Cannabis Botany

The Botany of Cannabis

In terms of botany, hemp and cannabis are mostly considered the same plant. The distinction between the two is entirely a legal definition. Hemp becomes cannabis when it contains more than .3% THC. This chemical composition determines the way the growers cultivate the plant, its legal status, and its use. Both plants belong to the family Cannabaceae and genus Cannabis.

Cannabis Botany


Botany Names

When categorizing plants, Botanists will give two names: genus and species. The genus name and the species name are not at all dissimilar to a surname and given name, respectively. The first half of the plant name, genus, signifies a significant subdivision of family or subfamily. The second half of the botanical name, species, groups similar individuals in a genus capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. For example, sativa and indica are different species of the same genus, cannabis.

Cannabis Sativa or Indica

One of the biggest myths of the cannabis plant is what the terms sativa and indica mean. We often use indica and sativa as shorthand for different desired effects, but such usage is technically incorrect. Sativa and indica describe the separate morphology of different cannabis species

Cannabis sativa plants feature tall, slender, finger-like leaves. On the other hand, cannabis indica plants’ leaves are often short, bushy, and fan-like. Since the morphology of the plant does not determine the physiological effect, predicting how a particular cannabis strain will affect you based on sight alone is a fool’s errand. We’ve covered this myth before.

Differences in Botany

Credit for the real cause of different physiological effects between cannabis strains goes to the trichomes. The trichomes house the terpenes and phytocannabinoids, which contribute to each unique blend of effects. With at least 113 known phytocannabinoids and about 200 known terpenes, a litany of combinations still await discovery. 

Try It Today

We triple check test all of our cannabis products through third party testing so that you know what you are buying. Navigate to our Labs page to find out more. Lotus Gold carries a variety of all-natural, cannabis products. For more information about our products, visit the Products page on our website.

Cannabis Lab Testing

Third-party lab testing remains an integral part of the cannabis business. It ensures that the cannabis products purchased by consumers stay safe. Transparent Lab testing imparts a company’s integrity to all consumers. Consumers knowing exactly that what they are buying is the most important part of the transaction. To this end, we require several kinds of lab tests on cannabis products for the sake of safety and efficacy. You can find always our product labs on the Labs page.

First, testing labs use a bevy of different analytical techniques. In addition, measuring the potency and safety of cannabis therapy products requires complex machinery. Some of the most commonly used methods include Gas and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (GC and HPLC), Mass Spectrometry (MS), Flame Ionization Detection (FID), Ionically Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Each method has its own set of necessary applications, benefits and drawbacks, and is implemented at the discretion of the chemists that staff the third-party labs.

Potency Testing

Potency tests measure the cannabinoid levels as well as the concentration of terpenes in a cannabis product. These tests allow those seeking cannabis therapy to choose a product that most closely matches their desired effects. A high potency creates a greater neurological effect than otherwise. Thus, potency tests also aid dispensary staff in guiding consumers during the necessary experimentation part of the early cannabis therapy journey.

Lab Safety Testing

In addition to potency testing, a range of testing profiles will determine the safety of a cannabis product. These tests ensure the absence of dangerous levels of solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial contaminants and their toxins.

This in-depth testing process gives dispensary staff confidence in their recommendations as well as peace of mind for consumers that their medical cannabis is truly safe for consumption. Dispensary staff should be receptive and able to answer questions regarding the lab tests with medical cannabis consumers.