In the past, marijuana users, whether it’s recreational marijuana or medicinal cannabis, faced significant societal stigma. It was commonly believed that marijuana use was exclusive to criminal activity. However, as time has progressed, marijuana use has become increasingly accepted and legalized across the United States. Currently, over 37 states permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and over 21 states also allow its recreational use. If you are considering trying cannabis, it is important to separate marijuana facts from fiction by debunking common marijuana myths surrounding its use.
In This Article
Myth #1: Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug
The belief that marijuana is a “gateway drug” has been a longstanding myth in society. This theory suggests that using marijuana leads individuals to try and become addicted to harder, more dangerous drugs. However, research has shown that this is not the case. In fact, a study by the National Academy of Sciences found that there is no evidence to support the idea that marijuana use leads to the use of other illicit drugs.
The truth is…
The real issue is that marijuana is often obtained through illegal means, such as purchasing it from street dealers. These dealers often also sell other illegal drugs, leading to the potential for individuals to be exposed to and try other substances. However, with the legalization of marijuana, and the ability to purchase it from licensed dispensaries, this is not an issue. Legal cannabis purchased from a licensed dispensary is rigorously tested for impurities and does not come with the risk of coming into contact with other illegal drugs.
Additionally, marijuana can be used as an exit drug, helping people to wean off from more harmful drugs like opioids, alcohol, and cigarettes. Studies have shown that medical cannabis can be an effective tool in treating opioid addiction, and a reduction in opioid overdose deaths in states where medical marijuana is legal.
In conclusion, the belief that marijuana is a gateway drug is a myth. The real issue is the illegal cannabis trade which can lead to the circulation of other drugs. Legalizing marijuana and making it readily available at licensed dispensaries eliminates this issue and allows individuals to make informed and safe choices about cannabis use.
Myth #2: You Can Overdose On Marijuana
Another one of the many marijuana myths debunked is about overdosing on marijuana. Many people believe it is possible to overdose on marijuana. However, one of the many facts about marijuana is that it is extremely difficult to overdose on the cannabis plant. In fact, the CDC states that a marijuana overdose is extremely unlikely.
The truth is…
You would simply have to ingest too much of the marijuana plant to get a fatal overdose. What is far more likely when you are discussing marijuana myths vs. facts is that buying cannabis through an illegal dealer means that you have a greater potential for overdose because marijuana sold on the street is often laced with other drugs that may cause an overdose, such as fentanyl and LSD. When you buy cannabis from a dispensary, it is licensed by each state, which means the cannabis is extremely pure–no added substances.
Myth #3: Cannabis Causes Physical Addiction
You may have heard that the use of cannabis can cause physical addiction and drug abuse. Physical addiction and emotional addiction are two different things. When you have a physical addiction, your body becomes dependent on a drug. Many drugs, such as alcohol, can cause physical addiction.
Many other drugs, such as alcohol, cause physical addiction. In fact, alcohol is the most abused drug by far more than any other substance. Alcohol use disorder accounts for 75% of all substance use disorders, and it is the most common reason people seek treatment for substance abuse.
The truth is…
Scientists have found that, in general, compounds found in cannabis don’t cause physical addiction. Marijuana can cause psychological dependence, however, so you need to be sure that you are using cannabis in moderation.
Also, you need to make sure that the cannabis you purchase is from a dispensary due to street marijuana being combined with other, more addictive substances. For example, you are far more likely to experience physical addiction if your cannabis is tainted with cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, or LSD.
Myth #4: Marijuana Is Completely Harmless
Cannabis can have many benefits, but it’s important to use caution. Factors such as existing health conditions can affect how your body reacts to cannabis. For example, if you have asthma and smoke medical cannabis, it may worsen your asthma symptoms. As with any medication, cannabis also has potential side effects.
The truth is…
Marijuana is not completely harmless. It can have negative effects on physical and mental health and can be particularly risky for certain groups of people such as teenagers, pregnant women, and those with a history of mental illness.
Additionally, smoking marijuana can cause lung irritation and respiratory problems due to marijuana smoke. It is important to use caution and consider the potential risks before using marijuana. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to understand the possible risks and benefits of using marijuana.
Myth #5: Indica Is Calming, Sativa Is Energizing
The idea that Indica strains of marijuana are calming and Sativa strains are energizing is a common myth in the cannabis industry. The terms “Indica” and “Sativa” are used to describe the physical characteristics and geographical origins of different strains of marijuana, not their effects. The primary psychoactive component in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is primarily responsible for the “high” feeling associated with marijuana use, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is non-psychoactive but has beneficial health effects. The ratio of THC to CBD can vary widely between different strains and can have a significant impact on the effects of cannabis. The effects of marijuana can also depend on the individual, the method of consumption, and the dose, and can vary widely.
Research has indicated that both cannabinoids and terpenes–compounds found in cannabis, can have an effect on the potency of a cannabis blend. For that reason, some Indica strains are more energizing than cannabis Sativa strains and vice versa.
The truth is…
The effects of cannabis are determined by the specific combination of cannabinoids and terpenes present in a particular strain, rather than simply by whether it is classified as an Indica or Sativa.
Brian Miller is a passionate advocate for the legalization of cannabis. He studied law and has a deep understanding of the legal and political landscape surrounding the plant. Despite being a recreational cannabis user himself, Brian's support for legalization goes beyond his personal enjoyment of marijuana. He firmly believes that legalizing medical marijuana will provide much-needed relief for millions of people suffering from various medical conditions.
In addition, Brian is a strong proponent of legalizing recreational marijuana as a means of regulating safe use. He recognizes that legalization would allow for a better understanding of the drug and its effects, leading to increased safety for users and reduced negative consequences.
Brian is also a huge fan of the current variety of weed products and the supportive community that has developed in recent years. He is grateful for the progress that has been made in terms of legalization and is eager to see what the future holds for the cannabis industry. Brian joined with Heather to found Concept420 in 2022.