When people think of cannabis, they are generally referring to the part of the plant that is used predominantly for smoking, the flower. Due to its high status, other parts of the plant can be easily forgotten. However, this blog aims to focus in on every section of the cannabis plant and highlight some of their key uses.
Cannabis Plant Flowers
With their glistening trichomes and vibrant colour palette, cannabis flowers are the most popular part of the plant due to their prevalent use and versatility. Cannabis flowers are picked, processed, and consumed by users in a variety of ways. Including smoked, vaporized, or incorporated into edibles. The highest levels of cannabinoids and terpenes are found in the trichomes of the cannabis buds. These are the small spheres of cannabis resin which coat the leaves, buds and branches of a cannabis plant, giving it a frosty white appearance.
Cannabis Plant Leaves
Leaves are the primary energy gatherers of the cannabis plant. Green chlorophyll in the leaves helps harvest the sun’s energy, transforming it into vital fuel. Without healthy leaves, the cannabis plant is not able to live up to its full potential. Due to the fact that the flowers are harvested for medical use, the leaves are regularly left as waste. However, not only is this worse for the environment and could incur costs, it’s wasting a product that has valuable uses.
Cannabis plants are highly nutritious and contain a number of beneficial ingredients including essential vitamins, proteins, fibre and cannabinoids. In order to feel the psychoactive effects from the leaves, you have to process them (dry or heat). However, when they are kept fresh and raw, the cannabinoids found within the plant remain inactive, meaning you won’t experience any psychoactive effects from consuming them. Therefore, processing them into healthy, consumable products is a great alternative to throwing them away. For example, blend up the cannabis leaves to form a juice (either with fruits or vegetables or simply with water). Alternatively, boil up the leaves to conjure up a cannabis leaf tea.
Cannabis Plant Stalks & Stems
As the stalks and stems don’t tend to be ground up into medical cannabis, they’re left to go to waste. However, these parts of the cannabis plant can be transformed into material. Stripping the small stalks out of their outer fibre is called decorticating. It involves rubbing the fibres between the fingers to separate them into individual strands. These individual pieces of fibre can then be twisted into lengths of raw twine.
Cannabis Plant Seeds
Apart from the obvious, the consumption of cannabis seeds has increased over the past few years alongside chia and flax seeds.
The seeds can be used in a variety of ways. They can give dishes an additional flavour and can also be consumed raw. They can also be added to smoothies or fruit juices to provide extra health benefits and a higher nutrient intake.
Cannabis Plant Roots
While the buds and leaves usually take centre stage, cannabis roots also have health properties. In fact, people have been incorporating cannabis roots into medicine for eons.
Many of the roots’ uses are skin related. From making lip balm to treating inflammation, cannabis roots have an abundance of health benefits that make for effective treatments. For example, cannabis roots contain several pentacyclic triterpene ketones. These compounds are known for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Having explored this complex plant, it is evident that not one part of the plant should go to waste. Every segment of the cannabis plant has a nutritional or medical use.