Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names,[a] is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant. Native to Central and South Asia, the cannabis plant has been used as a drug for both recreational and entheogenic purposes and in various traditional medicines for centuries.[19][20][21] Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive component of cannabis, which is one of the 483 known compounds in the plant,[22] including at least 65 other cannabinoids,[23] including cannabidiol (CBD).[24] Cannabis can be used by smokingvaporizingwithin food, or as an extract.[25]

Cannabis has various mental and physical effects, which include euphoriaaltered states of mind and sense of time, difficulty concentrating, impaired short-term memory, impaired body movement (balance and fine psychomotor control),[25][26]: p7  relaxation,[27] and an increase in appetite.[28] Onset of effects is felt within minutes when smoked, but may take up to 90 minutes when eaten.[29] The effects last for two to six hours, depending on the amount used.[30] At high doses, mental effects can include anxiety, delusions (including ideas of reference), hallucinationspanicparanoia, and psychosis.[25][24] There is a strong relation between cannabis use and the risk of psychosis,[31][32] though the direction of causality is debated.[33] Physical effects include increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, nausea, and behavioral problems in children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy;[25] short-term side effects may also include dry mouth and red eyes.[34][35] Long-term adverse effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started regular use as adolescents, chronic coughing, susceptibility to respiratory infections,[36] and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.

Cannabis is mostly used recreationally or as a medicinal drug, although it may also be used for spiritual purposes. In 2013, between 128 and 232 million people used cannabis (2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65).[37] It is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world,[25][37] though it is legal in some jurisdictions, with the highest use among adults (as of 2018) in Zambia, the United States, Canada, and Nigeria.[38]

While cannabis plants have been grown since at least the 3rd millennium BCE,[39] evidence suggests that it was being smoked for psychoactive effects at least 2,500 years ago in the Pamir Mountains.[40][41] Since the early 20th century, cannabis has been subject to legal restrictions. The possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis is illegal in most countries.[42][43] In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreational use of cannabis.[44] Other countries to do so are CanadaGeorgia, and South Africa, plus 18 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia in the United States (though the drug remains federally illegal).[44][45]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *