Given its use throughout history as rope, clothing and many other textiles, it’s not surprising that hemp remains a commonly used material in the modern world. Also known as industrial hemp, hemp is typically found in the Northern hemisphere and is considered to be great for textile production given its quick growth and harvest ability. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. A single acre of hemp plants can produce as much as two to three acres of cotton plants in a year’s time. Given that hemp is also stronger, longer-lasting and more mildew-resistant than cotton, it’s no wonder that early American states used it as a currency only a few hundred years ago.
Hemp has been made into useable fiber for at least 10,000 years. While clothing and textiles, ranging from purses to checkbook covers and everything in between, are the most common uses for the crop, its uses range much more widely. Paper products are often made from hemp, as is animal feed. While today only about .05% of paper products contain hemp, 2,000 years ago it was one of the most common paper ingredients. Biodegradable plastics can be made from hemp plants, as can paint. Many places also use hemp as insulation.
Hemp is actually being used as a fuel source. Biofuels created from hemp are useful in not just cars but also anything else that runs on fuel—even generators. Richard Parnas of the University of Connecticut, where the use of hemp as a biofuel is underway, says, “If someone is already growing hemp, they might be able to produce enough fuel to power their whole farm with the oil from the seeds they produce. The fact that a hemp industry already exists means that a hemp biodiesel industry would need little additional investment.”
Using hemp as an energy source does not stop at fuel, either. The use of the plant as nanosheets for batteries, similar to grapheme, is under development. As with biofuel, hemp simply costs less to grow and develop, giving scientists much more to work with in the long run. With this in mind, hemp is also being used as an economical building materials source. Aside from insulation, hemp is being used in creating fiberboard, pressboard and “hempcrete,” a lighter and stronger version of concrete. All of these materials may revolutionize the way we build our homes and buildings very soon.
Hemp seed is actually a common food ingredient, even in the United States, where around $11 million of the seeds are imported each year for use in cereals, granola, hemp milk, hemp juice and other products. The seeds can also be sprouted for eating, ground into a meal or eaten raw. Cold-pressed hempseed oil is a favorite source of unsaturated fatty acids among health conscious individuals. Hemp seeds also provide more than 60% of your daily protein value per serving. The hemp seed oil content is even considered a “super food,” with more inflammation-lowering fatty acids than walnuts. Hempseed is also a good source of both calcium and iron. Feeding livestock hemp is a more economical way to get more feed out of less acreage while using the current livestock-feeding crops for human use instead.
With all of this in mind, saying that using hemp crops could help save the world—or at least prolong the life of humankind—might not be so much of an exaggeration. Hemp can even help humans fix their biggest mistakes, like cleaning up nuclear waste. In the 1990s, hemp was planted around the site of Chernobyl to help heal the soil of the region.
Even if you think you know all there is to know about marijuana, there are always interesting facts to learn. You may already know that pot is the most often used drug for recreational purposes in the United States, but did you know that Chinese Emperor Shen Nung is thought to have been the first person in written history to use marijuana for medical purposes in 2727 BC? How about that people actually give pot to their pets to help treat illnesses—which can sometimes be harmful? Read and share these fascinating facts about marijuana to test your knowledge.
- The hops that you find in beer are in the same plant family of flowering plants that pot comes from, making beer and pot a bit related.
- Marijuana is often enjoyed in an edible form. Some people even use it as a tea.
- Less than 10% of marijuana users actually become addicted to the drug. Even so, becoming addicted is still possible for some users.
- In Alaska, using marijuana for personal use has been legal since 1975.
- In Ancient China, marijuana was used to treat constipation, “female disorders,” rheumatic pain and malaria.
- Legalizing marijuana across the board would lead to about $8.7 billion in federal and state tax revenue for the United States annually.
- The most common modern use for marijuana is for chronic pain relief, but it is also used to treat seizures, side effects of chemotherapy, glaucoma and many other illnesses. Research about the drug’s effectiveness as a treatment for various conditions is ongoing. Some patients with multiple sclerosis, PTSD, Crohn’s Disease and depression have found relief by using medical marijuana.
