Cannabis (drug)

Cannabis (drug)

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Encyclopedia
Cannabis, also known as marijuana (sometimes spelled "marihuana") among many other names, refers to any number of preparations
Dosage form
-Introduction:Dosage forms are a mixture of active drug components and nondrug components. Depending on the method of administration they come in several types. These are liquid dosage form, solid dosage form and semisolid dosage forms. A Liquid dosage form is the liquid form of a dose of a...

 of the Cannabis plant
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

 intended for use as a psychoactive drug
Psychoactive drug
A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, or psychotropic is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior...

 or for medicinal
Medical cannabis
Medical cannabis refers to the use of parts of the herb cannabis as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine...

 purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish is a version of the Spanish language, as spoken in Mexico and in various places of Canada and the United States of America, where there are communities of Mexican origin....

 word marihuana. According to the United Nations, cannabis "is the most widely used illicit substance in the world."

The typical herbal form of cannabis consists of the flowers and subtending leaves and stalks of mature
Plant sexuality
Plant sexuality covers the wide variety of sexual reproduction systems found across the plant kingdom. This article describes morphological aspects of sexual reproduction of plants....

 pistillate female plants. The resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

ous form of the drug is known as hashish
Hashish
Hashish is a cannabis preparation composed of compressed stalked resin glands, called trichomes, collected from the unfertilized buds of the cannabis plant. It contains the same active ingredients but in higher concentrations than unsifted buds or leaves...

 (or merely as 'hash').

The major psychoactive chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol , also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol , Δ1-THC , or dronabinol, is the main chemical psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. It was first isolated in 1964. In pure form, it is a glassy solid when cold, and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed...

 (commonly abbreviated as THC). Cannabis contains more than 400 different chemical compounds, including at least 66 other cannabinoids
Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that include the phytocannabinoids , and chemical compounds that mimic the actions of phytocannabinoids or have a similar structure...

 (cannabidiol
Cannabidiol
Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found in Cannabis. It is a major constituent of the plant, representing up to 40% in its extracts.It has displayed sedative effects in animal tests...

 (CBD), cannabinol
Cannabinol
Cannabinol is a psychoactive substance cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica/afghanica. It is also a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol . CBN acts as a weak agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, with lower affinity in comparison to THC.- External links :* Compounds found in...

 (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin
Tetrahydrocannabivarin
Tetrahydrocannabivarin , also known as tetrahydrocannabivarol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found naturally in Cannabis sativa. It is an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol...

 (THCV), etc.) which can result in different effects from those of THC
THC
THC commonly refers to tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active chemical compound in Cannabis.THC may also refer to:* Tan Holdings Corporation...

 alone.

Documented instances of cannabis use go back as far as the 3rd millennium BC
3rd millennium BC
The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age.It represents a period of time in which imperialism, or the desire to conquer, grew to prominence, in the city states of the Middle East, but also throughout Eurasia, with Indo-European expansion to Anatolia, Europe and Central Asia. The...

. In modern times, the drug has been used for recreational
Recreational drug use
Recreational drug use is the use of a drug, usually psychoactive, with the intention of creating or enhancing recreational experience. Such use is controversial, however, often being considered to be also drug abuse, and it is often illegal...

, religious or spiritual
Spiritual use of cannabis
Sacramental, religious and spiritual use of cannabis refers to cannabis used in a religious or spiritual context. Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual usage as an aid to trance and has been traditionally used in a religious context throughout the Old World....

, and medicinal
Medical cannabis
Medical cannabis refers to the use of parts of the herb cannabis as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine...

 purposes. The UN estimated that in 2004 about 4% of the world's adult population
World population
The world population is the total number of living humans on the planet Earth. As of today, it is estimated to be  billion by the United States Census Bureau...

 (162 million people) use cannabis annually, and about 0.6% (22.5 million) use it on a daily basis. The possession
Drug possession
Drug possession is the crime of having one or more illegal drugs in one's possession, either for personal use, distribution, sale or otherwise. Illegal drugs fall into different categories and sentences vary depending on the amount, type of drug, circumstances, and jurisdiction.A person has...

, use
Recreational drug use
Recreational drug use is the use of a drug, usually psychoactive, with the intention of creating or enhancing recreational experience. Such use is controversial, however, often being considered to be also drug abuse, and it is often illegal...

, or sale of cannabis preparations containing psychoactive cannabinoids became illegal
Legal issues of cannabis
The legality of cannabis has been the subject of debate and controversy for decades. Cannabis is illegal to consume, use, possess, cultivate, transfer or trade in most countries...

 in most parts of the world in the early 20th century.

Effects




Cannabis has psychoactive
Psychoactive drug
A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, or psychotropic is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior...

 and physiological effects when consumed. The minimum amount of THC
THC
THC commonly refers to tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active chemical compound in Cannabis.THC may also refer to:* Tan Holdings Corporation...

 required to have a perceptible psychoactive effect is about 10 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. Aside from a subjective change in perception and, most notably, mood, the most common short-term physical and neurological effects include increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, impairment of short-term and working memory, psychomotor coordination
Motor coordination
thumb|right|Motor coordination is shown in this animated sequence by [[Eadweard Muybridge]] of himself throwing a diskMotor coordination is the combination of body movements created with the kinematic and kinetic parameters that result in intended actions. Such movements usually smoothly and...

