Ten Things about Cannabis that will Make You Say, Hmmm?
When you start examining the world of cannabis, it’s a bit like peeling an onion. Once you get through one level, there is another layer and another and another. When I first began researching cannabis I likened it to exploring a rabbit hole. You dig, you discover and learn, you dig some more you discover and learn more and the process goes on. But the good news is that the things you discover are exciting, weird, unlikely, and at least for me, I wanted to learn more. If you are curious, learning about cannabis is a topic ripe for exploration.
To get you started, here is a list of ten things about cannabis that will grab your attention. Here goes:
1. Nearly all cannabis strains are comprised of sativa dominant and/or indica dominant parents and are hybrids. That is, very few strains are “pure” sativa or indica strains.
2. Ruderalis is the lesser known member of the cannabis family, is largely naturally grown in Eastern Europe and Russia, autoflowers (which means it blooms at a set time rather than relying on 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to begin the bloom) and can be rich in CBD.
3. The Jamestown colonists who were landowners were required to plant 100 hemp plants and ship them back to Britain as tax.
4. Hemp is an amazing, sustainable plant and fiber that can be used to produce over 25,000 products including fabric, rope, hempcrete (building material), carpet, car door panels, paper, health and beauty aids, food, and fuel. At one point in the 19th century, roughly 70% of all consumer products were made of -or partially made of- hemp.
5. Between 1850 and 1937, cannabis was recognized for its medicinal qualities and was featured in the US Pharmacopeia, the standard medical book that is a compendium of drug information.
6. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, fueled by anti-immigrant sentiment and as an attempt to hinder the use of hemp, signaled the beginning of cannabis prohibition in the United States.
7. Uruguay was the first country in the world to allow for adult citizens to freely use cannabis. Canada recently followed their lead by allowing for adult use cannabis in all of their provinces as of October 17, 2018.
8. Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island all recognize medical cannabis cards from other legal medical cannabis states.
9. Israel scientist Raphael Mechoulam is fondly called the Grandfather of Cannabis and was the first person to isolate THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the element in cannabis that attaches to receptors to give the user a “high.”
10. We are learning so much about cannabis every day and I predict that terpenes, the element in the cannabis plant that gives it its unique aroma and taste will be proven to enhance any number of therapeutic effects. Just as we currently comfortably talk about strains, sativa, indica, THC and CBD, in the future we will include terpenes in basic conversations about cannabis.