Cannabis is a plant species that is the oldest source of vegetable raw materials in human history, the fibers in its stems are used in yarn, weaving, and fabric making, and the pulpy part is used in papermaking. Its homeland is Central Asia. It is grown and cultivated in temperate and tropical regions. It is hard, bushy, hollow, palmate-leaved, dioecious, and annual. The fibers are durable and quite long. You must have heard the word “weed”, associated with cannabis frequently. So are cannabis and weed the same thing?
Actually, weed is the name given to the resin obtained from the flower of the female cannabis plant for recreational use. So while cannabis refers to a wider concept, a plant species namely Cannabis Sativa L., we can think of weed as just a product made of cannabis. Weed is also called marijuana and consumed by burning and inhaling the smoke of it, as in tobacco. Cannabis, on the other hand, is utilized and famous for its fibers, which can be used in many sectors. Let’s examine these drug and fiber versions of cannabis (and weed) together.
A Linguistic Approach to Cannabis and Weed
It shows some differences according to the way it is processed and takes different names accordingly. These include Marijuana, Gubar, Ganja. It is most commonly called marijuana, weed, and joint. Apart from these, it is also known by many different names. These include plate, seal, daisy, antenna, pleasure, boiling, mint, henna, cure, gogo, bud, medicine, black, tea, glaze, glass paste, Afghan, Lebanese, wrapping, flower sprout, ware, yellow, gelatin, hemp, head pill, dry, sieve, hemp, green, goat, potato, and Henry.
“Putty” is the name given to cannabis paste. It can be especially put into cakes while preparing edibles. The amount of active substances is low. “Charasi”, on the other hand, is cannabis used in Pakistan with a very high amount of active substance. Marijuana is called Dagga in South Africa, “Beng” in Iran, and “Cannabis” in Greece.
The first product of cannabis grass, which is pulverized and sieved, is called “primary good” “boiling”. The product obtained from the powders, which are then sieved a second time, is commonly called “Marijuana” or “Ganja” in Western Europe and America. The remaining residues are called “hash”, the amount of effective substance it contains is very low. Marijuana is sold in cut, dried, and pressed form into plates. It is usually henna-colored. Marijuana is mixed with tobacco and smoked in the form of cigarettes.
To explain the often used Asian terms, ‘Ganja’ refers to the young leaves and flowering tops of the processed female plant and its resin, which are compressed into a sticky mass or rolled and crushed, which are then formed into flat and rounded plates. It is dark green or greenish-brown in color and has a pleasant smell and characteristic taste.
In the Middle East, the word “Hashish” (cannabis) usually refers to both the leaves and the resin, or a mixture thereof. The resin and upper parts of the plant, often roughly ground into a powder in North Africa, are known as “Kif” in Morocco and “Takrouri” in Algeria and Tunisia, and “dagga” refers to the leaves and tops of the plant in central and Southern Africa. In Europe and North America, the word “hashish” (cannabis) usually refers only to the resin, while the leaves and tops of the plant (which may contain some resin) “marijuana” (cannabis), “pot” (jar), “grass” ( grass), “weed” (weed), “tea” (Tea) or many other names.
Cannabis Explained: Features and Advantages of Hemp Fiber
Cannabis is an industrial crop like flax and cotton. The “Cannabis Sativa L” species of the Urticales order, Cannabinaceae family of cannabis grown for its fiber, seed, and oil are used in fiber production. Cannabis (Hemp) is an annual herbaceous plant with a plant height of 1-4 meters. Hemp fiber is obtained by separating the stems of the hemp plant. It is a fiber used in making rope, sacks, or paper in its unprocessed state. Hemp fiber is very tough to handle. Products produced from unprocessed fiber gain a wrinkled appearance as in linen fiber.
As a result of the high friction and tension in the spinning and weaving processes, the short hemp fibers protrude from the fabric surfaces, making the surface feel rough. Its strength increases slightly with age. Temperature affects little, withstands high temperatures. There is no pilling and static electricity problem. At 20°C, it absorbs 12% moisture under 65% RH and 30% under 95% RH. These values are higher than cotton and linen. Besides being the strongest natural fiber after ramie fiber; Lightweight like flax, jute, corrosion-resistant, good sound insulation, and moisture absorption. The only negative feature is that it wrinkles quickly. The wrinkling feature of hemp fiber is mostly solved by mixing it with other fibers such as cotton, silk, and linen.
