Cannabis has become a hot topic on the internet, with its legalization battles pending, its medical uses being discovered, and its incorporation into the average person’s life. As with any information on the internet, fake news and myths often run rampant. Left unchecked, these myths propagate into common truths believed by the masses. More often than not, these facts are nothing more than hearsay, perpetuated by the internet.
Cannabis has long been known as the sacred plant, whose healing benefits are too numerous to list. It has also be associated with the uninterested and the hopeless. It is hard to tell what is true and what is false in the heap of information you get when you search Cannabis in Google.
Below are ten common myths about cannabis that I have discovered in my research, to help you learn a little more about this sacred plant.
1. Cannabis is a gateway drug
I’m rolling my eyes so hard that you can practically hear it. This is a common myth perpetuated by fear. There is no conclusive proof that cannabis use leads to the use of hard drugs. While, statistically, hard drug users often begin with cannabis, cannabis did not cause them to move to harder drugs. The only correlation is that users of hard drugs, like cocaine and heroin, once used cannabis.
2. Cannabis is addictive
Dependence is a factor of the state of mind and personality. Some heavy users, who smoke several times a day, every day, may become dependent on the plant owing to the body adapting to functioning with high levels of THC in it. That being said, dependency on cannabis is far less than that of cocaine, heroin and other ‘hard’ drugs.
3. You cannot overdose on cannabis
You can overdose on cannabis. It causes extreme nausea and vomiting, paired with hallucinations and dizziness. You cannot, however, die from an overdose of cannabis as you would with any other drug.
Edibles and oils are an easy way to overdose on marijuana as the effects often have a time delay. As a result, users often take too much before the high has a chance to kick in.
4. Cannabis is natural so it can’t harm you
As specified above, overdosing on cannabis can be particularly abrasive to the digestive system.
In teenagers, cannabis has been known to incite anxiety, depression and reduced academic performance. This is because the THC in cannabis has been proven to adversely affect youth’s during their developmental ages. It stunts brain growth and hinders the child’s ability to form new brain connections. This risk is averted once the brain has reached its peak at age 25 and has stopped growing. Thereafter, marijuana has healing and restorative properties on the brain.
CBD, however, is safe for all ages.
5. Driving while high is safer than driving drunk
Both alcohol and getting high are forms of intoxication. While base effects vary from person to person, it not safe to drive while high. Cannabis slows your reaction speed and alters your perception of time. It also dampens fine motor skills, like those used when driving. Driving is a dangerous act in itself. You always need to be fully cognizant and aware while operating a motor vehicle. Driving while high is just as dangerous as driving drunk.
6. Marijuana makes you lazy
While some strains of cannabis may incite drowsiness and lethargy, not all weed does that. Some have a heightening effect on the body, causing alertness, hyperactivity and focus. Laziness is often an inherent trait of the person, rather than a state caused by cannabis.
7. Smoking cannabis is as bad a smoking cigarettes
Joints and cigarettes contain some similar carcinogens to each other, however, joints are, on the whole, much less harmful than cigarettes. This does not mean they do not contain harmful substances. Medical-grade cannabis is an exception.
Blunts, joints made with cannabis and tobacco, are a different story. In this case, smoking a blunt is just as bad as smoking a cigarette. Both have toxins that can cause cancer; however, the difference comes in the quantity smoked. Where a smoker can smoke up to 20 cigarettes per day, a cannabis smoker may only smoke one joint on a daily basis. Overall the one-to-one comparison is equally bad, but the daily activities of the individual are where the severity lies.
It is important to note that only when burnt or heated, as with smoking, does this effect come into play. Distilled THC and CBD compounds will not have this effect if ingested in a pressed oil or tincture format. It is thus a safer option.
8. Cannabis can cure anxiety
Cannabis has never boasted to be the cure to any and all problems. Rather, it manages symptoms of various conditions so that you are able to function normally in everyday life.
In this same way, cannabis cannot cure depression, but it can manage the symptoms well enough to get you out of bed and to the office every day. It manages it well enough that you are able to get up and seek actual treatment to cure your conditions. This means that discontinued use will more often than not bring the condition back in full force.
9. Marijuana impacts your memories
Cannabis does not affect long-term stored memories. It does, however, affect the perception of the user while high. That is to say, those memories of the event while high are seen as hazy or disjoint. Perceptions of time or the order of events may also be confused.
10. Only stoners use cannabis
Cannabis comes in many forms, with most of them not even containing any psychoactive compounds. CBD is one such compound, derived from the cannabis plant that is utilized for a myriad of uses that do not cause the user to feel high. These such compounds can be used on pets, children and old people without adverse effects.
More so, it will not affect the developmental stage of brain growth, nor will it damage your lungs because most CBD products are ingested or applied topically.
Cannabis is a beneficial plant that has more uses than you can think of. It does also have limitations. Users must be wary of these limitations before partaking in the benefits of cannabis. Like we always say: Safety first!
I hope this article helped you to understand a bit more about cannabis and what it can, and cannot, do for you.
May all your days be high ones!
P.S. Look out for the Conscious Cannabis Club Podcast where you’ll find more wisdom about cannabis and its uses as your self-care practice!