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Introduction

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; or all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C. sativa. 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, for hemp oils, for 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 flowers. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.

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In the news

6 November 2018 – Cannabis in Michigan, Legality of cannabis by U.S. jurisdiction
Voters in Michigan legalize recreational marijuana. (Forbes)
1 November 2018 – Legality of cannabis, Cannabis in the United Kingdom
Medical cannabis becomes legal in the United Kingdom as the National Health Service can now prescribe it to some patients, including those with cancer, severe forms of epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. (BBC)
31 October 2018 – Legality of cannabis, Cannabis in Mexico
A complete ban on recreational use of marijuana is ruled unconstitutional by Mexico's Supreme Court, putting the responsibility of regulating its consumption on lawmakers. (Reuters)
17 October 2018 – Cannabis in Canada
Canada becomes the first G20 nation to fully legalise cannabis. (Yahoo! Canada)

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