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Marijuana Facts

The majority of marijuana used within the United States comes from Mexico and Columbia. However, other major growing countries include:

The Western Hemisphere:

  • Jamaica, Brazil, Belize, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago

The Far East:

  • Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines

Within African and Middle Eastern Countries, the large producing areas are:

  • Morocco, Lebanon, Nigeria, and South Africa

In Central Asia you have

  • Pakistan and Afghanistan

However, tens of thousands of Americans also grow their own Marijuana. Quantities range from just a few marijuana plants for personal use, to hundreds or even thousands of marijuana plants intended for large-scale dealing. The constant experimentation, by growers of marijuana to find and refine the psychoactive properties within the marijuana plant, has resulted in variations of plant size, concentration of psychoactive resin and even the shape of the leaf.

The sinsemilla-growing technique is the most common form of increasing the potency of the plant. The technique involves separating female plants from the male before pollination occurs. The female marijuana plant produces more psychoactive resin than male plants especially when un-pollinated and seedless. In fact, the term sinsemilla means “without seeds” in Spanish. Moreover, the term “commercial grade” refers to marijuana grown without the sinsemilla technique.

Other types of marijuana include:

  • Bhang • made from the stem and leaves and has the lowest potency
  • Ganja • made from the stronger leaves and flowering tops
  • Charas– the concentrated resin from the plant and is the most potent
  • Hashish– the sticky resin produced from the plant. The resin is pressed into cakes and contains the most psychoactive ingredients.
    • Hashish is usually smoked in special pipes called bongs or hookahs or rolled into a marijuana cigarettes called joints. Hashish can also be prepared for use in small pills, candies, or simply tiny balls of the dark resin.
  • Hashish Oil • The oil is extracted from the plant using solvents, then added to foods, smeared onto rolling paper or dripped into crushed marijuana leaves to enhance the psychoactive effects.

Marijuana can be used in various ways:

  • By smoking:
    • Joints – dried marijuana buds, leaves and flowers crushed and rolled into smokable cigarettes.
    • Pipes – dried marijuana, smoked in clay, stone, or wood.
    • Blunts – users slice open cigars and replace the tobacco with Marijuana. Blunts are often a combination of marijuana and other drugs such as crack cocaine.
  • Placed in food or drinks
    • Such as tea, brownies and cookies
  • Chewed to release the psychoactive properties

Researchers have discovered some 420 chemicals in a single cannabis plant. At least 30 of these chemicals have been studied for their psychoactive effects and are called “cannabinoids”. Ironically, the number420 is used as a code number to signal the availability of marijuana.

The most potent of the psychoactive chemicals of marijuana is called “delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol” or “THC”. When THC is smoked or ingested, the psychoactive chemical is converted by the liver into over 60 other metabolites some of which are also psychoactive. THC causes themind-altering effects of marijuana and amount of THC in the plant determines the potency and the effects of the drug.

Sources:

  • Uppers, Downers All Arounders, Darryl S Inaba ‘Executive officer Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, San Francisco CA.’, William E. Cohen, ‘Haight Ashbury Detox Clinic’
  • NIDA, national Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH publication Number 05-3859 printed July 2005

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