Addiction Expert Debunks Biggest Myths About Weed On Reddit AMA

Myths about weed have run rampant since the days of reefer madness. Fortunately, times are changing and our acceptance of marijuana has paved the way for a better understanding of how it affects us.

Oct 31, 2015 - Lane Tr

Photo credit: Deviant Art

Photo credit: Deviant Art

Myths about weed have run rampant since the days of reefer madness. Fortunately, times are changing and our acceptance of marijuana has paved the way for a better understanding of how it affects us.

Recently, Dr. Kevin Hill author of “Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth about the World’s Most Popular Weed”, and addiction psychiatrist at the McLean Hospital held an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit. Dr. Hill opened the forum to users who were curious about weed myths. Here are some of the abbreviated highlights from the forum.

Q. What are the negative effects that can be seen on the mind stemming from long-term use? Has there been sufficient data collected in this regard?

A. Major negative effects of long-term use include cognitive difficulties, worsening anxiety, worsening depression, and increased likelihood of expressing a psychotic disorder (not causing one). But we need more long-term studies, and the NIH is planning these studies as we chat today.

Q. Are there any documented indirect deaths from Marijuana?

A. Yes, deaths may result indirectly from marijuana use – someone may use poor judgment or get in a car accident in part due to their use. These indirect deaths would be hard to measure, though. Just because someone has THC in their system does not mean that THC causes an event to occur.

Q. How do you feel about the use of marijuana during pregnancy?

A. It would be difficult to do these studies for ethical reasons, but I think most agree that exposing the fetus to marijuana is a bad thing. There is some animal research showing that prenatal exposure to THC affects brain development.

Related: Cannabis and Pregnancy

Q. What are the areas that you think there may be actual medical uses of marijuana (or marijuana-derived drugs)?

A. I think there is strong evidence supporting the use of mj or cannabinoids for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. Early clinical trials of cannabidiol (one of the cannabinoids) for epilepsy are very positive. We need to do more studies of marijuana and cannabinoids as treatments for various medical problems.

Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether or not MJ is, in fact, a gateway drug?

A. In the US, when people say “gateway”, they imply a causal relationship. If you use marijuana, you will automatically move on to become addicted to other drugs later. I don’t think of it that way. People who have addiction problems at 25 or 45 often describe initial use of marijuana or alcohol or nicotine at an early age. I think, then, that early use of any of these substances increases the likelihood of future addiction.

Related: New Study Show Marijuana Is Not The Gateway Drug

Q. What do you think about the criminals keeping it schedule 1? Should they be fired or frankly put in prison for ignoring the science?

A. I don’t think marijuana should be schedule 1. Schedule 1 means 1) addictive– yes it is addictive for some people and 2) no medical value. I don’t think you can say at this point that marijuana does not have medical value.

Q. Out of the adult patients you see for marijuana addiction, what fraction is self admitted? How does this compare to alcohol? Can you compare and contrast the addictions?

A. Only about 6% of those seeking treatment for addictions say that mj addiction is their main problem.

Hopefully this AMA with Dr. Hill gave you some more info on popular weed myths. He answers many more questions here.

What do you think about Dr. Hill’s answers? Let us know on social media.


Share This

Related Articles

The gold standard for treatment is still prescription drugs.

Physicians Fail To Consider Cannabis For Opioid Addiction

Tired of all the debate? Let us help you debunk the most common marijuana myths.

An employee analyzes the quality of marijuana at a greenhouse near Empalme Olmos, Canelones department, Uruguay on August 23, 2018. One of the most common marijuana myths is that prohibition should be upheld because cannabis hasn't been proven to be safe. On the contrary, legalization ensures that it is by instituting regulations like lab testing. (Photo by Miguel ROJO/ AFP/Getty Images)


Stay in the loop

Exclusive deals, original content.
Delivered to you.