It is known that hemp fiber, whose homeland is Asia, was harvested in China 8500 years ago. So much so that the raw material of the oldest piece of parchment that has survived to the present day is 100% Chinese hemp. Hemp is one of the oldest textile fibers and hemp fabrics have been used since 8000 BC. Around 6500 BC, hemp was grown as a crop in China, then used for medicinal purposes. In 2700 BC, it was used in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia for the purpose of cloth, rope, and food. Cultivated for fiber production, hemp was introduced to Western Asia and Egypt, then to Europe between 2000-1000 BC, and became widespread after 500 AD.
It is known that hemp fiber was used in Anatolia around 1500 BC. It was brought to Chile in South America in 1545, and to Acadia and Port Royal in North America in 1606. The hemp industry developed in Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois between 1840 and 1860 due to demand for sailcloth and rope. World War II led to a brief resurgence in cannabis cultivation in the Midwest and Canada. Because the war has reduced fiber consumption. Until 1883, 75-90% of the world’s paper production was provided by hemp. Until the early 20th century, hemp was a leading textile fiber, and it is known that it was also made for dress fabrics, tent cloths, flags, curtains, bedspreads, sheets, washcloths.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the industrialization movement in Europe, thus the conversion of many hand-operated looms into industrial machines and the change in technology standards also created a change in the raw materials used. In the 20th century, hemp cultivation was hampered by the fact that the developing technology facilitated the spinning of fibers such as cotton, thinner fibers could be obtained, and the laws regarding narcotic hemp in the 1930s. It can be said that the development of synthetic fiber is also effective in the production of hemp fiber.
However, research over time has shown that hemp fiber is of great importance in terms of sustainability, so hemp fiber production has been revived. Thanks to its ecological features, it has also become the working area of fashion brands with high awareness. Hemp fiber also supports the life cycle as an organic textile fiber with its sustainability features without destroying organic agriculture, environment-human health, natural resource consumption, and ecological system. In organic agriculture, which has become a lifestyle not only for health reasons but also as an example of sensitivity and awareness, hemp fiber ensures maximum protection of air, water, and soil.
Hemp fiber can replace other biological fibers in many applications, but can sometimes compete with materials such as glass fiber and steel, as noted below. As forests shrink, the probability of growing annual crops as fibrous resources increases. Crop residues such as grain and straw are likely to supply most of the need, while special fiber crops such as hemp have this potential. One reason hemp fiber is valuable is its length. The main fibers in the bark are 5-40 mm long and form a fiber bundle with a length of 1-5 meters.
Other desirable properties of hemp fibers; It is strength and durability, especially for rope, net, sailcloth. Because of the similarities between flax and hemp, the technology developed for one can be applied to the other. In addition, various European countries and private firms have contributed to the development of hemp technologies. Accordingly, Europe is far ahead in the development of cannabis compared to its practices in other parts of the world. The EU allocated approximately 30,000 ha for cannabis production in 2002.
The mechanical properties of hemp fibers are comparable to glass fibers due to their unique stiffness. Composite materials using hemp have been important for lighter applications, as it is 40% denser than glass fiber. It has the advantages of hardness, resistance to abrasion, bending, and preventing weighting. Its good features are that it does not require pesticides and it aerates the soil.
Since it has two strong ecological and technological advantages, hemp fiber can be used in the industry together with thermoplastic and thermoset composites. This innovation, dictated by new environmental approaches, depends on the ecological and technical performance of the raw materials. The ecological properties of hemp fiber, which is one of the natural European fibers, cause it to be used more and more in various innovative sectors that have to consider sustainable development in today’s production methods. Because the mechanical properties of hemp fiber bring performance and competitiveness to the new materials used.
