Author: JESSICA K.
As it happens Cannabis is the most popular drug around the world, but also happens to be illegal in most of the countries. It has a bad reputation and is considered equal to many chemical drugs in the streets, at least by some people. But here is the thing – none of the Cannabis plants are a chemical drug. The stigma around Cannabis has been fueled over the years, but here are a few myths that have been uncovered and explained.
1. Cannabis, Marijuana, Hemp – all the same:
Cannabis is a family of plants that has two primary classifications — Indica and Sativa. Marijuana is a member of either the families, Hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa family. Both are derivatives from the Cannabis Sativa family, and they do share certain similarities; however, due to each plant’s biological structure they also have several very distinct and crucial differences.
2. Cannabis causes lack of motivation:
The very first thing you hear in marijuana guide 101 is that Cannabis use causes a lack of motivation. However, as it happens this is not the case at all. Cannabis does not cause any lack of motivation in stoners. They do tend to get calm and peaceful, but not demotivated.
3. Cannabis is a gateway drug:
It is one of the most common myths that Cannabis is a gateway for the potential use of hard drugs in the future. In truth, Cannabis does not induce any want of such kind in the stoner, and the use of hard drugs such as heroin, LSD, etc. is merely their own choice.
4. Marijuana kills:
It is impossible to consume a lethal overdose of weed. Symptoms of a (nonlethal) weed overdose include anxiety, paranoia, dizziness, and loss of coordination. In a 1988 petition, a judge wrote that in order to die, a person would need to consume approximately 6804 kg of marijuana in about 15 minutes. So whoever said that Cannabis can kill you, did not know their facts.
5. Marijuana makes you fat:
Marijuana tempts you to munch because it tricks you to think that you are starving. The brain produces its own cannabinoids that help control our appetite, mood, memory and pain receptors. THC produced in marijuana latches on to this cannabinoid receptors in the brain mimicking the same chemicals. THC flips a switch in our brain and fools you to believe that you are hungry. So next time after a smoke you might feel hungry wherein reality you are probably not.
6. Eye redness is dangerous:
Reddening of the eye is a common sight once you are high. But the reason of reddening is the presence of THC in Cannabis. It decreases blood pressure, dilation of blood vessels and capillaries. For eyes, in particular, it causes dilation in the ocular capillaries encouraging blood flow through the eyes and thus causing the red-eye. THC becomes a good medicine for glaucoma patients. Although it doesn’t give a full recovery, it helps them live with the symptoms without the threat of losing their sight. Guess it is not that harmful after all!
7. Marijuana kills brain cells resulting in memory loss:
Weed doesn’t affect your memories, nor does it cause long-term memory loss or diseases like dementia. Although Cannabis can diminish the short term memory – but only when a person is intoxicated with it. A person who has consumed Cannabis might also have trouble learning new information during intoxication.
8. Synthetic marijuana is safe:
Synthetic marijuana—also known as spice, K2, or fake weed—can be 100 times stronger than natural marijuana, and it is not manufactured safely. Synthetic marijuana has been proven to cause hallucinations, stroke, vomiting, acute psychosis, and even death—it is not at all safe and recommended. It’s powerful—much more powerful than natural marijuana. Yasmin Hurd, a professor of neuroscience, psychiatry, and pharmacology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says, “It can induce psychosis because a lot of strains don’t contain CBD, which decreases the anxiety from THC.”
9. Marijuana affects lungs:
Smokers of Cannabis are not inhaling the many harmful additives that are found in cigarettes to make them burn down faster or to stay alight. There has even been some evidence that marijuana smoke does not have the same effect on the bronchial tubes as cigarette smoke, so even heavy use may not lead to emphysema.
10. Marijuana is addictive:
Only 9% of those who use marijuana end up being clinically dependent on it. Studies depict that marijuana use has dozens of medical benefits. It prevents cancer from spreading, reduces anxiety, slows the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, also improves metabolism and it does spur creativity in our brain and not hormonal imbalance.
11. Prohibition will curb abuse:
Prohibition has failed to prevent the domestic production of marijuana. Instead, it has increased the activities in the illegal market for Cannabis. The rate with which the black market is expanding is only increasing in this case. Moreover, these days, its consumption is widespread among youth. So it is fair to say that prohibition has failed to curb the ‘abuse’.
12. Marijuana withdrawal can be fatal:
Marijuana’s withdrawal symptoms aren’t fatal Dr. Paul Hornby, a biochemist and human pathologist says, “I’ve heard you have to smoke something like 15,000 joints in 20 minutes to get a toxic amount of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol.” So it is virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana and users face nominal withdrawal symptoms after consuming it.
13. Marijuana is the same as alcohol:
Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Unlike alcoholics, stoners don’t indulge in rash driving or violent fights instead they tend to be calm and pleasant under the influence of marijuana.
14. Marijuana will mislead people and lead to exploitation:
Legalization in Colorado has created over 10,000 new jobs in the area. Although supervision by laws and bodies are required so that it doesn’t lead to exploitation and abuse. Taxing marijuana will increase the government’s revenue. In an open letter to US President George Bush, Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, called for marijuana to be “legal but taxed and regulated like other goods”.
15. Marijuana is poor man’s drug:
Legalizing Cannabis will help the locals in many states where growing Cannabis plants is the only source of income. However, the banning leads the farmers to sell it at a very cheap price to black market dealers and they face additional pressure from the police, who are paid to destroy the Cannabis plantations. Legalizing marijuana will end this ‘war on drugs’ targeting old and needy.
A lot of myths and uncovered facts about Cannabis are still going around, and it will take time for people to understand the Cannabis culture beyond myths. However, it is expected with the current rate that Cannabis culture will only grow in the future.