, and concentration. Long-term effects are less clear.

Classification



While many drugs clearly fall into the category of either stimulant
Stimulant
Stimulants are psychoactive drugs which induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical function or both. Examples of these kinds of effects may include enhanced alertness, wakefulness, and locomotion, among others...

, depressant
Depressant
A depressant, or central depressant, is a drug or endogenous compound that depresses the function or activity of a specific part of the brain...

, or hallucinogen, cannabis exhibits a mix of all properties, perhaps leaning the most towards hallucinogenic or psychedelic
Psychedelic drug
A psychedelic substance is a psychoactive drug whose primary action is to alter cognition and perception. Psychedelics are part of a wider class of psychoactive drugs known as hallucinogens, a class that also includes related substances such as dissociatives and deliriants...

 properties, though with other effects quite pronounced as well. Though THC is typically considered the primary active component of the cannabis plant, various scientific studies
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 have suggested that certain other cannabinoids like CBD may also play a significant role in its psychoactive effects.

Medical use


Cannabis used medically does have several well-documented beneficial effects. Among these are: the amelioration of nausea
Nausea
Nausea , is a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit. It often, but not always, precedes vomiting...

 and vomiting
Vomiting
Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose...

, stimulation of hunger in chemotherapy
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with an antineoplastic drug or with a combination of such drugs into a standardized treatment regimen....

 and AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 patients, lowered intraocular eye pressure (shown to be effective for treating glaucoma
Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently damaging vision in the affected eye and progressing to complete blindness if untreated. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye...

), as well as general analgesic
Analgesic
An analgesic is any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain . The word analgesic derives from Greek an- and algos ....

 effects (pain reliever).

Less confirmed individual studies also have been conducted indicating cannabis to be beneficial to a gamut of conditions running from multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

 to depression. Synthesized cannabinoids are also sold as prescription drugs, including Marinol (dronabinol in the United States and Germany) and Cesamet (nabilone
Nabilone
Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid with therapeutic use as an antiemetic and as an adjunct analgesic for neuropathic pain. It is a synthetic cannabinoid, which mimics the main ingredient of cannabis...

 in Canada, Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom). In 2011, an oromucosal spray for Multiple Sclerosis patients became licensed for use as a medicine from the European regulatory body, allowing it to be routinely prescribed by doctors.

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease in the United States, largely because good quality scientific evidence for its use from U.S. studies is lacking; however, a major barrier to acquiring the necessary evidence is the lack of federal funding for this kind of research. Regardless, fourteen states have legalized cannabis for medical use. The United States Supreme Court has ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Coop and Gonzales v. Raich
Gonzales v. Raich
Gonzales v. Raich , 545 U.S. 1 , was a decision by the United States Supreme Court ruling that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, the United States Congress may criminalize the production and use of home-grown cannabis even where states approve its use for medicinal...

that it is the federal government that has the right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medical purposes. Canada, Spain, The Netherlands
Drug policy of the Netherlands
The drug policy of the Netherlands officially has four major objectives:# To prevent recreational drug use and to treat and rehabilitate recreational drug users.# To reduce harm to users....

 and Austria have legalized some form of cannabis for medicinal use.

Long-term effects


Given the limitations of the research, scientists still debate the possibility of cannabis dependence
Cannabis dependence
Cannabis dependence is a condition defined in DSM-IV applying the general concept of substance dependence to cannabis.Despite cannabis being one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the world, controlled trials for cannabis use disorder have only been reported in literature in the last 15 years...

; the potential of cannabis as a "gateway drug"; its effects on intelligence and memory; the relationship, if any, of cannabis use to mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression; and its effect on the lungs.

Cannabis has been associated with mental disorders
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

 in many studies, but these studies come to different conclusions on whether cannabis use causes the mental disorders. That is, they disagree on whether cannabis causes the mental problems, whether the mental problems encourage cannabis use, or whether cannabis use and mental problems are the effects of a third cause.

Similarly, experiments regarding the "gateway drug" hypothesis that cannabis and alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 make users more inclined to become addicted to "harder" drugs like cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 and heroin have produced mixed results, with different studies finding varying degrees of correlation between the use of cannabis and other drugs, and some finding none.

Generally, no scientific consensus exists regarding many of cannabis's long-term effects, despite a large number of studies.

However, cannabis has been consistently shown to induce depersonalization disorder
Depersonalization disorder
Depersonalization disorder is a dissociative disorder in which the sufferer is affected by persistent or recurrent feelings of depersonalization and/or derealization. Diagnostic criteria include persistent or recurrent experiences of feeling detached from one's mental processes or body...

. There are case reports in the literature where chronic depersonalization is induced by only short-term cannabis ingestion. In a series of 117 individuals with depersonalization disorder, about 13% reported the short-term triggering of chronic depersonalization by marijuana smoking. There are cases where individuals have gotten depersonalization disorder when trying cannabis for the first time. Chronic depersonalization disorder can last an entire lifetime, and to date there are no specific medical treatments (just medications which ameliorate the negative symptoms of depersonalization disorder, which are mainly depression and anxiety), although some research has been promising.