- In 1619, every farmer in the early American colonies was required to grow hemp by the Virginia Assembly. It was then used by some states as currency.
- New strains of marijuana are constantly in development, making it nearly impossible to try every single strain in the world. OG Kush is one of the most popular strains. Its high THC content makes it one of the strongest and most preferred strains in the world.
- Nearly half of the citizens of the United States have tried marijuana at some point in their lives. About 42% admit to using pot at least once.
- Dabbing is a form of marijuana use where the user employs a THC-rich resin in order to get high. Resins may include hash oil, honey oil, wax/budder or shatter. Each of these has its own consistency, ranging from a gooey liquid to a hard, amber solid form.
- Over 800,000 people are arrested for marijuana use in the United States annually.
- Individual states began outlawing marijuana in the 1930s when Mexican immigrants introduced Americans to the recreational uses of the drug. A fear of immigrants led to a smear campaign about the drug in which officials claimed that it made people violent and prone to criminal behavior, which has since been debunked.
- Most studies indicate that pot is not as harmful as cigarettes made with tobacco or alcohol.
- Vaporizers are considered to be the safest method of inhalation. Like a vaporizer’s effect on cigarettes, it does not burn the active ingredients in pot, preventing many of the harmful effects that can occur otherwise.
- Marijuana still presents health risks similar to those of smoking, like bronchitis and respiratory illnesses.
- Marijuana is one of the oldest crops in the world. Not only were hemp crops used for food, fiber, oil and paper throughout the past 6,000 years, but as recently as the early 1890s Americans were even encouraged to grow it to help produce clothing, rope and other textiles.
- Following the Civil War, marijuana was frequently sold in pharmacies as a medical ingredient.
Getting high is the subject of dozens, if not hundreds, of songs. Given that listening to music and indulging in your imaginative nature is one of the most loved activities to do while high, there is really no wonder why so many singers, many who were inspired by marijuana use to create their songs in the first place, wax poetry about marijuana. While this is just a sampling of some of the songs that have been performed about pot, new songs are always in the making to celebrate weed.
While there’s only one small part of “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band that includes a pot reference—the portion about being a “midnight toker” and a “smoker”—the entire song feels like an homage to marijuana. Not only is there the psychedelic twang of a slide guitar, but there’s also the “lovey dovey” vibe and the slow, mellow vocals and music that are reminiscent of getting high.
“Because I Got High”
Afro Man’s homage to getting high is probably the most popular pot tune of all time. The song is basically a long list of things that the speaker was going to do before he got high, which prevented him from accomplishing any of his goals. The funniest lyrics of the song include, "I was gonna clean my room until I got high/ I gonna get up and find the broom but then I got high/My room is still messed up and I know why (Yeah, hey!)/ Because I got high, because I got high, because I got high." Like Billboard says, the song is fun until he starts to sing about losing his wife and kids due to getting high all of the time, which is just depressing.
“One Toke Over the Line”
Tarkio’s “One Toke Over the Line” sounds like a lighthearted ditty about smoking pot while waiting for a train, but Tom Shipley explains that it’s a little darker than that. “When we wrote 'One Toke Over the Line,' I think we were one toke over the line. I considered marijuana a sort of a sacrament... If you listen to the lyrics of that song, 'one toke' was just a metaphor. It's a song about excess. Too much of anything will probably kill you.” The song was written in a jovial mood as Shipley and Brewer entertained themselves, though.
“Weed with Willie”
As overrated and violence-loving as Toby Keith is, you have to love it when he sings about sharing a joint with none other than Willie Nelson. It is Nelson’s presence in his song “Weed with Willie” that makes it a fun song. The audience pretty much laughs at Keith as the self-proclaimed whiskey lover croons, “Now we learned a hard lesson in a small Texas town/ He fired up a fat boy and he passed it around/ The last words that I spoke before they tucked me in/ I'll never smoke weed with Willie again.”
“Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35”
Most people know this Bob Dylan song by its refrain, “Everybody must get stoned!” which occurs at the end of every. Single. Verse. The carnival quality of the piano, layered blues chords and convivial attitude conveyed throughout the song with a bunch of yelling and laughing sound like a celebration of pot, and it pretty much is. Bob Dylan demanded that everyone working on the song get drunk before performing it for a realistic effect. Some of the musicians said that they enjoyed a “huge amount” of marijuana and “got pretty wipe out” in order to perform the song.
One of the most prevalent themes in marijuana culture is the beloved bong. From TV jokes to entire movies revolving around the devices to aficionados collecting various bongs, the pipes are one of the most recognizable parts of pot culture throughout history. How did they become so popular and well-recognized, and why do people still prefer them when modern uses of marijuana like vaporizers and budders are available? Check your knowledge in this brief history of bongs and decide whether or not you think the classic instruments remain as relevant today as they have throughout history.
Although many researchers claim that the bong is a descendent of the hookah used in Asia, historical evidence points to Africa as the birthplace of the bong. Different cultures in the eastern and southern portions of the continent developed the tool in order to smoke long before they were introduced to tobacco crops. Archeologists like J.C. Dombrowski suggest that Africans have been smoking marijuana since sometime between 1100 and 1400 CE, which is supported by the finding of a cluster of pipes containing cannabis residue being discovered within caves dating back to that time period. Even if the findings in Africa predate pipes developed in Asia, it is still possible that even older forms of the pipes exist somewhere.
In Russia, bongs made out of gold were used 2400 years ago for smoking both cannabis and opium. No matter where bongs were first used, references of the pipes can be found throughout history. In the 1944 McFarland Thai-English Dictionary, the bong was described as, “a bamboo waterpipe for smoking kancha, tree, hashish, or the hemp-plant.” The word bong comes from the Thai word for wooden bamboo pipe for smoking, which is bong or baung.
Bongs are definitely similar to hookahs. They are smaller and easier to travel with, but they use the same filtration method to deliver cannabis into the body. Any container that is air and water tight can be made into a bong, making it one of the most accessible pieces of drug paraphernalia in the world. As long as a bowl and a stem may be added to the container, it can likely be made into a bong.
Marijuana is delivered into the lungs with a bong via the apparatus’s bubbler, which sends air upward after being bubbled up via the water in the bong. During use, the hole of the bong is first covered during the inhalation process. It is opened up later in order to inhale the last bit of smoke left in the bong.
Older generations are the most likely to use bongs for marijuana delivery out of habit, nostalgia and simply using what they already have on hand. While bongs may be sold in the United States, they are typically labeled “for tobacco use only” in order to avoid association with marijuana when illegal.
Did You Know:
Some people actually name their bongs.
Studies suggest that bong smoke is less harmful than unfiltered smoke.
Bongs are available in all shapes and sizes. Some are straight while others are cane-shaped or even looped.
Some other names for bongs include bing, billy, water pipe and moof.
While some of the prettiest bongs on the market are glass, they may be made out of all kinds of materials—even metal.
Bongs can be decorated and many people enjoy embellishing their instruments with decorations. Others may purchase theirs in novelty shapes.
Bongs can be highly breakable, and when custom bongs break many marijuana users experience a profound sense of loss.
The hole in a bong has many different names. Some of these include carburetor or carb, kick hole, choke, bink, shotty and rush.
As marijuana becomes legal in more states, the drug’s value as a medical treatment continues to come under question. The expanding legality of the drug means that it will also now be able to be tested much more frequently for its medical value. Marijuana has been utilized for medicine for thousands of years. While some of the treatments may be questionable, plenty of evidence exists to back up the theories behind many medical marijuana treatments. The following medical uses for marijuana have been corroborated by scientific evidence.
Epileptic Seizures One of the biggest reasons why some advocates are pushing for legal medical marijuana is to use it in preventing epileptic seizures. Cannabinoids like THC can actually inhibit seizures by attaching to brain cells that moderate both feelings of relaxation and excitement, helping people remain calm. Seizure disorders, such as Dravet’s Syndrome, are also helped by the drug. Even children can benefit, with one child’s documented seizures being reduced from 300 a week to only one. Additional children involved in related studies have shown major improvements, too.
