For every person raving about the benefits of cannabis, there’s at least one other out there trying to convince someone of false information against marijuana. Well, we are here to clear up some of those terrible beliefs and misconceptions about cannabis.
There’s no reason to go on believing things about cannabis that aren’t true, things that have been fed to society to deter them from the immense power of this plant. It’s time to break the mold, step out of the circle if you will, to see things from a different perspective. Enjoy being on the marijuana bandwagon from here on in!
Marijuana use leads to dependence or addiction
It’s possible to become dependent on marijuana, but this only happens in a minority of the already relatively small category of heavy users. Research suggests that about nine percent of marijuana users became clinically dependent at some point, compared to 15 percent of cocaine users and 24 percent of heroin users.
Weed is evil
There is such a negative connotation associated with the words cannabis and marijuana, and this is a result of social conditioning more than anything. Think about it. Who taught you that cannabis was negative or evil? It is surely not a conclusion you came to all on your own, and you probably find that you in fact love marijuana. There isn’t really any negativity that comes with the experience, unless you smoke too much and experience some social paranoia.
This entire association of negativity and this plant comes from the people who make it illegal. Even those who have never tried marijuana believe that it is bad purely because they have been told all their lives that it is bad. They have been told all their lives that it is illegal because it is bad, rather than the truth about why it is illegal.
Weed is dangerous or deadly to your health
It’s really hard to identify where exactly this misconception came from, because up until now there has not even been a single recorded death from marijuana. Actually, it’s next to impossible to overdose on it. Of course, if you are smoking it then there is an adverse health effect of doing so, but be aware this comes with smoking anything. So then, it is smoking that is dangerous to health rather than the plant of marijuana.
In fact, there are far more dangerous things that society participates in on a daily basis, such as drinking or the task of driving. There are more people out there dying from alcohol related deaths or car accidents than there are dying from marijuana. So this misconception is purely a cop out, a way to scare young children away from using marijuana. But anybody with half a brain can make the assessment that the use of this plant is not dangerous to anyone’s health!
Marijuana prohibition effectively protects kids
In 2011, use of marijuana by teenagers hit a 30-year peak, with one out of every 15 high school students reporting they smoke most days, and for the first time U.S. teens reported smoking more pot than cigarettes. But teenagers don’t smoke any more pot in states where medical marijuana is legal than in ones where it’s not. Legalization advocates argue that the best way to reduce use by minors is to legalize and regulate pot.
Weed is a gateway drug
It’s likely that even your parents have tried to use this argument with you – that cannabis is a gateway drug and that it will effectively lead to you shooting heroin up between your toes. Well, if we want to get technical, most people who are trying cannabis for the first time have tried alcohol or tobacco cigarettes at least once. So then, what is really the gateway drug? Is it marijuana or is it alcohol or tobacco?
Actually, it’s none of those things. It is never drinking that leads people to wanting to use cannabis, and it is never cannabis that leads people to want to try harder drugs such as amphetamines or heroin. A curiosity is perhaps sparked to try something for a completely different reason other than using cannabis, and if anything, the consciousness of the cannabis plant usually encourages people to live healthier lives rather than unhealthy lives. Even studies that were commissioned by Congress have reported that there is no causal link between using cannabis and using harder drugs. This misconception is literally a rumor that traveled really far!
Synthetic weed is safe
Synthetic weed — also known as spice, K2, and fake weed — can be up to 100 times stronger than natural weed, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find spice that’s been through a safe manufacturing process.
Chances are, the synthetic weed circulating nowadays has used nail varnish remover and other highly toxic chemicals.
Originally created in a lab as a way to find out how cannabinoids affect the brain, synthetic weed has been marketed as a safe, legal version of weed. Needless to say, it is not.
Once the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) caught on to its extreme side effects — hallucinations, stroke, vomiting, acute psychosis, even death — it banned the substance without hesitation.
Weed is illegal because it’s bad
Well, this misbelief could arguably be true. It’s illegal because it’s bad for governments, bad for corporations and bad for all of the multi-million dollar industries it will be competing with. This is why it has been made illegal in the first place. Let’s face it, cannabis is bad for the paper industry and for the medicine industry. Once we start taking advantage of all the products we can create using hemp such as fibers, materials and rope, it will begin to take over these industries too. Marijuana is bad for industry, because this plant is so versatile, it could successfully eradicate the need for a lot of other industries.
So in truth, it was made illegal because of how good it is. It is a common practice among authoritarians to feel threatened by anything or anyone whose power is so immense, and this is no exception. It was made illegal because it threatened industries that were very closely associated with the governments, not because it is bad for you or for society.
Weed makes you lazy and stupid
Unfortunately, this misconception is not even just held by people who don’t smoke weed. There are even stoners out there who still believe that marijuana makes a person lazy and stupid. This misconception is just a way for those who are already lazy and stupid to have something else to blame it on. In fact, there are many stoners out there who are not lazy and stupid, and many entrepreneurs who credit their success to marijuana.
People are lazy and stupid – please don’t get that wrong! A plant cannot possibly be lazy and stupid, and so there is no way that this is transmitted through the plant. Many studies have been conducted on this point, and until now there is no evidence to suggest that marijuana is responsible for a lack of motivation. This is a misconception that has been pressured as a result of mis-education, and a way for non-stoners to have a go at people who love to smoke.
You can’t overdose on weed
Well, you can, but it won’t kill you.You first need to understand what an overdose is. It simply means you’ve taken more than the normal or recommended amount of a particular substance.
So it is possible to overdose on cannabis. Symptoms of a weed overdose include:
- loss of coordination, which can lead to severe injuries
- chest symptoms, including a rapid heart rate and chest pain
- pale skin color
- unresponsiveness to cues such as a person calling their name or touching them
- hallucinations or delusions
- blood pressure spikes
Weed doesn’t turn you violent, it won’t kill you, and it will very likely boost your appetite.
However, you can overdose, weed addiction is real, and modern strains are more potent than ever before.
Be your own benchmark when it comes to weed use. If you already use it, listen to your body after you smoke. Is it panic you feel? Contentment? Anxiety? Creativity? If it doesn’t feel good, give yourself a tolerance break or limit your use.
If you’re thinking about using it for the first time, consider the laws in your area. You can have a far safer first experience in states and countries where weed has gone through legalization.
Now that we’ve cleared up some misconceptions, you can enjoy your marijuana experience guilt free. Enjoy realizing all the amazing things about cannabis without having these misconceptions swimming around in your mind!
[Updated, originally published 27.1.2017]
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