Unprocessed



The terms cannabis or marijuana
Marijuana (etymology)
"Marijuana", or "marihuana", etc., is a name for the drug cannabis, or for the cannabis plant from which it is made. The form marihuana is first attested in Mexican Spanish; it then spread to other varieties of Spanish and to English, French, and other languages.-Etymology:The term, originally...

generally refer to the dried flowers and subtending leaves and stems of the female cannabis plant. This is the most widely consumed form, containing 3% to 22% THC. In contrast, cannabis strains used to produce industrial hemp contain less than 1% THC and are thus not valued for recreational use.

Kief



Kief is a powder, rich in trichome
Trichome
Trichomes are fine outgrowths or appendages on plants and certain protists. These are of diverse structure and function. Examples are hairs, glandular hairs, scales, and papillae.- Algal trichomes :...

s, which can be sifted from the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants and either consumed in powder form or compressed to produce cakes of hashish
Hashish
Hashish is a cannabis preparation composed of compressed stalked resin glands, called trichomes, collected from the unfertilized buds of the cannabis plant. It contains the same active ingredients but in higher concentrations than unsifted buds or leaves...

.

Hashish




Hashish (also spelled hasheesh, hashisha, or simply hash) is a concentrated resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

 produced from the flowers of the female cannabis plant. Hash can often be more potent than marijuana and can be smoked or chewed. It varies in color from black to golden brown depending upon purity.

Hash oil



Hash oil, or "butane honey oil" (BHO), is a mix of essential oils and resins extracted from mature cannabis foliage through the use of various solvent
Solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

s. It has a high proportion of cannabinoids (ranging from 40 to 90%). and is used in a variety of cannabis foods.

Residue (resin)


Because of THC's adhesive properties, a sticky residue, most commonly known as "resin", builds up inside utensils used to smoke cannabis. It has tar
Tar (tobacco residue)
Tar is the common name for the resinous partially combusted and healed particulate matter produced by the burning of tobacco and other plant material in the act of smoking. Tar is purportedly the most destructive component in habitual tobacco smoking, accumulating in the smoker's lungs over time...

-like properties but still contains THC as well as other cannabinoids. This buildup retains some of the psychoactive properties of cannabis but is more difficult to smoke without discomfort caused to the throat and lungs. This tar may also contain CBN
Cannabinol
Cannabinol is a psychoactive substance cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica/afghanica. It is also a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol . CBN acts as a weak agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, with lower affinity in comparison to THC.- External links :* Compounds found in...

, which is a breakdown product of THC. Cannabis users typically only smoke residue when cannabis is unavailable. Glass pipes may be water-steamed at a low temperature prior to scraping in order to make the residue easier to remove.

Routes of administration



Cannabis is consumed in many different ways, most of which involve inhaling vaporized cannabinoids ("smoke") from small pipes, bong
Bong
A bong is a filtration device/apparatus generally used for smoking cannabis, tobacco,or other herbal substances.In construction and function a bong is similar to a hookah, except smaller and more portable...

s (portable version of hookah
Hookah
A hookah A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) (Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा (Devanagari, (Nastaleeq) huqqah) also known as a waterpipe or narghile, is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled by water. The tobacco smoked is referred to...

 with water chamber), paper-wrapped joints
Joint (cannabis)
Joint is a slang term for a cigarette rolled using cannabis. Rolling papers are the most common rolling medium among industrialized countries, however brown paper, cigarettes with the tobacco removed, and newspaper are commonly used in developing countries. Modern papers are now made from a wide...

 or tobacco-leaf-wrapped blunts
Blunt (cigar)
A blunt is a cigar which is wider than a cigarillo and not quite as wide as a Corona. These cigars typically consist of two main parts; the inner leaf, which is similar to a cigarette rolling paper, except it is made of tobacco, and a thicker outer leaf which is rolled around the inner leaf in a...

.

A vaporizer heats herbal cannabis to 365 –, causing the active ingredients to evaporate into a vapor
Vapor
A vapor or vapour is a substance in the gas phase at a temperature lower than its critical point....

 without burning the plant material (the boiling point of THC is 390.4 °F (199.1 °C) at 760 mmHg pressure). A lower proportion of toxic chemicals is released than by smoking, depending on the design of the vaporizer and the temperature setting. This method of consuming cannabis produces markedly different effects than smoking due to the flash points of different cannabinoids; for example, CBN (usually considered undesirable) has a flash point of 212.7 °C (414.9 °F) and would normally be present in smoke but not in vapor.

Fresh, non-dried cannabis may be consumed orally. However, the cannabis or its extract must be sufficiently heated or dehydrated to cause decarboxylation
Decarboxylation
Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide . Usually, decarboxylation refers to a reaction of carboxylic acids, removing a carbon atom from a carbon chain. The reverse process, which is the first chemical step in photosynthesis, is called carbonation, the addition of CO2 to...

 of its most abundant cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), into psychoactive THC
THC
THC commonly refers to tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active chemical compound in Cannabis.THC may also refer to:* Tan Holdings Corporation...

