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 Central Asia, with some researchers also including upper South Asia in its origin.

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 flowers. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.

Globally, in 2013, 60,400 kilograms of cannabis was produced legally. In 2014 there were an estimated 182.5 million cannabis users (3.8% of the population aged 15–64). This percentage did not change significantly between 1998 and 2014.

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Bucket bong in operation
A gravity bong is a method of consuming smokable substances such as cannabis and tobacco. The term describes both a bucket bong and a waterfall bong, since both use gravity and water to develop smoke. The bucket bong is made out of two containers, with the larger, open top container filled with water. The smaller has an attached bowl and open bottom, and the smaller is placed into the larger. Once the bowl is lit, the operator must move the small container up, causing a pressure difference. Smoke slowly fills the small jar until the user removes the bowl and inhales the contents. A waterfall bong is made up of only one container. The container must have a bowl and a small hole near the base so the water can drain easily. As the water flows out of the container, air is forced through the bowl and causes the substance to burn and accumulate smoke in the bong. The bong is typically used for smoking cannabis and is generally not recommended for smoking tobacco or other herbal substances. The bong is, however, often marketed for use of tobacco. Internationally, the sale of gravity bongs is often prohibited in countries where marijuana is illegal due to its association with the herb.

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Flowering Cannabis indica plant
Credit: Massimo Catarinella

Coffeeshops are establishments in the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities (in Dutch called gedoogbeleid). Under the drug policy of the Netherlands, the sale of cannabis products in small quantities is allowed by 'licensed' coffee shops. The majority of these "coffeeshops" (in Dutch written as one word) also serve drinks and food. Coffeeshops are not allowed to serve alcohol or other drugs, and risk closure if they are found to be selling soft drugs to minors, hard drugs or selling alcohol. The idea of coffeeshops was introduced in the 1970s for the explicit purpose of keeping hard and soft drugs separated.

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Cannabis in the news

25 June 2019 – Cannabis in the United States
Illinois becomes the 11th U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. The bill, signed into law by Governor of Illinois J. B. Pritzker, will also remove criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams or less of cannabis. (AP)

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