You know how everyone seems to say either, “Marijuana is bad” or “Marijuana is good”?
You know how some people say, “People can get paranoid from smoking pot” or “Medical marijuana helps people with paranoia, anxiety, and depression”?
You know how one person can say, “I got really screwed up after smoking weed and passed out”, and someone else can say, “I’ve smoked weed every day for 12 years and nothing bad has ever happened to me”?
Well, they might all be right. Because there’s no such thing as marijuana.
Wait a minute, Old Hippie! WTF are you talking about here?
Well, there are two aspects to this problem. The first one is — and thanks to the Ent ARMacre for bringing it to my attENTion in precisely the right terms — that the very word marijuana was publicized and virtually created specifically by the government agents whose agenda was to demonize and ban it. And now, thanks to a side effect of Google Books, we have “smoking gun” proof:
That is the result of searching all the 15 million books digitized by Google and written since 1750 for the word “marijuana”. It barely appears before the mid-1930s, and then suddenly it’s being used quite a bit. Now compare that for the results of the same search for the term that was and is really used by most literate people, which is cannabis:
That’s right folks. Just as we (pro-cannabis advocates) have been shouting from the rooftops, this amazing plant and its flowers, leaves, oil, and fibers have been used by mankind for thousands of years, so it’s not surprising that people have been writing about it literally since it was first classified (the first spike on the chart is from Linnaeus’ book).
People were using cannabis and writing about it — especially in the 19th century, when medicine and chemistry were coming together in a big way. And that’s when even Queen Victoria used cannabis to help menstrual cramps. But at the very moment when the word “marijuana” was taking off due to the misguided Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, “cannabis” was suddenly very quiet…because they had made it illegal (along with hemp, but that’s another story).
And then everything pretty much stayed status quo until the 1960s, when my generation discovered it again. But let’s get to point #2.
It’s The Same…But Different Somehow
There’s no such “thing” as marijuana…because it’s all physically different.
Let’s take the plant itself. You can have two virtually identical plants, both of which are technically “marijuana” for legal purposes in the United States, and yet one of them could be completely legal in another country…even though marijuana is illegal there! How? Because the hemp plant has no THC to speak of (i.e. it is not considered psychoactive or in other words it can’t get you high), so in many countries it is simply considered to be hemp, not marijuana, and it is grown for seeds (to crush for hemp oil, or as a food source themselves) or for its fiber. No high, no harm, no foul.
But wait, there’s more.
Not only is the male totally different from the female, but there are also two major subspecies of Cannabis, called Sativa and Indica. Generally, sativa-based strains have a higher ratio of THC to CBD, and tend to have more of a cerebral effect (which includes everything from stimulating your thoughts and creativity to paranoia). Indica-based strains generally have more CBD and less THC, so their effects tend more towards a body effect (couch lock, pain relief, physical relaxation, and easier sleep).
Don’t, Like, Strain Yourself, Man
Medical marijuana users have the advantage of accurate access to different hybrid strains of cannabis, which have been individually bred for specific characteristics and effects. This is often hard to understand for new MMJ users who have lifelong experience with alcohol: imagine if every brand of beer not only tasted differently, but worked differently!
And you can go into far more detail. Much more than even with fine wine grapes, the exact method and location that cannabis is grown will greatly affect the final product, especially when you take into account whether it was grown indoors or outside, in soil or hydroponically, using artificial or organic nutriENTs, filtered or city water, and using natural, CFL, HPS, MH, or LED light.
The grower can affect the final product yet again by simply choosing to harvest the plant at different times, and then even curing the buds in different ways. This last step alone totally changes the taste, the look, and (again) the effects of the buds.
Finally, you can consume cannabis in different ways — smoking, vaporizing, tincture, or edibles — each of which also has a different effect! In fact, with a digital vaporizer, you can literally control every aspect of your experience; whether you get high with THC, or physically mellowed with CBD, no matter which strain of cannabis you use.
So you can see how — as with the apocryphal story of the blind men trying to describe an elephant by what part they happened to be standing near — a number of people can describe “marijuana” in completely different ways, depending on their own different personal experiences, because the word “marijuana” covers all these different aspects. And they could all be right…or at least think they are.
For More Detailed Information:
- Old Hippie’s Definitive Guide To CBD
- Why Are The Effects Of Marijuana So Unpredictable?
- THC, CBD, And The Misleading Concept Of Potency