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Marijuana (colloquially grass , weed , pot , ganja , Ott ) refers to the dried resinous flowers and flower-proximal, small leaves of the female hemp plant ( cannabis ).

Marijuana must be distinguished from hashish . Hashish is also a cannabis product, but mostly consists of the pressed resin of the processed parts of the plant.


Marijuana is used both as an intoxicant and as a medicine. It is mostly smoked after incomplete combustion or inhaled after evaporation ; more rarely it is also taken orally (e.g. with food).

THC content

The intoxicating effects of marijuana are mainly due to the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The THC content can vary widely: for 2015, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction ( EMCDDA ), based on national averages, gave a THC active ingredient content in marijuana of 3% as a minimum, of 22% as a maximum and a quartile interval of 7 to 11% on.

An active ingredient content of up to over 30% is possible with certain cannabis varieties under the best conditions. Medical cannabis in Germany currently offers THC values ​​between under 1 and up to 22%, depending on the variety. The CBD content of official medical cannabis in Germany is between 0.05 and 10.2%.

To the subject

In the legal text of the Narcotics Act , the name marijuana is anchored as a trivial name for the entire plant. It says there: cannabis (marijuana, plants and parts of plants belonging to the cannabis genus) . The name marijuana originally came to Germany from the USA, where it played an important role in the ban on the cannabis plant.

The word marihuana , sometimes also spelled mariguana , comes from Mexican Spanish . The further derivation is uncertain, possibly the word comes from an Indian language. The often rumored derivation of the Spanish first name María Juana ("Mary Jane") is an erroneous folk etymology that probably arose in the USA after the word was borrowed into English . This also explains the spelling variant marijuana , which first emerged in the English-speaking world and is rarely found in Spanish. Marijuana is also known as "Mary Jane" in English-speaking countries.

Weed is one of the most common slang terms for marijuana. Weed is a term also used in German-speaking countries.

In Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, marijuana is also known as ganja , after the Sanskrit term for hemp in Hindi and Urdu . Sinsemilla ( span. Sin semilla: 'without seeds') - modified, especially in the Jamaican-speaking area, also sensimilla - consists exclusively of female, unpolluted inflorescences that contain no seeds . Sinsemilla is obtained by removing the male plants as soon as the gender can be identified so that the female plants are not pollinated.

Hash, hashish , marijuana and cannabis are also mistakenly used interchangeably . Cannabis is the Latin name of the hemp genus .

Legal situation

The worldwide legal situation of medical cannabis · As of April 2019
  • legal (prescription only)
  • legal for recreational use too
  • The possession, trafficking, and use of marijuana and other cannabis products such as hashish and hash oil are prohibited in most countries. However, criminal proceedings in Germany for the acquisition of small quantities that are for obvious personal use are usually discontinued by the public prosecutor's office on the basis of a 1994 judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court .

    Uruguay is the first country in the world that decided to fully legalize cannabis back in 2013. However, the regular cannabis trade did not start until July 1, 2017. Canada decided to release cannabis on June 19, 2018. As of October 17, 2018, products containing THC have been legal to grow, consume and sell in small quantities in Canada. A common misconception is that the Netherlands too legalized cannabis completely. Only the possession of up to five grams of cannabis and its sale to private customers through coffee shops according to strict rules is legal . In the United States of America ten states and the seat of government Washington DC have now completely legalized cannabis. Other states have decriminalized private use. Also, 33 of the 50 states in the US have allowed cannabis as a drug. In many other countries, cannabis is now also approved for medical purposes. (See world map)


    Chromatographic methods are suitable for determining harmful substances in marijuana, such as B. the coupling of gas chromatography with mass spectrometry .

    Web links

    Commons : Marijuana  Pictures and Media Files
    Wiktionary: Marihuana  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

    Individual evidence

    1. ^ A. Thierbach: Lexicon of emergency medicine. Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-642-56305-8 , p. 287.
    2. ^ Duden editorship: Duden - dictionary of medical terms. Bibliographisches Institut GmbH, 2014, ISBN 978-3-411-90267-5 , p. 484 ( limited preview in Google book search).
    3. ^ Hans-Dieter Klimm: General medicine . Georg Thieme Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-13-155424-X , p. 86.
    4. European Drugs Report 2017. (PDF) European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, p. 21 , accessed on November 12, 2017 .
    5. Avoxa Mediengruppe Deutscher Apotheker GmbH: Cannabis as medicine: What can pharmacies have in store? In: Pharmaceutical newspaper online. Retrieved November 12, 2017 .
    6. Annex I BtMG - (on Section 1, Paragraph 1) "Non-marketable narcotics" and legislative resolution of the German Bundestag - Act to amend narcotics law and other regulations Federal Council printed matter 21/17 January 20, 2017, accessed February 17, 2017.
    7. ^ Duden editorship: The dictionary of origin: Etymology of the German language . Bibliographisches Institut, 2015, ISBN 978-3-411-90539-3 ( limited preview in Google book search).
    8. See also the refrain in Sugar Man by Sixto Rodríguez : "Silver magic ships you carry Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane".
    9. ganja. In: Merriam-Webster, accessed November 16, 2013 .
    10. ^ Report of the National Commission on Ganja (Jamaica). In: Drug Policy Association, accessed on August 4, 2016 .
    11. Cannabis in Uruguay: official sales finally start on July 1st - Highway - Das Cannabismagazin. Retrieved May 30, 2017 .
    12. Starting October 17th: Canada legalizes cannabis . ( [accessed on July 12, 2018]).
    13. Maximilian Plenert: Is cannabis legal in the Netherlands? In: German Hemp Association . November 6, 2014 ( [accessed May 30, 2017]).
    14. N. Sullivan, S. Elzinga, J. C. Raber: Determination of pesticide residues in cannabis smoke. In: J Toxicol. May 12, 2013, p. 378168. PMID 23737769