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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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The removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most tightly restricted category reserved for drugs that have "no currently accepted medical use", has been proposed repeatedly since 1972.

Rescheduling proponents argue that cannabis does not meet the Controlled Substances Act's strict criteria for placement in Schedule I and so the government is required by law to permit medical use or to remove the drug from federal control altogether. The US government, on the other hand, maintains that cannabis is dangerous enough to merit Schedule I status. The dispute is based on differing views on both how the Act should be interpreted and what kinds of scientific evidence are most relevant to the rescheduling decision. Read more...

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Blue dream strain.jpg
Cannabis buds, Blue dream strain

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Tom Cruise at the Edge of Tomorrow premiere in May 2014

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Bob Marley

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