Fake news? Marijuana Myths & Reality
From the days of reefer madness to the modern day debate of medicinal and recreational legalization – marijuana has carried a cloud of stigmas. These stigmas have lead to myths being spread like an old game of telephone. In a world where it’s hard to believe what is fake news, or not…what marijuana myths have validity, or which have been busted?
Smoking marijuana causes lung cancer, like smoking cigarettes.
Actually, no. A study conducted by UCLA in 2006 found that not only does marijuana not have the same cancer probability as cigarettes, it can actually protect by inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. The lead author of this study stated, “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
While it’s valid that marijuana smoke does contain the same carcinogens, even the biggest pot smokers consume a considerably lesser amount vs. tobacco.
Marijuana can kill your brain cells.
Again, wrong. With emerging studies on the use of marijuana, in 2015 the University of Louisville found that marijuana does not kill cells in your brain. This study only backed-up prior research completed by Cambridge University in 2003. With opposing attempts trying to disprove this fact, it’s easy to see why the facts have been hard to stick.
Now, you might think these studies are conducted on only the lightest of smokers. Sorry… but, wrong again. The Journal of Neuroscience further reported in 2015 that no brain damage can occur even due to long term or heavy marijuana use.
Marijuana is a gateway drug, or you can get addicted.
Any good feeling is usually worth repeating. And marijuana is one good feeling, you can repeat without fear of downward spiraling.
It’s been proven that only 9% of people who smoke weed regularly, will become addicted or dependent (and only 4.3 percent of Americans have been). In comparison, 24% of heavy heroin users do. So it may not be out of the realm of possibility, but considering there are zero reports of overdose deaths. Your marijuana use is considerably safer from the possibility of severe addiction and more importantly…can’t kill you.
‘But will I find myself chasing a better feeling or higher high than what I get from weed?’ Typically, no. As reported by the Institute of Medicine, “no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.” Conversely, 2017 studies are even reporting that marijuana may lead to the decrease of opioid use.
Weed smokers are lazy/couch potatoes.
Yes, some strains are known to “glue” you to your seat (or, couch). But other strains, are known to energize, stimulate creativity, and think more clearly. For example, this list of seven high energy providing strains. By alleviating stress, some smokers find they have more ease to tackle tasks.
And some still keep that movie stoner stereotype as their image of weed smokers. Long-hair, doobie rolling, funny dressed, guy friends on a couch… To the contrary, performers, Presidents, Politicians and a plethora of successful entrepreneurs have come out as marijuana advocates and users.
All weed is the same.
Quite the opposite. Each strain has its own individual content of terpenes, and chemical compounds that make their effects unique. As technology in the industry advances, so does our ability to test and quantify these levels. No longer just Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid, the way you can consume marijuana is no longer just smoking it, either. Edibles, tinctures, oil, and capsules are now just a few different ways to ingest cannabis. Only adding to a list of ways, ‘weed is weed’ is just wrong.
We’ve touched upon the five most common marijuana myths, but more remain. Like any bias in the media, misinformation may occur and can lead to this type of fake news spreading. As legalization progresses, so does research to prove or disprove the ‘facts’ we may have thought as true. Do your research, know your facts, and spread the word.