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What is  Cannabis?

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is one of the most consumed drugs. As a rule, this drug is mixed in the form of hashish or marijuana with cigarette tobacco and smoked. Occasionally, cannabis is also dissolved in tea and taken in liquid form. The effect is quite fast and it comes to mood enhancement, to an increase in cheerfulness but also the opposite may be the case. It can cause anxiety and it can lead to delusions. The effect usually lags after an hour.

Cannabis refers to a genus of plants, which is assigned to the genus of hemp plants. In addition to use as a hallucinogen or as a herbal drug, the cannabis plant also has a scientifically proven benefit as a medicinal and useful plant to part. For the first time, cannabis gained worldwide attention through its use in so-called marijuana joints. The plant is considered a starter drug, which is why their consumption in Germany is also illegal. In addition to abuse as a drug, cannabis, according to numerous studies, a significant benefit in cancer research and cancer control. For this reason, a legally dosed and medically supervised donation of the cannabis plant can also be made by prescription. In addition to alcohol, the plant is the world's most widely used drug, and its consumption is not prohibited in all countries. So there is already a veritable cult around the plant and the associated joints. In addition to musicians, movie stars and various cannabis cafes, the plant is in the spirit of a gateway drug increasingly popular among young people. However, these do not use the cannabis as a medicinal plant or to achieve a medically positive effect on the mind and body, but as a pure intoxicating and stimulant that disguises or numbs one's own senses.

Cannabis is a drug with many names: Indian hemp, true hemp, marijuana, hashish, grass, shit, bhang, pot, cabbage, kiff, cloth. Almost every culture knew cannabis at all times. In Europe they made popular writers and musicians who circulated around 1870 in Paris in the "Club de Hachichin". For a long time, cannabis was considered to be the artistic drug ever before gaining the same level of recognition as alcohol and tobacco.

Today cannabis is the illegal drug No.1. In Germany, an estimated 2.5 million consumers take cannabis once or several times a year. One in four has tried them at least once. The starting age for the first joint is just 15 years.

Cannabis or hemp, as the German name is, is a remarkable plant with a history almost as old as humanity. Cannabis is not just a drug, but was highly valued as a medicine and extremely important crop until the global ban at the beginning of the 20th century. Cannabis could once again play a major role in the treatment of many diseases if these drugs were approved.

These sites want to educate about cannabis by giving the most important facts. Only those who deal independently and thoroughly with the topic can form their own image and make clear decisions.

Uses of Cannabis

The cannabis dizziness causes a drug spectrum in which the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been identified as the key ingredient. The concentration of THC largely determines the drug experience. From cannabis, three main products are made: marijuana, hashish and hashish oil.

Marijuana consists of the female inflorescences of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is smoked or inhaled. In smoking, marijuana is blended with tobacco into a joint, with tobacco being the main ingredient. Another possibility is smoking in special pipes and water pipes. The hookah is especially preferred by non-smokers, because it reduces the harmful effects of unfiltered tobacco smoke and also the addictiveness of nicotine. The hookah produces smoke that is lower in temperature than normal cigarette smoke and therefore milder and more tolerable. When inhaling, the marijuana is heated with steam and inhaled. This process requires some technical effort and is rarely practiced. As with the water pipe, the inhalation takes place without tobacco and nicotine. The content of the THC fluctuates extremely. Depending on their origin and quality, marijuana can contain between 0.6 and 13 percent THC.

Hashish is extracted from the pressed resin of the cannabis plant. It is either taken as a joint (grated and mixed with tobacco) or dissolved in fat and mixed into drinks and food. If hashish is smoked, it can be done in the same way as marijuana: as a joint, in a special pipe or in the water pipe. Once again, the joint damages the lungs and there is the additional risk of nicotine addiction. The THC concentration of hashish is also highly variable and can range between 0.6 and 13 percent THC.

