Cannabis 101


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Cannabis 101 is an easy to follow,  user friendly guide to all things Medical Cannabis, assembled from the integral resource groups from all corners of the industry.

A downloadable version, e-book, and application version are coming soon-

Everything from Getting Started, Legal Concerns, Active Components, Uses &  Side effects, Quality Control, Ways to Medicate, the Indica-Sativa Spectrum, Getting what You Need, Understanding Names and Genetics, Cannabis Throughout History,  and more!

Welcome to the world of Medical Cannabis!




Getting Started–   Your recommendation is the first step, only a licensed Physician can recommend that you try Cannabis as a Medicine, and grant you safe access and legal protection as per State and Local Laws… There are a number of Doctors that specialize in Cannabis use, and offer flat rate consultations.

*State laws vary- please refer to “Medical Marijuana and Legal Concerns” in the next section of this guide


Find the nearest Cannabis Specialist Practice here-

If your Doctor recommends that you try Cannabis, you have to find your medication-

 So here is your guide- an easy way help you get started, keep track, and get the relief you need.

Find a Cannabis Collective or Delivery Near You here-

It’s easy to follow, easy to use,

and will have you on the way to becoming a true Cannasseur…

The internet: Websites like help patients discover more about Cannabis, and how to find a provider, sites like let patients research and track most strains available today, search for what they need with a variety of filters, and can help them find it nearby.
Collectives can also post their current menu through the site

Also look for: Medical Marijuana/Cannabis Collectives, Cooperatives,  Caregivers, Patients Groups,  Dispensaries, and similar titles. Some will offer a Delivery Service
No Internet?  Several dispensaries/delivery services are listed in Magazines available at most liquor/ convenience stores. No luck there? Try the phonebook, or ask a friend.
In general, look for these symbols: 420, Green Cross, Marijuana Leaf insignia, MMJ (Medical Marijuana)  or the word Canna (for Cannabis)  contained in a business name.
Once you’ve found a collective you’d like to visit,  grab your  RECOMMENDATION, or State Registry Certificate (as applicable) and a VALID STATE ID, and lets go!

Medical Marijuana and Legal Concerns

Legal Issues surrounding Medical Marijuana are very complex
So complex in fact, that we can’t really discuss them here
Different Laws and Guidelines exist at Federal , State, and Local levels
Here are some resources to help you get started

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws-NORML “Serves as an informational resource to the national media on marijuana-related stories, providing a perspective to offset the anti-marijuana propaganda from the government; lobbies state and federal legislators in support of reform legislation; publishes a regular newsletter; hosts, along with the NORML Foundation, an informative web site and an annual conference; and serves as the umbrella group for a national network of citizen-activists committed to ending marijuana prohibition and legalizing marijuana.” 2011

Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access- ASA is one of the most important Legal and Political resources available to patients.   Their goal is  to:  “overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers. includes  an in-depth Legal Guidebook, along with Current Issues, Medical , Historical Info,  and more, and is very active in Marijuana Legislature.” 2011  SafeaccessNow.ORG

Cannasseur’s Inc. is not affiliated with nor funded by these organizations,
nor does ASA or NORML hold any responsibility for the views and facts expressed here.
We Cannasseurs do however use and appreciate them as resources,
and think you may benefit  as well
This Guide is just an Informational synopsis,
there is simply too much information to try and list here-

Active Components of Cannabis

Marijuana has several  active Chemical Compounds, or ‘Cannabinoids’
Nature has  ‘Pre-Programmed’  our bodies with Cannabinoid Receptors
THCΔ9TetraHydroCannabinol (notably Delta-9) is the Psycho-Active compound, which causes the Euphoric, or ‘High’ feeling that is generally associated with using Marijuana by most patients. THC has Analgesic (Pain Relieving) effects,  Neuro-Protective and Anti-Inflammatory qualities,  can help stimulate appetite,  relieve Nausea, and more
CBDCannabidiol  is the more Physiologicallly-Active compound, which  causes a much less psycho-active effect to the user. With qualities ranging from Anti-Inflammatory, to Anti-Anxiety, Anti-Arthritic, Analgesic, Anti-Convulsive and more. CBD works similarly to THC compounds, but has actually been shown to modulate it’s Psycho-Active Affects.  Strains rich in CBD  are less common than THC rich strains,  and many are just now being developed and released specifically for the Medical Marijuana Community as an alternative to psychoactive medication
THCA and CBDA –  are Anti-Inflammatory agents only available when consumed orally , and the plant has not been heated beforehand
CBN– is a degradation product of THC, and generally isn’t found in fresh flowers

