Two senior girlfriends 83 years old smoke medicinal marijuana together. One of them shows the other how to do. The old lady is surprise and making a face.. They have hair and wear casual clothes. The recreational marijuana become legal in Canada next autumn. Photo was taken in Quebec Canada.

This is not your grandparents’ marijuana. You’re going to hear that a lot if you haven’t already. Substitute grandparents for parents, and the meaning is the same.

In the “good ole days,” like the 1960s and 70s, cannabis contained no more than 2% THC. By the 1990s, it was 4%.

But now, in the legal states, cannabis flower has up to 30% THC. You can find 99% THC content in concentrates, edibles, and vapes.

Cue the new cannabis temperance movement. This is not your grandparents’ marijuana.

This actually is your grandparents’ marijuana

This is not your grandparents' marijuana

First, it’s called cannabis. Marijuana is a slang term that originates from a racist past. In a society that renames sports teams and fabricates history as an attempt to correct past wrongs, it’s amazing people are still calling cannabis marijuana.

Second, the “this is not your grandparents’ marijuana” meme is factually incorrect.

Our body has an endogenous cannabinoid system. This physiological system regulates our mood, pain, sleep, and stress responses. It’s responsible for our cardiovascular function, muscle formation, metabolism, and motor control, among other things. 

If you think of your brain and body as a busy intersection, the endocannabinoid system is the lights. Letting cars, bicycles, and pedestrians know when it’s safe to cross.

Everybody has cannabinoid receptors throughout their brain and body. Cannabis is a plant with plant cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids, that mimic the natural endogenous ones our body produces.

CBD is one of the most popular of these plant cannabinoids. Technically psychoactive, people don’t feel stoned or high, even from large dosages. CBD users report less anxiety, better sleep, less inflammation, and overall well-being when consumed.

Modern cannabis has more of these cannabinoids than cannabis from a few decades ago. The reasons are obvious: prohibition meant cannabis flowers couldn’t bloom to their potential. 

Anyone saying, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” is factually incorrect.

It is the same plant. Same genus. Same species. 

This is not your grandparents’ THC marijuana

When people say, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” or “This is not your parents’ marijuana,” they are really saying that the THC content of modern cannabis is too high for their liking.

But the beauty of the modern cannabis industry is the variety.

You can buy cannabis flower with low amounts of THC. You can purchase THC cannabis balanced with CBD. CBD and THC compete for the same cannabinoid receptors, so the high won’t be as intense.

But the cannabis temperance movement isn’t about free choice. When they say, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” they mean the THC content of modern cannabis is too high for anyone.

These people don’t understand the economics of prohibition. To quote Milton Friedman, “If you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.” 

But I’ve never known a “think of the children” busybody to understand economics.

Suppose it were true that this is not your grandparents’ marijuana, that high THC content was dangerous and unhealthy. The temperance busybodies still don’t have a foundation to stand on.

As Thomas Sowell said, “Crusaders [against substances] cannot accept the fact they are not God, that they have neither the right nor the competence to run other people’s lives.” 

If THC limits become the norm, all that’s been accomplished is a guaranteed income stream for the legacy markets.

But is THC dangerous?

This is not your grandparents' marijuana

By saying, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” the cannabis temperance movement wants you to believe THC is somehow dangerous. They’ll make claims about psychosis and addiction, anxiety and depression.

But, like other issues, the narrative you get depends on which “experts” you listen to. Plenty of studies link poor mental health with cannabis consumption. But the question remains: do people with mental health issues seek out cannabis as a medication, or does high THC cannabis cause poor mental health in people? 

Our bias is clearly toward the former, but we’re not trying to legislate our beliefs into law. Do what you want. If you think high potency cannabis might cause mental health issues, don’t consume it.

See how easy that was?

“This is not your grandparents’ marijuana” is a way of justifying control and diminishing individual freedoms.

People with influence and power are usually looking to increase it. That’s why the principle of liberty must stay strong, even for what some might consider “petty” issues like THC limits. 

Cannabis consumers want high THC content. They’ll find a way to get it. There is no moral, medical, or economic case for THC limits. “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana” is pure cringe.