We wanted to start a series on some of the funny or strange urban legends you might have heard around cannabis. Is there any truth to these legends? Or are they simply myths and somebody’s blowing smoke?
Let’s dive in!
Bird Seed = Weed?
There are some strange claims out there, and one of them might seem pretty strange. This legend goes that if you spread birdseed on your lawn, you might get a cannabis plant growing from the seeds.
And this one is actually true. One pensioner in England had a rude shock when a marijuana plant started growing underneath her bird feeder. Turns out, some of the seeds had fallen out of the feeder and started to grow.
The cannabis plant itself was harmless, because it was actually hemp. Hemp is very low in THC, and can sometimes be found in bird seed. Normally these seeds are sterilized, but every now and then some unsterilized seeds get through. Because you can’t grow cannabis or hemp in England without a license, the pensioner had to destroy the plant, but the story is pretty funny.
Halloween Candy Edibles
This one’s been running around for quite a while. Parents, ever worried about their children, hear stories of razor blades in Halloween candy, or drugs injected into their kid’s candy. But what if the candy itself was the drug? Enter this urban legend.
Here’s what we know:
- Kids can and do eat marijuana edibles made to look like candy. They often get sent to the hospital for it.
- Edibles made to look like candies can be mistaken for real candy. This is the reason that most companies that produce edibles are required to place them in childproof packaging.
- Several reported cases of children eating THC-laced candy from Halloween exist, but these cases are disputed by others.
This urban legend seems plausible, but the evidence is questionable. However, if you consume cannabis edibles, use your common sense. Keep them well away from the prying hands of children, and don’t buy the varieties that look like candy if you know there are children around.
The Government Has a Patent for Weed
You’ll hear conspiracy theories out there about how the government secretly controls weed for… nefarious reasons? Keeping it out of people’s hands, maybe?
Well, this legend goes that the US government holds the patent for cannabis, or at least cannabinoids. They specifically point to US Patent 6630507, a very real patent that was issued to the US Health and Human Services in 2001. You can read the text yourself, but the most interesting part is the second sentence:
- “This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.”
Pr0hbted did an excellent piece on 6630507, but essentially the National Institute of Health was laying claim for research on specific cannabinoids that showed efficacy in specific conditions. They weren’t claiming a patent on the entirety of cannabis, only claim on certain cannabinoids such as CBD, and a royalty on any licensees for the patent. The patent will expire in April of 2019 (this year!).
Now, you should still be pretty angry with the US Government for a patent like this — this means that they have been well aware that cannabis has medical benefits, and known about them for decades. But, this patent will likely have very limited effects, and any attempts to get it reissued would likely see court challenges.
That’s the first part of our Urban Legends on Cannabis. We’ve got a few more up our sleeves for the next article, but if there’s anything you’d like to see, please let us know in the survey or on the forums!
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About the Author
Hunter Wilson is a community builder with Growers Network. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with a Masters in Teaching and in 2007 with a Bachelors in Biology.