Terpenes  modify the effects of THC, and impact the  Medicinal Effect of the strain.
They are also responsible for  some of the  smell and taste characteristics

Pinenes: Pine odor, opens the lungs, (and to more to more THC absorption). It also increases focus, self satisfaction, and energy.

Caryophyllene: Sweet, woody, clove taste responsible for anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective effects through CB2
receptor activation.

Linalool: Floral smelling, is believed to
provide some anti-cancer effects and is
known to cause severe sedation.

Limonene: Has a citrus scent and may
possess anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, antifungaland anti-depression abilities.

Myrcene: Effects intake of THC by
brain cells to increase the overall effects
of THC when ingested together.

Special thanks to .com for providing  information on ‘Active Components of Cannabis’  to Cannasseurs Inc.



Chemical Content of Cannabis is determined by Liquid and/or Gas Chromatography’-   to learn more, check out

Common Side Effects


Users of Cannabis have reported these and similar side effects, which generally take 1-3 Hours to wear off.
In some cases, especially with ‘Over-use’, these effects can last up to 10 Hours or more, and can be very intense

Short Term Memory Disruption        Altered Perception/Euphoria
Increased Heart Rate  Slowed Reaction Time– Don’t Operate Heavy Machinery/Vehicles Increased Appetite     Dry Eyes and/ or Mouth (Cotton-Mouth) Anxiety / Paranoia   Tiredness/Laziness
*Take caution, and start with SMALLAMOUNTS  when determining  YOUR  appropriate Cannabis Usage..
Overusing with Cannabis has NOT been shown to be lethal, but those who have find that it is NOT very Enjoyable




 Getting What You Need

There are over 1000 different kinds (or Strains) of Cannabis. Which , at first,  can make it tough knowing which ones are for you
This section is designed to help you decide which Strains to use,  based on your Medical needs

Every Strain of Marijuana falls into 1 of 3 basic categories, based on the overall effects they give
IndicaIndica Dominant Strains mainly affect the Body. They produce a Heavy, Lazy, or Sedative effect, but with less Euphoric or Cerebral  Effect
Commonly used for symptoms like Pain, Lack of Appetite, and Insomnia

Sativa– Sativa Dominant Strains affect mainly the Mind. They produce Euphoric, Energizing, or Uplifting type effects
Commonly  used for symptoms such as Depression, Pain and Stress Relief,  but without the Heavy or Lazy type effect
Hybrid–  Hybrid or 50/50 Strains have balanced Indica and Sativa characteristics, affecting the Body and Mind
Note: Most modern Strains have complex family trees. Some are either 100% Indica or 100% Sativa– most are technically “Hybrids” that are either Indica or Sativa ‘Dominant’

The Indica-Sativa Spectrum

Every Strain of  Marijuana is balanced somewhere between 100% Indica and 100% Sativa.
Due to each strain’s unique, individual balances of Cannabinoids, (including Terpenes) most Strains also have at least one noticeable secondary effect, or an “Edge” Ranging from  ‘Hard’ to ‘Soft’  or may be described a number of other ways

Your Bud-Tender should be able to explain where any Strain falls onto this spectrum,

so if your not sure, don’t hesitate to ask.

