Portal:Cannabis

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Cannabis portal

Introduction

Cannabis sativa
Common hemp

Cannabis (/ˈkænəbɪs/) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis; C. ruderalis may be included within C. sativa; all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C. sativa; or C. sativa may be accepted as a single undivided species. The genus is widely accepted as being indigenous to and originating from Asia.

The plant is also known as hemp, although this term is often used to refer only to varieties of Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, hemp seeds and their oils, hemp leaves for use as vegetables and as juice, medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber. To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent. Some strains have been selectively bred to produce a maximum of THC (a cannabinoid), the strength of which is enhanced by curing the fruits. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.

In the US, "industrial hemp" is classified by the federal government as cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. This classification was established in the 2018 Farm Bill and was refined to include hemp-sourced extracts, cannabinoids, and derivatives in the definition of hemp. (Full article...)

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Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis and one of at least 113 total cannabinoids identified in the plant. Although the chemical formula for THC (C21H30O2) describes multiple isomers, the term THC usually refers to the Delta-9-THC isomer with chemical name (−)-trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Like most pharmacologically active secondary metabolites of plants, THC is a lipid found in cannabis, assumed to be involved in the plant's evolutionary adaptation, putatively against insect predation, ultraviolet light, and environmental stress.

THC, along with its double bond isomers and their stereoisomers, is one of only three cannabinoids scheduled by the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances (the other two are dimethylheptylpyran and parahexyl). It was listed under Schedule I in 1971, but reclassified to Schedule II in 1991 following a recommendation from the WHO. Based on subsequent studies, the WHO has recommended the reclassification to the less-stringent Schedule III. Cannabis as a plant is scheduled by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (Schedule I and IV). It is specifically still listed under Schedule I by US federal law under the Controlled Substances Act for having "no accepted medical use" and "lack of accepted safety". However, dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of THC, has been approved by the FDA as an appetite stimulant for people with AIDS and an antiemetic for people receiving chemotherapy under the trade names Marinol and Syndros. The pharmaceutical formulation dronabinol is an oily and viscous resin provided in capsules available by prescription in the United States, Canada, Germany, and New Zealand. (Full article...)

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Flowering Cannabis indica plant
Credit: Torben Hansen

Joint is a slang term for a cigarette rolled using cannabis. Rolling papers are the most common rolling medium in industrialized countries; however, brown paper, cigarettes with the tobacco removed, beedis with the tobacco removed, tracing paper, ATM receipts and newspaper are commonly used in some developing countries, and by poorer smokers in first world countries. Modern papers are now made in a range of sizes from a wide variety of materials including rice, hemp, and flax, and are also available in flavored varieties. A joint can vary in size, typically containing between 0.25 to 1 grams net weight of cannabis (joints have been rolled with 2 or more pounds but this is not a common practice) (depending on whether tobacco is used in the rolling process).

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Cannabis in the news

18 September 2021 – Cannabis in Italy
Activists in Italy say that they have gathered enough signatures in order to trigger a referendum on liberalising the use of cannabis. (Reuters)

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