What is Marijuana? Also called weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and a vast number of other slang terms—is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa and Indica.

What is Marijuana – History

While cannabis plants have been grown since at least the 3rd millennium BCE, evidence suggests that it was being smoked for psychoactive effects at least 2,500 years ago in the Pamir Mountains; the earliest evidence found at a cemetery in what is today western China close to the tripoint with Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

What is Marijuana – Chemistry

If the plant contains more than .003% of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is “marijuana” if it has LESS than .003%, it’s “hemp”.

Hemp which contains .003% THC can be used for CBD products. Less than .003% is industrial hemp territory, which has over 50,000 different uses.

Is Marijuana Easy to Consume?

Some people smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints; in pipes, water pipes (sometimes called bongs), or in blunts (marijuana rolled in cigar wraps).

Marijuana can also be used to brew tea and, particularly when it is sold or consumed for medicinal purposes, is frequently mixed into foods (edibles) such as brownies, cookies, or candies. Vaporizers are also increasingly used to consume marijuana.

While most people are familiar with marijuana flowers (or “buds”), there are stronger forms of marijuana including:

  • concentrated resins containing high doses of marijuana’s active ingredients,
  • honeylike hash oil
  • waxy “budder”
  • hard amberlike shatter.

These resins are increasingly popular among those who use them both recreationally and medically and are typically consumed either with a vaporizing tool or a special type of Bong called a Dab Rig (see What is Dabbing?)

Vaporizing Tools pull the active ingredients (including THC) from the cannabis and collect their vapor in a storage unit. A person then inhales the vapor, not the smoke.

How do people use cannabis?

People use cannabis for as many reasons as there are stars in the sky, however, for classification purposes, there are two kinds of use: recreational and medical.

The differences between the two, at the surface, seem obvious: recreational users consume weed to get “stoned” or “high” whereas medical users use cannabis to help manage a wide array of issues, include, but not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Eating Disorders
  • Injury Recovery
  • Pain Management
  • PTSD
  • Epilepsy

Some use cases support smoking and vaping on an ‘on demand’ basis, some required topical applications with physical therapy and/or exercise and some required a combination.

Many medical (and recreational) consumers of cannabis use ‘hybrids’ or crosses between the cannabis strains (read about Indica vrs Sativa) and between THC rich strains and CBD rich strains.


So, what is marijuana? It’s a complicated subject with many answers. To learn more Book an up-close-and-personal experience with Happy Travelers Tours!