What do you think: can legalization lower the carbon footprint of cannabis? It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is booming. So far, 38 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana use [1], and 16 states as well as Washington D.C. and Guam are now allowing the use of recreational cannabis [2]. More could be added to the list during the years to come. THC- and CBD-infused products are becoming more popular by the minute. At the same time, hemp growth and production are now legal across the country, adding even more branches to the sector.

Quite a few people are celebrating the growing acceptance of marijuana and hemp. Countless business-minded individuals, farmers, and members of the general public are sure to benefit from the spreading legalization of weed. That being said, many are also concerned about the impact these developments could have on the environment. Can the legalization of cannabis reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, or might it ultimately take a massive toll on our planet?

Potential downsides of cannabis legalization

Every situation has its own benefits and disadvantages. The ever-growing cannabis industry is certainly no different. First of all, we’ll take a look at the possible downsides of growing and processing massive amounts of marijuana.

Energy consumption

Some methods of cannabis cultivation and processing use a great deal of electricity.  By some accounts, an indoor growing facility can use as much as 150 kilowatt-hours per square foot each year. For comparison, the average American household uses about 11,000 kilowatt-hours per year overall [3].

On the other hand, standard product manufacturing facilities consume around 95 kilowatt-hours of electricity per square foot annually. They also use about 536,000 BTUs of natural gas per square foot each year [4]. That’s on the lower end of the spectrum.

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Growing crops doesn’t necessarily require a great deal of electricity in its own right, but several factors have to come together to foster cannabis cultivation. Temperatures and humidity levels need to be within the optimal range, and appropriate ventilation is essential. When marijuana is grown in indoor facilities as opposed to greenhouses or outdoor fields, all those elements must be regulated artificially. All the necessary equipment for doing so is where the majority of the energy consumption comes from in terms of farming.

In addition to the electricity consumed by indoor growing, various cannabis processing methods use energy as well. These include drying the flowers and extracting oils. Creating edibles, topicals, tinctures, and other products requires energy just like facilities and processes in other industries, such as food production, beverage manufacturing, vehicle production, and clothing manufacturing.

Harmful emissions

Indoor cannabis growing facilities can also produce copious amounts of potentially harmful greenhouse gases. Most of this comes from all the equipment used to regulate the indoor growing environment. Facilities that process cannabis-based products create harmful emissions as well. According to a recent report, one kilogram of marijuana product can generate the equivalent of 4,600 kilograms of CO2 emissions [5].

Water consumption

Some analysts also point out the amount of water required for cannabis plants to thrive. Each marijuana plant needs about six gallons of water per day throughout the growing season [6]. Of course, many are quick to argue that other types of plants have similar water requirements, including the ones we grow constantly and depend on for survival, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and corn.

Upsides of cannabis legalization

Now that we’ve gone over the potential environmental pitfalls of legalizing cannabis, let’s look at the matter from a more positive angle. After all, the cannabis industry has ample advantages. At the same time, the downsides we’ve covered don’t necessarily have to come into play. High-quality CBD products can be produced using measures to combat the possible environmental impacts.

Oxygen production

We all know that we need plants to survive. They produce the oxygen we need to breathe, and they absorb certain harmful gases like carbon dioxide. With about 80,000 acres of rainforest being lost per day and thousands of acres of trees being cut down for consumption needs and to make room for new buildings, the world is quickly losing a significant portion of its natural source of oxygen [7].

In short, we need all the oxygen-producing plants we can get to combat the destruction. Legalizing cannabis gives people more freedom to plant and grow it. In turn, doing so will add far more oxygen-generating, carbon dioxide-reducing plants for us to take advantage of.

Mitigating energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

It’s true that growing cannabis indoors requires a great deal of electricity. That’s not the case when growing it outdoors. With outdoor marijuana crops, the temperatures and humidity levels are controlled naturally without needing machines to intervene. Even growing crops in a greenhouse rather than an indoor facility can reduce energy consumption by 40 percent or more according to some sources.

Indoor growing facilities can take several steps to reduce their impacts on the environment. These might include using more energy-efficient HVAC systems to aid in regulating temperatures and humidity levels. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can be installed on heating and air conditioning systems to improve their effectiveness without impacting their energy consumption levels. Air purification systems can also be used to help eliminate airborne contaminants potentially created by indoor grows.