R&D departments in technical institutes and universities consider fibers grown in natural vegetation as an alternative material to synthetic fiber. Today, the hemp industry focuses on new generation materials with a life cycle that guarantees environmental protection to the fullest. Environmental problems and the oil crisis also necessitate these studies. The assessment report on the environmental impact of cannabis cultures highlights that the reproduction of these cultures requires very little fertilizer and chemical pesticides. In addition, it has positive effects on the diversity and landscape of agricultural ecosystems. In this context, the cultivation of these fibers offers a well-received environmental pause for preserving soil quality, conserving nature, and promoting biodiversity.
Cannabis Explained: Usage Areas of Hemp Fiber
Hemp fiber is a preferred fiber in many areas due to its high strength, resistance to abrasion, breathability, high moisture absorption, non-pilling, antibacterial properties, UV protection, and high electrostatic properties. Looking at various sources in terms of the products it is used in, it can be said that it is used in more than 50,000 products. Cannabis is called industrial hemp due to this multi-use aspect.
The automobile manufactured by Henry Ford in the 1940s using hemp fiber is one of the best examples of how wide the use of hemp fiber is, with it being 10 times stronger than steel and designed to run on hemp biofuel. Opel and BMW are also brands that prefer hemp products in their cars.
In recent years, hemp fibers have come to the fore with their ecological properties and superior usage performance. The use of the cannabis plant in the textile industry dates back to ancient times. Along with the textile sector, hemp fibers are also widely used in the production of composite materials. Glue and other polymers have succeeded in attracting attention in the furniture and automotive industry as a result of establishing good bonds with materials.
While it is especially preferred in the use of upholstery fabric in the furniture industry, composite materials made of hemp fibers are used in areas such as door and seat panels in the automobile industry. There is a constant demand for textile products and composite materials made from hemp fibers due to the increase in environmental concerns and the ease of use and formability of the fibers. It is a preferred fiber not only in terms of environmental sustainability but also in terms of production cost when compared to other fibers.
So much so that when composite insulations made of hemp are used instead of composite insulations made of glass fiber, they are 23% lighter and 20% cost savings. In recent years, biodegradable hemp fiber has been preferred in the ready-made clothing industry due to its antimicrobial and moisture-absorbing properties as well as industrial uses in recent years. The household goods sector is one of the main markets where luxury textile materials are widely used. Natural luxury fibers used in fabric production are emerging in the sustainable fashion market due to their natural properties.
Among the usage areas of hemp fiber, three usage areas draw attention. The first is undoubtedly bioplastics and biopolymers. It is very important for the sustainable future of our world that biodegradable plastics replace plastics obtained from artificial fibers. The other is hemp papers. Paper made from wood can be recycled 3 times, while hemp-based papers can be recycled 8 times, displaying an environmentally friendly approach. Hemp-based biodiesel and biomass are environmentally friendly products that do not cause an increase in carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere.
Although often sold at high prices, hemp clothing has a natural appeal to a segment of the population. Hemp clothing is resistant to abrasion but is often irritating to the skin. However, with proper processing and blending with other natural fibers, this feature of the product has been significantly improved. Today, weavings that are indistinguishable from fine linen have become available in hemp weavings in China. Weaving hemp fibers into fabric was primarily done in China, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
The hemp clothing industry in North America today relies on fiber, yarn, and fabrics imported from Eastern Europe and China. Hemp fiber is used in outerwear and underwear products such as shirts, jackets, dresses, trousers, t-shirts, skirts, and coarse woven fabrics are produced from hemp fiber for upholstery fabrics, towels, curtains, mats, bags, bags, sacks, and awnings. Proponents of hemp say it can be used in 25,000 different products, from clothing to food and toiletries.
With the concepts of ethical production and ethical design, a system of values has emerged that covers the conditions under which the product is designed, produced, and consumed. In this context, the ethical principle, which also exists in fashion, has come to the fore with the ethical fashion, which has developed as an activist movement with social, cultural, and economic transformations, rather than being limited only to sustainability. Ethical fashion adopts not only ecological, sustainable design and production, but also slow and social approaches as a principle.
