Myths About Marijuana: Separating Fact From Fiction
Despite being legalized in many states, provinces and countries, there is still hot debate around cannabis and its effects. While some scientific institutions are preoccupied performing studies on the impact of cannabis in disease, there are still members of the public who are convinced cannabis use is harmful. Myths have been swirling around the use of marijuana for decades but many of them are just that – myths. Taking a closer look at the science and stats behind cannabis use will dispel these, making the benefits of use more accessible to a wider audience.
Myth: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug
Cannabis is widely used and widely available, so it is no wonder that marijuana is often the first illicit drug – and sometimes the only drug, used by many individuals. Of course, alcohol and tobacco are often used even before marijuana. With that in mind, it is probable that many drug users had early experience with cannabis but there is no evidence that later addiction is directly linked to this interaction. If someone is willing to try cannabis, there is likely an existing want to try other drugs.
Myth: Cannabis Can Be Deadly
There are many misconceptions about overdosing on marijuana. Unlike other drugs, you cannot overdose on cannabis in the same way that you can on other drugs. In order to fatally overdose on marijuana, a user would have to consume over one thousand pounds per minute for a quarter of an hour.
Myth: Cannabis Causes Psychosis
Some cannabis users have experienced psychosis, but that is not to say that it is caused by marijuana use. Someone with diabetes might enjoy an ice cream, but that does not mean that the ice cream is what caused it. Those who have a vulnerability to psychosis or bipolar disorder may have increased effects when using cannabis.
Myth: All Cannabis Gets You High
The facts around cannabinoids are becoming more and more widespread. Instead of assuming that all marijuana gets you high, more research is being published on cannabinoids. THC is the cannabinoid that produces psychoactive, mind-altering effects but CBD offers therapeutic effects without the high.
Myth: Cannabis is Addictive
The risks of becoming addicted to cannabis are minimal but it is important to remember that addictive personalities are susceptible to becoming reliant on anything. From harmful materials like opioids to seemingly positive habits, like working out, it is possible to become “addicted” to anything. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 7%-9% of users will become severe users and can be referred to as an addiction. The effects of these addictions are far less severe than those involved in opioid dependency but should still be discussed wth medical professionals.