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The Cannabis sativa plant. The psychoactive drug cannabis, which has many nicknames (some pertaining to certain plant breeds and preparations), is produced from parts of the cannabis plant, primarily the cured flowers and gathered trichomes of the female plant, as well as the less psychoactive remains of the plant, and its highly psychoactive resin.
The major active chemical compound ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC, has psychoactive and medicinal effects when consumed, usually by smoking or ingestion. Humans have been consuming cannabis since before recorded history; in the 20th century there was a rise in the use of cannabis for recreational and religious purposes.
The possession, use, or sale of psychoactive cannabis products became illegal in many parts of the world in the early 20th century. Since then, while some countries have intensified the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, others have reduced the priority of enforcement to the point of de facto legality.
The supplying of cannabis remains illegal almost everywhere in the world through the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, while simple possession of small quantities is tolerated in a few countries.