With so many myths and conjectures surrounding cannabis and its use, it can be difficult to differentiate fact from myth. Facts about marijuana can be difficult to come by, and multiple conflicting claims often muddle the issue even further. To clear the murky waters of the issue somewhat, here are some verified interesting facts about marijuana for your edification.
1. In the United States, where marijuana use is widespread, over 45% percent of adults surveyed admit to having used marijuana in the past.
2. Marijuana has been known to humanity for more than 5,000 years. It has also traditionally been used by Asian, African, European, and North and South American civilizations.
3. Over 100 known compounds have been identified in marijuana. Known as cannabinoids, these compounds are present in the leaves and flowers of the plant. The most widely known of these is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. In addition, marijuana contains scores of non-psychoactive substances, such as CBD, that also have therapeutic benefits.
4. Marijuana policy in the United States is unique in that its enforcement is widely considered to be unnecessary by a significant percentage of the population. Nevertheless, anti-marijuana laws in the country are considered among the most harshly implemented.
5. One of the little known facts about marijuana is that the cost of prohibition is estimated at more than $20 billion annually. This figure covers law enforcement costs and potential tax revenue lost due to marijuana laws.
6. In surveys conducted all over the United States, it was found that as many as 58% of adults feel that marijuana should be regulated under a legal framework. Eighty percent of the population also supports the legalization of medical marijuana.
7. One of the most commonly known facts about marijuana is that 35 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In addition, marijuana has been decriminalized in more than 40 states, and D.C. Four states – Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska – have gone the extra step and voted to allow use of marijuana for recreation.
8. Marijuana does not result in long-term cognitive impairment in people that use marijuana from the age of 21 onwards. It does cause a number of short-term effects, which include changes in perception, thought processes, and the processing of information. The most significant effect of marijuana use, as far as the cognitive process is concerned, is short-term memory.
9. The use of marijuana does not result in a higher risk of developing cancer as determined in various preclinical studies. In fact, studies suggest that even the long-term use of marijuana does not result in a higher risk of cancers typically associated with smoking.
10. There remains no evidence suggesting marijuana is linked to mental health issues. This finding contrasts sharply with the commonly held belief that mental illness is linked to the regular use of marijuana. At present, there is no evidence that links marijuana use to the development of psychiatric disorders in people who are otherwise healthy.