What is Cannabis?

It’s a complex plant,

so let’s start with the basics…

cannabis flower

What is Cannabis?

It’s a complex plant,

so let’s start with the basics…

Cannabis Flower Buds

Isn't she lovely?

We say “she,” because the cannabis we consume comes exclusively from the buds of female flowers. (Sorry, guys.)

Cannabis flower “buds” are covered in resinous trichomes, which hold the plants’ medicinal compounds and aromas—a.k.a, the good stuff that makes us feel stuff!

Cannabis plants come in infinite varieties, but they all fall into three main subspecies…

Sativa. Indica. Ruderalis.

Leaf shape is just one of the many ways to identify each.

We don’t call Ruderalis cannabis; we call it “Hemp.”

Hemp plants are naturally very low in THC. Sativa and Indica plants contain varying amounts of THC, and this is the type of cannabis that we're focused on here.

Blue Dream.

Sour Diesel.

Northern Lights.

These curious labels are what we call strain names. Some are Sativa strains, some are Indica, and some are a mix of both, which is called a Hybrid. Different strains will produce different effects when consumed. That’s because…


…they each contain different compounds, in varying amounts.

These compounds, called


interact with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies to create a variety of reactions, including THC’s classic euphoric effect. When people say they have a connection with this plant, it’s physically true!

There are dozens of different cannabinoids found in cannabis.

cannabis plant

There are also dozens of different terpenes!


are what give cannabis its intense aromas and flavors. Terpenes play a huge role in how your mind and body experience cannabis!

For example: A flower that's dominant in the terpene called Linalool will produce a much different effect than one that’s high in Limonene.

Because lots of terps are present in each strain of cannabis, the combos — and the effects that result —

are seemingly endless!

cannabis popsicle

Many people enjoy flower as is, cured (dried) in its natural state. To feel its effects, you must “activate” the cannabinoids by applying heat. This is why people smoke cannabis; eating it raw won’t do the trick.

Yet inhalation isn’t the only way to enjoy the flower. It can be processed and concentrated into a variety of different products. Thanks to modern technology, it can be vaped, dissolved under the tongue, swallowed in a capsule, enjoyed in a food or beverage… and the list goes on!

How it’s consumed will alter your experience, so choose wisely. Not sure what to choose? No worries! That’s why we’re here.

Strains. Cannabinoids. Terpenes. Products.

No matter what component of cannabis you explore, there are choices to make.

And, not to complicate things further, but…

cannabis isn’t one-size-fits-all.

What works for one person might not work for you. That’s why we take a personalized approach to pairing people and products. It’s about finding just the right product to help you meet your unique cannabis goals.

We’re here to guide you.
We’re here to educate you.
We’re here to help you experience cannabis with confidence.

We’re ready. Are you?

Curaleaf staff