.

Cannabinoids can be extracted
Extraction (chemistry)
Extraction in chemistry is a separation process consisting in the separation of a substance from a matrix. It may refer to Liquid-liquid extraction, and Solid phase extraction....

 from cannabis plant matter using high-proof spirits (often grain alcohol
Neutral grain spirit
Neutral grain spirit is a clear, colorless, flammable liquid that has been distilled from a grain-based mash to a very high level of ethanol content...

) to create a tincture
Tincture
A tincture is an alcoholic extract or solution of a non-volatile substance . To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60%...

, often referred to as Green Dragon.

Cannabis can also be consumed as a tea. THC is lipophilic
Lipophilic
Lipophilicity, , refers to the ability of a chemical compound to dissolve in fats, oils, lipids, and non-polar solvents such as hexane or toluene. These non-polar solvents are themselves lipophilic — the axiom that like dissolves like generally holds true...

 and only slightly water-soluble (with a solubility of 2.8 mg per liter), so tea is made by first adding a saturated fat
Saturated fat
Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. That is, the chain of carbon atoms is fully "saturated" with hydrogen atoms...

 to hot water (i.e. cream or any milk except skim) with a small amount of cannabis.

Mechanism of action


The high lipid-solubility of cannabinoids results in their persisting in the body for long periods of time. Even after a single administration of THC, detectable levels of THC can be found in the body for weeks or longer (depending on the amount administered and the sensitivity of the assessment method). A number of investigators have suggested that this is an important factor in marijuana's effects, perhaps because cannabinoids may accumulate in the body, particularly in the lipid membranes of neurons.

Until recently, little was known about the specific mechanisms of action of THC at the neuronal level. However, researchers have now confirmed that THC exerts its most prominent effects via its actions on two types of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor, both of which are G-Protein coupled receptors. The CB1 receptor is found primarily in the brain as well as in some peripheral tissues, and the CB2 receptor is found exclusively in peripheral tissues. THC appears to alter mood and cognition through its agonist actions on the CB1 receptors, which inhibit a secondary messenger system (adenylate cyclase) in a dose dependent manner. These actions can be blocked by the selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (rimonabant), which interestingly has been shown in clinical trials to be an effective treatment for smoking cessation, weight loss, and as a means of controlling or reducing metabolic syndrome risk factors.

Potency


According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations...

 (UNODC), "the amount of THC
THC
THC commonly refers to tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active chemical compound in Cannabis.THC may also refer to:* Tan Holdings Corporation...

 present in a cannabis sample is generally used as a measure of cannabis potency." The three main forms of cannabis products are the herb (marijuana), resin (hashish), and oil (hash oil). The UNODC states that marijuana 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 scientific study published in 2000 in the Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) found that the potency (THC content) of confiscated cannabis in the United States (US) rose from "approximately 3.3% in 1983 and 1984", to "4.47% in 1997". It also concluded that "other major cannabinoids (i.e., CBD
Cannabidiol
Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found in Cannabis. It is a major constituent of the plant, representing up to 40% in its extracts.It has displayed sedative effects in animal tests...

, CBN
Cannabinol
Cannabinol is a psychoactive substance cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica/afghanica. It is also a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol . CBN acts as a weak agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, with lower affinity in comparison to THC.- External links :* Compounds found in...

, and CBC
Cannabichromene
Cannabichromene is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It bears structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol, and cannabinol, among others...

)" (other chemicals in cannabis) "showed no significant change in their concentration over the years". More recent research undertaken at the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project has found that average THC levels in cannabis samples between 1975 and 2007 have increased from 4% in 1983 to 9.6% in 2007.

Australia's National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre or NCPIC, is an Australian centre funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing....

 (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 the leaves can contain ten times less THC than the buds, and the stalks one hundred times less THC.

After revisions to cannabis rescheduling
Cannabis reclassification in the United Kingdom
Cannabis classification in the United Kingdom refers to the class of drugs, as determined by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, that cannabis is placed in. Between 1928 and 2004 it was classified as a class B drug...

 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
Hashish
Hashish is a cannabis preparation composed of compressed stalked resin glands, called trichomes, collected from the unfertilized buds of the cannabis plant. It contains the same active ingredients but in higher concentrations than unsifted buds or leaves...

 and hash oil
Hash oil
Hash oil is a resinous matrix of cannabinoids produced by a solvent extraction of cannabis. Hash oil is a concentrated product with a high THC content, which generally varies between 70% and 90%. Related honey oil is a specific type of hash oil made from the more potent parts of the cannabis plant...

 typicality contain more THC than high potency cannabis flowers.

While commentators have warned that greater cannabis "strength" could represent a health risk, others have noted that users readily learn to compensate by reducing their dosage, thus benefiting from reductions in smoking side-hazards such as heat shock or carbon monoxide.

Adulterants


Chalk
Chalk
Chalk is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores....

