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Marijuana is the slang term for portions of the Cannabis plant. It is one of the oldest psychoactive substances used by man. Marijuana, also called pot, weed, ganja, mary jane, and a host of other nicknames, is made from the Cannabis plant, which has three species: Cannabis sativa ; Cannabis indica and Marijuana real facts ruderalis.
The flowering plant, which can grow to 16 feet 5 meters high, likely originated in the Central Asian steppe, near the Altai or Tian Shian Mountains, and was first cultivated in China and India, according to "Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Potential," Routledge, The leaves, stems, flower buds and extracts from the marijuana plant can be eaten, brewed in a tea or put into a tincture.
It can also be vaporized using an e-cigarette pen. Yale University researchers surveyed 3, Connecticut high school students about this practice in a study that was published in the journal Pediatrics. The study found nearly one in five e-cigarette users also have vaporize cannabis or byproducts like hash oil using the device. Morean in a Yale press release. There are hundreds of compounds in marijuana, but scientists believe the one responsible for the drugs' psychoactive effects is tetrahydrocannbinol, or THC. This binding in turn triggers a chemical cascade that eventually stimulates the production of dopaminea brain chemical often called the "feel good chemical," which is part of the body's reward system," said Mitch Earleywine, a psychology professor at the University at Albany in New York, who studies marijuana's health effects.
Medical marijuana can soothe nausea and increase appetite, quiet pain, soothe anxiety and even reduce epileptic seizures. Other research on the healing effects of cannabis is being examined. For example, research suggests that THC may be able to improve memory according to a study on mice.
More than half of the United States has legalized marijuana for medical use. The amount of THC in marijuana has grown over the past few decades. In the early s, the average THC content in marijuana was about 3. Short-term use of the Marijuana real facts impairs thinking and coordination. In long-term studies, teens who smoke marijuana have lower IQs later onas well as structural differences in their brains, though scientists debate whether this is an effect of the drug or a result of habitual Marijuana real facts smokers seeking out less intellectually stimulating pursuits.
A study on almost students by the University of Montreal published in the journal Development and Psychopathology found that teens who start smoking around Marijuana real facts 14 do worse on some cognitive tests by age 20 than non-smokers. They also have a higher school dropout rate.
If they wait until age 17 to start, though, the smokers do not seem to have the same impairments, according to the study.
Marijuana use has been linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, according to NIDA. Marijuana smokers are also likelier to suffer from bronchitis, according to a New England Journal of Medicine review of marijuana's health effects. Stroke and heart failure have also been linked to marijuana. A 10,year-old archaeological site in Taiwan contains Marijuana real facts fragments with a twisted strand imprinted around the edge, which some believe was made by pressing a rope made of hemp, the fibers made from the cannabis plant, across the wet clay, according to "Marijuana: The First Twelve-Thousand Years," Springer, Hemp fabric was widely used in ancient China to make clothing.
A Chinese medicinal textbook, the Pen Ts'ao, which is credited to an emperor in B. Siberian burial mounds have traces of burnt cannabis seeds dating to B. The plant was first given its taxonomic identification Marijuana real facts Carl Linnaeus in and thoroughly described to Westerners in the s, when the medical doctor William O'Shaughnessy gave a report to the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta in India in The doctor described its effects on people and did a few case reports on "gunjah," the Indian name for the drug.
O'Shaughnessy also conducted some of the first clinical trials of the drug, giving tinctures to dogs, cats, mice and rabbits. The drug first became popular in Europe when Napoleon's troops returned from Egypt, Earleywine said. The Cannabis plant can grow up to 18 feet tall. In the Americas, Cannabis extract was a popular medicinal drug in the s.
But in the s, Marijuana real facts tide began to turn against the drug. In the s, Mexican immigrants became associated with the smoked, recreational version of the drug, and anti-immigrant sentiments fueled marijuana prohibition. By the s, marijuana was banned in 24 states. Penalties were relaxed in the s, but President Ronald Reagan increased federal penalties for marijuana possession in the s.
On the federal Marijuana real facts, marijuana is now regulated under the Controlled Substances Act as a schedule 1 drugmeaning the government considers it to have a high potential for abuse with no legitimate medical or therapeutic uses.
However, numerous states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana. The Cannabis plant is quite hearty.
It can grow up to 18 feet tall and is known to pop up along roides and driveways from stray seeds. Marijuana stems are thin and have thin, jagged leaves that branch into five to seven fingers. Cannabis flowers are small, greenish and grow in clusters. Cannabis grown Marijuana real facts industry is called industrial marijuana, or hemp. Hemp typically has very low concentrations of THC. Hemp has many uses. The seeds can be crushed for oil, food and beauty products.
Hemp fibers can be used for paper, sturdy fabrics and rope. People have grown hemp for millennia. Current U. Hemp products, however, are legal and are imported from Canada, Russia, China and other nations that allow industrial marijuana farming.
Hemp hasn't always been on the wrong side of the authorities. The Puritans brought hemp with them to New England in and Europeans were growing it even earlier in Chile. George Washington planted hemp as one of several crops at his Mount Vernon estate.
However, hemp's popularity waned in America as Marijuana real facts plants used for textiles such as cotton and jute became more widely available. The U. Navy briefly campaigned for more hemp farming during World War II to supply ropes for ships. But the federal government continued restrictions on hemp after the war. Live Science. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Tia Ghose.Marijuana real facts
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Everything you need to know about cannabis