If you are even remotely involved with the cannabis culture, then you certainly know just how many false myths there are involving the plant.
Marijuana was criminalized in the early 1900s, which is why many people started fabricating stories and lies about it very early on. Some of the earliest marijuana myths include that smoking it turns you into a devil and that it is a deadly and dangerous plant that turns people into homicidal maniacs.
Little did they know that it was the exact opposite of that.
Thankfully, we now live in a much more liberal society — a society where claims need to be backed up by scientific facts in order to be publicly accepted. Which is exactly what we are celebrating in this article:
Some jaw dropping marijuana facts.
Let’s get started:
We’re kicking this one off with our beloved Canada.
Marijuana is one of the most used substances in Canada, with as much as 44% Canadians trying it at least once. The numbers for regular users vary across the provinces and Nunavut is leading the way with 43%.
The chart below illustrates the usage of marijuana across Canada:
Add to that the fact that Canadians smoke weed 4 times the world average and we have ourselves a contender for the biggest herb nation in the world.
Who knows, in a few years we’ll maybe even swap maple for cannabis leaf. Joke alert.
There are numerous countries who have already experienced increased revenue streams from legalizing cannabis. And according to this Cato study, marijuana legalization guarantees dramatic budgetary effects — billions and billions of dollars a year.
This revenue would come from saving on government expenditures for enforcing prohibitions and, most importantly, on tax. If cannabis was to be legalized in the entire US for example, it would yield roughly $8,7 billion in annual tax revenue.
Alaska was one of the first regions in North America to legalize cannabis for personal use. After the Ravin v State Supreme Court decision, citizens of Alaska were able to posses and consume small amounts of cannabis.
In February 2015, weed became completely legalized through a ballot measure whose goal was to tax and regulate the production, sale and use of cannabis. Currently, Alaskans over 21 can possess up to an ounce of dried cannabis and as much as six plants.
More than enough to get you by for a day, if you ask me.
This is pretty big.
According to a study done in 2007, CBD was found to freeze aggressive cancer cells by inhibiting a thing called Id-1 gene — a key regulator for metastatic cell growth. This was initially discovered through a petri dish experiment and later followed up with a successful animal study.
Unfortunately for us smokers, the amount of CBD needed to make this work is huge. The animals in the study were injected with concentrated CBD but the researchers are in the process of synthesizing the compound for further lab tests.
Check out our THC vs CBD article for more info on this substance.
Did you know that weed in North Korea is not even considered a drug?
As Vice explains, visitors returning from North Korea have reported seeing cannabis plants growing freely across the country and even in the surrounding areas of Pyongyang. And if that’s not enough, there are also reports of many citizens casually smoking in the streets — they even call it “the leaf tobacco”.
It seems like North Koreans apparently get a chance to escape from their everyday slavery by rolling up.
Jokes aside, they smoke to take a break from low quality cigarettes and reduce inflamed muscles, which are an annoyance for many labor workers.
It’s good to know that they can have some form of happiness, at least.
You heard it right.
In 1949, the US military experimented with a new potential drug for non-lethal incapacitation — DMHP (Dimethylheptylpyran, if you can pronounce it).
This was, essentially, a synthetic form of THC, very similar in structure but a lot more stronger and potent.
The facilities at Edgewood Arsenal (US Army facility for human chemical experiments that operated until the mid ‘70s) concluded that DMHP was very effective at incapacitating people for up to 3 days.
Their obstacle, however, was the fact that the hypotension in injected individuals was too dangerous for the drug to fall under the non lethal badge.
Their funding for further experiments was rejected and, thankfully, their entire facility was shut down in 1975 until further notice.
Cannabis became completely legal in Colorado in 2012.
This was big news at the time, as the state instantly became utopia for weed enthusiasts across the country. People poured in, real estate prices went up and thousands of new dispensaries opened up.
In 2014, the total Colorado weed market reached a total of $700 million in sales and by the end of 2016, that number went up to $1 billion. During that year, the state of Colorado raked in a total of $150 million in taxes. Not bad for one year.
Interestingly enough, the plant was so well accepted that the number of dispensaries now outnumbers Starbucks 3:1.
Who needs coffee anyway, right?
While we’re at the coffee — did you know that caffeine causes withdrawal effects, anxiety and jitters?
Well neither did I (even though I wouldn’t give it up for the world), but apparently 1 in 10 people misuse caffeine as a substance and even go to great lengths to get their daily fix.
THC is similar to caffeine in many areas. Both are substances found in plants and people have been using them for millenniums. However, they do have their differences.
This comparative risk assessment from 2015 researched the potential harmful effects of various substances: light and heavy drugs, tobacco, alcohol and even coffee.
Their conclusion about weed was that it is such a low-risk substance that they advise a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach.
Cannabis was extensively used in ancient China both as hemp and as a medicine. The earliest known evidence of the plant can be found in the rope imprints on Chinese pottery from 10,000 BC.
Later on, it became a significant commodity in China’s internal economics, used for rope, paper, cloth and medicine. The first written evidence of cannabis as a medicine can be found in a scripture from 2,700 BC — a Chinese emperor named Shen-Nung wrote about cannabis in his medical encyclopedia.
According to PsychologyToday, cannabis was not treated as an intoxicant until it started being used for religious purposes in India.
This article by The Guardian explains how John Markoff, a well accomplished New York times journalist and author unveiled how the first ever Internet trade happened to be a bag of dried cannabis flowers.
The alleged trade took place in 1971, between Stanford and MIT students who used Arpanet accounts to negotiate a deal over a certain amount of marijuana.
Fun fact: Bill Murray’s 20th birthday was wild.
According to Esquire, the movie superstar made a joke to a guy sitting next to him in the plane by telling him that he’s carrying two bombs in his briefcase. God knows what he meant by that, but unfortunately, the joke was overheard by a ticket agent.
She called two US marshals right away and they opened his briefcase. What they saw inside astonished them:
Two one-pound bricks of marijuana.
Murray was arrested and sentenced to 5 years probation. He dropped out of college shortly and went on to become one of the most beloved people of popular culture.
Where does the wide application of cannabis end? Rope, paper, medication, plastic — you name it, the plant brings it.
However, one of the most hidden uses of marijuana ever is as a radiation absorber. In 1998, industrial cannabis was planted in areas around Chernobyl to remove contaminants from the soil. It has been noted that cannabis plants act as a soil filter by breaking down organic pollutants and stabilizing metal contaminants.
There you have it, guys. Some of the most amazing marijuana facts out there.
But the big question is:
Which one of these did you find the most surprising?