For Example: Let’s say John is a business man, with a busy schedule. He has severe spinal injuries, which cause him great pain. He’s also been diagnosed with acute anxiety. During the day he prefers Sativa Dominant or Hybrid strains, which help relax his back, but don’t slow him down. At night and before bed, he prefers Indica dominant Strains. Because of his anxiety, he always prefers to medicate with strains that have a ‘Soft’ Edge
John’s business partner Nick has mild depression. He also prefers Sativa dominant and Hybrid strains during the day, and Indicas at night. During the day he generally prefers a strain with a ’Hard’ edge,  which he says “picks him up”

For example- Most OG Kush strains generally present a ‘harder’ edge vs.  other Sativa Dominant or Pure Sativa Strains, such as some Jamaican Sativas, or Land-race Hawaiian Sativas of the same nature.  While each is a Sativa, the latter two are much more ‘soft’ edged… This appears to be linked to Terpene balances, along with Cannabinoid relationships. Specific research in this field is still underway…

Once you’ve determined which balance works best for you, it’s time to determine your Personal Preferences

Most patients base these on Effects, Genetics, Taste , Smell, Appearance, and  it’s Overall Benefit as a Medicine


-Cannabis strains can be interbred, or ‘Crossed’

-Nature has evolved several Landrace Strains, which are the  original  building blocks for all modern strains

-Dominant and Recessive traits are passed down to the offspring seeds, (just like you and your parents) establishing a plants Genotype

-Breeder’s then raise and select whichever offspring incorporate the Phenotypic Expressions they desire,  in some cases most or all of the phenotypes produced are chosen for production, and named accordingly.  If you have brothers or sisters,  then you have seen how the same two parents can produce offspring with different traits.

-Offspring that produce a combined effect superior to either parent is said to show “Hybrid Vigor”

-Breeders attempt to Stabilize strains for production and reproduction through a complex ‘Back-Crossing’ process. If they cannot, those Genetics will only be available by taking cuttings from the original plant,  called ‘Clones’

-Strains can be named anything, for any reason, but are usually  related to it’s Genetic Parents, Overall Effects,  Smell,  Taste, Yield and/ or Appearance

For Example:  A breeder develops a strain he calls ‘Lemon Kush’ by Crossing a Landrace strain from the ’Kush’ region of Pakistan called Pakistani Kush  (Indica) with a
Thai Landrace, (which possessed  a lemon taste and smell)  called Lemon Thai (Sativa)  This breeder selected offspring that mostly incorporated Indica dominant traits of Pakistani Kush,  but that also possessed very strong lemon smell and taste, and some Sativa characteristics. The other  results or phenotypes of this breeders ‘Lemon Kush’ include a Sativa Dominant strain, he calls as well as a Hybrid strain.,
Pakistani Kush Landrace       Thai landrace

“Pakistani Kush”     X      “Lemon Thai”

“Lemon Kush”


It is important to know which Strains work the best for you
Remember your Personal Preferences

(Along with any that don’t work for you)

Standard Weight

Here are the standard weights your Bud-Tender will use. Gram

1/8 Ounce     1/4 Ounce     Half Ounce       Ounce    1/4 Pound       1/2 Pound        Pound
1gram    3.5 grams    7grams    14grams        28grams     112 grams        224grams  448 grams