Hashish oil is an extract from the cannabis plant - correspondingly high is the THC content, which is 80 percent. Hashish oil can be taken in several ways. The drops can be dropped on tobacco, from which a joint is turned. Likewise, the drops can be dropped pure in the mouth. The third possibility: The hashish oil is mixed into drinks or food.

Effects of Cannabis

When describing the effects of cannabis, one must realize that there are different levels: physical, mental and individual effectiveness. The drug experience of individuals depends on many factors.

These effects may occur singly or together, simultaneously or consecutively. They do not have to occur on every trip, as the current personal situation of the consumer always strongly influences the drug intoxication. Likewise, the effect of the quality of the cannabis variety, the THC content, the dosage, but also determines the mode of administration. A joint works considerably differently than a biscuit.

Cannabis leads to a deep, pleasant relaxation and calming, it slows down the sense of time and gives a carefree lightness. The movements slow down and at the same time imperceptibly accelerate the heart rate and blood pressure for the consumer. When standing up dizziness and nausea may occur, which are significantly increased in a joint by tobacco. Especially for non-smokers, the tobacco alone causes nausea. The ability to concentrate decreases, and the ability to react diminishes, great appetite occurs. Ideas come in leaps and bounds, the short-term memory can be severely impaired, so you do not remember what you just did. There is an increase in perception. The senses are expanded and intensified. Feeling and thinking change. The familiar habits of thinking and routines disappear, new thoughts and ideas appear, consciousness changes.

The personal condition of the consumer always has a decisive influence on the drug experience and must therefore be taken into account in any case. A cannabis rush causes an intensification of the experience. This can lead to great euphoria or to unusual, extreme states of anxiety. Anyone who uses cannabis in an unstable personal situation to ward off bad moods or solve problems runs the risk of going on a horror trip and becoming mentally dependent.

Equally important is the mode of income. Cannabis has the fastest effect when it comes directly into the bloodstream through smoke or water vapor, ie a joint or a water pipe. The effect of a normal dose reaches its full spectrum approximately after 15 minutes and can last up to 60 minutes. After two to three hours, it is largely over. The mixing of cannabis in food and drinks for example in biscuits or cake delays the effect sometimes enormously, especially if you have also eaten something else. Above all, the overdose is especially for drug beginners a danger . two biscuits instead of one, because you do not feel anything at first.

Health Hazards Through Cannabis

There is a whole range of research on cannabis, but its effectiveness has not been researched in detail. In 1997, the Federal Ministry of Health commissioned an opinion on cannabis use under the coalition of the CDU / CSU and FDP. The report concludes that "the pharmacological effects and psychosocial consequences of cannabis use are less dramatic and dangerous than is generally believed.

Cannabis does not make you physically dependent like tobacco or alcohol. Cases of fatal overdose are not yet known. An inevitable psychic dependence among cannabis users was also not found. But what does that mean? There are people who become addicted to cannabis because they see the drug as a substitute for their lives. They need a joint to be in a good mood. The drug serves as a lifeline in the crisis, exacerbating the crisis.

Cannabis itself is non-toxic. Nevertheless, there are health risks. The smoke of a joint puts a strain on the lungs, because unlike the normal cigarette, it is inhaled completely unfiltered. Thus, high amounts of tar are inhaled. Add to this the harmful substances from the blended tobacco, especially nicotine. Anyone who smokes joints risks a covert nicotine dependence. The combination with other drugs is also a first-class health risk.

There is a particular danger when cannabis is stretched by the dealer to make more profit. This can be cannabis leaves, but also sand, henna, shoe polish, oil, grease, lead sulfide or waste oil. Few consumers are able to properly assess the quality of cannabis.

Cannabis in Use in Medicine

Cannabis was in China and India 2500 years ago as a medicinal plant from which to win medicine. The world-wide ostracism of cannabis in the 20th century increasingly pushed aside cultivation and knowledge of medical effects. Only for two decades has the amazing healing potential of cannabis returned to the center of research.

