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What is Cannabis?

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Cannabis , also known as marijuana, is a plant from Central Asia that is grown in many parts of the world today. The Cannabis plant produces a resin containing compounds called cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids are psychoactive (acting on the brain and changing mood or consciousness). In the United States, Cannabis is a controlled substance and has been classified as a Schedule I agent (a drug with a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use).

Clinical trials that study medicinal Cannabis in cancer are limited. To do research with Cannabis in the United States, researchers must file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), receive a Schedule I license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and gain approval from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In other words, there are a lot of road blocks from government agencies who earn their budget enforcing drug laws, or who receive investments and funding from  interests in competing products or services.

By federal law, the possession of Cannabis (marijuana) is illegal in the United States outside of approved research settings. However, a growing number of states, territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana.