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Cannabis is the most commonly used drug by Canadians between 15 and 24 years old. Because cannabis is now legal in Canada, some young people may think it is harmless. But for many young people, there are serious risks to using cannabis.

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With the relaxing of possession laws in states like Colorado and Washington, and the legalization of medical marijuana in other states, parents have begun worrying more than ever about the availability of cannabis also known as weed, pot, grass, marijuana and whether their child might be smoking weed.

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Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants which produces marijuana. There are three species : Cannabis sativaCannabis indicaand Cannabis ruderalis. The cannabis plant's flowers contain a chemical or drug known as THC short for tetra-hydro-cannabinol.

Smoking or eating the flower can make a person feel euphoric very good or sleepy. The plant is also used to make hemp fibre, and for its seeds and seed oil.

In its natural environmentTHC's purpose was to protect itself against being eaten. There are many varieties of marijuana, and those low on THC production are selected for producing hemp and seeds.

Marijuana is an illegal drug in many countries. However, some countries have made marijuana legal.

Other countries allow cannabis to be used as medicine when people have certain medical conditions. Scientists believe that cannabis first grew somewhere in the Himalayas. Evidence of people smoking marijuana goes as far back as prehistory : archaeologists have found burnt hemp seeds at a burial site in what is now Romania.

How do people use cannabis?

The most famous users of cannabis were the ancient Hinduswho called it ganjika in Sanskrit ganja in modern Indian languages. According to legendthe Indian god Shiva told his followers to worship the plant. The ancient drug soma was sometimes associated with cannabis. People in the Persian Empire what is now Iran would light giant campfires made of marijuana, exposing themselves and other neighbors to the smoke.

The ceremony was known as "the booz-rooz. Marijuana was also known in ancient Greecewhere magicians would burn its flowers in order to cause strange thoughts in the audience members' minds.

Historians think that the cult of Dionysus also began in ancient Greece and involved inhaling marijuana smoke. Cannabis growing as weeds at the foot of DhaulagiriNepal.

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Underside of Cannabis sativa leaf, showing diagnostic venation. Cannabis facts for kids Kids Encyclopedia Facts.

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All content from Kiddle encyclopedia articles including the article images and facts can be freely used under Attribution-ShareAlikeunless stated otherwise. Cite this article:. This was last modified on 16 Julyat Suggest an edit. Cannabis L. Cannabis sativa L. Cannabis indica Lam. Cannabis ruderalis Janisch.