Cannabis sativa appears naturally in many tropical and humid parts of the world. Its use as a mind-altering drug has been documented by archaeological finds in prehistoric societies in Eurasia and Africa.
The oldest written record of cannabis usage is the Greek historian Herodotus’s reference to the central Eurasian Scythians taking cannabis steam baths. His (c. 440 BCE) Histories records, “The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed [presumably, flowers], and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy.” Classical Greeks and Romans were using cannabis, while in the Middle East, use spread throughout the Islamic empire to North Africa. In 1545, cannabis spread to the western hemisphere where Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fiber. In North America, cannabis, in the form of hemp, was grown for use in rope, clothing and paper.
Different Varieties and Strains
Types of cannabis
CBD is a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, which may also contribute to an anxiolytic effect. This likely means the high concentrations of CBD found in Cannabis indica mitigate the anxiogenic effect of THC significantly. The effects of sativa are well known for their cerebral high, hence its daytime use as medical cannabis, while indica is well known for its sedative effects and preferred night time use as medical cannabis.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “the amount of THC present in a cannabis sample is generally used as a measure of cannabis potency.” The three main forms of cannabis products are the flower, resin (hashish), and oil (hash oil). The UNODC states that cannabis often contains 5% THC content, resin “can contain up to 20% THC content”, and that “Cannabis oil may contain more than 60% THC content.”
A 2012 review found that the THC content in marijuana had increased worldwide from 1970 to 2009. It is unclear, however, whether the increase in THC content has caused people to consume more THC or if users adjust based on the potency of the cannabis. It is likely that the higher THC content allows people to ingest less tar. At the same time, CBD levels in seized samples have lowered, in part because of the desire to produce higher THC levels and because more illegal growers cultivate indoors using artificial lights. This helps avoid detection but reduces the CBD production of the plant.
Australia’s National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) states that the buds (flowers) of the female cannabis plant contain the highest concentration of THC, followed by the leaves. The stalks and seeds have “much lower THC levels”. The UN states that leaves can contain ten times less THC than the buds, and the stalks one hundred times less THC.
After revisions to cannabis scheduling in the UK, the government moved cannabis back from a class C to a class B drug. A purported reason was the appearance of high potency cannabis. They believe skunk accounts for between 70 and 80% of samples seized by police (despite the fact that skunk can sometimes be incorrectly mistaken for all types of herbal cannabis). Extracts such as hashish and hash oil typically contain more THC than high potency cannabis flowers.
cannabis (or medical marijuana) refers to the use of cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids, to treat disease or improve symptoms. Cannabis is used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms.
Short-term use increases both minor and major adverse effects. Common side effects include dizziness, feeling tired, vomiting, and hallucinations. Long-term effects of cannabis are not clear. Concerns including memory and cognition problems, risk of addiction, schizophrenia in young people, and the risk of children taking it by accident.
Cannabinoids are under preliminary research for their potential to affect stroke or children’s epilepsy.
Main article: Cannabis (drug)
Comparison of physical harm and dependence regarding various drugs
A dried bud, typical of what is sold for drug use
Cannabis is a popular recreational drug around the world, only behind alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. In the United States alone, it is believed that over 100 million Americans have tried cannabis, with 25 million Americans having used it within the past
The psychoactive effects of cannabis are known to have a triphasic nature. Primary psychoactive effects include a state of relaxation, and to a lesser degree, euphoria from its main psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol. Secondary psychoactive effects, such as a facility for philosophical thinking, introspection and metacognition have been reported among cases of anxiety and paranoia. Finally, the tertiary psychoactive effects of the drug cannabis, can include an increase in heart rate and hunger, believed to be caused by 11-OH-THC, a psychoactive metabolite of THC produced in the liver.
Normal cognition is restored after approximately three hours for larger doses via a smoking pipe, bong or vaporizer. However, if a large amount is taken orally the effects may last much longer. After 24 hours to a few days, minuscule psychoactive effects may be felt, depending on dosage, frequency and tolerance to the drug.
Various forms of the drug cannabis exist, including extracts such as hashish and hash oil which, because of appearance, are more susceptible to adulterants when left unregulated.
Cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychotropic effects by itself (although sometimes showing a small stimulant effect, similar to caffeine),[ attenuates, or reduce the higher anxiety levels caused by THC alone.
According to Delphic analysis by British researchers in 2007, cannabis has a lower risk factor for dependencecompared to both nicotine and alcohol. However, everyday use of cannabis may be correlated with psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability or insomnia and susceptibility to a panic attack may increase as levels of THC metabolites rise. However, cannabis withdrawal symptoms are typically mild and are never life-threatening.
Main article: Entheogenic use of cannabis
Process of making bhang in a Sikh village in Punjab, India. On the festival of colors called Holi, it is a customary addition to some intoxicating drinks.
Cannabis has held sacred status in several religions. It has been used in an entheogenic context – a chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context] – in India and Nepal since the Vedic period dating back to approximately 1500 BCE, but perhaps as far back as 2000 BCE. There are several references in Greek mythology to a powerful drug that eliminated anguish and sorrow. Herodotus wrote about early ceremonial practices by the Scythians, thought to have occurred from the 5th to 2nd century BCE. In modern culture the spiritual use of cannabis has been spread by the disciples of the Rastafari movement who use cannabis as a sacrament and as an aid to meditation. The earliest known reports regarding the sacred status of cannabis in Indiaand Nepal come from the Atharva Veda estimated to have been written sometime around 2000–1400 BCE.
Marijuana has been with us from the beginning. It can be used for cloths, fabric and many industrial uses. Marijuana can also be used medically to decrease nausea, decrease seizures and many other medical uses. Marijuana can also be used for a recreational high such as alcohol is used for. Marijuana is being legalized in many places, many states in the united States. In Canada, summer of 2018 Marijuana will become legal across the country making Canada the largest country in the western hemisphere to totally legalize Marijuana. Marijuana (Cannabis) is not going away. It has been with us from the beginning and will be with us to the end.