Cannabis (also known as marijuana) is a plant-based drug that can be smoked, eaten or vaped. It can cause a variety of effects, including feeling euphoric or giggly, calm or sleepy. It can also make some people feel paranoid or sick. It is a controlled substance and is illegal in some countries.
Marijuana can be used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. In addition to THC, the plant contains other chemicals called cannabinoids, which have different effects on the user. CBD, for example, may help relieve pain and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC. The presence of terpenes gives the plant its characteristic smell.
Among illicit drugs, cannabis is the most commonly used and abused, with 147 million people consuming it worldwide in 2012. It accounts for half of all drug seizures and its use is growing faster than that of cocaine or opiate abuse.
It is a dioecious flowering plant with leaves that can be either palmately compound or digitate, and usually have serrate leaflets. The inflorescence that produces the buds is bisexual and produces both male and female flowers. Intensive cultivation has resulted in a high level of sexual variation within cultivars, which makes it difficult to distinguish licit hemp from illicit drug crops using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis.
It is important to note that, regardless of whether or not cannabis is legal in your area, it can be harmful to the unborn baby if a woman smokes during pregnancy. Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active chemical in cannabis, can get into the mother’s bloodstream and pass to the fetus, which can cause birth defects.