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Introduction

Cannabis sativa
Common hemp

Cannabis (/ˈkænəbɪs/ is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis; C. ruderalis may be included within C. sativa; all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C. sativa; or C. sativa may be accepted as a single undivided species. The genus is widely accepted as being indigenous to and originating from Central Asia, with some researchers also including upper South Asia in its origin.

The plant is also known as hemp, although this term is often used to refer only to varieties of Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, hemp seeds and their oils, hemp leaves for use as vegetables and as juice, medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber. To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent. Some strains have been selectively bred to produce a maximum of THC (a cannabinoid), the strength of which is enhanced by curing the fruits. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.

In the US, "industrial hemp" is classified by the federal government as cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. This classification was established in the 2018 Farm Bill and was refined to include hemp-sourced extracts, cannabinoids, and derivatives in the definition of hemp.

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Portland, Oregon's Burnside Bridge (pictured in 2012), the site of the "Burnside Burn" event organized by the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
The "Burnside Burn" was an event held on the Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon, starting at midnight on July 1, 2015, the day recreational marijuana became legal in the U.S. state of Oregon. It was organized by Portland NORML, the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, having originated from its executive director, who wanted to photograph himself in front of the White Stag sign in the moments after Oregon Ballot Measure 91 took effect. The crowd, larger than anticipated, numbered in the thousands and at times blocked traffic lanes on the bridge. Some attendees wanted to commemorate the moment, while others were motivated by announcements of free marijuana and seeds. No fines were issued for consumption in public. The event was covered by cannabis publications, local and national news outlets, and the HBO television series Vice. Read more...

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Blue dream strain.jpg
Cannabis buds, Blue dream strain

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