Last updated: April 30, 2019

What Does Cannabis Mean?

The term cannabis refers to a genus of flowering plant in the plant family, Cannabaceae. It is the scientific name for family of plants commonly known around North America as marijuana, or “weed.”

The cannabis plant family is broad, consisting of three main strains: cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. Each of these three strains have distinct growing patterns that farmers have been able to cross-breed over the years in order to create plants that have varying effects on the human body.

Cannabis use dates back thousands of years. It wasn’t legally restricted until the early 20th century when it was suspected of being an addictive drug. Cannabis may be smoked, vaporized, added to tea, or consumed as an edible.

Some strains of cannabis, commonly referred to as hemp, also have uses for textiles, rope, paper or ethanol.


Maximum Yield Explains Cannabis

Cannabis plants are widely regarded around the word for their healing properties and for their psychoactive properties, both of which can be attributed to the dozens upon dozens of cannabinoid compounds the plants contain. The psychoactive part of cannabis is attributed to a cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Strains of cannabis with the most THC are best for recreational use, while more and more strains are being bred with lower THC, and these are the ones growing in popularity in the medicinal marijuana community.

Although legalization of cannabis is a growing trend, it still remains illegal in most countries of the world. In spite of its legal status, recreational use of cannabis continued through the 20th century. The efforts for legalization began in the 1970s when scientists discovered that some of the cannabinoids present in cannabis were suitable for medical use. Initially, cannabis was used medically for treating pain, but other benefits expanded its use for the treatment of other conditions, as well.

Scientists continue to study cannabis for possible additional medical use. The modern legalization efforts have their roots in this medical use of the drug.


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Plant TypesCannabisHemp

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