Glaucoma Not only can glaucoma be treated with marijuana, but it can even be prevented by using the drug. The National Eye Institute says, “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.” Since glaucoma is the pressure on the eye that can lead to optic nerve damage and loss of vision, smoking marijuana can actually help you keep your eyesight. Even if you already suffer from glaucoma, smoking pot can slow the disease’s effects of the disease so you don’t go blind.
Improved Lung Function Unlike standard cigarettes, medical marijuana can actually help improve lung function and capacity to the point of even possibly reversing the effects of cigarette use. Some researchers say that the benefits are simply from the deep breathing that results from smoking marijuana while others are convinced it is a medical benefit of the drug itself.
Cancer According to the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, pot may help stop the spread of cancer by turning off the gene that cancer cells tend to copy in order to spread throughout the body, thereby reducing the spread of the disease itself throughout the body. More research needs to be conducted in order to definitively prove that this benefit is true. In addition to cancer, pot may also help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Pain Relief One of the most common issues that doctors prescribe medical marijuana for is chronic pain relief. Trial studies have supported the claim that pot is useful in treating pain from chronic disease patients. Some physicians also prescribe it to treat the nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite from chemotherapy, as well as insomnia and Tourette syndrome, but the latter claims still require further study before the drug may be considered a viable treatment option for these issues. Pain from inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and other illnesses may also be relieved from marijuana use.
Multiple Sclerosis Patients with multiple sclerosis have experienced significant paint reduction in some marijuana trials after other treatments for their painful symptoms failed. Some studies indicate that the drug may be useful in treating muscle spasm pain from a wide variety of other conditions as well. Like many of the other treatments, the THC that bonds to nerve receptors is responsible for blocking the pain for each patient.
Overall Health Some studies indicate that marijuana not only helps keep users of the drug thin (even after eating more calories), but it also improves their body’s reactions to sugar. It helps veterans who suffer from PTSD and it can even enhance creativity.
Plenty of misconceptions about marijuana float around at any given time. They have been used to discourage youth from smoking, to discredit users and to even maintain laws against the drug. While it’s important to promote responsible, legal use of any drug as well as to protect youth, spreading misinformation is not the way to do it. With more than 100 million people trying the drug and at least 13 states legalizing its use for medical conditions, it is more important than ever to know the facts. Stop spreading around these common pot myths and learn the truth about the drug instead.
Myth: Smoking pot while driving is just as dangerous as drinking while driving.
Fact: While it IS true that pot will impair your ability to drive, research indicates that it is actually much safer than driving drunk. The rule used to be that having THC in your blood increases your risk of having an accident on the road by 25%, but researchers have found that once factors like age and gender are factored into the equation, that number is significantly reduced. Although information does not indicate that it is safe to drive while stoned, driving under the influence of THC is not as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Myth: Smoking pot kills your brain cells.
Fact: Studies reported in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society have proven that smoking marijuana does not kill brain cells. In fact, research indicates that there long-term and heavy users of marijuana do not experience brain damage.
Myth: Marijuana is a gateway drug.
Fact: Most people who try marijuana do not move on to harder, more destructive drugs, according to the University of New Hampshire. Saying that it will lead to the use of harder drugs is typically a scare tactic to ensure that teens stay away from marijuana.
Myth: Pot is not addictive.
Fact: Most people know that anything can be addictive. Even fast food can be addictive! Like any compulsory behavior, smoking pot can become habitual and as a result, addictive. It may not have the same pull as harder drugs but it can still lead to cravings, dependence and symptoms like moodiness or irritability for a brief time when a user stops consistently using it. Even so, only around 9% of users become addicted to pot, which is pretty low. It is likely that far more people are addicted to sugar than pot.
Myth: Marijuana is the best treatment for glaucoma.
Fact: Marijuana IS a good treatment for glaucoma, but so are other FDA-approved medications. In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology says that there’s no difference between approved treatments and medical marijuana, so this myth is not the strongest argument for legalizing the drug.
Myth: Legalization of pot will do no harm to drug cartels.
