What is Cannabis?


Editors Note: This is the first in a 5 part series on cannabis and cannabis infused ingestible products. Please educate yourself on local, state, and federal laws so you know what is legal where you live. If you have questions for Sysamone, please be sure to leave them in the comment section. She will address your questions in a future post.

Ever since California legalized the adult use of cannabis in 2018, there’s been a plethora of cannabis infused products launched into the market for adult use. There has also been a lot of confusion, misinformation and/or not enough education for those trying to understand the cannabis plant and it’s multitude of benefits. I was around a lot of people that enjoyed marijuana but I didn’t really understand the plant nor did I know all of its capabilities until I started working for a cannabis technology company. I’ve been with my company Vertosa, for over a year now and I’ve learned so much about the science behind cannabis infused products. This article kickstarts my cannabis series for parents that are searching for a better understanding of how to safely consume cannabis infused ingestible products. I’ll be providing cannabis education in a way that is digestible for everyone. 

Let’s start with a common question – what is cannabis? A lot of people in my network believed that cannabis and marijuana are one in the same thing, however that is not true. Think of Cannabis as a woman and she created two babies (species): Hemp and Marijuana. Both are distinct varieties of cannabis and filled with chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are filled with numerous health benefits regardless of what species they are derived from. We typically hear about the major cannabinoids in the mainstream media – CBD and THC, because these two compounds have been well studied and are the best known. 

The products you see in mainstream retailers like Sprouts, Whole Foods and Target contain the CBD (Cannabidiol) compound derived from the hemp plant. Hemp is very low in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Most hemp derived CBD infused products in their final form in the current market have no trace of THC in them due to the manufacturing process. These products do not produce a psychoactive euphoric effect but more of a calm, relaxed feeling. 

The products you see in cannabis dispensaries or medical collectives contain the cannabinoids THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD derived from the Marijuana plant. Marijuana produces high levels of the major cannabinoid THC. This compound does produce the psychoactive, euphoric effect that you tend to see mainstream media portray in TV shows and movies. 

The main difference the body and mind feel when enjoying products with hemp derived cannabinoids or marijuana derived cannabinoids is the varied euphoric “high” feeling. Regardless of where the cannabinoids are derived from, they have various health benefits. If you feel like enjoying products that provide a nice high experience, go with THC infused products. If you desire a nice relaxing calm experience, then try CBD infused products. 

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Sysamone Phaphon is a single mom of two. She’s lived in the east bay area for 15+ years. She is the current CEO and founder of the CBD Nanoemulsion brand, Khuenphu. Sysamone also provides growth marketing consultancy in the technology, healthcare and cannabis industries through a digital marketing agency called A.V.O. Prior to pursuing the consultancy path & building her own company, she was previously the Head of Growth for cannabis manufacturer, Vertosa, where she managed PR, Marketing and brand partnerships. She is also a brand ambassador for Mothercoders, a nonprofit organization helping mothers on-ramp to careers in tech so they can thrive in a digital economy. When she’s not working, she’s playing baseball mom for her daughter’s all girls competitive travel baseball team and lacrosse mom for her son’s competitive travel team. When she has personal time for herself, she loves naps, enjoying infused products and binge watching various series on all the streaming channels.


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