What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis is what marijuana and hashish are made from. It is derived from the cannabis sativa plant, which grows wild all over the world. It’s a hardy plant that thrives in many climates, and is easily cultivated indoors by means of indoor hydroponic technology.

Types of Cannabis

Hashish is the most potent drug produced from cannabis. It is made from the resin of a cannabis plant. The resin is dried and pressed into small blocks, to be smoked or added to food. Hash oil in particular is extremely potent; it is a thick oil made from hashish, and is meant to be smoked.

Marijuana, perhaps the most common form of cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, is made from the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant.

CBD is the least potent of cannabis products, as it contains low concentrations of delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that makes you high.

Cannabis is the most widely used drug in the USA. Currently, over 7% of Americans aged 12 or older have used cannabis within the last 30 days. With legalization becoming more common in individual states – and with the increasing popularity of CBD remedies for treating various health problems – the negative perception of marijuana has diminished. Fewer people, particularly adolescents, believe that marijuana use is harmful).

Most people who use cannabis are looking to get high – a sense of mild euphoria and relaxation and to intensify experiences such as listening to music or sex.

Cannabis Benefits and Side Effects

The short-term effects of cannabis vary by the type. There are two strains of cannabis, sativa, and indica. Sativa is often called the “happy pot” and Indica is called the “mellow pot.” Sativa is generally energizing, and indica is generally sedating. Depending on your own physiology, either one can cause the following effects to some degree:

  • Feelings of euphoria or well-being
  • Talkativeness and loss of inhibitions
  • Drowsiness or intense alertness/focus (depending on the strain)
  • Decreased nausea (a common reason people use medical marijuana)
  • Increased appetite
  • Dryness in the eyes and mouth
  • Loss of coordination
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Intense, deeply profound thoughts and perceptions

Long-term, the effects may depend on whether you smoke or eat cannabis, and how much/how frequently you indulge. Potential long-term effects include:

  • Increased risk of respiratory diseases
  • Impaired memory and learning abilities
  • Decreased motivation
  • Paranoia
  • Dependency: you can become dependent on cannabis – while it’s not strictly considered “addictive” it can become habitual.

A broad survey of available scientific literature lead to the following conclusions:

  • The negative effects of smoking cannabis on cardiovascular and lung health appear to be lower than for tobacco and there is no compelling evidence that smoking weed leads to emphysema, obstructive airway disease, or cancer.
  • Alternative methods of cannabis consumption including vaping and edibles, do not carry many of the risks associated with smoke inhalation.

Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn't afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

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