Reducing water consumption

Although marijuana plants require large volumes of water to thrive, outdoor grows get much of their water from rain. Collecting rainwater for irrigating crops on drier days can also go a long way toward reducing water consumption. At this point, harvesting rainwater is only illegal in Utah and Colorado [8]. Hydroponic growing is an effective way to consume less water as well. Hydroponics uses 10 times less water than traditional growing and it can be implemented in greenhouses and indoor growing facilities alike [9].

Bottom line: Marijuana legalization will help

Can legalizing cannabis reduce the industry’s carbon footprint? Though many people insist it’ll only make more of a negative impact on the environment, they’re only looking at one side of the story. Marijuana legalization will produce more living plants to generate oxygen and scrub carbon dioxide from the air.

Removing restrictions on cannabis use and cultivation will give more growers the freedom to take advantage of greener growing methods, like outdoor planting and greenhouses, as well. Additionally, using more energy-efficient growing techniques and taking additional measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption will further decrease the industry’s impact on the planet. Along the way, countless people will benefit from growth in the cannabis sector.

Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.

  1. MJ Biz Daily, These States Could Still Legalize Recreational or Medical Cannabis in 2021, https://mjbizdaily.com/these-states-could-still-legalize-recreational-or-medical-cannabis-in-2021/
  2. U.S. News & World Report, States Where Recreational Marijuana Is Legal, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/where-is-pot-legal
  3. U.S. Energy Information Administration, How much electricity does an American home use? https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=97&t=3
  4. Friendly Power, Average Energy Use Data – Manufacturing Facilities, https://esource.bizenergyadvisor.com/article/manufacturing-facilities
  5. Science Direct, The carbon footprint of indoor cannabis production, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301421512002285?via%3Dihub
  6. CannaTech, The Carbon Footprint of Legal Cannabis, https://www.canna-tech.co/cannatech/legal-cannabis-carbon-footprint/
  7. Scientific American, Measuring the Daily Destruction of the World’s Rainforests, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-talks-daily-destruction/
  8. Perfect Water, Rainwater Harvesting Laws – Is It Illegal? https://4perfectwater.com/blog/rainwater-harvesting-laws
  9. National Park Service, Hydroponics: A Better Way to Grow Food, https://www.nps.gov/articles/hydroponics.htm

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Want to understand the terpene flavor wheel? Countless men and women love the smell of cannabis. They believe it calms and soothes them. What provides this enticing aroma? Individuals smell the terpenes and enjoy them. They might not know what these substances are, but they should! As this will help deepen their appreciation of cannabis and all it offers.

What Are Terpenes?

Cannabis plants contain aromatic oils that provide each strain with its distinct flavor. The oils remain hidden in the glands responsible for cannabinoid production and appear to play a role in providing the effects of each unique strain. For instance, certain terpenes leave the user feeling stress-free and relaxed. Other terpenes leave the person more focused.

Every plant produces terpenes. This helps to explain why certain strains come with a cherry flavor. The cannabis plant and the cherry plant include the same terpenes. Combining terpenes allows individuals to create unique smells and tastes.

The plants produce terpenes to lure pollinators while repelling predators that could do them harm. Several factors play a role in which terpenes the plant develops. This includes the climate in which the grower cultivates the plant, the weather, the age of the plant and its maturity, the medium chosen by the grower, and any fertilizers used during development.

Terpenes in Cannabis Plants

Researchers have discovered over 100 unique terpenes in cannabis plants. Each strain features a distinct terpene composition and type, and these terpenes appear in a variety of products.

Most people associate certain characteristics with Indica strains and different ones with Sativa strains. However, researchers believe terpenes play a significant role in the effects provided by the strain more than whether it falls into the Indica or Sativa category. They have yet to reach any definitive conclusions though and continue to study this theory.

Furthermore, they need to know more about the entourage effect. They are studying whether a terpene’s effect profile changes when it comes into contact with other compounds.

