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Cannabis (drug)

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**History and Cultural Significance**:
– The term “marihuana” first appeared in Mexican newspapers in 1842.
– Cannabis has sacred status in various religions, including Hinduism and the Rastafari movement.
– The Atharva Veda dates back to around 1400 BCE and mentions the sacred status of cannabis.
– The Hindu god Shiva is associated with cannabis use.

**Medical and Therapeutic Uses**:
– Cannabis is used for medical purposes to treat diseases and symptoms.
– Evidence supports its effectiveness in reducing nausea, improving appetite, and treating chronic pain.
– Medical cannabis is legal in several countries like Canada, Belgium, and Australia.
– Different modes of consumption for medical purposes are available, such as ingestion and topical application.

**Consumption and Global Trends**:
– Different modes of cannabis consumption include smoking, vaporizing, ingestion, and dabbing.
– Global estimates show that cannabis has a high number of users compared to other drugs.
– Consumption statistics in the United States indicate high usage rates among certain demographics.
– Countries like Zambia, the United States, and Canada have high adult cannabis use rates.

**Adverse Effects and Dependence**:
– Short-term effects of cannabis consumption include memory impairment and increased heart rate.
– Cannabis use can lead to acute negative effects like anxiety and impaired attention.
– Long-term effects include memory and cognitive impairment, especially in heavy users.
– Risk factors for cannabis dependence include daily use and poor academic achievement.

**Pharmacology and Health Effects**:
– THC and CBD are key components of cannabis with different effects on the body.
– Chronic cannabis use may impact liver, lung, heart, and vascular health.
– Cannabis use is linked to psychiatric effects like psychosis and increased risk of anxiety disorders.
– Emergency department visits related to cannabis use have increased, particularly among adolescents.

Cannabis (drug) (Wikipedia)

Cannabis, also known as marijuana or weed among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the cannabis plant. Native to Central or South Asia, the cannabis plant has been used as a drug for both recreational and entheogenic purposes and in various traditional medicines for centuries. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive component of cannabis, which is one of the 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within food, or as an extract.

Close-up of flowering cannabis plant
Source plant(s)Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis
Part(s) of plantFlower and fruit
Geographic originCentral or South Asia
Active ingredientsTetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabinol, tetrahydrocannabivarin
Main producersAfghanistan, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Paraguay, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States
Legal status

Cannabis has various mental and physical effects, which include euphoria, altered states of mind and sense of time, difficulty concentrating, impaired short-term memory, impaired body movement (balance and fine psychomotor control), relaxation, and an increase in appetite. Onset of effects is felt within minutes when smoked, but may take up to 90 minutes when eaten (as orally consumed drugs must be digested and absorbed). The effects last for two to six hours, depending on the amount used. At high doses, mental effects can include anxiety, delusions (including ideas of reference), hallucinations, panic, paranoia, and psychosis. There is a strong relation between cannabis use and the risk of psychosis, though the direction of causality is debated. Physical effects include increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, nausea, and behavioral problems in children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy; short-term side effects may also include dry mouth and red eyes. Long-term adverse effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started regular use as adolescents, chronic coughing, susceptibility to respiratory infections, and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.

Cannabis is mostly used recreationally or as a medicinal drug, although it may also be used for spiritual purposes. In 2013, between 128 and 232 million people used cannabis (2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65). It is the most commonly used largely-illegal drug in the world, with the highest use among adults in Zambia, the United States, Canada, and Nigeria. Since the 1970s, the potency of illicit cannabis has increased, with THC levels rising and CBD levels dropping.

Cannabis plants have been grown since at least the 3rd millennium BCE and there is evidence of it being smoked for its psychoactive effects around 500 BCE in the Pamir Mountains, Central Asia. Since the 14th century, cannabis has been subject to legal restrictions. The possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis has been illegal in most countries since the 20th century. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreational use of cannabis. Other countries to do so are Canada, Georgia, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, South Africa, and Thailand. In the U.S., the recreational use of cannabis is legalized in 24 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia, though the drug remains federally illegal. In Australia, it is legalized only in the Australian Capital Territory.

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