Medical marijuana refers to the use of the Cannabis plant as a physician-recommended herbal therapy as well as synthetic THC and cannabinoids. So far, the medical use of cannabis is legal only in a limited number of territories. This usage generally requires a prescription and distribution is usually done within a framework defined by local laws. There is evidence supporting the use of cannabis or its derivatives in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, neuropathic pain, and multiple sclerosis. Lower levels of evidence support its use for AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and glaucoma.
Cannabis is derived from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). It grows wild in many of the tropical and temperate areas of the world. It can be grown in almost any climate, and is increasingly cultivated by means of indoor hydroponic technology.
The main active ingredient in cannabis is called delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol, commonly known as THC. This is the part of the plant that gives the "high." There is a wide range of THC potency between cannabis products. Cannabis, also known as marijuana is prepared from the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or medicine.
Marijuana is made from dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It is the least potent of all the cannabis products and is usually smoked or made into edible products like cookies or brownies.
Cannabis causes changes in the user's mood and also affects how they think and perceive the environment, e.g. everyday activities such as watching the television and listening to music can become altered and more intense.
Long term side effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started as teenagers, and behavioral problems in children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy.
Recreational use - Cannabis has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed. It causes light euphoria and feeling of relaxation. These affects along with distorted perception of time and space increased sensitivity of selective senses and some illusions depending on the level of used substance.
Medical use - Medical cannabis or medical marijuana can refer to the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms.
Other Use – Cannabis has been used in spiritual or religious rituals in some in cultures. Marijuana usage dates back as far as 2000 BCE. It does exist in modern culture as a tool to improve meditation. It is believed that it originates from Central and South Asia.
Some side effects can include feeling of well-being, loss of inhibitions, drowsiness, loss of co-ordination, talkativeness, dryness of the eyes, mouth, and throat, increased appetite, decreased nausea, anxiety and paranoia, bloodshot eyes.
Cannabis was criminalized in various countries beginning in the early 20th century. In the United States, the first restrictions on sale of cannabis came in 1906. In the United States in 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was passed, and prohibited the production of hemp in addition to cannabis.
The amount of THC present in a cannabis sample is generally used as a measure of cannabis potency. The three main forms of cannabis products are the flower, resin (hashish), and oil (hash oil).
Marijuana is the dried flowers leaves and stems of the female cannabis plant. It is the most widely consumed form. Herbal cannabis and industrial hemp derive from the same species and both contain THC, hemp has lower concentrations of THC.
THC can be measured in blood, urine, hair, and oral fluid. The concentrations obtained from such analyses can often be helpful in distinguishing active use from passive exposure, elapsed time since use, and extent or duration of use. These tests cannot, however, distinguish authorized cannabis smoking for medical purposes from unauthorized recreational smoking.