Quality Control

Not all Cannabis is created Equally
The Names/Genetics of a strain only determine the effects that strain will have, not the quality or potency.
The most important factor  in the overall quality is the Grower, and their process.
The same Strain, grown in different conditions will produce very different results.
Some Growers and Collectives have turned to Laboratories that can Test’ their Marijuana for Chemical Content,  as well as Cleanliness, using either Gas or Liquid Chromatography–  Patients can then see the results in the Bud-Room,  and factor them into their decision making process
These tests show how much of a chemical compound is present and/or available , and equally importantly, that your medicine is Clean.  As research in this field continues, patients can be aided in determining what will work the best for them, based on actual Chemical properties. This is a huge step towards Legitimizing Marijuana as a Medicine. While it is very important to know these values,  there are other variables that determine potency and effect, including factors like your Personal Body Chemistry. Think of the test results not only as an excellent analysis, but also as an overall reflection of the grower and their process.
Look for an abundance of ‘Trichomes’, (shaped like tiny Crystals) these Glands, along with the plants Oils and Resins, are where the majority of the THC(s) and CBD(s) are formed, mostly in the flowers of female plants, in order to catch pollen from Male plants as it goes through the reproductive/ flowering process. If no pollen is present, the female plant will devote more of it’s energy towards oil and resin gland production, whereas if pollen does become present, and the plant devotes it’s energy to producing seeds. Thus, seedless or ‘Sin-Semilla’ flowers generally contain more active Cannabinoids
Properly Dried and Cured Cannabis should feel lightly moist, even sticky– But NOT soaking wet
Bud Density will vary depending on strain and growth factors. In general, a dense, hearty flower insinuates a healthy, well grown plant
Smell should be clean and crisp, (Regardless of Strain Type/Fragrance)  Not that of  Mildew  or Alfalfa (Hay),  Chemical Pesticides, or Fertilizers
Cannabis should burn cleanly and reduce to a thin gray ash. If it turns thick, black, and smells like chemicals, they might still be present in the plant
Most Cannasseurs agree, it seems best Not to  ingest Contaminated Cannabis

Ways to Medicate

Marijuana does not have to be smoked to obtain it’s Medicinal Value.
There are a variety of ways to ingest Cannabis, which opens the door to almost everyone in need
Smoking– Cannabis is generally smoked either in plant or concentrate form (Kief, Hashish, Oils, Waxes, Goo, Etc.) with specially designed Pipes, Bongs, Water Bubblers and other devices , or  rolled, with special rolling paper into Joints, Blunts, Cones, Etc.
Inhalation of Smoke/Vapor has the fastest effect on your body (usually from 0-10 minutes)
*Known Carcinogens are released by burning plant material and/or paper.
Butane gas is also slightly toxic

Concentrates- are made by seperatingTHC/ CBD from the plant material, then refining and compressing it or ‘Concentrating’ it into another form. This is done with a variety of
processes, from Bubble Bags and Ice,  to high tech CO2 extractors.
*Concentrates have a very high ratio of Active Chemicals to Overall Weight, compared to even the most
potent Marijuana buds, making them very powerful. Be careful when medicating with concentrates.

Vaporization– Specially designed ‘Vaporizers” heat Cannabis to the point where Cannabinoids are released into the air/ lungs, but the rest of the plant material is largely unaffected. Vaporization  releases Cannabinoids to the user,  without many of the harmful elements created by burning plant material. Studies also show that some Vaporizers produce little to no Carcinogenic (Cancer Causing) effects, and are much more recommended by Physicians versus Smoking.

Edibles– Cannabis can be combined with almost any type of Food or Drink. There are multiple methods, the most common being to heat plant material with ordinary butter, which releases the plant’s Cannabinoids into the Butter’s fatty oils, which the user can then ingest. Edibles are available as Foods, Drinks, Candies, Baked Goods and beyond.
*Beware– Edibles are known for having a much different onset of their effects than  smoking or vaporizing.

If you use an edible, start with no more than 1/2 of the recommended ‘Dosage’ and then Wait, up to an Entire Hour to determine the full effect it has had on you.

Then decide whether or not to  finish the entire ‘Dose’

An Over-Dose of  Cannabis has Not been shown to be fatal. However, very intense side effects may occur, and may last for several hours.

Topicals– Salves, Lotions, and Ointments can be applied and absorbed directly into the skin      *Make sure to test for negative reactions on a small area of your skin first, just in case

Tinctures/Liquid Concentrates–  THC/CBD is chemically extracted from Marijuana Plant Material, usually with Alcohol.  Tinctures are generally taken either as a Sublingual (Tonguedrop) or mixed with some food or drink to mask the taste, which can be a little bitter.

*Take the same precautions with Tinctures and Liquids as you would with Edibles.