In other words, it is a value developed against environmental pollution, consumption-oriented production approach, labor exploitation, and unfair trade. Hemp fiber is an environmentally friendly fiber not only with its biodegradable feature but also with its compliance with the ethical production principle within the concept of sustainability. It consumes less water in hemp production than cotton production. While an average of 10000 liters of water is consumed for 1 kg of cotton, the average water consumption for 1 kg of hemp fiber is 300-500 liters. In the long run, choosing hemp fiber will provide a solution to the worldwide threat of thirst.
In an article published in 2004, it was mentioned that hemp fiber is not processed much industrially, thus clothing made from hemp is limited as a product sold in local shops/boutiques. However, the increase in environmentalist movements since those years has led to the formation of conscious consumers and producers, and thus to the use of hemp fiber by large clothing companies.
Many brands using hemp fiber use terms such as sustainable production, sustainable environment, ethical production, ethical fashion, organic fashion, green fashion, ecological fashion as their brand slogan, and they both reach conscious consumers and raise awareness of other consumers. In recent years, brands that carry out global sales, especially over the internet, have become increasingly common.
Weed Explained: Definition and Characteristics of Marijuana
Weed is one of the commonly used substances. It is known that weed (marijuana) has been cultivated and used throughout history. Its use has been increasing in recent years. There is a wide variety of views and beliefs regarding cannabis and its effects on society. According to these views and beliefs, people’s value judgments about cannabis are formed. Discussions on cannabis continue both in society and in scientific circles. One of the debates is whether cannabis use should be legalized. Thus, cannabis-related discussions are carried to the policy level. Recent research on whether cannabis can be used for medical treatment has added a new dimension to the debate.
Marijuana is the name of the substance obtained from the cannabis herb called Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica. Every part of this plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana is known as weed. It is written as “hash, hashish” in English and “Haschisch” in French. In Arabic, it is called “Hashish” or “Hashish”. Basically, jute or cannabis grass itself was called “hashish”. While the Arabs give this name to a certain plant species, in Western Europe both the plant and the object obtained from it are called “Hashish”. The point to be emphasized here is that there is no such plant as marijuana or weed, that weed is a substance obtained from cannabis.
The length of the cannabis varies from 1 to 4 meters. It has a unique smell. The leaves are covered with hairs. It grows in any climate. Marijuana can be obtained from the resin flowing on the plant without cutting it. The plant is cut when mature. It is then left to dry on a white cloth. The powders poured on the white cloth create the highest quality structure of cannabis. They are then sieved.
“Hashish” (cannabis/cannabis Indica) and “opium poppy” (papaver Somniferum L) are two confusing terms. Although these two plants are from the same family, they are different plants from each other. For this reason, the plant called “opium poppy” should not be confused with weed. The stems and seeds of cannabis are used in industry. Rope, rope, sacks, coarse fabric can be made from the fibers separated from the stems.
“Charas” is the resin separated and processed from the upper parts of the female plant. This substance is rolled and rubbed until it becomes a gray-white powder and then formed into slabs or nearly transparent thin sheets or left in the form of dark brown lumps. “Bhang” refers to the older or more mature leaves of the plant, often used as an ingredient in confectionery or to make syrups by boiling them in water and adding some butter. It is weaker in effects than Ganja, and much weaker than Charas.
The resin itself is brown in color and is usually compressed into blocks or flat plates. Depending on the country of origin and the proportion of leaves and tops of the plant in a mix, the resin may be a stronger or weaker green color and less soft and moist. The leaves are usually chopped after removing seed and stem, they are similar to crushed dried mint leaves and are green or gray-green in color. When burned or smoked, both the leaves and the resin give off an odor like dry straw on burning.
It is often used in the form of cigarettes. A rolled cigarette contains between 0.5 and 1 g of marijuana and between 20% and 70% of THC. It is also used by inhaling its steam with an item called a bong. Another use is to mix cannabis into cake or drink it as tea. The more concentrated and resinous form of cannabis is called hashish. Poppy oil is a black sticky liquid.
