Cannabis (Cán-na-bis; English pronunciation: /ˈkænəbɪs/) is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre (hemp), for seed and seed 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 hemp strains have been developed which contain minimal levels of THC (Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol), one of the psychoactive molecules that produces the “high” associated with marijuana. The psychoactive product consists of dried flowers of plants selectively bred to produce high levels of THC and other psychoactive chemicals. Various extracts including hashish and hash oil are also produced from the plant.
Cannabis is an annual, dioecious, flowering herb. The leaves are palmately compound or digitate, with serrate leaflets. The first pair of leaves usually have a single leaflet, the number gradually increasing up to a maximum of about thirteen leaflets per leaf (usually seven or nine), depending on variety and growing conditions. At the top of a flowering plant, this number again diminishes to a single leaflet per leaf. The lower leaf pairs usually occur in an opposite leaf arrangement and the upper leaf pairs in an alternate arrangement on the main stem of a mature plant.
Various types of Cannabis have been described, and variously classified as species, subspecies, or varieties:
plants cultivated for fiber and seed production, described as low-intoxicant, non-drug, or fiber types.
plants cultivated for drug production, described as high-intoxicant or drug types.
escaped, hybridised, or wild forms of either of the above types.
Young people who are heavy smokers of cannabis may be putting themselves at significant risk for periodontal disease, according to new research.
The study, published in the Feb. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is believed to be the first to explore whether or not smoking a substance other than tobacco in this case, marijuana more than other cannabis products may be a risk factor for gum disease.
After controlling for tobacco smoking, gender, socioeconomic status and infrequent trips to the dentist by one-third of the participants, the study reported a “strong association between cannabis use and periodontitis experience by age 32.”
Study participants who reported the highest use of cannabis were 1.6 times more likely to have at least one gum site with mild periodontal disease compared to those who had never smoked cannabis.
The study suggests that the benefits of public health measures to reduce the prevalence of cannabis use may carry over to gum disease. Additionally, researchers wrote, studying a possible association between cannabis use and periodontal disease in other populations “should be a priority for periodontal epidemiological research.”
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