UNITED STATES—Marijuana has become more popular than ever in the last few years. The legalization of the plant in many countries, including in the US and Canada, has prompted a boom in the cannabis industry. No longer confined to the shadows, marijuana is now big business, with largescale cannabis cultivators and medicinal cannabis companies being floated on stock exchanges.

Consumer spending on cannabis has topped $10billion in the US alone, and worldwide sales are expected to top $100billion before the end of the decade. The United Nations estimates that 150 million people worldwide use marijuana, over 3.8% of the global population.

Despite these numbers, most people know very little about cannabis, especially those who do no consume the plant. Due to its illegality for many years, there are a lot of myths and stigmas surrounded cannabis. Although there is a lot of information around the plant nowadays, this wasn’t always widely available. There are many surprising facts about marijuana that aren’t well known at all. If you like this article and want to find out more about marijuana we recommend checking out the Smoke Cartel blog for more informative articles.

It has a long history

Laws in America are starting to relax. Medical use of the drug is legal throughout the US, and 15 states have legalized recreational use. But there was a time not so long ago when it was legal throughout the nation. Prohibition of cannabis only began in the 1920s, and before this, there were no restrictions at all.

Many people are under the impression that cannabis history began with the hippies in the 60’s, but historians have traced it back much further than this. It is thought that the use of cannabis in China dates back 10,000 years. The versatility of hemp saw ancient cultures in the east using it for rope-making, clothing, and to produce hemp oil. There are even claims that Chinese emperors were using cannabis for its medicinal properties in 2800BC.

Men feel the effects more

It may come as a surprise to many, but recent studies have shown that men feel the effects of cannabis more than women. Rebecca Craft, a professor of psychology at Washington State University, carried out a study of the impact of marijuana on rats.

Her studies concluded that females are initially more sensitive to the effects of cannabis due to the raised levels of estrogen in their body compared to males. Conversely, women developed tolerance levels faster, meaning that the effects of cannabis on the female rats were less than that on the males over time. Craft also noted that women are more likely to show severe withdrawal effects than men. However, men are more likely to show signs of increased appetite, an effect colloquially know as ‘the munchies.’

It’s impossible to overdose

Due to its long past as an illegal and controlled substance, there are many negative connotations linked to marijuana. Many people see it in a bad light, despite its possible health benefits. Many of these ideas are exaggerated or outright myths.

The myth that you can overdose on marijuana is one such idea that has marginalized the drug for decades. Many people believe cannabis is as dangerous as opioids, while most regular users strongly disagree. In fact, there are zero reported cases of marijuana overdoses, according to CDC. To reach a lethal dosage, it is thought a user would need to consume over 1,500 pounds of marijuana.

There are, however, links between cannabis and heart arrhythmias, but this is yet to be clinically proven.

Marijuana is getting stronger

There’s no doubt that cannabis is getting stronger. It is thought that modern strains of cannabis have anywhere between 10 and 50 times more THC (the psychoactive ingredient that causes the high effect) than in the 1970s.

As humans understand more about genetics and cross-breeding, cannabis enthusiasts have been developing more and more potent strains of weed. With the rise of commercial cannabis in the late parts of the last century, more time and money has gone into the cultivation and breeding of cannabis. Genetic engineers have scoured the globe to find the most potent strains and have been developing strains with higher THC levels.

You might experience uncontrollable vomiting

One extremely rare and barely talked about condition related to cannabis consumption is something called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. The symptoms included nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. The exact cause of this syndrome is unknown, and it only occurs in longer, frequent cannabis users.