 (in the Netherlands) and glass particles (in the UK) have been used to make cannabis appear to be higher quality. Increasing the weight of hashish products in Germany with lead caused lead intoxication in at least 29 users. In the Netherlands two chemical analogs of Sildenafil
Sildenafil
Sildenafil citrate, sold as Viagra, Revatio and under various other trade names, is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension . It was originally developed by British scientists and then brought to market by the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer...

 (Viagra) were found in adulterated marijuana.

According to both the "Talk to FRANK" website and the UKCIA website, Soap Bar, "perhaps the most common type of hash in the UK", was found "at worst" to contain turpentine, tranquilizers, boot polish, henna and animal feces—amongst several other things. One small study of five "soap-bar" samples seized by UK Customs in 2001 found huge adulteration by many toxic substances, including soil, glue, engine oil and animal feces.

Detection of use


THC and its major (inactive) metabolite, THC-COOH, can be measured in blood, urine, hair, oral fluid or sweat using chromatographic techniques as part of a drug use testing program or a forensic investigation of a traffic or other criminal offense. The concentrations obtained from such analyses can often be helpful in distinguishing active use from passive exposure, prescription use from illicit use, elapsed time since use, and extent or duration of use. These tests cannot, however, distinguish authorized cannabis smoking for medical purposes from unauthorized recreational smoking. Commercial cannabinoid immunoassays, often employed as the initial screening method when testing physiological specimens for marijuana presence, have different degrees of cross-reactivity with THC and its metabolites. Urine contains predominantly THC-COOH, while hair, oral fluid and sweat contain primarily THC. Blood may contain both substances, with the relative amounts dependent on the recency and extent of usage.

The Duquenois-Levine test is commonly used as a screening test in the field, but it cannot definitively confirm the presence of marijuana, as a large range of substances have been shown to give false positives. Despite this, it is common in the United States for prosecutors to seek plea bargain
Plea bargain
A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case whereby the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a recommendation of a lighter than the maximum sentence.A plea bargain allows criminal defendants to...

s on the basis of positive D-L tests, claiming them definitive, or even to seek conviction without the use of gas chromatography confirmation, which can only be done in the lab.

Gateway drug theory


Some claim that trying cannabis increases the probability that users will eventually use "harder" drugs. This hypothesis has been one of the central pillars of anti-cannabis drug policy in the United States, though the validity and implications of these hypotheses are hotly debated. Studies have shown that tobacco smoking is a better predictor of concurrent illicit hard drug use than smoking cannabis.

No widely accepted study has ever demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship between the use of cannabis and the later use of harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. However, the prevalence of tobacco cigarette advertising and the practice of mixing tobacco and cannabis together in a single large joint
Joint (cannabis)
Joint is a slang term for a cigarette rolled using cannabis. Rolling papers are the most common rolling medium among industrialized countries, however brown paper, cigarettes with the tobacco removed, and newspaper are commonly used in developing countries. Modern papers are now made from a wide...

, common in Europe, are believed to be cofactors in promoting nicotine dependency among young people trying cannabis.

A 2005 comprehensive review of the literature on the cannabis gateway hypothesis found that pre-existing traits may predispose users to addiction in general, the availability of multiple drugs in a given setting confounds predictive patterns in their usage, and drug sub-cultures are more influential than cannabis itself. The study called for further research on "social context, individual characteristics, and drug effects" to discover the actual relationships between cannabis and the use of other drugs.

A new user of cannabis who feels there is a difference between anti-drug information and their own experiences will apply this distrust to public information about other, more powerful drugs. Some studies state that while there is no proof for this gateway hypothesis, young cannabis users should still be considered as a risk group for intervention programs. Other findings indicate that hard drug users are likely to be "poly-drug" users
Poly drug use
Polydrug use refers to the use of two or more psychoactive drugs in combination to achieve a particular effect. In many cases one drug is used as a base or primary drug, with additional drugs to leaven or compensate for the side effects of the primary drug and make the experience more enjoyable...

, and that interventions must address the use of multiple drugs instead of a single hard drug.

Another gateway hypothesis is that a gateway effect may be detected as a result of the "common factors" involved with using any illegal drug. Because of its illegal status, cannabis users are more likely to be in situations which allow them to become acquainted with people who use and sell other illegal drugs. By this argument, some studies have shown that alcohol and tobacco may be regarded as gateway drugs. However, a more parsimonious explanation could be that cannabis is simply more readily available (and at an earlier age) than illegal hard drugs, and alcohol/tobacco are in turn easier to obtain earlier than cannabis (though the reverse may be true in some areas), thus leading to the "gateway sequence" in those people who are most likely to experiment with any drug offered.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
The Journal of Health and Social Behavior is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by the American Sociological Association. It publishes "empirical and theoretical articles that apply sociological concepts and methods to the understanding of health and illness and the organization...

found that the main factors in users moving on to other drugs were age, wealth, unemployment status, and psychological stress. The study found there is no "gateway theory" and that drug use is more closely tied to a person's life situation, although marijuana users are more likely to use other drugs.

