Lesser Known facts about Marijuana

What are some of the more common slang words for cannabis?

Marijuana has so many uses that most people don’t realize all the facts. With over 28 states having some sort of marijuana legislation, most people are waking up to the cold, hard facts related to cannabis. There are 5 states as of 2018 that have recreational marijuana legislation. The first fact is marijuana has well over several hundreds of different names around the world. There are over 50 slang words for marijuana in just the English language and a few to name here are boo, bud, cannabis, cheeba, chronic, dank, dope, endo, ganja, green, herb, jay, Mary Jane, nug, reefer, pot, sensimilla, skunk, trees, wacky tobaccy, and weed.


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What is the origin of the word “marijuana”?

There has been much debate on the origin of the word marijuana. The word “marijuana” is primarily used in the United States and not in Latin America. In Latin America, weed is referred to as “mota” in Spanish. Some people believe the word “marijuana” has Chinese origins due to “ma ren hua”  meaning “hemp seed flower”. The Chinese may have borrowed from a much older Semitic word “mrj” which meant hemp. It is kind of interesting that this Semitic root for hemp can also be found in the Spanish word “mejorana”.

Who was Henry Anslinger and why was he important making marijuana illegal in the 1930s?

The word “marijuana” is popular in America because after it was demonized by the Anslinger’s campaign to get Mexicans out of the US during the Great Depression. Henry Anslinger was politician that was instrumental in the prohibition against marijuana in the 1930s. Henry Anslinger was also friends with William Hearst who was a paper baron who most likely had influence over Anslinger. This is a relevant point related to cannabis prohibition because Hearst was a paper baron and definitely did not want competition from hemp paper which would have taken profits away from him had hemp been legal.

Anslinger frequently used the word “marijuana” in his quest for cannabis prohibition. Before Anslinger led his negative campaign on marijuana, the word “cannabis” was widely used in advertisements for pharmaceuticals pre-prohibition. In fact, the word marijuana really didn’t start getting used until after 1910. Anslinger purposely used the word “marijuana” to connect cannabis and the Mexican migrants that were not needed as much during the Great Depression.

Where did the word “cannabis” come from?

The origin of the word “cannabis” comes from the Greek word “κάνναβις”  or “kannabis”. This was most likely a loaned word from the Persian word “kanab”. This would make sense because many believe the word is originally a Scythian word. The Scythian language probably originated from the ancient Iran area and was spoken widely in the Eurasia area before the Greeks.

What is oldest use of cannabis by human beings?

Marijuana grows naturally in many places around the world. Cannabis ruderalis, or hemp, has been used since antiquity. There is evidence that people have been using cannabis for since 8,000 BC so it is entirely possible to believe the word has ancient origins from all over the world. The first found use of cannabis was found in the form of hemp cord in pottery in Taiwan dating back to 8,000 BC. There is also evidence that hemp was being used in agriculture. This would makes cannabis one of the oldest agriculturally farmed plants by humans.


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What are some interesting facts about THC?

The next fact is about a compound called THC that is found in when marijuana plants secret their resin. THC stands for -9-tetrahydrocannabinol and is the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for making you feel high. That is because THC stimulates the brain to release dopamine which is the neurotransmitter responsible for feeling good. THC is one of 60 active ingredients found in cannabis that seem to work together in sort of an “entourage” effect. Marijuana has been used for centuries to treat many different types of medical conditions with one its first medical uses as anesthetic. It is ironic because cannabis is still prohibited on a federal level but pharmaceutical companies can use THC for their FDA-approved drugs.

Who was the first legal medical cannabis user in the U.S. since the passing of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act?

The earliest know reference to medical marijuana was found in the BC Chinese Pharmacopeia book called the Rh-Ya that was dated from 1200 B.C. to 500 B.C. Marijuana was found. Prior to the 1941, cannabis was also included in the American pharmacopoeia. The passing of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 by Congress started this process and eventually made marijuana illegal on a federal level. It wasn’t until 1976 where the U.S. government set up the Investigational New Drug (IND)  which was a research program that allowed patients up to nine pounds of medical marijuana that is paid for by the federal government.  It was also around this time that Robert Randall, a school teacher suffering from glaucoma, won a landmark lawsuit case for his cannabis use and became the first legal marijuana smoker since 1937.  In 1978, New Mexico passes the first state level legislation recognizing the medicinal benefits for medical cannabis.

What is the first recorded use in history of recreational marijuana?

The first recorded reference to recreational marijuana use was written by the Greek historian known as Herodotus and is also referred to by many to be the “father of history”. He wrote that Scythian warriors would take steam baths with cannabis smoke from burning hemp seeds.  They would howl with joy from the vapors. The Scythians were a nomadic people that lived in today’s area of Ukraine and Southern Russia. Their Scythian language has Persian roots.

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