45 Interesting Facts about Marijuana

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published April 10, 2017
  • Approximately 9% of people who try marijuana become addicted to it, compared to 15% of people who try cocaine, and 24 % of those who try heroin.[6]
  • Teenagers don’t smoke more pot in states where marijuana is legal than in states where it is illegal.[13]
  • The word “canvas” is related to the word “cannabis.” Historically, canvases were made of hemp.[7]
  • In the United States, about 750,000 people are arrested each year for marijuana offenses. However, not all arrests lead to prison time, and less than 1% of inmates in state and federal prisons are in for possession alone.[23]
  • Heavy pot smokers are at risk for some of the same diseases as cigarette smokers, such as bronchitis and other respiratory ailments.[8]
  • Bob Marley was buried with his Bible, his guitar, and bud of marijuana
  • Bob Marley was buried with his Bible, his guitar, and bud of marijuana.[10]
  • Scientists have found that a marijuana compound can freeze and stop the spread of some types of aggressive cancer.[25]
  • Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp on their plantations. The British crown even ordered the colonists to grow the plant.[16]
  • DMHP is a synthetic version of marijuana. Developed by the U.S. military in 1949, the effects of the drug can last for days.[21]
  • In college, Barack Obama was a member of the “Choom Gang,” a group of boys who played basketball and smoked pot.[12]
  • Since 2015, marijuana has become the fastest growing industry in the U.S. If marijuana becomes legal in all 50 states, the industry will become larger than the organic food market[9]
  • Bhang” is an Indian milkshake whose main ingredient is marijuana.[18]
  • The first item sold over the Internet was a bag of marijuana over 40 years ago. Stanford students used Arapnet (an early form of the Internet) to buy weed from their counterparts at MIT.[17]
  • Marijuana is the most common illegal drug used in the United States. Approximately 100 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once, and more than 25 million have smoked it in the last year.[24]
  • "Of course I know how to roll a joint."

    - Martha Stewart

  • According to the U.N., 158.8 million people around the world use marijuana, which is over 3.8% of the world’s population.[13]
  • According to one national survey on drug use, each day approximately 6,000 Americans try marijuana for the first time.[24]
  • The name marijuana comes from a Mexican slang term for cannabis and is believed to have derived from the Spanish pronunciation of the names Mary and Jane. (The two names were also common Mexican military slang for a prostitute or brothel.) Marijuana came into popularity as a name for cannabis in the U.S. during the late 1800s.[5]
  • Men are over twice as likely as women to use marijuana in the U.S.[13]
  • In the United States, marijuana use is three times higher than the global average. However, the rate of use is about the same as other Western democracies.[12]
  • Several studies indicate that both alcohol and smoking are more harmful than marijuana. Marijuana is also much less harmful than other “hard” drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.[13]
  • After alcohol, marijuana is the most popular drug worldwide
  • The primary active ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta 9 tetrhydrocannabinol). It is this chemical that produces marijuana’s mind-altering effects.[1]
  • Cannabis seeds were used as a food source in China as early as 6000 B.C.[1]
  • The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung. The emperor documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout.[1]
  • During the temperance movement of the 1890s, marijuana was commonly recommended as a substitute for alcohol. The reason for this was that use of marijuana did not lead to domestic violence while alcohol abuse did.[5]
  • In October of 1937, Samuel Caldwell was the first U.S. citizen arrested under the Marihuana Tax Act for selling marijuana without paying the newly mandated tax. He was fined $1,000 and sentenced to four years of hard labor in Leavenworth.[5]
  • Paraguay is believed to be the world’s largest producer of marijuana.[14]
  • Rastafari developed in Jamaica during the 1930s
  • The Rastafari religion considers marijuana to be one its sacraments.[22]
  • From 1850 to 1942, marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and labor pains and was easily obtained at the local general store or pharmacy.[5]
  • In 2003, Canada became the first country in the world to offer medical marijuana to pain-suffering patients.[8]
  • In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to legally allow medical marijuana for patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation.[8]
  • There is a difference between hemp and pot. While hemp plants are the same species as marijuana plants, they don’t produce the psychoactive ingredient (THC) that is in pot.[16]
  • The energy needed to produce 2.2 pounds of marijuana indoors is equivalent to the amount of energy required to drive across the U.S. five times in a car that gets 44 miles to the gallon.[16]
  • After Tupac Shakur’s murder, members of his music group mixed Tupac’s ashes with marijuana and smoked the concoction.[2]
  • Common terms for marijuana include reefer, pot, herb, ganja, grass, old man, Blanch, weed, sinsemilla, bhang, dagga, smoke, hash, tar, and oil.[16]
  • Marijuana increases the heart rate, which means it could negatively affect those suffering from heart disease.[16]
  • Someone would have to smoke over 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about 15 minutes to die of a lethal overdose. In other words, dying from a weed overdose is nearly impossible.[11]
  • Someone would have to smoke over 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about 15 minutes to die of a lethal overdose
  • Researchers discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana.[4]
  • The ropes, sails, and caulking of the Mayflower were all made from hemp fiber.[21]
  • Betsy Ross’s first flag of the U.S. was made of hemp.[21]
  • Over 120,00 pounds of hemp fiber were used to rig the U.S.S. Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” the oldest Navy ship in America.[21]
  • Since the legalization of marijuana in the Colorado, highway fatalities have hit a historic low.[3]
  • Seattle, Washington offers marijuana vending machines. Called ZaZZ, these machines take cash or coins, since the federal government doesn’t allow people to buy marijuana with credit or debit cards.[15]
  • The first two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp
  • The first two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp.[19]
  • Researchers note that cannabis may effectively treat a number of different physical and mental ailments, including post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and depression.[8]
  • Spiders high on marijuana built messy webs, were easily distracted, and gave up easily. Spiders high on LSD, on the other hand, spun highly geometric webs, even more so than when they were sober.[20]
References

