Due to the push to legalize cannabis these last few decades, there have been a lot of myths flying around about what is and isn’t true regarding marijuana and cannabis in general.
Let’s break down some of the more popular myths and dissect them with facts.
12 Cannabis Myths
Myth: Marijuana is harmless
Fact: Though it is less harmful than most other drugs, including Tylenol and antidepressants, it can still be harmful when taken in large doses over a period. Some harmful side effects include trouble breathing, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions, worsening of depression and schizophrenia. There are also studies showing that cannabis has long term negative effects on juvenile brain development when they consume heavy amounts on a regular basis before they reach brain maturity.
Myth: Medical marijuana is only given to people who have cancer or seizures.
Fact: The following conditions will qualify you for medical marijuana depending on your state:
- multiple sclerosis
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- irritable bowel syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- sickle cell disease
- sexual problems like low desire and premature ejaculation
- appetite stimulant for people who need to gain weight or keep their weight on.
Myth: Marijuana is not addictive
Fact: Cannabis is not physically addictive. However, research has shown that over time, daily or heavy use can lead to dependency just like consuming a ton of sugar or carbs can on a regular basis. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse up to 30% of marijuana users develop a substance use disorder. Symptoms of Cannabis Use Disorder are:
- Craving it
- Decreased appetite
Myth: All cannabis will get you high.
Fact: Only cannabis products that contain over 0.3% of THC will get you high. Anything below that level will not have a psychoactive effect on your brain.
Myth: Smoking marijuana is less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
Fact: Inhaling smoke of any kind from any device is harmful to the lungs. Just like with cigarettes smoking cannabis can lead to some of the same lung compilations. According to the American Lung Association, marijuana can sometimes contain some of the same toxins, irritants and carcinogens that are found in tobacco smoke.
Myth: Cannabis with THC is weaker today due to all the regulation.
Fact: The levels of THC found in marijuana plants today are higher than they use to be. This is because the plants are engineered to be purer and to have higher THC levels.
Myth: You can’t overdose on marijuana.
Fact: While you can’t overdose on marijuana like you can on other drugs, you can take too much and make yourself sick. Side effects of overloading your cannabinoid receptors with THC are:
- Extreme anxiety
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Upset Stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of coordination
- Decreased verbal skills
Myth: Marijuana is a gateway drug
Fact: The evidence is mixed on this but according to an inquiry that the Justice Department and the Library of Congress did in 2018 there is “No causal link between cannabis use and the use of other illicit drugs”.
Myth: The higher the potency the better
Fact: Research has shown that high-potency cannabis products don’t necessarily get users more high and that the potency testing industry is rife with fraud, quality-assurance problems and general incompetence.
Myth: Cannabis kills brain cells
Fact: There is no evidence to support that claim. There is only minor short term memory loss while high. However, some preliminary research has found that both THC and CBD can reduce neurotoxicity and that cannabis can protect the brain from some damage.
Myth: Holding in a hit gets you higher
Fact: Holding in your smoke might make you feel high but not because your lungs absorbed more THC. Research has shown that 95% of the THC is absorbed within the first few seconds of inhaling. The extra “high” you might be feeling is just your brains response to a brief lack of oxygen.
Myth: CBD consumption will lead to a failed drug test
Fact: Pure CBD contains less than 0.3% of THC. That amount is not enough to get you high or to trip a drug test. However, due to the lack of regulation there are some companies mislabeling their products as CBD when in fact they have too much THC to qualify. Make sure you purchase your CBD from a trusted source who offers consumers a Certificate of Analysis.
While this list contains 12 cannabis myths that we just busted, there are many more out there ready to take their place. If you want to enjoy the many benefits of cannabis in all its forms, do your research.
Remember to not be hard on yourself. Even the most seasoned marijuana smokers have fallen victim to a myth a time or two.