by Tom Taber
From Hops to Hemp, How Cannabis Came to Be
What is cannabis? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? All these questions are the foundational elements which have led to the birth and understanding of the miraculous plant, which we now know and utilize for countless reasons. Why should we learn about the past when we’re here and now in the present future? If history has taught us only one thing- it’s that our past can provide a road map which guides our future; and cannabis education is no different.
Not Your Parent’s Pot Stash
The cannabis your parents smoked in the 60’s and 70’s is entirely different from that which we see today. Studies have suggested a near 280% increase in potency between 1995 and 2019.While we as a society began to accept this former taboo; we also stumbled upon an exponential opportunity that many consider to be the next green gold-rush.
Graph credit DEA
Through the understanding of the many properties of the cannabis plant, came innovation; and this created an explosion of new ways to use it for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Whereas consumers were once limited to smoking traditional flower products (like joints), edibles and the occasional ball of hash- today’s modern consumer has a plethora of consumption options to fit a variety of needs and desires. All of which came from the collaborative international ingenuity that is continuously pushing for the evolution of this miraculous plant.
With Ancient Roots Comes Modern Innovation
In order to know where cannabis may go, we must look at where it came from- the border between Mongolia and China. The cannabis which we know of today once stemmed from the infamous hop plant. While hops is responsible for the beer we drink today it slowly adapted to environmental changes and threats. Over hundreds of years, different species of hops began to produce sticky resin heads on the exterior of the plant; in an attempt to protect itself from the environment and predators which would frequently feed on it. This mutated hop plant resulted in the creation and identification of what we now recognize as being Cannabis Sativa L.
As ancient civilizations travelled across the earth, so did cannabis. With this vast expansion came new understanding and numerous ways of utilizing the plant. It was soon discovered that most of the benefits of cannabis are contained within the sticky, glandular bulbous heads which cover the plant (known as trichomes). While different cultures used varying methods of cultivation and extraction, they came to possess a deeper understanding of how cannabis could be used. This created the foundation for which we are just now beginning to rebuild upon.
The ancient tools and techniques used by those in remote areas of the world, now serve as the premise for what modern cannabis extraction looks like today. While modern technology has allowed us to advance these once ancient methods, we are coming back to the realization that maybe cannabis requires a duality of art and science, in order to be properly harnessed.
Hightening The Future of Cannabis
While migration, education, innovation and understanding have all led to this new-found exponential explosion in cannabis; this cannabis community is returning to the ancient ways of understanding the various methods of utilizing cannabis. We at Highten strive not only to carry on the ancient tradition of agitation-based solventless extraction; but also believe in elevating the standards, expectations and overall conversation surrounding cannabis.
While science continues to outdo itself, our team strives to provide a platform for users and consumers of any background to come gather reliable sources of consolidated information. We believe by accomplishing this, we can continue to evolve the evolution and understanding of cannabis.