Science of cannabis: #1 A long history and a seismic shift

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November 28, 2023

So this part

Cannabis is having a moment. About half of the US population lives in a state where marijuana is legal, and 9 in 10 people support legalization at the national level in some way. This is different from decades ago, when prohibition was common throughout the US. Meanwhile, if you live in Malta, Uruguay, Canada — and maybe soon Germany — your entire country is one with legal recreational pot. And access to medical marijuana extends to many countries, including the UK and Australia.

But as medical and recreational use become more popular and accessible, how exactly did we arrive at this turning point? What can research tell us – so far – about how the plant produces its euphoric effects, what medicinal purposes it might serve, or how it might be harmful? And how might our relationship with this incredible leaf change in the coming decades?

In the first part of this three-part special series on the science of cannabis, Christy Taylor explores our deep history with cannabis. From its first domestic use in northwest China 12,000 years ago to its growing popularity in the United States and around the world.

know more: The team at A new scientist In this special report, he examines cannabis and the brain, the environmental cost of cannabis production, and other questions. Visit

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