History




Cannabis is indigenous
Indigenous (ecology)
In biogeography, a species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native...

 to Central and South Asia. Evidence of the inhalation of cannabis smoke can be found in the 3rd millennium BC, as indicated by charred cannabis seeds found in a ritual brazier
Brazier
A brazier is a container for fire, generally taking the form of an upright standing or hanging metal bowl or box. Used for holding burning coal as well as fires, a brazier allows for a source of light, heat, or cooking...

 at an ancient burial site in present day Romania. In 2003, a leather basket filled with cannabis leaf fragments and seeds was found next to a 2,500- to 2,800-year-old mummified
Mummy
A mummy is a body, human or animal, whose skin and organs have been preserved by either intentional or incidental exposure to chemicals, extreme coldness , very low humidity, or lack of air when bodies are submerged in bogs, so that the recovered body will not decay further if kept in cool and dry...

 shaman in the northwestern Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Cannabis is also known to have been used by the ancient Hindus of India and Nepal thousands of years ago. The herb was called ganjika in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 (गांजा/গাঁজা ganja in modern Indic languages). The ancient drug soma
Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

, mentioned in the Vedas, was sometimes associated with cannabis.

Cannabis was also known to the ancient Assyrians
History of the Assyrian people
The history of the Assyrian people begins with the rise of the Akkadian Empire during the 24th century BC, in the early bronze age period. Sargon of Akkad united all the native Akkadian speaking Semites and the Sumerians of Mesopotamia under his rule...

, who discovered its psychoactive properties through the Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

s. Using it in some religious ceremonies, they called it qunubu (meaning "way to produce smoke"), a probable origin of the modern word "cannabis". Cannabis was also introduced by the Aryans to the Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

ns, Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 and Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

ns, whose shamans
Shamanism
Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the...

 (the kapnobatai
Kapnobatai
Kapnobatai were ancient shamans and descendents of the Scythians, as well as the Thracians and Dacians, who burned Cannabis flowers to induce a state of trance...

—"those who walk on smoke/clouds") burned cannabis flowers to induce a state of trance
Trance
Trance denotes a variety of processes, ecstasy, techniques, modalities and states of mind, awareness and consciousness. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden.The term trance may be associated with meditation, magic, flow, and prayer...

. Members of the cult of Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

, believed to have originated in Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 (Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey), are also thought to have inhaled cannabis smoke.

Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual use and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices like eating by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BC, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

. One writer has claimed that cannabis was used as a religious sacrament by ancient Jews and early Christians due to the similarity between the Hebrew word "qannabbos" ("cannabis") and the Hebrew phrase "qené bósem" ("aromatic cane"). It was used by Muslims in various Sufi orders as early as the Mamluk
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

 period, for example by the Qalandar
Qalandar
Qalandars are wandering ascetic Sufi dervishes who may or may not be connected to a specific tariqat. They are most prevalent in Central Asia, India and Pakistan, in the latter "qalandar" is also used as a title...

s.

A study published in the South African Journal of Science
South African Journal of Science
The South African Journal of Science is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary academic journal and the official publication of the Academy of Science of South Africa. It covers research in any field of interest to more than one discipline and with a regional focus on Africa. According to the Journal...

showed that "pipes dug up from the garden of Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, south east of Birmingham and south west of Warwick. It is the largest and most populous town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term "on" to indicate that it covers...

 contain traces of cannabis." The chemical analysis was carried out after researchers hypothesized that the "noted weed" mentioned in Sonnet 76
Sonnet 76
Sonnet 76 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It's a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man.-Synopsis:...

 and the "journey in my head" from Sonnet 27
Sonnet 27
Sonnet 27 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It's a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards another person. Sonnet 27 is Shakespeare's only pangrammic sonnet....

 could be references to cannabis and the use thereof.

Cannabis was criminalized in various countries beginning in the early 20th century. In the United States, the first restrictions for sale of cannabis came in 1906 (in District of Columbia). It was outlawed in South Africa in 1911, in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 (then a British colony) in 1913, and in the United Kingdom and New Zealand in the 1920s. Canada criminalized marijuana in the Opium and Drug Act of 1923, before any reports of use of the drug in Canada. In 1925 a compromise was made at an international conference in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 about the International Opium Convention
International Opium Convention
The International Opium Convention, signed at The Hague on January 23, 1912 during the First International Opium Conference, was the first international drug control treaty. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on January 23, 1922...

 that banned exportation of "Indian hemp" to countries that had prohibited its use, and requiring importing countries to issue certificates approving the importation and stating that the shipment was required "exclusively for medical or scientific purposes". It also required parties to "exercise an effective control of such a nature as to prevent the illicit international traffic in Indian hemp and especially in the resin".

In 1937 in the United States, the Marijuana Transfer Tax Act was passed, and prohibited the production of hemp in addition to marijuana. The reasons that hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

 was also included in this law are disputed. Several scholars have claimed that the Act was passed in order to destroy the hemp industry, largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family
Du Pont family
The Du Pont family is an American family descended from Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours . The son of a Paris watchmaker and a member of a Burgundian noble family, he and his sons, Victor Marie du Pont and Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, emigrated to the United States in 1800 and used the resources of...

. With the invention of the decorticator
Decorticator
A decorticator is a machine for stripping the skin, bark, or rind off nuts, wood, plant stalks, grain, etc., in preparation for further processing....

