Before someone starts spewing their knowledge of cannabis, let's see the facts.
Cannabis culture is packed with myths. What you might think is true may actually be one big lie or an age-old rumor.
There’s no denying that propaganda against cannabis back in the day might have started these myths to keep people from smoking.
But, with modern research at our fingertips, we can safely say that we’ve been fed lies for decades. Keep reading for ten common myths about cannabis that you should know about.
Photo courtesy of Jim Belushi
While your uncle might have told you about the loud he was smoking back in the day and raved about its potency, purity, and effects, you might want to inform him that cannabis is far stronger nowadays.
It’s also no surprise that some users would lace their weed with other substances to produce a more psychedelic effect, which was incredibly popular in the 70s and 80s.
FACT: Modern-day weed is the strongest it’s ever been. While it doesn’t compare to laced weed, which produces far more hallucinatory effects, there’s immense testing and technology throughout the industry that works to increase the potency and purity of the plant.
We had to include this obviously false myth for a reason. Did you know that in 2019, The U.S. government and the DEA stated that cannabis has no medicinal value, yet they decided to patent medical marijuana? A few years later, the U.K. government stated the same myth.
FACT: The cannabis plant contains 113 different cannabinoids responsible for elevated mood, appetite, anti-inflammation, and so much more. Countless studies have proved that cannabis has excellent medicinal value, and patients have experienced that firsthand, especially young children with autism and epilepsy.
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According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 28 people per day lose their lives in the United States due to drunk driving accidents.
Furthermore, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) notes that studies have not concluded whether high driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
FACT: There are no recorded accidents or statistics regarding accidents caused by high drivers. If anything, cannabis can increase awareness and caution, especially in seasoned users. Of course, it is highly illegal and not encouraged, but to say that high drivers are as reckless as drunk drivers simply isn’t true.
This myth was likely a part of President Ronald Reagan’s “War on Drugs” and his administration’s attempt to ward off weed users.
Cannabis does not cause schizophrenia, considering this mental illness is mostly passed down through genetic inheritance.
FACT: Cannabis users with the schizophrenic gene are more likely to show signs of psychosis than those without predisposed genetics. People without the gene have a 1 in 100 chance of developing schizophrenia, whereas those with the gene have a 1 in 10 chance.
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It’s normal to see the word “synthetic” and believe that what you’re smoking is a dangerous concoction filled with chemicals and unwanted additives.
Because cannabis is a natural plant, you might think that anything synthetic labeled “cannabis” isn’t good for you.
FACT: The most popular synthetic cannabinoid is Delta-8 THC. It often gets a bad wrap because it’s synthetic, but the process of making it is very straightforward. It only uses Delta-9 THC and CBD, which are then converted into Delta-8 THC. Delta-9 and Delta-8 are incredibly similar; the only difference is the slightest change in their molecular structure.
When you’re hovering over a skillet in the kitchen, slightly baked and whipping up a post-toke meal, that’s your brain’s reaction to certain strains and potencies.
FACT: Cannabis directly impacts the part of the brain responsible for sending signals like hunger, tiredness, arousal, and more. When smoking, our brain reacts to cannabis and lets us know that we’re hungry, horny, sleepy, or even all three.
If your parents, loved ones, or friends were ever worried about your cannabis use because it’s a “gateway drug,” you’re not alone. The idea is that cannabis leads users to search for different, stronger highs from other drugs after building a tolerance to the high from weed.
FACT: The U.S. Department of Justice released a 96-page inquiry on the subject, concluding that there is “no causal link between cannabis use and the use of other illicit drugs.” Its reasoning was that claiming heavy drug users have used cannabis at least once in their lives is a meaningless point that could be said about anything.
With so many coffee shops and relaxed places to consume cannabis in the Netherlands, you’d think it’s legal, right?
FACT: Cannabis, along with many other drugs, are not legal in the Netherlands. Instead, they’re decriminalized. This means possessing and consuming these substances won’t land you prison time or criminal charges. However, the Netherlands is starting to reconsider letting rowdy, irresponsible tourists from consuming cannabis because of their reckless nature and disrespectful behavior.
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Cannabis is not legal in the United States on a federal level. In states where it’s not legal, you’d think that finding weed would be harder to do, but that’s simply not the case.
FACT: Anyone who grew up with strict parents likely turned out to be rebellious. Humans have this inclination to do exactly the opposite of what they’re told. When it comes to keeping teenagers away from cannabis, prohibition does not help. Perhaps the best way to keep weed away from minors would be to regulate it, legalize it, and weed out illicit dealers.
It’s not uncommon to think that criminals are heavy pot users simply because research has shown that criminals are more likely to use cannabis than non-criminals.
FACT: Violent criminals may use cannabis, but it’s not the driving factor behind their violent behavior. Weed makes people the opposite of aggressive and violent, whereas alcohol is known to produce these unwanted effects.
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