Support for the legalization of marijuana has surged significantly in the last few years. In a Pew Research Center study published in early 2018, 61% Americans said weed should be legalized; almost double the 2000 figure of just 31%.
Those of us who use marijuana know it is awesome and we love the fact that THC helps you relax, get high, and forget your troubles. Although much has been written about marijuana, and THC specifically in recent times, there is still a lot that is unknown or little understood about the plant, including some really cool facts that you’ve likely never heard about before.
In this article, we look at five of these fascinating tidbits and we guarantee you’ll be shocked at #3 — we certainly were!
1 – THC Could Make You Smarter
This news is a bit of a kick in the teeth for the “marijuana will make you so dumb that you’ll vote for a Republican in California” brigade. Contrary to the propaganda which began way back in the awful Reefer Madness days, THC is potentially beneficial for your brain cells and also stimulates brain cell growth.
THC is already known as a neuroprotectant as it keeps your brain protected from inflammation, oxidative stress and other harmful things. Now, scientists believe that THC is actually capable of encouraging neurogenesis, which is otherwise known as the growth of new brain cells. In contrast, other drugs such as alcohol, ecstasy, and cocaine suppress neurogenesis.
In 2017, a small pilot study in Harvard was published that added further weight to the belief that cannabis could make you smarter. The initial study included 24 people, although only 11 returned after the three-month testing period was finished. All of them had medical marijuana cards for ailments that included chronic pain, depression, and anxiety.
The patients completed two cognitive tests at the beginning and end of the study: the Stroop Color Word Test and a Trail Making Test. After comparing the new scores to the scores that were taken three months previously, the study found that after a few months on weed, the participants scored better overall with fewer mistakes, and also completed the tests faster.
2 – You Can’t Die from a Weed Overdose
To be clear, this doesn’t mean you can smoke as much super-strength weed as you want! If you go down that route and allow THC to blow your mind, it’s entirely possible to do a litany of stupid things that could cause you to get in harm’s way, and yes, potentially die. For instance you could begin to hallucinate, get scared and run away, and right into the path of a car! Okay okay, that isn’t a likely scenario at all but please remember that marijuana doesn’t make you invincible!
However, there doesn’t seem to be an amount of THC-infused weed you can smoke that causes your body to actually OD in the same way that you can with heroin, cocaine or other illicit drugs. The DEA hates weed, and gladly gets behind its prohibition even though this agency understands that weed is incapable of killing you directly.
In fact, the DEA wrote the following in its 2017 resource guide entitled Drugs of Abuse: “No deaths from overdose of marijuana have been reported.”
Moreover, back in 1988 a DEA Judge named Francis Young argued in favor of taking weed off Schedule I because of its ‘low harm profile’. According to Young, a user would need to “consume around 1,500 pounds of weed within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response”. This equates to somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 joints — in 15 minutes!
And finally, a 2014 study found that a user would have to orally ingest 0.5 grams of THC per kilo of body mass in order to produce a potentially lethal response. For all of you metrically-challenged out there (including us!), this means that if you weighed 90 kilos, which is approximately 200 lbs, you would have to consume 45 grams of 100% THC extract – a virtual impossibility. One scientist opined that such an amount was greater than what most users ingest in their entire lifetime.
3 – The North Korean Government Doesn’t Consider Marijuana to Be a Drug!
Yes, you read that right! In what is arguably the world’s most oppressive state, North Korea, its officials and dictator are less opposed to weed than the likes of Jeff Sessions! Given the relative lack of information about North Korea, though, we can’t claim that it is a pot smoker’s paradise because it almost certainly isn’t. However, it does seem to be a lot more tolerant than many American states.
A 2014 report by a journalist named Keegan Hamilton, for example, sought to debunk a report by VICE in 2013 which said that cannabis was widely used in North Korea. According to Hamilton, what the North Koreans use, ip tambae, is a mix of herbs and tobacco which looks like marijuana but isn’t related.
However, at least one tourist report stated that a group of foreigners purchased weed in the open at the Rason special economic zone. They were allowed to roll and smoke their joint, and even shared their spliffs with North Korean onlookers. There are also reports that Chinese visitors purchase weed quite frequently and bring it home to sell.
All in all it is difficult to know if tourists are getting hemp or THC-laden weed, but apparently, it is sold for $3 a pound! Could you imagine that!? Perhaps we should just ask weed-lover and friend of Kim Jong-Un, Dennis Rodman! Alas, we won’t be able to find out for ourselves because the United States issued a travel embargo to North Korea, which has been in effect since November 1, 2017.
4 – Tupac Shakur Was Smoked (With THC)
Tupac Shakur, better known as 2Pac, was one of the most successful and inspirational rappers of his generation. Sadly, he was involved with a number of violent criminals and on September 7, 1996, was attacked in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Tupac was shot four times and died from his injuries six days after the incident.
After the funeral, there was a strange rumor flying around that involved Tupac’s old band, Outlawz. The band later confirmed the rumor on VLADTV. According to Outlawz, they had a memorial for Tupac on a beach with the late rapper’s mother and family in attendance, and said that Tupac’s ashes were rolled into a joint and smoked! In his song ‘Black Jesus’, Tupac had sung the following: “Last wishes, niggas smoke my ashes.”
If this seems a little dangerous, Doctor Clifford Bassett asserted that it was no more dangerous than anything else people might smoke on a daily basis! Inhaling unregulated material is capable of causing respiratory complications, but this group used California Kush to ensure their friend’s ashes were smoked – and of course got REALLY high in the bargain.
5 – At Least Eight United States Presidents Smoked Weed
There has been absolute fury over suggestions that Founding Fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson smoked weed. Most research suggests that whatever they used, it probably didn’t contain THC. Even if we discount those two, along with President James Madison (who also probably used hemp), at least eight others indulged in Mary Jane — although none did so while in the White House!
James Monroe smoked hashish openly while Ambassador to France, while Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, and Andrew Jackson all used it while in the military. Evidence that Lincoln smoked isn’t as strong as the others, but it’s likely that he used hemp at the very least. Moreover, John F. Kennedy used it to deal with crippling back pain, while Bill Clinton has admitted to experimenting with it while in England. And although he said he didn’t “inhale,” he did apparently have an affection for hash brownies).
Incredibly, George W. Bush has admitted to trying weed in his youth, while Barack Obama readily admitted to cannabis use. In what was probably a poke at Clinton, he (Obama) said: “When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”
Final Thoughts on THC Fun Facts
Ultimately, it seems that those who rail hardest against weed know the least about it. Marijuana has been used in healing for thousands of years and to date, no one has ever died from an overdose. In contrast, widely available opioids kill almost 100 people a day. We should be allowed to smoke a joint or eat a hash cake without being subject to ludicrous judgments. After all, if it’s good enough for Obama and JFK, it’s good enough for us!