Distinctions between terpenes are often subtle, and this adds to the art and connoisseurship associated with cannabis use. In addition, therapeutic value may come with the terpenes, depending on their properties.

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Terpene Chemistry

Terpene molecules come in two basic types. Scientists consider monoterpenes light terpenes, which includes common varieties such as Limonene and Myrcene. They provide floral scents like apple and rose. Sesquiterpenes, in contrast, serve as heavy terpenes and provide a pungent aroma. What are some common terpenes one might encounter?


Myrcene comes with an aroma many individuals love. They enjoy the musky, earthy, herbal smell of cloves and cardamom. The terpene converts to vapor at 332 degrees Fahrenheit, and men and women choose strains with this terpene as they desire the relaxing and sedating effects.


Limonene features a citrus aroma and vaporizes when it reaches 348 degrees Fahrenheit. People choose strains with this limonene when they want stress relief or wish to elevate their mood.


If you prefer woody and spicy strains, ones that bring to mind cloves or pepper, look no further than products that contain Caryophyllene terpenes. This terpene vaporizes at only 266 degrees Fahrenheit. One benefit of Caryophyllene terpenes is they can provide relaxation, something many individuals need today.


Piney, floral, and herbal aromas serve as the fundamental characteristics of Terpinolene terpenes. They uplift the user when they vaporize at 366 degrees Fahrenheit.


As the name suggests, Pinene comes with a pine scent, one that can be incredibly uplifting. Individuals who are struggling with THC effects often turn to strains containing Pinene terpenes because they may offer mitigation. This terpene vaporizes when it reaches 311 degrees Fahrenheit.


Humulene terpenes feature a woody, earthy aroma, one that brings to mind hops. This terpene vaporizes at a low temperature of 222 degrees Fahrenheit.


The sweet, woody and herbal aroma of Ocimene terpenes attracts many individuals. The terpene comes with many potential therapeutic benefits. Furthermore, it vaporizes at only 122 degrees Fahrenheit.


Made famous in lavender, this floral terpene must reach 388 degrees Fahrenheit before it vaporizes. Individuals turn to it when they wish to enhance their mood or feel calmer.

How to Protect Terpenes

People must protect the terpenes so they don’t lose any of their flavors. Avoid plastic bags when storing cannabis. Otherwise, air, light, moisture, heat, and cold could damage the cannabis. Sealable bags are also of little help.

Plastic comes with a static charge that draws the terpenes and trichomes from the cannabis and deposits them in the plastic. This leaves the buyer with a fine powdery mix they cannot remove from the bag to use. Any the user removes from the plastic bag lacks the flavor profile and medicinal benefits the cannabis might provide.

Use glass to keep air away from the cannabis. Glass won’t pull the terpenes and trichomes from the cannabis either, and it helps to preserve the desired moisture level, which is of great importance. Excess moisture leads to mildew growth. Not enough moisture and the cannabis will be dry and brittle, much like twigs that easily snap.

Store the glass jars in a dark and dry place. Furthermore, keep the jars full. Any extra space in the jar leaves room for air and moisture.

Every strain comes with unique characteristics. Cannabis connoisseurs state the cannabis flavor body adds to the overall experience. For this reason, folks need to know which terpenes are present in the strain they select. This ensures they get a taste and aroma they love without missing out on any expected benefits.

Final thoughts on understanding terpenes

Now you know the terpene flavor wheel and can use your knowledge to more deeply enjoy a huge range of CBD, CBG and CBN products. We hope you enjoy sharing both with friends.

Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.


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The cannabis plant’s popularity has skyrocketed over the last decade, in part because of states all around the country passing medical and recreational marijuana legislation. Consuming cannabis can produce a wide range of effects on a person’s body, including the well-known euphoric “high” feeling. So, what is it about the cannabis plant that produces these effects?

The answer to that question is cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant which interact with the human nervous system. Below is a more in-depth look at what cannabinoids are, how many the cannabis plant contains, and why there is an increase in people using them.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical substances, regardless of origin, that attach to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. The human body produces its own form of cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that are believed to support immune system functions and internal health. Endocannabinoids can even produce a small euphoric feeling within the body, such as “runner’s high.”

