Cannabis goes by various names, some official while others depend on your region. From marijuana, weed, and skunk, to ganja, puff, Kush, smoke, and Mary Jane.
And just as it goes by numerous names, it also impacts our systems differently. Some people use marijuana for medicinal purposes, such as relief from pain, inflammation, and insomnia, as well as an appetite inducer. Others use it for recreational purposes, primarily to induce the famous euphoric effect. But how well do you know weed besides its origin, fancy names, and uses?
The following are the seven surprising facts about marijuana that you probably didn’t know till now.
Marijuana may be popular all over the world; however, it originated in Asia, particularly in Iran and India. Some researchers also trace its origin to the Caucasus regions of Eastern Europe.
The official origin of weed remains a matter of contention, possibly because the plant is spread all over the globe. Remember that cannabis is one of the most resilient plants, and generally thrives under some of the most unforgiving climatic conditions.
Also, a historic 2015 genetic analysis of marijuana plant noted that it’s virtually impossible to trace its evolutionary history.
- Earliest Use
The earliest pieces of evidence suggest that cannabis was used as a relief for a broad spectrum of conditions, ranging from pain and inflammation to constipation and malaria. Users also noted its psychoactive effects.
And since users consumed marijuana with all its over 100 cannabinoids intact, it was challenging to identify the most active and dominant compounds of the substance. But its potent curative properties saw weed adored in some countries, with India designating it as one of the five sacred plants.
Cannabis cultivation has gone on for at least 6,000 years. But remember that its medicinal properties weren’t documented until much later on. That means there are chances that humans may have cultivated the plant even way earlier than that. The earliest evidence of the cultivation of cannabis comes from East Asia, where the locals used the stems of the plant for fibers, and ate its fruits.
Indeed, the plant appears conspicuously in the oldest pharmacopeia known as pen-ts’ao ching, a compilation of the Chinese oral traditions that date back to over 2700 BC. It’s probably one of the earliest crops to have been cultivated by humans. With the advent of technology, various industrial hemp farms produce high-quality cannabis.
- First Credible Scientifically-tested Health Benefits
Various studies commissioned in the 1970s showed that smokers of cannabis demonstrated lowered pressure of the eyeball. Such effects were instrumental with glaucoma sufferers. A similar research study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In this study, researchers were able to prove that unlike tobacco, marijuana doesn’t interfere with lung function but instead boosts it.
Numerous other studies have shown that cannabis could be useful for patients with chronic pain, Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and inflammatory bowel disease. Experts also recommend marijuana as a post-chemotherapy drug for cancer patients.
- Identification of Strains
Cannabis is a genus that comprises various species, and there have always been confusions on which species cause what effects. In a 2015 genetic study, researchers discovered that many people wrongly described most of the commercially cultivated plants like Cannabis sativa, instead of Cannabis indica.
You should also note that there are numerous other marijuana strains. Contrary to popular belief, most of these strains produce a mix of similar effects, except for Sativa that boasts profound psychotropic properties. One can find information about various strains at Getkush’s website.
- Loved and Hated in Equal Measure
Some countries have legalized weed, while in other countries, the mere possession of cannabis could see you do years in prison. Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia are some of the most famous countries where possession and cultivation of cannabis are illegal.
In the Netherlands, Portugal, and Uruguay, you can freely cultivate, trade, and smoke weed. In the US, marijuana is legal in certain states for both medicinal and recreational use, such as Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. In New York, California, and Vermont, you can only use cannabis for medicinal purposes. It’s, however, reasonably illegal in other states, such as Oklahoma and Alabama.
- CBD Is the Most Useful Cannabinoid
Cannabis plant boasts over 100 compounds known as cannabinoids, with CBD and THC being the most popular ones. THC is famous for its psychoactive properties, while experts mostly recommend CBD for medicinal applications.
However, remember that most cannabis strains are low in CBD and high in THC. So, to enjoy the healing properties of CBD, your best bet is to go for CBD isolates. But much as researchers laud its medicinal properties, certain studies associate smoking cannabis among people aged 15 and under with increased risks of schizophrenia.
There are so many fun facts about the cannabis plant that you need to know. Above all, you should remember that many of the claims regarding the health benefits of weed are anecdotal, and research is always ongoing. So if you must puff some weed, do so in moderation, and preferably after procuring a prescription from a certified marijuana doctor.