Cannabis, also known as marijuana, marihuana, or ganja (from Sanskrit: गांजा gañjā, hemp) refers to any number of preparations of the cannabis plant intended for human consumption as a drug, the most common of which is the natural herbal form.
The herbal form of the drug consists of mature female flowers and sub-tending leaves of pistillate (female) plants. The resinous form, known as hashish, consists primarily of glandular trichomes collected from the same plant material. The major biologically active chemical compound in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), commonly referred to as THC.
Marijuana is seen in strains of either pure breeds or hybrid breeds of Cannabis, typically of the subspecies indica or sativa. Strains are developed to highlight a specific combination of properties of the plant or to establish marketing differentiation.
Humans’ consumption of cannabis pre-dates history. In the 20th century there was a considerable increase in its use for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. It is estimated that about four percent of the world’s adult population (162 million) use cannabis annually and 0.6 percent (22.5 million) daily. 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.
Short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety.These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with weed. A user may also experience dry mouth and throat.
Marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations.Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.