Welcome to the first in a series of answers to queries directly from readers—all of which come in at exactly 420 words (out of respect to your time).
To set the mood, just listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is…in 1932 (five years before cannabis became illegal in the United States).
— Gooey Rabinski
Today’s request comes from Nurse Mary J Hemp Tattoo Aftercare. She sells a groovy hemp-based lotion that ensures that your tattoo stays as perfect tens years from now as the day you got it. She is also a big supporter of cannabis education and learning. Which is how I met her.
Nurse Mary J is curious about the most common misconceptions of our favorite plant, cannabis. Great question, Nurse Mary J….
The Toke Hold: It might as well be called the “choke hold,” because holding one’s breath when inhaling cannabis smoke or vapor is actually counterproductive. Your lungs nearly instantaneously absorb the THC and other cannabinoids found in cannabis smoke or vapor.
According to Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, human lungs are able to accomplish this feat in part because they feature the surface areas of a tennis court. In fact, when one holds one’s breath, all they achieve is depriving their brain of oxygen (a decidedly bad thing).
Cultivation Collateral: Some home cannabis cultivators falsely believe that allowing plants to grow as long as possible results in more cannabinoid-bearing resin or more potent resin. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true.
In fact, once the trichomes (nearly microscopic resin glands) on the flowers become cloudy, the harvested cannabis medicine will increasingly be narcotic indica-like. Less cloudy generally results in a more sativa-like, energizing effect.
Amotivational Syndrome: Many cannabis critics cite the ability of some strains to produce a lack of energy and motivation (what those in the culture often call “couchlock”). In reality, there are two types of cannabis: Sativa and indica.
Sativas have a reputation for being uplifting, energizing, and promoting creativity and productivity. Indicas, on the contrary, are often better for pain management, sleep, and appetite stimulation (great for patients with Crohn’s, cancer, and those undergoing chemotherapy).
Mango Mania: Let’s close with an urban legend regarding cannabis that’s actually true. Eating a mango can really amplify the effects of smoked or vaporized THC. Why? It’s because the mango contains a terpene called myrcene (pronounced “mur-scene”). Myrcene is known to amplify THC.
Steep Hill Labs in San Francisco claims that >0.5% myrcene (by volume) in a plant results in an indica, whereas below this level will produce sativa-like effects in patients.
All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.
Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, instructional designer, and photographer who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, The Kind, Emerald Magazine, SKUNK, Cannabis Culture, Whaxy, Heads, WoahStork, Weed World, Green Flower Media, Cannabis Health Journal, Green Thumb, CannaBiz Journal, and Treating Yourself.
He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.