When marijuana is smoked, its pleasurable effect occurs within a few minutes. Its effect reaches its highest level in half an hour and this effect ends in 2-4 hours. Movement disorders continue for 8-12 hours. Marijuana use causes short-term euphoria and relaxation, changes in perception, distortion of time perception, and exaggeration in sensory experiences. After use, an increase in activities such as eating too much, watching too many movies, or listening to music can be seen. It has also been reported that it can cause excessive laughing and excessive talking when used in social environments.
Smoking cannabis in the form of cigarettes causes the heart rate to increase by 20-50% from the first minutes. This effect lasts for about 3 hours. After using cannabis, blood pressure increases if the person is sitting, and decreases if he is standing.
The psychological effects of cannabis use vary according to mood, the dosage of the substance taken, environment, and past experience. It can cause anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, and confusion, as well as causing impairment in movements and cognitive functions such as learning, memory, and attention due to short-term use. May be a cause of recurrence in schizophrenia. In addition to these, reasoning disorder and talkativeness are observed. Flashbacks may also occur, although not often. A relationship was found between cannabis use at an early age and depression in later years. Psychosocial problems experienced with cannabis use are similar to alcohol use.
Weed Explained: Addiction to Marijuana
Today, there is a prevailing opinion that cannabis is not addictive, and even if it does, it causes more psychological addiction. Studies have shown that cannabis use can cause physical and psychological dependence. Cannabis addiction is included in classification systems such as DSM-IV and ICD-10 as a separate diagnostic category. It has been shown that a rapid tolerance to marijuana use develops. It is often claimed that tolerance starts from the second use.
In a study, 35% of cannabis users reported that they could not quit cannabis even if they wanted to, 24% continued to use cannabis despite the problems they experienced due to cannabis use, and 13% reported that they could not keep their consumption under control. 20% of the users who participated in the study stated that they felt restless and nervous when they did not use cannabis. A study was conducted in New South Wales with 243 long-term cannabis users 3-4 times a week.
Research results show that 57% of the participants are addicted according to DSM-III-R and ICD10. In addition, it is noteworthy that only 25% of the users participating in the study admitted that they had problems related to cannabis. In a study conducted in the USA, it was revealed that people who started using cannabis became heavy users within 4-5 years and addiction occurred in one out of every ten people.
According to the results of another study; Only one in 10 people who use cannabis wants or tries to quit using it. Most of the users state that it is very difficult to quit cannabis and continue to use it despite being exposed to negative harms. In addition to these findings, a report published in the USA in 2002 states that the demands for cannabis addiction treatment have doubled in the last 10 years.
It has been shown that the risk of addiction in cannabis users is proportional to the frequency of use. The incidence of addiction tends to increase with frequent use. It has been determined that the prevalence of addiction varies between 57% and 92% in those who use cannabis several times a week and for a long time.
It has been shown that young adults with substance abuse start using cannabis, and heavy users are 140 times more likely to use other substances than those who have never used cannabis before. In a study investigating risky behaviors in students, the risk of using other substances was found to be quite high in cannabis users. The risk of using ecstasy was 34 times higher, the risk of using narcotic pills was 23 times, the risk of using heroin was 17 times, and the risk of using volatile substances was found to be 10 times higher in cannabis users compared to non-users.
Cannabis-related withdrawal symptoms are generally seen in heavy cannabis users. In other words, it has been determined that quitting cannabis after frequent and long-term use causes withdrawal symptoms. Studies have shown that many different withdrawal symptoms occur as a result of quitting cannabis use. Those who used marijuana continuously for four weeks and then went through a 4 week washout period had a loss of appetite and sleep disturbances after cessation of cannabis use. Similar withdrawal symptoms have been found in many studies conducted by different researchers. We can summarize the withdrawal symptoms as follows:
- Extreme sensitivity
- Decreased appetite
- Gastrointestinal ailments
- Fragmented thoughts
- loss of sense of direction
- Visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations
It has been stated that users who experience at least two of the withdrawal symptoms can be diagnosed with cannabis withdrawal. It is reported that the symptoms begin 4 hours after the cessation of substance use and continue for 4 days, and the symptoms reach the most intense level in these 4 days. It has been observed that aggression is experienced especially at the end of the seventh day in the deprivation process.
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