What Is Marijuana?

November 3, 2021

On the occasion of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Mexico to give freedom to the recreational use of Marijuana, we are going to present you a series of blogs dedicated to this plant that, although it has the reputation of being used as a narcotic, also has some beneficial properties for health, this since everything depends on the use that is given, this to its enormous chemical composition that it contains.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a mixture of the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds of the hemp “Cannabis sativa”. This is a plant that can grow to about six meters high in the most favorable conditions; it is a dioecious vegetable, that is, it has male and female plants that grow separately.

This plant has been cultivated since prehistoric times for its many uses: textile fiber, oil, medicinal plant and even psychotropic. The fruit of this plant called «hemp seeds» has a globular shape, about five millimeters in diameter, and is used for feeding birds and for extracting oil.

Cannabis contains up to 400 different chemical compounds, among which more than 60 substances known as cannabinoids stand out. The main cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the one with the most psychoactive potency, cannabidiol or CBD (it does not cause intoxication or euphoria, it has sedative anxiolytic effects) and cannabinol or CBN (analgesic and sedative effects).

Description

It is an annual herbaceous plant with opposite, palmate, compound, odd-pinnate leaves, with variable number of leaflets, generally more than five in adult plants, although their number and size decreases as the plant begins to develop its flowers. The stem, lignified, with a quadrangular section, which becomes rounded as it thickens, can reach several meters in height under favorable conditions, but usually does not exceed one meter in height. The male flowers are branched, panniculiform and with many flowers. They are staminate flowers with five sepals, five antisepal stamens, triporate pollen, rarely two, four or six porate. The female flowers are more compact, pistillate with a short, membranous, tubular calyx. that encloses the ovary with two united carpels forming a unilocular ovary with two elongated stigmas; solitary and anthropic seminal primordia.

Microscopic characteristics

It presents isolated curved tector hairs or forming part of the epidermis. Some of them may be thickened at the base with calcium carbonate crystals (cystoliths). The bracts of the female inflorescence have abundant secretory hairs with a pluriseriate multicellular foot and a globular head consisting of eight to sixteen cells.

Most common derivatives of Cannabis

  • Marijuana: prepared with dried leaves and flowers, which contains between 6 and 14% THC (currently it can sometimes exceed this percentage).
  • Hash: prepared from resin secreted by the cannabis plant or by boiling this plant. The shades it presents may vary depending on the origin of the plant (dark green to brown in Morocco, black from Lebanon and the Middle East, and black like pitch in Nepal). It contains between 15 and 30% THC, depending on the variety.
  • Hash oil: prepared by distilling the plant in organic solvents. Depending on the technique and the apparatus used in the distillation, it can reach 65% THC content.

Form of consumption

  • Smoked or inhaled: the usual form of cannabis use is smoked, mixed with tobacco (hashish) or just (marijuana) in the form of a cigarette. It can also be smoked in short pipes with a wide bowl called hachicheros. Another form of consumption is with parlor pipes called «argilas». The base of these pipes is a container where liquid is placed in order to humidify the smoke so that it does not damage the throat.
  • Oral or ingested: the resin is introduced into food making cakes, candies, etc., sometimes the leaves and stems are used to make products for food consumption (tortillas, empanadas …)
Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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