The research has identified up to 480 botanicals in cannabis, including about 60 plant-derived cannabinoids and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) responsible for the drug intoxication. How these substances work individually or together has not yet been completely clarified. In the early 1990s, researchers found that humans themselves produce endogenous cannabinoids that regulate sensory impressions, appetite, pain and the immune system.

There is still a lot of research to do. But what you can already see today is a very wide range of uses of cannabis. Pharmacological studies have shown that cannabis has soothing or healing effects on the following conditions: asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, anorexia and cataracts. Some companies are working on drugs for the treatment of AIDS and cancer, but are not allowed to market these drugs, although their effectiveness has been proven. This fails because of the legal hurdle of the fundamental ban on cannabis.

Cannabis as a Crop

Cannabis (hemp) has played a significant role in the history of humanity as a crop. The earliest archaeological finds date from the 8th millennium BC. Throughout the millennia, hemp has been an indispensable basic material for the entire shipping industry, from which sails, ropes, anchor ropes, fishing nets and vital sealing material for leaks have been produced.

Today, it is largely unknown that the majority of textiles worldwide were produced from hemp until the beginning of the 20th century. Clothes, pants, shirts, coats, carpets, bed linen, towels all essential textiles came from the cannabis plant. But then the cotton displaced hemp, and moreover, the onset of criminalization as an illegal drug ensured that even the lowest THC content cannabis strains essential to textile production could no longer be grown.

Today, professionals value cannabis as a crop with great potential. One field of application is papermaking. In view of the rapidly growing global paper consumption, hemp paper provides an ecologically sound alternative to the deforestation of forests in the long term. What almost no one knows today is that until around 1900 more than 75 percent of the paper worldwide was made from hemp fibers. Hemp can also be used to generate energy through biomass. By thermal decomposition or composting, hemp is converted to methanol, which can replace gasoline as a fuel (biodiesel).

Legal Situation Regarding Cannabis

Cannabis is an illegal drug under the Narcotics Act (BtMG). Anyone who "cultivates, manufactures, trades, trades, trades, carries out, sells, divests, otherwise places on the market, acquires, or obtains in any other way" can be punished ). The possession of cannabis is prohibited. The consumption of cannabis, however, is not regulated in the Narcotics Act.

The Federal Constitutional Court has dealt with cannabis use in several cases. After that, possession of small amounts of cannabis remains prohibited. However, the court has ruled that in cases of "preparing for occasional self-consumption of small quantities of cannabis products and not endangering others, [...] law enforcement agencies should in principle refrain from prosecuting the offenses referred to in 31a BtMG ". Since the prosecution is a matter for the federal states, the police and prosecutors have different regional views on the procedure. Basically, the investigative authorities have a margin of discretion, which is interpreted differently depending on the state.

Cannabis makes traffic unfit. Anyone who is tested positive in a traffic control must expect drastic consequences. Road users who consume cannabis commit a misdemeanor. The first infringement costs a fine of 500 euros, a one month driving ban and four points in Flensburg.

Political Discussion on Cannabis

For decades there has been a fierce political discussion about the proper use of cannabis, which repeatedly flares up at intervals. On the one hand, there are those who advocate a rigorous pursuit of cannabis use and, on the other hand, those who support legalization of the drug. Often left unmentioned in the debate remains the enormous potential of cannabis as a medicine and as a crop, for example, for papermaking and as a fuel substitute.

Over time, the Federal Constitutional Court has taken a position on cannabis in various supreme court judgments without dissolving the basic contradiction in the law. This basic contradiction is that the acquisition, trade and possession of cannabis is prohibited by law, but not the consumption in small quantities.

Advocates of harder law enforcement see cannabis as addictive. A major danger is that cannabis is a soft entry drug for first-time consumers, who later switched to hard drugs. Therefore, they call for a tightening of the drug laws.

The followers of a legalization argue that cannabis is wrongly criminalized. According to studies, cannabis does not make you addicted, unlike the legal drugs alcohol and nicotine. They point to the Dutch drug policy, where the legalization of cannabis use was generally positive, the number of drug-related deaths and consumption of hard drugs declined.