Weed, also known as marijuana, ganja, Mary Jane, grass, trees, herb, hash, widow and pot, is the most used street illicit drug in America. Marijuana is a plant, called Cannabis Sativa, which is chopped up into little bits and then smoked. It was used by many nations including the Native Americans hundreds of years ago. Today, the marijuana plant is mixed with other chemicals and drugs that make it more powerful and harmful. The leaves of the plant are dried up before the flowers, stems, seeds and leaves are shredded. The pieces of the plant are then placed inside of a paper from a blunt, usually taken from a cigar (sliced open, then contents of cigar are emptied), then closed back together with wetness.
The marijuana plant is sometimes smoked in what is called a bong. This is an instrument that has a platform and a long tube. The marijuana is placed inside of a bottom (and lit on fire; water is also placed inside the bong) that is connected to a glass-like tube; this is where the smoke is inhaled. The most common way that people smoke the drug is through the form of a cigarette, cigar, blunt, joint or pipe. Some people may consume weed through food and teas as well.
Weed isn't known as an addictive plant, but it does have qualities that have people smoking it more than occasionally. It is much more addictive psychologically, making users crave it for the high feelings it produces.
There are some benefits of smoking the natural cannabis plant. Doctors prescribe marijuana to people who have been diagnosed with cataracts. It was also listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 to 1942. To date there Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for over 4,000 years. In the U.S. George H. W. Bush closed the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program that had seven patients receiving cannabis for their various illnesses. In 1988, the Drug Enforcement Agency declared that in natural form, cannabis is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. With this being known, America still bans smoking of marijuana. There are twelve state laws that have allowed medicinal use of marijuana, but the US Supreme court later ruled that the federal government had the right to criminalize and regulate weed in all states, including the 12 (even for medicinal purposes). The term medicinal marijuana first came about in the US Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. There is a huge controversy about medicinal marijuana because it is illegally used all over as a recreational drug.
In ancient Egypt, people were smoking weed or hemp to relieve pain caused by hemorrhoids. In India, weed is used for different illnesses and ailments, which include insomnia, headaches, pain, gastrointestinal disorders and during childbirth for pain relief. During the medieval Islamic world, Arab physicians knew about the diuretic, antiemetic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, pain killing and antipyretic qualities of the marijuana plant. They would use it extensively as medication between the 8th and 18th centuries.
Today, weed has been used in US medicine in cases such as cataracts, AIDS and chemotherapy to help increase appetite and to relieve pain.