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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

cannabis


I felt like doing a homework assignment the way we used to have to do at school.

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Cannabis, also known as marijuana or ganja, is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa. The herbal form of the drug consists of the dried mature flowers and subtending leaves of female plants. The resinous form, known as hashish, consists primarily of glandular trichomes collected from the same plant material. Cannabis has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed.

Humans have been consuming cannabis since prehistory, although in the 20th century there was a rise in its use for recreational, spiritual and medicinal purposes. It is estimated that about four percent of the world's adult population use it annually and 0,6 percent daily. It's the world's most often used illegal drug. The possession, use, or sale of psychoactive cannabis products became illegal in most parts of the world in the early 20th century. Since then, some countries have intensified the enforcement of cannabis prohibition while others have reduced the priority of enforcement.

The drug has an ancient history of ritual use and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. Evidence of its use can be found as far back as the Neolithic age, with the most famous users being the ancient Hindus of India and Nepal. It was also known to the ancient Assyrians, who discovered its psychoactive properties through the Aryans. The Aryans also introduced it to the Scythians and Thracians, whose shamans burned cannabis flowers to induce a state of trance. A basket filled with cannabis leaf fragments and seeds was found next to a 2,500 year old mummified shaman in the northwest of China.

Cannabis can be smoked in a variety of ways, some of which are more popular than others. Another way to consume it is to use a vaporizer, which heats the herbal material, causing the active ingredients to evaporate into a gas without burning the plant material. As an alternative to smoking and vaporizing, it can be consumed orally. Smoking is the most harmful method of consumption, since combustion of material and inhalation of smoke from organic materials causes various health problems. A recent study found that cannabis smoke contained more toxic substances than tobacco smoke. By using a vaporizer or orally consuming the drug, many health problems and many objections to using it as medicine can be eliminated.

Medical cannabis is used for pain relief only in the context of a handful of illnesses (e.g. headache, dysentery, menstrual cramps and depression). It is also reported to be beneficial for treating certain neurological illnesses such as epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Case reports have found that the drug can relieve tics in people with obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome. Cannabis use has been linked to exacerbating the effects of depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, bronchitis, and emphysema by several peer-reviewed studies for those who are vulnerable to such illnesses based on personal or family history.

Analysts have hypothesized that the illegal status of cannabis is a possible cause of a gateway drug effect, reasoning that its users are likely to become acquainted with people who use and sell other illegal drugs in order to acquire it. But it is said that cannabis is not as harmful or addicting as any other drug. Some contend that by this argument, alcohol and tobacco may also be regarded as gateway drugs. Studies have shown that tobacco smoking is a better predictor of concurrent illicit hard drug use than smoking cannabis.

Written by I

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