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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 flowers. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.

Globally, in 2013, 60,400 kilograms of cannabis was produced legally. In 2014 there were an estimated 182.5 million cannabis users (3.8% of the population aged 15–64). This percentage did not change significantly between 1998 and 2014.

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"How Bad Can a Good Girl Get ... without losing her virtue or respect???"
"She Shoulda Said 'No'!" (also known as Wild Weed; Marijuana, the Devil's Weed; The Story of Lila Leeds and Her Exposé of the Marijuana Racket; and The Devil's Weed) is a 1949 exploitation film that follows in the spirit of morality tales such as the 1936 films Reefer Madness and Marihuana. Directed by Sam Newfield (using the pseudonym "Sherman Scott") and starring Lila Leeds, it was originally produced to capitalize on the arrest of Leeds and Robert Mitchum on a charge of marijuana conspiracy. The film was issued under many titles; it struggled to find a distributor until film presenter Kroger Babb picked up the rights, reissuing it as The Story of Lila Leeds and Her Exposé of the Marijuana Racket. Its relative success came only after the promotional posters were redone and a story fabricated that the film was being presented in conjunction with the United States Treasury. "She Shoulda Said 'No'!" was not well-received critically upon its initial release, but the film achieved some attention due to its B movie status over the years, being featured in a number of film compilations while continuing to focus on the salacious material as a selling point.

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Flowering Cannabis indica plant
Credit: Aleksander Sowa

Cannabis indica has a higher ratio of CBD:THC compared to Cannabis sativa. Cannabis strains with relatively high CBD:THC ratios are less likely to induce anxiety than vice versa. The effects of sativa are well known for its cerebral high, while indica is well known for its sedative effects which some prefer for night time use. Both types are used as medical cannabis. Indica plants are normally shorter and stockier than sativas. They have wide, deeply serrated leaves and a compact and dense flower cluster. The effects of indicas are predominantly physical and sedative.

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Tom Cruise at the Edge of Tomorrow premiere in May 2014

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Timothy Leary

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