Fact: While drug cartels will certainly do and sell anything to make a buck, research shows that up to 50% of their revenue stems from illegal marijuana sales. Any legalization of pot would definitely result in harm for these drug sellers. When opponents of marijuana legalization make this argument, they are reaching, as it is one of the flimsiest reasons to not pass legislation to legalize pot.
While plenty of pot terms are thrown around on a regular basis, two of the most commonly used words are indica and sativa. These two words describe two different species of marijuana plants used for both medical and recreational purposes. While scientific evidence varies on the subject, the general consensus is that indica products provide a sedative effect while sativa strains are more uplifting. While there is some truth to this in general terms, the opposite is also true for certain strains of both types of the drug.
Sativa is considered to be the first species of marijuana discovered. Although marijuana is thought to have been used thousands of years earlier by the Chinese for everything from textile production to medicine, biologist Carl Linnaeus first identified Cannabis sativa as one species of plant in 1753.
Using visual identifiers is the best way to discern whether a plant is a sativa variety or not. Sativa plants are tall and thin, growing up to 20 feet in height. Their leaves are also thin, growing off long branches. Sativa leaves are also light green in color.
Sativa plants are known as the “social marijuana.” Long believed to be stimulating and good for daytime use, sativa strains are supposed to give users an energizing effect that is useful when participating in social events.
Sativa plants grow well under warm conditions. Some countries that have produced thriving sativa plants include Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia, as well as the plant’s area of origin, which is Southeast Asia. Sativa plants do take longer to mature than indica plants, which may explain the big discrepancy between regional growth. They can be harvested within 10 to 16 weeks.
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck identified a second species, Cannabis indica, in India in 1785. India plants prefer cooler climates and are known to do well in high altitudes of mountain ranges in Afghanistan, Nepal, Turkey and Morocco. In fact, the Kush term used to describe certain types of indica marijuana comes from the Hindu Kush Mountains.
Indicas are considered the “psychoactive high” drugs that people seek to unwind, making them beneficial for people with sleep problems. They are also often used to help relieve stress.
India plants are not nearly as tall as sativa strains, growing only two to four feet tall. They are categorized by their short branches and dark, wide leaves. They mature much more quickly than sativa plants, with harvest time ranging between 6 to 8 weeks.
Today’s marijuana strains are actually mostly 98% hybrids. Very few are considered purely indica or sativa, so the distinction is no longer as important as it was once believed to be. According to High Times, today the terms are largely limited to describing “lineage, growth patterns and development, and geographic or climatic regions of origin” of pot rather than the type of effects it has. To learn more about the effects of pot and which one is right for you, it is a better idea to research the different strains available or talk to your doctor or marijuana dispensary. Let them know what you are looking for and see if they can make recommendations based on your needs.
What is cannabis?
A durable hemp plant, cannabis is a genus of flowering plant that marijuana strains come from. It is also used to create fuel, paper, food and many other products.
What is the difference between medical and recreational marijuana?
Medical marijuana is typically prescribed to patients by a doctor practicing in a state where medical marijuana is legal. Patients often require a medical marijuana card in order to have access to the drug. Recreational marijuana is not as widely legalized. It is used for socializing and relaxation purposes, much like alcohol and cigarettes are currently used.
What are some of the names for marijuana?
Some of the common street names for marijuana include pot, Mary Jane, joints, doobies, ganja, blunts, bud, weed and reefer.
Can I die from smoking too much pot?
No known person has ever died from smoking an excessive amount of marijuana. Products that are especially high in THC, such as concentrates, can cause other problems that could potentially lead to death, such as hallucinations, panic attacks and mental confusion. It is important to know the level of THC in your product as well as your own tolerance level.
What is hemp?
Hemp is a durable plant called cannabis sativa. It is commonly used to make textiles, such as clothing, rope and even checkbook covers.
Is marijuana really a gateway drug?
No evidence has been discovered to support the idea that marijuana use leads to harder drug abuse later in life. On the contrary, most research shows that people either just try marijuana once or continue using it as their drug of choice without turning to harder, more harmful substances.
