We may think we know everything there is to know about cannabis, but how much do you really know? Some of these interesting facts about marijuana and its usage will blow your mind.
William Shakespeare smoked weed. “To smoke, or not to smoke?” is a question we sometimes ask ourselves. Apparently, it was never much of a question for the legendary William Shakespeare. Believe it or not, when Shakespeare’s garden was excavated, four pipes containing cannabis were found. This means that he may have very well written some of his famous pieces while high. In fact, he even subtly alludes to cannabis use in some of his writings!
Cannabis was used as a truth serum in WWII. You can’t make this stuff up. The OSS (Office of Strategic Services), which was the CIA of its time, was interested in whether there were drugs that could be used to aid with the interrogation of prisoners of war. A committee was formed to investigate this, and one of the prominent members was Harry Anslinger, architect of Reefer Madness and marijuana prohibition. Marijuana was found to be a useful tool in interrogation because it “made them relaxed, a little high, and distracted them enough.” This “truth serum” was tested on numerous subjects, including mob boss associates and even Manhattan Project scientists.
In 1941, Henry Ford came up with a hemp car. “A hemp car?” you ask. Yep, an automobile that ran off of hemp bio-fuel (hemp ethanol) and was made almost entirely of plant material. The only steel in the car was its tubular welded frame. The body was also constructed from hemp plastic, which was 10 times stronger than steel. WOW! Talk about ahead of its time.
The first thing ever sold on the internet was marijuana. Researchers say that in 1971 or 1972, Stanford students used the internet to facilitate a marijuana sale to their counterparts at MIT. Long before Amazon or eBay, they used the Arpanet at their artificial intelligence lab to conduct the sale. However, critics will argue that the money was exchanged in person, so it doesn’t count. The first time someone inputted their financial information over the internet for a purchase was actually in 1994 when a guy sold a Sting CD to his friend. I will argue, however, that buying something off of craigslist and paying cash is still an internet sale in my book.
Tupac’s ashes were rolled up into a blunt and smoked. It’s true. His group, The Outlawz, have confirmed that they had a little memorial for him at the beach and smoked his ashes. One band member, EDI Mean, took Tupac’s lyrics from “Black Jesus” quite literally, which read “last wishes, n****s smoke my ashes.” He claims it was his idea. They gave him his own farewell in a way they thought he would appreciate.
You can actually be allergic to marijuana. Some of us may have known someone who claimed this, but the details of this is actually quite shocking. You can develop an allergy to the pollen and other proteins in the cannabis plant just like other flowers and grasses. It’s estimated that up to 10% of people who use marijuana may have an allergy to it. The symptoms are similar to other grass allergies. Ever been itchy or developed a skin rash when breaking up buds to roll up? I’ve seen it before, but I always assumed it was from pesticides.
The nickname “pot” comes from the Mexican Spanish word “potiguaya”. It’s actually a shortening of “potacion de guaya”, which was an alcoholic drink made of marijuana leaves and buds. The leaves and buds were steeped in brandy or wine and it means the “drink of grief”. The slang term caught on in America in the 1930’s and 40’s and that’s why some people still call it pot today!
Cannabis today is 5 times stronger than it was in the 80’s. While hard to prove, researchers believe this to be true because the figures speak for themselves. Marijuana used to have a THC concentration in the 2%-5% range, and today it more commonly ranges from 10% to 25%. Researchers have also examined 39,000 samples that had been seized from 1995 to 2014. Their research showed that weed in 1995 had an average THC content of 4%, whereas the weed from 2014 had an average THC content of 12%. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as storage conditions or the age of the samples, but researchers confirm that the weed today is indeed stronger.
40% of U.S. drug arrests in 2018 were for marijuana offenses. Can you believe that? Of those, 92% were for possession and 8% were for the sale or manufacture of marijuana. Of the 1.65 million drug arrests in 2018, marijuana accounts for more of those arrests than any other drug. Relatively, western states had a much lower percentage of marijuana arrests than eastern states, mainly due to decriminalization and legalization.
Indoor cannabis cultivation uses a lot of energy. Did you know? The energy required to produce 2.2 pounds of indoor cannabis is equivalent to the energy needed to drive across the country FIVE times in a car that gets 44 miles to the gallon. Grow lights suck up a lot of electricity, as many indoor growers can vouch for high energy bills. This means that growing weed outdoors could help lessen its carbon footprint. However, innovations like low-energy LED lighting could make pot a lot greener.