As more states are pushing forward with legislation that will make the purchase and consumption of recreational marijuana legal, more people are becoming curious about trying cannabis for a variety of reasons. There are numerous benefits when it comes to marijuana use, specifically in the areas of pain management and relief from a variety of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and insomnia.
Unfortunately, there are still several myths and misinformation surrounding efficacy and safety in regard to cannabis use. Following, are nine common misconceptions about cannabis, as well as factual information correcting these myths.
- There is No Difference in Cannabis Strains When it Comes to Delivering a High
All cannabis strains are, in fact, different. Some strains contain significantly less THC, which leads to a smoother, more mild sense of euphoria. Other strains contain higher concentrations of THC, which can be beneficial for those who are looking for pain relief or to relieve insomnia. If you are curious about learning more about the various strains and their strengths, try searching for a “dispensary near me” in your favorite search engine. These dispensaries employ knowledgeable and friendly staff, who can point you in the right direction on which products may be of most benefit to you.
- You Can Die From a Cannabis Overdose
This myth is unequivocally false. In fact, there has not been a single documented case of death being caused directly by cannabis. This being said, there have been irresponsible users who have engaged in unfortunate behavior when high and may have perished as a consequence of their actions. But there has not been a single case of death caused directly by the effects of cannabis on the body.
- Keeping Cannabis Illegal Will Protect Minors From Consumption
When was the last time you heard of alcohol restrictions cutting down on prohibited use by teenagers? Regardless of laws put in place which make it illegal to drink alcohol before age 21, there are seven million minors who will try an alcoholic drink for the first time every single year. Keeping cannabis illegal will simply provide street-level drug dealers with a steady flow of customers, without quality oversights or regulations.
- Cannabis Use Has Been Linked to Developing Cancer
There have been a number of false claims when it comes to cannabis use and cancer, particularly when it comes to smoking it. Research has found that there is no link between the development of cancer (particularly lung cancer) and smoking marijuana. On the other hand, those who smoke tobacco increase their risk of developing lung cancer exponentially.
- Users Assume a Greater Risk of Dependency When Using Cannabis
Those against the legalization of marijuana claim that cannabis use is linked with drug dependency. Sound scientific studies and data have shown that this is false. In fact, those who use cannabis are at a much lower risk of addiction and negative health outcomes when compared to those who imbibe alcohol.
- Cannabis Use is a Gateway Drug to Other Harmful Substances
Cannabis opponents claim that cannabis use will inevitably lead to further experimentation with harmful substances, such as cocaine and heroin. While it is true that some individuals who engage in the reactional use of marijuana also use other substances, this number is far less than what cannabis opponents want you to believe. The majority of cannabis users partake only occasionally and do not use any other substances.
- Cannabis Use is Connected With Criminal and Delinquent Behavior
While some who use marijuana may have a proclivity towards delinquent or criminal behavior, this is far from the norm. Most people who enjoy using cannabis recreationally are upstanding members of society, who hold steady jobs and are engaged in their community. Individuals from every walk of life and field of employment enjoy cannabis within the comfort of their own homes, in a responsible manner.
- The Majority of Cannabis Users Indulge in it Heavily
One of the most common (and hurtful) stereotypes is that those who use cannabis do nothing but sit on the couch every day, watching television, and contributing nothing to society. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Cannabis use has been found to increase creativity and improve concentration, which can have a positive effect on accomplishing tasks and checking items off your “to-do list” throughout the day.
- Cannabis Use Causes Irreversible Damage to the Brain
Cannabis opponents often claim that marijuana use is associated with brain damage. This misinformation is often tied in with those who claim that cannabis proponents want to get children “hooked” on pot. This is untrue. No responsible advocate for the legalization of marijuana wants it to fall into the hands of teenagers. The adolescent brain is still developing, which is why substance use of any kind should remain illegal for juveniles. However, cannabis use has not been shown to cause brain damage in the brains of otherwise healthy adults.
As new legislation continues to be presented and signed into law, the stigma surrounding cannabis continues to decline. By pointing out misinformation, and educating the public on the many benefits of responsible marijuana use, society will eventually begin to accept, and even embrace, the many benefits of this beautiful plant.