, hemp became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry. Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the DuPont
DuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

's new synthetic fiber, nylon
Nylon
Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

, and considered its success to depend on its replacement of the traditional resource, hemp. The claims that hemp could have been a successful substitute for wood pulp have been based on an incorrect government report of 1916 which concluded that hemp hurds, broken parts of the inner core of the hemp stem, were a suitable source for paper production. This has not been confirmed by later research, as hemp hurds are not reported to be a good enough substitute. In 2003, 95 % of the hemp hurds in EU were used for animal bedding, almost 5 % were used as building material. See also Hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

.

Legal status


Since the beginning of the 20th century, most countries have enacted laws
Prohibition (drugs)
The prohibition of drugs through sumptuary legislation or religious law is a common means of attempting to prevent drug use. Prohibition of drugs has existed at various levels of government or other authority from the Middle Ages to the present....

 against the cultivation, possession or transfer of cannabis. These laws have impacted adversely on the cannabis plant's cultivation for non-recreational purposes, but there are many regions where, under certain circumstances, handling of cannabis is legal or licensed. Many jurisdictions have lessened the penalties for possession of small quantities of cannabis, so that it is punished by confiscation and sometimes a fine, rather than imprisonment, focusing more on those who traffic
Illegal drug trade
The illegal drug trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of those substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs by drug prohibition laws.A UN report said the...

 the drug on the black market.

In some areas where cannabis use has been historically tolerated, some new restrictions have been put in place, such as the closing of cannabis coffee shop
Cannabis coffee shop
Coffeeshops are establishments in the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities ....

s near the borders of the Netherlands, closing of coffee shops near secondary schools in the Netherlands and crackdowns on "Pusher Street" in Christiania
Freetown Christiania
Not to be confused with Christiania, Norway, another name for Oslo.Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen...

, Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 in 2004.

Some jurisdictions use free voluntary treatment programs and/or mandatory treatment programs for frequent known users. Simple possession can carry long prison terms in some countries, particularly in East Asia, where the sale of cannabis may lead to a sentence of life in prison or even execution. More recently however, many political parties, non-profit organizations and causes based on the legalization of medical cannabis
Medical cannabis
Medical cannabis refers to the use of parts of the herb cannabis as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine...

 and/or legalizing the plant entirely (with some restrictions) have emerged.

Price


The price or street value of cannabis varies strongly by region and area. In addition, some dealers may sell potent buds at a higher price.

In the United States, cannabis is overall the #4 value crop, and is #1 or #2 in many states including California, New York and Florida, averaging $3,000/lb. It is believed to generate an estimated $36 billion market. Most of the money is spent not on growing and producing but on smuggling the supply to buyers. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations...

 claims in its 2008 World Drug Report that typical U.S. retail prices are $10–15 per gram (approximately $280–420 per ounce
Ounce
The ounce is a unit of mass with several definitions, the most commonly used of which are equal to approximately 28 grams. The ounce is used in a number of different systems, including various systems of mass that form part of the imperial and United States customary systems...

). Street prices in North America are known to range from about $150 to $400 per ounce
Ounce
The ounce is a unit of mass with several definitions, the most commonly used of which are equal to approximately 28 grams. The ounce is used in a number of different systems, including various systems of mass that form part of the imperial and United States customary systems...

, depending on quality.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction is an agency of the European Union. Established in 1993, the EMCDDA is located in Lisbon, Portugal.-Mission and role:...

 reports that typical retail prices in Europe for cannabis varies from 2€ to 14€ per gram, with a majority of European countries reporting prices in the range 4–10€. In the United Kingdom, a cannabis plant has an approximate street value of £300, but retails to the end-user at about £160/oz.

Truth serum


Cannabis was used as a truth serum
Truth drug
A truth drug or truth serum is a psychoactive medication used to obtain information from subjects who are unable or unwilling to provide it otherwise. The unethical use of truth drugs is classified as a form of torture according to international law. However, they are properly and productively...

 by the Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 (OSS), a US government intelligence agency
Intelligence agency
An intelligence agency is a governmental agency that is devoted to information gathering for purposes of national security and defence. Means of information gathering may include espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public...

 formed during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. In the early 1940s, it was the most effective truth drug developed at the OSS labs at St. Elizabeths Hospital
St. Elizabeths Hospital
St. Elizabeths Hospital is a psychiatric hospital operated by the District of Columbia Department of Mental Health. It was the first large-scale, federally-run psychiatric hospital in the United States. Housing several thousand patients at its peak, St. Elizabeths had a fully functioning...

; it caused a subject "to be loquacious and free in his impartation of information."

In May 1943, Major George Hunter White, head of OSS counter-intelligence
Counter-intelligence
Counterintelligence or counter-intelligence refers to efforts made by intelligence organizations to prevent hostile or enemy intelligence organizations from successfully gathering and collecting intelligence against them. National intelligence programs, and, by extension, the overall defenses of...

 operations in the US, arranged a meeting with Augusto Del Gracio, an enforcer for gangster Lucky Luciano
Lucky Luciano
Charlie "Lucky" Luciano was an Italian mobster born in Sicily. Luciano is considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States for splitting New York City into five different Mafia crime families and the establishment of the first commission...

