Cannabis 'Toxicity' Versus Cannabis Potency: Facts for Investors

Cannabis 'Toxicity' Versus Cannabis Potency: Facts for Investors
Cannabis 'Toxicity' Versus Cannabis Potency: Facts for Investors
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  • Cannabis is safe and non-toxic
  • Cannabinoids (the active ingredients in cannabis) occur naturally in the human body, known as “endocannabinoids”
  • Mother’s milk naturally contains cannabinoids, to promote infant health 
Cannabis is non-toxic.

Why should cannabis investors care? Because separating the facts from the (mainstream) fiction here can provide astute investors with a competitive advantage.

The non-toxicity of cannabis applies to both sub-species: marijuana and hemp. This statement of fact might seem confusing to some. Occasional reports have appeared in the media of “cannabis poisoning”, almost exclusively connected with small pets.

This requires explanation.

Excessive consumption of even benign and non-toxic substances – like cannabis – can lead to “poisoning”. An obvious example is water poisoning, more often referred to as “water intoxication”.

No substance is less toxic to the human body than water. Our bodies are roughly ¾ water. Yet if we ingest too much water, this “hyperhydration” starts to produce symptoms of poisoning, i.e. intoxication.

Too much of anything can poison us. This leads back to cannabis.

Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant are produced naturally in the human body. Known as “endocannabinoids” medical science now understands that these cannabinoids help to promote and regulate human health.

Mothers naturally pass cannabinoids to their infants in mother’s milk. Cannabinoids are good for us.

Even tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mildly psychoactive cannabinoid in the marijuana sub-species is safe. Compare cannabis to alcohol.

Alcohol is toxic, a dangerous drug. It becomes much more dangerous if combined with any of a multitude other drugs, with opiates being a particularly notorious example.

Cannabis is not “contra-indicated” with respect to any known pharmaceutical. Cannabis is even safe to use with opiates. In fact, it is increasingly seen as a benign medication alternative to reduce opioid use/dependence – and the death toll from the Opioid Crisis.

No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. With the exception of pets and children (that have less body weight), accidental “poisoning” from ingesting too much cannabis is unlikely.

As safe as cannabis is today, it used to be much, much safer. This leads to cannabis potency.

The cannabis we consume today is roughly 10 times stronger than the cannabis that was being imported into North America during the 1970’s and 1980’s. And we can directly thank our governments for today’s much stronger weed.

The U.S. government’s self-declared War on Drugs has been a dismal policy failure, perhaps even more counterproductive than its Alcohol Prohibition of the 1930’s. But it was “successful” at doing one thing: keeping marijuana from being smuggled into the United States and Canada.

Of all criminalized narcotics, marijuana was (is) both much bulkier and much more pungent. Almost impossible to conceal from any drug-sniffing dogs.

Americans and Canadians were shut off from access to the harmless, low-potency marijuana previously being smuggled in. People started growing their own, in quantities large enough to satisfy black market demand.

This meant two things. It meant cultivating cannabis indoors, where it would be harder to detect by law enforcement agencies. It also meant growing stronger marijuana.

With cultivation space at a premium, there was a huge economic incentive for black market cultivators to maximize the value of their crops by increasing the potency of the pot they were growing.

The marijuana that was (mistakenly) criminalized for decades as “a dangerous drug” possessed THC content that roughly averaged between 2 – 3%. Outdoor-grown cannabis in the U.S. and Canada typically contained THC levels below 1%.

In contrast, indoor “hydroponic” cultivation quickly and dramatically elevated the THC content in the genetically-modified cannabis strains that cultivators began growing. Strains were produced that regularly reported THC content above 20%. Today, some cultivators claim to be growing cannabis with THC content above 30%.

The irony here should be apparent to readers. The cannabis (marijuana) that our governments are legalizing today – and reluctantly acknowledging as safe – is 10 times as strong as the marijuana these same governments criminalized for decades as supposedly “dangerous”.

Not only is THC safe, but medical science (real science) now suspects that THC is more important than previously believed as a medicinal agent. With respect to pain relief, Science Daily stated that:

 "THC" showed the strongest correlation with therapeutic relief and [there was] far less evidence for the benefits of relying on the more socially acceptable chemical, cannabidiol or "CBD." [emphasis mine]

Where is the relevance here for investors?

Misinformation about cannabis is still widespread. Anti-cannabis prejudice and phobias remain deeply entrenched in certain pockets of our societies. The mainstream media continues to do a terrible job of informing people about cannabis.

This gives the educated cannabis investor a competitive advantage.

The educated cannabis investor knows that cannabis is safe. Thus the trend toward cannabis/marijuana legalization won’t just continue. It will accelerate as cannabis education replaces cannabis ignorance.

This directly implies not merely cannabis legalization but also ever-increasing cannabis deregulation.

Much of today’s stringent cannabis regulations and security checks are to deal with a problem created by Prohibition: handing the cannabis “industry” to organized crime. As the black market is phased out and the transition to legal cannabis progresses, the need for such oppressive regulation evaporates.

Given the extremely benign safety/tolerance profile for cannabinoids as inputs for pharmaceutical drugs, cannabinoid-based drugs have unlimited potential to claim market share. Globally, the pharmaceuticals industry is a $1 trillion per year revenue pie.

Because the educated cannabis investor knows that cannabis is safe, such investors know that cannabis – and cannabinoids – will soon be everywhere. As a recreational drug, in our medicines, in our health and nutritional supplements, in our foods, in our beverages, in our cosmetics.
That’s not even including the thousands of existing uses for industrial hemp.

Cannabis (marijuana) is much less dangerous than either alcohol or tobacco as a recreational drug. And unlike alcohol and nicotine, it’s not physically addictive. This creates a strong policy argument for low cannabis taxation, to encourage the migration from alcohol/tobacco consumption to cannabis.

Cannabis is non-toxic. Understanding the distinction between cannabis “toxicity” versus the increased potency of today’s cannabis is a key edge for successful cannabis investing.
Cannabis Focus, Cannabis Industry, Consulting
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