By Jointly’s CEO David Kooi
Welcome to Part 2 in this series. My purpose in this series is to lend a hand in defeating the stigma against cannabis consumption once and for all - using Jointly’s unique data - and supported by outside data sources, logic, and mathematics.
In defeating the stigma, I also aim to replace it with something better - the Theory of Purposeful Cannabis Consumption - that provides a framework for a new mindset about cannabis, supported by data and grounded in reality.
The 1st Law - Cannabis Is A Complex Plant That Produces a Variety of Effects
Weed is not weed. Marijuana is not marijuana. Cannabis is not one uniform entity. It is a complex plant made of over 400 different phytochemicals (def: bioactive nutrient plant chemicals). Around 60 of these chemicals are cannabinoid compounds, some with opposing effects.
Terpenes and other phenolic compounds also contribute to the plant’s complexity and varying effects. We won’t get into plant biology / chemistry here as others have done so extensively.
The above is well-known in the cannabis industry and among educated consumers. However, because of the stigma and our resulting cultural ignorance, cannabis is misunderstood.
The varying effects of cannabis are easily observable and have been studied to some extent. Below are some. For now, statements like these can be considered hypotheses:
THC stimulates appetite
THC induces feelings of euphoria
THC causes spontaneous laughter
THC enhances creativity
CBD reduces inflammation
CBD induces calm
CBN improves sleep
CBG increases energy levels
CBG reduces stress
Myrcene reduces inflammation
Myrcene reduces pain
Myrcene improves sleep
Pinene boosts energy levels
Pinene improves mental focus
Pinene reduces inflammation
Limonene reduces anxiety
Limonene reduces stress
Linalool reduces stress
Linalool reduces anxiety
Humulene reduces pain
(this is an incomplete list, but enough to show the possibilities)
There is some evidence to suggest that these are true. More study is needed.
Modern cannabis products are made of one or any combination of these cannabinoids and terpenes. For some products, strain classification systems attempt to approximate the effects that a given variety of the cannabis plant will produce.
Cannabis plants are often processed, to reduce them to their component parts - and then the component parts can be further refined and are reassembled into products intended to produce a desired effect.
Jointly’s data validate the varying effects from cannabis and their different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes. On the Jointly platform, consumers of cannabis track their consumption in pursuit of the benefits provided by cannabis. Consumers select their purpose from a list of 12 goals - including stress relief, relaxation, improved sleep, focus, creativity, and the easing of pain. They rate the products they consume for their effectiveness at providing their desired experience.
The conclusion from over 200,000 experiences? Product choice impacts the effectiveness of a cannabis experience by 40-57%. The data show clearly that there are products that perform better in statistically significant ways for specific purposes, while those same products perform worse than others for other purposes. The product that helps you sleep better is not the one that stimulates your creativity.
Of note, the 40-57% difference is across populations of people and products where we can prove statistically significant differences in product performance. For those that were doing more fun things than paying attention in statistics class - all that means is that we have enough goal-specific ratings from enough people to know that the differences in product performance are because of the product.
The variance at an individual level can be even more severe. The right product can help a person unlock a new level of relaxation. The wrong product can induce panic or paranoia.
Product choice matters - because products produce varying effects.
A note of caution to cannabis consumers: Be careful how you choose your products. If you choose your product because of a celebrity endorsement or because you like the packaging or a billboard, beware.
Jointly is building data sets to predict which cannabinoid and terpene combinations most effectively provide the desired effects. We’re building tools to match people to products, based on data about which products are most likely to provide them with the kind of experience they’re after.
For now, we’ll settle for the 1st Law of Purposeful Cannabis Consumption:
Cannabis is a complex plant that produces a variety of effects.
Read the next part of the series: Purposes.