Cannabis is the common name of a psychoactive drug derived from the plant cannabis sativa. The instance of humans using cannabis for its healing and medicinal properties can be traced to the ancient Chinese around 2800 BC.
In modern times, cannabis is used mainly for recreational purposes, but the use of medical marijuana is also practiced. Although the cannabis industry is highly regulated in several parts of the world, it is one of the most popular recreational drugs in existence, especially among young people.
Here’s a handy reference for cannabis
Chemistry of Cannabis
The main psychoactive compound is THC in cannabis, but more than 400 other drugs are in it. THC in the cannabis plant is extracted through the decarboxylation of THCA in the presence of heat.
Research shows that cannabis sativa has more THC than a cannabis Indica plant, while the latter has higher amounts of CBD or cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are another major compound in cannabis that are present in the form of carboxylic acids when the plant is in its natural state.
Forms of Cannabis
Cannabis comes in several different forms, including:
- Marijuana – Dried leaves or flower buds
- Hashish or hash – Pressed resin
- Keif – Powdered cannabis flower or fruits
- Hash oil – Concentrated resin
- Tincture – CBD is usually extracted with high-proof spirits and alcohol
Methods of Cannabis Use
Smoking cannabis is the most common and preferred method in several parts of the world. This psychoactive substance is smoked through pipes, rolled joints, blunts, hookahs and bongs. Consumption of cannabis through the smoke medium is the fastest way for the psychoactive substances to hit the body and experience the immediate effect.
Other equipment for cannabis use include vaping, edible cannabis, tea, and dietary supplement. Cannabis products are also used as topicals through creams, balms, and oils. The concentration of THC or CBD is smaller when ingested through methods other than smoking.
Uses of Cannabis
Cannabis has several uses, and its health benefits are well known:
- Medical cannabis is used for health issues such as chronic pain, muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis.
- Alleviating vomiting and nausea, especially during chemotherapy
- Helping with rheumatoid arthritis
- Relief from anxiety disorders
- Cannabis and its products help in medical problems related to sleep, PTSD, and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Other medical conditions such as epilepsy, glaucoma and wasting syndrome from AIDS
- Cannabis extracts and products are also recreational, especially to feel relaxed, access higher experiences, and enhance meditation in spiritual contexts.
Legalities of Cannabis
Marijuana laws and regulations in Canada are much more liberal compared to the US since it is a legal drug in the country. However, marijuana use, sale, and production laws within the country are still tightly regulated. In addition, Canadian laws concerning legal and illegal consumption and advertisement vary greatly.
For instance, dietary supplements with marijuana are illegal in the US, while most of these, such as cannabis oil and supplements, are legal in Canada.
Similarly, regulatory actions for marijuana use vary from one place to the other. Understanding the regulations for cannabis, both local and federal, is vital to differentiating whether the cannabis in question is legal or not.
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