How Many Cannabinoids Are There?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known of the cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, but they are not the only ones. There are at least 100 known cannabinoids produced inside the plant, and many researchers believe there could be even more [1].

However, many of these cannabinoids have no known or proposed effects on the human body. While there is speculation as to the many cannabinoids’ effects, there are some cannabinoids in particular that researchers know can bind to a person’s cannabinoid receptors.

The Major Cannabinoids and Their Uses

The way in which cannabinoids interact with the human brain has drawn significant interest from researchers. For example, CBD interacts with the CB-1 brain receptors differently than THC does and can actually inhibit THC’s ability to bind to them [1]. Since there is such a variety of cannabinoids in a cannabis plant, isolating them and identifying how they interact with a person’s brain and body takes time. So far, the following cannabinoids that researchers understand the most.


THC is one of the few cannabinoids that is known to have psychoactive properties. It is the only cannabinoid that has a high enough concentration within the plant to produce a “high” effect. Many people who consume cannabis recreationally are doing so to experience the euphoric feeling offered by THC.

THC binds to CB-1 receptors throughout a person’s body, triggering the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a feel-good reward chemical produced by the human body which affects a person’s mood, appetite, thought, movement, perception, and memory [2]. Many medical marijuana patients seek out this effect to help mitigate the symptoms of certain conditions.


CBD is often viewed as the most significant cannabinoid. CBD has been heavily researched for its potential benefits, though it does not produce any psychoactive effect, unlike THC. CBD binds with CBD-2 receptors, which are found predominantly within a person’s immune system.

CBD is often used by people to treat conditions like anxiety, pain, seizure disorders, tumors, and inflammation. While research is not conclusive on its benefits, those who use CBD swear by its effectiveness. Hemp flowers, such as those offered to retail and wholesale customers by Earthy Now, typically have the highest concentration of CBD.


CBDA and THCA are precursors to CBD and THC. They are acidic versions of CBD and THC, which are released by decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is the process of exposing something to low heat. For cannabis, this is most frequently done by exposing cannabis flower to heat from an oven or direct flame, which then turns these cannabinoids into their active forms of THC and CBD.

Researchers are looking at THCA to see if it may be able to help treat symptoms like nausea [3].


Cannabigerol, or CBG, only exists within mature cannabis plants in very small amounts. It is produced as the plant grows and is occasionally referred to as the “mother” cannabinoid. CBG does not have any psychoactive effects on its own. However, research suggests it may yet be beneficial. Scientists are still researching what it is that causes CBG to convert to other cannabinoids, which assists in the development of strains that are high in a particular cannabinoid.


Cannabichromene, or CBC, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that works synergistically with other cannabinoids to produce what is colloquially referred to as “the entourage effect.” It does not bind well to CB-1 receptors in the brain and body but will bind to TRPA-1 and TRVP-1 receptors, which are associated with a person’s pain perception. Though still inconclusive, researchers believe that CBC may be effective in managing some conditions [4].

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Cannabinol, or CBN, is a minor cannabinoid and the only known cannabinoid that does not originate from CBG. Instead, CBN is produced as THC degrades. While it may be a sign that the cannabis inside a person’s supply is decomposing, it is believed that CBN has some potential beneficial properties.


Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and Cannabidivarin (CBDV) are not found in all strains of cannabis. They bind with both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, but their potential effects are thought to be less pronounced than those of other cannabinoids. Unlike THC, THCV and CBDV do not produce any psychoactive effects.

Delta-8 THC

Delta-8-THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid similar to THC, though the euphoric effect is less potent. It is being studied for its potential to treat conditions like glaucoma, nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy, and corneal injury. While preliminary research shows some promise, there are no published clinical studies that focus on Delta-8-THC alone.

Final thoughts on the many cannabinoids

The cannabis plant has had some trouble being cleared for research until fairly recently. Because of this, research surrounding the cannabinoids within the plant may not be extensive. Still, many people have consumed various strains of cannabis, and its benefits are widely reported by these individuals.

Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.
  1. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  2. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3792001/#:~:text=THCA%20may%20be%20a%20more%20desirable%20therapeutic%20treatment%20for%20nausea,and%20vomiting%20in%20our%20models.
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

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