannabis indica ssp. indica.
“Indica” has come to describe stout, broad-leaf plants, thought to deliver sedating effects. These broad-leaf drug (BLD) varieties are technically Cannabis indica ssp. afghanica.Leafly
It is commonly believed that they differ not only in their origins but also on the effect they cause when consumed.
Scientists have found differences in both their geographic origins and growth patterns but little proof that they cause different effects. However, the two concepts are so deeply rooted in the cannabis culture that people tend to think they cause different states.
You can also find hybrid strains, which are basically a mixture of both types in one plant.
The truth is, all cannabis plants are “sativa”. That is because sativa in Latin means cultivated fruiting or flowering plant from seed. Indica, was a simple name given in the 18th century to a really divergent strain that was noticeably shorter in height, had a different aroma and produced more resin than the already known sativas that Europeans were used to. Although indicas and sativas were, and still are totally different species of plants, most strains have been hybridized to obtain the most efficient combinations.
Photo from: Steemit
15 years ago, biologists started studying the existence of a third original type (although it was discovered in 1942), Cannabis Ruderalis. It is known for growing no taller than 60 cm and for its thin, fibrous stem.
Ruderalis plants contain a higher percentage of CBD than THC and are more resistant
to adverse conditions.
The significant amount of CBD opens an interesting market opportunity due to its importance in marijuana-related medical treatments. However, the key characteristic of C. Ruderalis is its ability to flourish automatically, which is one of the major reasons why it is thought to be the “toughest” cannabis plant out there.
There is, however, a third term which creates a lot of confusion. Hemp.
What are the differences between Marijuana, and Hemp?
Well, there are many differences ranging from their chemical composition to their legal status. However, the most important ones (those we can easily “experience”) are:
1. Their growing processes
Growing marijuana involves a complex process due to the characteristics of the plant. They are usually grown indoors, require constant monitoring (temperature, lighting, humidity) and a considerable investment in order to keep them safe and healthy. Furthermore, there isn’t a clear guarantee of success, if things aren’t done correctly, you might end up losing a whole batch.
Growing Hemp, on the other hand, is much easier. Due to its natural resistance, they are usually planted outdoors and require little to no monitoring.
2. Their consumption
Marijuana is commonly used with recreational purposes thanks to the THC, its psychoactive component. The two most common ways of consuming it are by smoking it or through edibles.
Hemp has a wider variety of usages.
In terms of nutrition, you can produce bread, cereal, milk and protein powder, animal food and flour (all of it from its seeds).
We can also extract oil through which we’ll create lubricants, ink, varnish, paint, dressings, margarine, body products and cosmetics.
Hemp is also used in construction: the plant filtrates silica to the soil and when that is mixed with unslaked lime, it creates a material which is suitable for house construction.
THE MARKET OPPORTUNITY OF HEMP
Hemp is not only interesting due to its numerous qualities but also for the opportunity to capitalize on it.
The CAGR is a method to calculate the estimated growth of a market by comparing its value
over a specific period of time.
The global industrial hemp market size was estimated at USD 3.9 billion in 2017, expanding at a CAGR of 14.0% over the forecast period.
Furthermore, thanks to the wide variety of hemp-derived products there will be higher reach affecting different industries; such as the textile or global cosmetics industries. The most impacted geographical regions affected will be:
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Central South America
- Middle East