Understanding Cannabis

Cannabis what’s that??

Some of us are familiar with this name while others are not. In the United States and Canada it is commonly known as marijuana, weed, grass and pot. 

In India, it is called as “Ganja”, a Hindi name. In English it’s called as Hemp.  

Out of so many names, the most popular name for Cannabis is Marijuana. The scientific name for the hemp plant is Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica.

Where has this plant originated?

Like many other plants, Cannabis also has its origin in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. 

Why Cannabis is so famous these days?

Cannabis is not new to India. It has its name mentioned in one of the Hindu Vedas, The Atharvaveda. In India, Cannabis is used by the Hindus for religious purposes. 

Cannabis plant is known for its psychoactive nature. Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that has the psychological effects on the human body. Due to this reason it has gained medical attention. The medicinal properties of Cannabis are known from centuries but these days it has gained popularity in scientific and medical world. 

What parts of this plant are useful?

The flowers, leaves, stem and seeds of Cannabis plants are used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Cannabis is consumed in different ways. It can be smoked (in the form of cigarettes, pipe and cigars), mixed with food (edibles), vaporized or used in extract forms. The extract made from Cannabis is called the Marijuana extract.

Why many countries have banned the consumption of Cannabis in any forms?

Cannabis is addictive in nature thus leads to drug abuse. This is the reason why its use is controversial. 

Cannabis is commonly used in the United States. It is quite famous among adults. In many countries the use of Cannabis is restricted to medicinal and recreational purposes. 

What makes Cannabis a psychoactive drug?

Cannabinoids are the main chemical compound found in the Cannabis extract. There are approximately 60 different kinds of cannabinoids are present in the Cannabis. Two most studied cannabinoids are THC and CBD. 

Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidoil (CBD) are of opposite nature. THC is the chemical responsible for causing marijuana high due to its psychoactive property. On the other hand, CBD has no known psychoactive properties but has many medical benefits. 

It is THC that make Cannabis a psychoactive drug. Study at National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals that CBD is not psychoactive and it actually nullifies the psychoactive effects of THC compound. 

What are some common effects of a Psychoactive drug?

A psychoactive drug has effect on the psychology of a human body. It increases anxiety, causes learning impairment in adolescents, movement problems, mood swings, increased appetite, thinking problem, impairs problem solving ability, etc. Some long term problems reported as breathing problems, problem in brain development, etc. Use of Marijuana by pregnant women may lead to problems in child development. Breast feeding mothers might also secrete Marijuana in the breast milk that might hamper the normal brain development of the child.

Is Marijuana fatal?

No, Marijuana is not a fatal drug. Overdose might lead to increased heartbeat and anxiety. No death has been reported till date due to over consumption of Marijuana. 

Medical, spiritual, recreational and religious use of Cannabis is not new. Medical Marijuana or Medical Cannabis is used by scientists and researchers to treat many severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases, Cancer, Epilepsy, etc.

Medical Marijuana is a topic of separate discussion which will be covered in the upcoming post.

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