What are marijuana concentrates?
Marijuana concentrates are very potent forms of the drug made by concentrating THC into butter or oil-like products for use. Concentrates can contain up to 90% THC and should be used with care. A little concentrate goes a long way.
How do you use marijuana?
Many people hand-roll marijuana into cigarettes to smoke. Bongs may be used to smoke various forms of marijuana, and many forms may be eaten. One of the most common foods to be made using marijuana is brownies.
How does marijuana work?
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that temporarily changes the way the brain works, creating a “high.” There are over 400 different chemicals in marijuana, but the THC compound is the main “high” producing ingredient.
How long does marijuana stay in your body?
When you take a urine test, it can detect THC in your urine up to a few days after you have had pot. However, tests can show positive results in heavy users’ urine after a few weeks of use.
Can I drive while smoking pot?
While smoking pot while driving is not as bad as drinking alcohol while driving, it is still considered driving under the influence and can not only impair your driving skills but also result in criminal charges. Even in states where recreational pot use is legal, there are still legal limits to the amount of THC in your system to be followed.
Is marijuana addictive?
While any drug, and even sugar, is addictive, addiction rates among marijuana users are low. Research estimates that around 9% or less people who smoke pot become addicted in their lifetimes, which is a very low rate among drug addiction statistics.
One of the hot ticket items on today’s menu of marijuana choices is marijuana concentrate. Although a concentrate can be the liquid people picture when it is in oil form, there are actually several different types of concentrates available on the market.
Potency and Nomenclature
Most of these look like honey or butter and contain highly potent THC levels, some of these ranging from 60 to 80%. Some street names for concentrates are hash, budder, honey oil, shatter, amber, butter, 710 (oil spelled backwards), butane hash oil and wax. Using concentrate is known as “dabbing.”
Types of Concentrates
Rosen is the most recently developed type of concentrate. It is produced by extracting from buds, water hash or kief (below). It is the most accessible concentrate since it can be produced with wax paper and a hair straightener if a person can apply enough pressure to do the job. One of the most popular concentrates, rosen is usually golden in color and has a THC content of 50-70% depending upon its source and extraction process.
Kief is the simplest concentrate on the market. It is developed by breaking the trichomes, or crystal parts of the flower, away from the rest of the plant, resulting in a wide range of THC concentration. Kief contains between 20-60% THC depending upon how it is extracted and is considered one of the lower quality types of concentrate in many cases. Because of its low profit return, it is not the easiest concentrate to find.
CO2 Oil is also known as supercritical fluid. It is made by compressing carbon dioxide, which is where its name comes from. The oil can be clear or orange-colored and contains a THC content of 50-70%. Since it contains no chemical solvents and is nonflammable, it’s one of the safer options.
Water Hash is mixed with cold water and ice, then broken off and filtered through screens. It contains between 50-80% THC and is an amber or brown color. Some varieties may be taffy-like and clear. Some common names for water hash include ice wax and bubble hash. Although not as common as solvent extracts, water hash is readily available and often used in edible products.
BHO, or butane hash oil, is the most common concentrate available. Also known as crumble, errl, nectar and moon rock, it is produced by pressurizing butane, washing it over plants and removing any residues left after the process. BHO has a THC content of 60-90%, which is one reason why it is so popular. It is considered to be the most popular concentrate sold.
Uses and Precautions
While many concentrates look like wax, they do differ. They may be used with other drugs or even placed in food. Most people use bongs or e-cigarettes to use concentrates. Concentrate adapters are also available for bowls and bubblers, with users implementing glass wants for better use. One dangerous risk involved in using a concentrate is the fact that it requires the use of butane for extraction, which has led to explosions in some cases. Extractors of marijuana concentrate should proceed with caution when handling butane.
With its high levels of THC, marijuana concentrate has produced some strange symptoms among users. Some people have reported experiencing hallucinations. Others say that they have passed out after using honey oil. Some people have experienced higher levels of impairment than they normally would with the drug, while others say they have had the most extreme high they have experienced with small amounts of the drug. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way.