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The uneducated world we live in has left many people with misinformation about cannabis and the effects of the plant. For years, the public has been fed propaganda and slander from the government and other anti-drug organizations, trying to enforce a fear of the alternative form of medication. Pro-cannabis advocates have worked tirelessly to debunk many of the myths surrounding the herb, and their work is clearly paying off, as the United States is finally seeing widespread legalization. Before believing all the negative hype, take a moment to become educated with these nine facts you need to know about getting high.

1. No link to cancer

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Many people believe smoking cannabis carries the same dangers as smoking cigarettes – they would be wrong. Cannabis use is not directly linked to any form of cancer, including lung cancer, which many have feared a repercussion for years. In fact, cannabis has shown to not only destroy cancer cells but actually inhibit their growth and prevent tumors from forming.

2. Don’t hold your breath

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Everyone thinks holding in a hit longer is going to result in a more intense high, but that’s just not the case. THC and cannabinoids are absorbed within seconds of inhalation, meaning there’s no reason to hold in that toke. The resulting light-headedness experienced after holding in a puff for too long is not a more intense high, it’s the brain starving for oxygen. So, breathe, people, breathe.

3. Just keep swimming

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Lowered sperm count has been a fear of male cannabis users for decades. While this one does have a little bit of truth, heavy users may experience a reduced count while using cannabis, men will be relieved to discover the effects are reversed when the usage has ceased. There is no proof of long-term effects on sperm count. Best advice? If trying to conceive, lay off the cannabis for a bit.

4. Memories will always haunt us

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Long-term memories are ingrained into our brains, making them especially hard to forget, even with excessive cannabis use. There’s no need to fear forgetting the past; the present, however, is another story. Short-term memory, like knowing whether or not the coffee pot was turned off, is affected by cannabis use and can cause us to forget minor details from time to time.

5. Unproductiveness is an option

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Cannabis cannot cause someone to be lazy or unmotivated; people make their own decisions based on their personality traits. This is one of the largest misleading stereotypes associated with cannabis users. While cannabis might make it easier to nap or relax, it does not mean every time someone takes a puff the result is going to be lethargic, uninspired zombie.

6. Enhanced creativity

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Many of us have experienced a burst of creativity after enjoying a nice sativa strain. However, a new study from Leiden University shows the boost in creativity might just be a placebo. Subconsciously, cannabis users believe the inspirations will come after using, so they do, but it’s because we have altered perspectives that we become inspired, not from the THC.

7. 30-day rule

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Cannabis users have always lived by the rule that THC will stay in the body for 30 days. After that, drug tests should produce negative results, right? Wrong! THC is stored in fat cells, so the more fat cells a person carries, the longer the remnants will stick around. Heavyset users who use cannabis every day might find the THC can stay in their bodies for upwards of a year.

8. Damaged goods

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One of the most common untruths about cannabis is that it damages or kills brain cells. This is simply false propaganda created to cause fear and panic. While the effects of cannabis might make a person react more slowly or think more freely, they do not destroy brain matter in any way. In fact, cannabis has been shown to keep brain activity healthy and functioning.

9. Gateway to happiness

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Dating back to the original “Reefer Madness” slander, cannabis has been referred to as a “gateway” drug, meaning using it is likely to lead to using harder, more serious drugs, like heroin. This myth has been debunked so many times, only the most unintelligent people still quote it. Even D.A.R.E. has removed cannabis from their list of gateway drugs.

What is your favorite mind-blowing cannabis fact? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.

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