Synthetics– Pharmaceutical Companies have discovered how to re-create the effects of Marijuana  with drugs like ‘Marinol’,  that are only available through your doctor, and are used through an inhaler, pill capsule, and other forms.
*Use Caution with Synthetic forms of Cannabis-   LIFE THREATENING OVERDOSE IS POSSIBLE!!!!!

Cannabis Throughout History

For thousands of years man has used Marijuana. It has played a role Medicinally and Industrially,
traceable as far back as the 28th century BC. Coincidentally, almost every region of the globe has
Indigenous or Landrace families of Marijuana which have naturally evolved there.
From the Ancient Chinese, Greeks, Europeans, Persians, Romans and Africans, to King Salomon,
Abraham Lincoln, and even Queen Elizabeth, almost every civilization throughout history was
known to use or trade Marijuana in some form. Cannabis is a Holy sacrament to the Hindu and
Rastafari people of the world, part of the Yin-Yang philosophy, and even a staple of the original
Karma Sutra. In fact nearly every major religion has some historical reference to Marijuana.

As trade, travel, and empire expanded so did the use and reach of Cannabis, and before long it
was an everyday commodity worldwide. Hemp (The fiber, generally stripped from the stalk of
Male plants) has been one of nearly every ancient and modern nation’s industries, with uses ranging
from Rope and Textiles, to Paper, Oils, Clothing, and more. Even America’s founding fathers
were known for having vast and luscious Hemp fields, nestled among their plantations. As man
began discovering the many uses for the plant, he soon also discovered it’s Medicinal Qualities.
Ancient Medical texts show how to use Cannabis based Anesthetics for complex surgeries, and has
been documented for an array of everyday ailments, like Pain Relief to Headaches, Insomnia,
Depression, and Menstrual Cramps, used by royalty and peasants alike, much like over the
counter medicines of today.

As long as there have been users of Cannabis, there have been those who oppose it. Most
Governments throughout history however, have agreed that the Medicinal, Industrial, and overall
positive effects of Cannabis far outweighed any negative impact, if any, that it might have. Only in
the last century or so has it come under real legal scrutiny here in America, and with the United
State’s complex legal system, a number of decisions and causes are actually the reason(s) it is
illegal here and elsewhere.

The most well known modern legal disputes over Marijuana
(In America) are traceable back to migrant Mexican workers throughout Texas and California, as
well as African and Indian groups, mainly in large cities like New York, San Francisco, or New
Orleans, who openly used and/or cultivated it. In 1912 , the idea of putting international
restrictions on Cannabis emerged at the International Opium Conference, and in 1915 California
criminalized it. Marijuana’s opponents launched a massive campaign against the “Horrors of
Marijuana”, and while it was largely based on false propaganda, it still has popular influence in
America. Despite the testimony and efforts of groups like the American Medical Association, in
1937 the Marijuana Transfer Tax was levied, but because of a Legal-Loophole farmers could not
obtain the necessary Licenses, and the industry as a whole was crippled.

Today, Marijuana is Illegal under Federal Law in America, however Individual States and Voters
have the right to approve access to Marijuana as a Medicine. In 1996 California Voters passed an
initiative, and now a total of 15 states, as well as Washington D.C. have a Medical Marijuana
Program. Some states have even De-Criminalized the possession of small amounts. Countries like
Holland and Germany have long adopted policies of tolerance toward Cannabis, and in plant form
it is available as a prescription in Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. Synthetic forms are
also prescribed in America and elsewhere.

In 2010 the California Voters very nearly passed a bill
that would tax and legalize Marijuana in California. With so many questions surrounding Marijuana,
we believe many can be answered by looking to the past. One thing we do know is this: it’s up to us
as patients to help determine the future of Cannabis…

*To learn more about the History and the Future of Medical Marijuana, check out sites like and
Cannabis Throughout History
Cannasseurs Inc. is not affiliated with nor funded by this organization
Nor does or ASA hold any responsibility
for the views and facts expressed herein
We Cannasseurs do however use and appreciate
them as a resource, and think you may benefit as well
2011 Cannasseurs Inc. All Rights Reserved

Be sure to check out our grow guide, cookbook, bud-tender’s manual, starting a collective checklist, and other helpful titles!!

