hand touching craft cannabis plant in farm field
(Jesse Milns/Leafly)

Cannabis is a genus of the flowering plant family Cannabaceae, including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis has been cultivated all over the world for centuries for its medicinal properties. There are thousands of varieties of cannabis made unique by natural compounds called cannabinoids. The human body has a receptor system for cannabinoids, called the endocannabinoid system. 

“I went to the dispensary to get some cannabis.”

“Cannabis helped her with insomnia.” 

How does cannabis affect you?

Everyone who consumes cannabis experiences it differently, though the chemical makeup of a particular strain of cannabis may give consumers clues about its effects. There are hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes—natural aromatic compounds—that influence a particular cannabis strain’s chemical makeup and how it affects each individual’s body. 

How to consume cannabis

Comes in the form of smokeable flower, oil and concentrate, edibles, topicals, tinctures, and more. Cannabis is strictly regulated in the United States due to its position on the federal drug schedule, but remains popular as a medicinal and recreational substance all over the country and the world.

History of cannabis

Cannabis can be traced back to Assyrian and Babylonian cultures. The plant has been used for thousands of years for spiritual and medical practice. 

What’s the difference between cannabis and hemp? 

All cannabis is not hemp, but all hemp is cannabis.