1 Abel, Ernest L. Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years. New York, NY: Plenum Press, 1980.

2 Aitken, Peter C. “The Young Outlawz Admit to Smoking Tupac Shakur Ashes Mixed with Marijuana in 1996.” New York Daily News. August 31, 2011. July 27, 2016.

3 Balko, Radley. "Road Fatalities in Colorado Have Plummeted Since Marijuana was Legalised." Independent. September 13, 2015. Accessed: April 10, 2017.

4 Bishop, Jerry. "Study Says Chocolate Chemicals Create Marijuana-Like Reaction." The Wall Street Journal. August 22, 1996. Accessed: April 10, 2017.

5 Booth, Martin. Cannabis: A History. London, England: Doubleday, 2003.

6 Budney, Alan, et al. “Marijuana Dependence and Its Treatment.” NCBI. 2007 Dec 4(1): 4-16. Accessed: July 27, 2016

7 "Canvas." Online Etymology Dictionary. Accessed: April 9, 2017.

8 Chapkis, Wendy and Richard Webb. Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2008.

9 Ferner, Matt. “Legal Marijuana is the Fastest Growing Industry in the U.S.The Huffington Post. January 26, 2016. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

10 Goldstein, Jack. 101 Amazing Bob Marley Facts. Andrews UK England, 2012.

11 Green, John. “How Much Weed Does it Take for Someone to Overdose?The Weedblog. August 24, 2013. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

12 Holland, Julie, M.D. ed. The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis. Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press. 2010.

13 Kuhn, Cynthia, et. al. Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy. 4th ed. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. 2014.

14 Leggett, Ted. “Why Should We Care about Cannabis?United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Accessed: November 29, 2008.

15 Leitsinger, Miranda. “A Marijuana First: Pot Vending Machines Dispense Weed.” NBC News. February 4, 2015. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

16 Pappas, Stephanie. “11 Odd Facts about Marijuana.” Live Science. October 10, 2014. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

17 Power, Mike. “Online Highs are as Old as the Net: The First e-Commerce was a Drug Deal.The Guardian. April 19, 2013. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

18 "Right Kick for Day-Long Masti." The Times of India. Mar 16, 2014. Accessed: April 10, 2017.

19 Robinson, Rowan. The Great Book of Hemp: The Complete Guide to the Environmental, Commercial, and Medicinal Uses of the World’s Most Extraordinary Plant. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1996.

20 Soniak, Matt. "What Does Marijuana Do to Spiders?" Mental Floss. Accessed: April 10, 2017.

21 Steve, Elliot. The Little Black Book of Marijuana. White Plains, NY: Peter Pauper Press, Inc., 2011.

22 Stewart, Phil. “Rasta Pot Smokers Win Legal Leeway in Italy.” Reuters. July 10, 2008. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

23Top 10 Marijuana Myths and Facts.” Rolling Stones. August 22, 2012. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

24 U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Marijuana Facts & Figures.” Accessed: February 10, 2009. g World Drug Report 2009.

25 Wilkey, Robin. “Marijuana and Cancer: Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Stops Metastasis in Aggressive Cancers.The Huffington Post. September 21, 2012. Accessed: July 27, 2016.

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