Here’s another great overview of Cannabis

Effective Use of Medicinal Cannabis

Cannabis Sativa

Sativa dominant strains affect the mind and emotions. In this regard, they tend to be more stimulating,up-lifting, energizing, and creativity enhancing. These benefits can be particularly helpful for the psychological component of many illnesses.

Sativa dominant strains are generally better for daytime use

Cannabis Indica

The effects of Indica dominant strains are predominantly physical, although the relief of certain physical symptoms can

have emotional results as well.

These effects can be characterized as

relaxing, sedating, and pain reducing.

Indica dominant strains are generally used later in the day and before bed


(Strain Crosses)

Indica x Sativa   / Sativa x Indica

Hybrids are the result of various strain types that are cross pollinated,

either naturally or by human design.

The characteristics, and hence the effects of one parent will usually be dominant.

For example; Indica dominant crosses are good for pain relief, with the lesser Sativa component helping boost energy and

activity levels. Sativa dominant crosses are good for stimulating  the appetite, with the Indica component helping to reduce body pain and increase relaxation

Some Benefits

  • Reduces depression
  • Relieves headaches and migraines
  • Energizes and Stimulates
  • Reduces awareness of pain
  • Reduces nausea
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Supports immune system
  • Expectorant

Some Benefits

  • Reduces pain
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Relieves spasms
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Aids sleep
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Reduces nausea
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Relieves headaches and migraines
  • Reduces intra-ocular pressure
  • Anti-convulsant
  • Reduces seizure frequency
  • Expectorant

Modes of Ingestion

Smoking: Effects felt within 30 seconds to 5+   minutes, lasting from 30 minutes to 3 or more hours

Vaporizing: Smokeless alternative (small device heats plant material to vapor point, without reaching combustion or releasing smoke)

Edible Forms: Effects felt within 30 minutes to 2 hours, and can last from 2-8 hours or more. Effects vary on strain(s) used, methods of preparation, and quantity of raw materials used.  Start with smalls portions as needed, and increase dosage gradually throughout the day.

Tinctures: Take up to 3 drops, and wait 1 hour to allow onset of effects. Increase or decrease dosage as needed. Drops can be taken under the tongue for an effect similar to smoking

Strain Selection

The efficacy of Cannabis is directly related to Strain Selection, therefor we recommend care be taken when selecting appropriate strains to meet your needs. Potency and effect varies with strains

Use of Cannabis Safely

  • Do not drive or operate heavy

machinery if impaired by Cannabis               (Indica’s can be especially sedating)

  • Cannabis mixed with Alcohol may cause vomiting and nausea
  • Those receiving Digitalis or other        Cardiac Medications should only use         Cannabis  under careful supervision by their Medical Doctor
  • Heavy Smoking without Harm Reduction Techniques (i.e. smoking smaller amounts of high potency, organic Cannabis) may lead to respiratory irritation
  • Hold Shared Joints and other shared smoking implements so that they do not touch your lips
  • Cultivators should properly dry

Cannabis to minimize Molds and Fungi-

Stems should break away easily, making an audible snapping sound

  • It is still Illegal under Federal Law to posess, grow, or distribute Cannabis. Know your rights and take precautions to avoid the harmful effects of arrest, Cannabis seizure, imprisonment, and criminal record
  • Choose Organic Cannabis whenever possible to minimize your exposure to         Radioactivity and Chemicals.                This is especially important for those with Impaired Immune Systems

Side Effects

There are some effects of Cannabis which are not therapeutic to all users, and may be mitigated through awareness:

Cannabis may cause dizziness upon standing, due to lowered blood pressure. Initial increase in heart rate and/or blood pressure may be problematic for those with heart conditions or severe anxiety. Cannabis may may cause a decrease in coordination and cognition, and short term memory loss while medicated. There are no significant withdrawal effects when Cannabis use is ceased or decreased. However, symptom relief will also be decreased.

Effects vary from person to person


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