. Del Gracio was given cigarettes spiked with THC concentrate from cannabis, and subsequently talked openly about Luciano's heroin operation. On a second occasion the dosage was increased such that Del Gracio passed out for two hours.

Breeding and cultivation


It is often claimed by growers and breeders of herbal cannabis that advances in breeding and cultivation techniques have increased the potency of cannabis since the late 1960s and early '70s, when THC was first discovered and understood. However, potent seedless marijuana such as "Thai sticks" were already available at that time. Sinsemilla (Spanish for "without seed") is the dried, seedless inflorescences of female cannabis plants. Because THC production drops off once pollination occurs, the male plants (which produce little THC themselves) are eliminated before they shed pollen to prevent pollination. Advanced cultivation techniques such as hydroponics, cloning, high-intensity artificial lighting, and the sea of green method are frequently employed as a response (in part) to prohibition enforcement efforts that make outdoor cultivation more risky. These intensive horticultural techniques have made it possible to grow strains with fewer seeds and higher potency. It is often cited that the average levels of THC in cannabis sold in United States rose dramatically between the 1970s and 2000, but such statements are likely skewed because of undue weight given to much more expensive and potent, but less prevalent samples. The average THC level in coffee shops
Cannabis coffee shop
Coffeeshops are establishments in the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities ....

 in the Netherlands is about 18–19%.

In arts and literature

  • Les paradis artificiels
    Les paradis artificiels
    Les paradis artificiels is a book by French poet Charles Baudelaire, first published in 1860, about the state of being under the influence of opium and hashish. Baudelaire describes the effects of the drugs and discusses the way in which they could theoretically aid mankind in reaching an "ideal"...

    by Charles Baudelaire
    Charles Baudelaire
    Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

  • The Hasheesh Eater
    The Hasheesh Eater
    The Hasheesh Eater is an autobiographical book by Fitz Hugh Ludlow describing the author's altered states of consciousness and philosophical flights of fancy while he was using a cannabis extract....

    by Fitz Hugh Ludlow
    Fitz Hugh Ludlow
    Fitz Hugh Ludlow, sometimes seen as “Fitzhugh Ludlow,” was an American author, journalist, and explorer; best-known for his autobiographical book The Hasheesh Eater ....


See also



Addiction Recovery
  • Marijuana Anonymous
    Marijuana Anonymous
    Marijuana Anonymous is a Twelve-step program for people with common desire to maintain abstinence from marijuana.- History :Marijuana Anonymous formed in June 1989 to address compulsive use of cannabis. Since its inception, MA has followed the Twelve Traditions and suggests practicing the Twelve...


Cannabis plant
  • Bhang
    Bhang
    Bhang is a preparation from the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant, smoked or consumed as a beverage in the Indian subcontinent.- India:...

  • Hemp oil
    Hemp oil
    Hempseed oil is pressed from the seed of the hemp plant irrespective of the strain of cannabis. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a pleasant nutty flavor. The darker the color, the grassier the flavour....

  • Marijuana strains
  • Thai stick
    Thai stick
    A Thai stick is a form of cannabis from Thailand that was popular during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It consisted of premium buds of seedless marijuana which were skewered on stems. Several rows of fiber found in the stalk of the marijuana plant were then used to tie the marijuana to the stem...


Cannabis legality
  • Cannabis political parties
    Cannabis political parties
    This article is about single-issue cannabis political parties. For the legal issues see Legal issues of cannabis.- Australia :In the 1970s J.J. McRoach ran for parliament as candidate for the Australian Marijuana Party. He had an advertising campaign funded by a well-meaning anonymous dealer...

  • Global Marijuana March
    Global Marijuana March
    The Global Marijuana March is an annual rally held at different locations across the planet. It refers to cannabis-related events that occur on the first Saturday in May, or thereabouts, and may include marches, meetings, rallies, raves, concerts, festivals and information tables.The Global...

  • Legal and medical status of cannabis
    Legal and medical status of cannabis
    Cannabis is in Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, making it subject to special restrictions. Article 2 provides for the following, in reference to Schedule IV drugs:...

  • Legal history of cannabis in the United States
  • Legality of cannabis by country
  • Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act
    Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act
    The Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, also known as California Assembly Bill 390 and later Assembly Bill 2254 , is the first bill ever introduced to regulate the sale and use of marijuana in the U.S. state of California...

  • Marijuana Policy Project
    Marijuana Policy Project
    The Marijuana Policy Project, or MPP, is the largest organization working solely on marijuana policy reform in the United States in terms of its budget, number of members, and staff...

  • Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

Cannabis use demographics
  • Adult lifetime cannabis use by country
    Adult lifetime cannabis use by country
    Adult lifetime cannabis use by country refers to the lifetime prevalence of cannabis use among all adults in surveys among the general population. Lifetime prevalence means any use during a person’s life. Unless another reference is indicated all the data comes from the European Monitoring Centre...

  • Annual cannabis use by country
    Annual cannabis use by country
    This is a list of countries by the annual prevalence of cannabis use as a percentage of the population aged 15–64...



Footnotes



External links