18 Weird Facts About Cannabis
What happens when a natural plant that dates back to the third millennium BC is suddenly outlawed for almost one hundred years for reasons skeptical to the American public? People will still find ways to it, even if it results in weird, strange, or memorable stories. Here are our eighteen favorite weird facts about cannabis.
1. Bill Gates and other investors have secured a “doomsday seed vault” to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds in the remote Arctic Svalbard Archipelago and it includes 21,500 cannabis seeds—more than the asparagus, blueberry or raspberry seeds stored at the facility. There are more cannabis genetics than there are for artichoke, cranberry and pear combined.
2. In Colorado, recreational cannabis dispensaries outnumber Starbucks locations 3 to 1.
3. In college, Barack Obama was a member of the “Choom Gang,” a group of boys who played basketball and smoked pot.
4. Researchers discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as cannabis.
5. Bob Marley was buried with his Bible, his guitar, and bud of cannabis.
6. Since 2015, cannabis has become the fastest growing industry in the U.S. If cannabis becomes legal in all 50 states, the industry will become larger than the organic food market.
7. Paraguay is believed to be the world’s largest producer of cannabis.
8. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp on their plantations. The British crown even ordered the colonists to grow the plant.
9. The first item sold over the Internet was a bag of cannabis over 40 years ago. Stanford students used Arapnet (an early form of the Internet) to buy weed from their counterparts at MIT.
10. After Tupac Shakur’s murder, members of his music group mixed Tupac’s ashes with cannabis and smoked the concoction.
11. Dr. James C. Munch, the “official expert on cannabis” for the U.S. government from 1938 to 1962, testified in court, under oath, that he had smoked cannabis, and it turned him into a bat.
12. Someone would have to smoke over 1,500 pounds of cannabis within about 15 minutes to die of a lethal overdose. In other words, dying from a weed overdose is nearly impossible.
13. In 2003, Canada became the first country in the world to offer medical cannabis to pain-suffering patients. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to legally allow medical cannabis for patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation.
14. In 2001, an anthropologist reported that he’d discovered cannabis residue on the fragments of a pipe found in William Shakespeare’s garden in England.
15. Like many other plants, cannabis’ pollen and smoke can trigger allergic reactions in some people like itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing, occasional hives.
16. Marijuana’s high is getting increasingly higher—the levels of THC have risen from about 4 percent in 1995 to about 12 percent in 2014 so far.
17. In an unusual case, a hospital in North Carolina noticed an uptick in the number of newborns who were testing positive for cannabis in their urine, a result of ingredients found in several common baby soaps that can cause a false positive like Johnson & Johnson, CVS and Aveeno.
18. Trace amounts of cannabis are wafting through the air around the Colosseum and the Pantheon, as well as in seven other Italian cities. Don’t worry, the levels of cannabis are far too low to affect human health.