Marijuana 101: The Grass need not always be Green
Marijuana also known as weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and a vast number of other slang terms—is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa; it is a naturally occurring plant that grows primarily in the Indian subcontinent and Asia, however, it is now increasingly been cultivated in other parts of the world such as the United States, Canada, Columbia, etc.
Marijuana is most commonly smoked in hand rolled cigarettes know as joints, through pipes/water pipes commonly referred to as bongs, or in a blunt form, i.e. marijuana rolled in a cigar cover. It can also be consumed in oral form by brewing it along with tea, or it can be mixed with candies, brownies or cookies and are known as edibles.
Higher or stronger forms of weed include Hashish or Kush, which are obtained from the resins of the cannabis plant. The psychoactive substance present in marijuana is the high THC content, a chemical that is produced in the bud and/or the leaf of the female cannabis plant. While other chemical compounds exist, THC and CBD are regarded as the main substance causing intoxication or mind altering.
Marijuana is the most common substance that is used globally. It has been existent for over a thousand years, so much so that it is often talked about in spiritual contexts too! However, it gained popularity in the 20th century, when it began to be used widely. Marijuana is widely used for medical and recreational purposes.
Medically, marijuana is used to treat several diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Muscle spasms, epilepsy, eating disorders, etc. While actual medical benefits of the plant are still under research, there is several evidence that confirms, marijuana helps reduce chronic pain and inflammation, eliminates the feeling of nausea, stimulates an appetite, and has therapeutic like qualities that help calm a person down. However, the legalization of marijuana even for “medical” purposes is an ongoing debate in most parts of the world.
Marijuana is also the most commonly abused substance globally. When inhaled, the THC and other compounds enter the bloodstream and brain directly, however, while consuming it in an edible form it has delayed results as eating or drinking marijuana delivers significantly less THC into the bloodstream than smoking an equivalent amount of the plant.