The next time a cannabis user tells you that cannabis is “the most genetically modified plant” – really take the time to mull that over.
Are they telling the truth?
Well my take is “yes” and it’s for a multitude of reasons. The first factor contributing to this is cannabis seedbanks and online seed shops. Google search “Cannabis seeds for sale” – check out the results. Look at all of those merchants! Those are just a handful of the people on Earth that breed cannabis. I guarantee not every strain breeder has their own website, but the reputable ones certainly do. This is proof that cannabis genetics can breed as quickly as an Amazon-One-Click-Payment.
The WHO estimates that there are 147 million cannabis users globally. That’s somewhere in the ballpark of 2.5% of the world’s population. That figure is significantly less than what my guess would be at, but that is because I believe there are a lot of people that use cannabis and have to lie about it.
Regardless of the figure, one-hundred and something million people consume cannabis annually. If there were a hundred and forty million regular cilantro purchasers, think what the cilantro market would look like. Think of what the cilantro market would look like if the consumption of cilantro were made illegal, would those 140 million users stop?
There would be peppery cilantro, cilantro that was bred with parsley, pure cilantro, Italian cilantro, cilantro extracts and cilantro oils. If cilantro had as many fans as marijuana and the growing was done at the same rate, people would start to tune out the varieties in cilantro and just label it all as one “thing”. My point is the vegetables and herbs that line our supermarkets have become so benign that we forget what genetic variation is. Sure a beet and a turnip taste different and look somewhat similar, but what’s the fuss? They both deliver vitamins and need a bit of salt and pepper. My point is that people don’t really care and place sanctions around something until its psychoactive/medicidinal properties become apparent to the user.
Sure we can argue whether sweet potatoes are tastier than russet or Yukon potatoes. I’m sure there are endless cookbooks describing the minute differences between these root vegetables versus those. Those aren’t what make headlines. Those are just flavors.
Headlines are made from the plants that make people feel feelings.
Not the “ahhh mom’s chicken-noodle-soup-I-haven’t-had-this-in-ages” feeling. The “oh dear my, did we remember to check the basement for ghouls and goblins this evening?” feeling. Psychoactivity is when a substance is able to change a person’s perception.
Cannabis Sativa (high in THC) in large doses can have adversive effects like paranoia and fear. If you have never experienced this, you are fortunate. Now, unpacking that knowledge lets revisit the cilantro paradox. I do not want this argument to discredit the pallets of skilled chefs who spend their days and nights balancing which tastes will pair well with what. That being said, nobody has been jailed, harassed, abused, or shot over a bag of cilantro. This should serve to prove that the laws and stigmas around cannabis have created the culture of getting high and medicating, and that culture is and always will be more intense than the food network.
by Maxwell Bradford