Any time a trend or practice has widespread popularity but isn’t universally accepted there’s going to be people who aim to discredit it. Even though recreational marijuana has become legal in Canada, it most certainly still isn’t seen by everyone as being entirely harmless. And in truth that’s the way it should be, as marijuana is not entirely harmless. That said, it’s not nearly as harmful as some people insist. There are plenty of myths about marijuana use out there. That’s true of ones that would be a credit to the plant if they were true, AND ones that would oppositely be a discredit it they were true.
We’re not going to make any type of statement whether marijuana is good or bad for you today, but we will say that – like most things – the truth is
likely ‘somewhere in the middle’. Let’s look at these myths today and how
they’ve been disproven, plus a few of the most common medical marijuana myths and some marijuana fun facts.
Myths About Marijuana Use
Some of these myths about marijuana use will be ones that will have you wondering how on earth anyone could have believed that to be true. Others may be ones where you’re equally surprised to find out it’s untrue. Let’s get right to them and see if you’re also surprised with some of these myths about marijuana use.
Marijuana is Not Addictive
We’ll start with what’s likely the biggest myth about marijuana use. The symptoms and associated behaviours that come with marijuana addiction may not be nearly as harmful and self-sabotaging as with other ‘harder’ drugs, but marijuana may be addictive for some people. Of course, some will argue this and say that cannabis is more habit forming than addictive. However, substance abuse experts will agree that it’s easy to blur the line between habitual behaviour and addiction. Especially once you have developed a dependency.
Addiction is defined as compulsive use even when the user is aware of the negative effects of their usage, and there are plenty of people who find it impossible to cut back on their intake levels even when they are fully aware of the detriment of such heavy use. So, to say that cannabis is not addictive is definitely one of the myths about marijuana use. As is the case with so many things, moderate use is key to having a healthy relationship with marijuana use.
Marijuana is a ‘Gateway’ Drug
The first of our myths about marijuana use above may be a bit on the negative side, so we’ve chosen the second one because it’s a little more positive. The belief that marijuana is a ‘gateway’ drug was very prevalent in past decades. What is meant by gateway is that when young people start using marijuana it promotes their interest in other drugs, and they inevitably progress towards using more harmful, heavier drugs like cocaine, heroin etc. They do so because of their discovery that marijuana use isn’t a big deal. By the time they discover that’s not true of their new drugs of-choice, it’s too late to avoid addiction and all the life upheaval that comes with it.
There are countless number of studies and findings that disprove this one of the myths about marijuana use. Nearly all of them find that in places where marijuana becomes legal, hard drug use declines substantially. That marijuana’s a gateway drug? That’s a myth, as there’s no truth to that whatsoever.
Marijuana is More Harmful Than Tobacco
Of all the myths about marijuana use, the one that suggest marijuana is more harmful than tobacco makes this list. And the biggest reason for that is because the suggestion is downright silly. Marijuana smoke DOES contain
carcinogens and tar in the same way tobacco smoke does. That makes it harmful for the lungs and respiratory system, but it contains significantly less than cigarettes.
What really needs to be considered here, though, is that tobacco smoke contains nicotine, and marijuana smoke does not. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on earth. When you add it to higher levels of carcinogens and tar in cigarettes it makes it so tobacco blows marijuana out of the water when it comes to being more harmful.
That marijuana is more harmful than tobacco is one of the myths about marijuana use that’s absurd. So absurd in fact that it almost becomes comical to the point of being one of the marijuana fun facts out there.
Medical Marijuana Myths and Facts
Medicinal use of marijuana has been permitted in Canada for some time now, in comparison to the more recent (October 2018) legalization of recreational cannabis. Not surprisingly, myths about marijuana use extend to the medical use of it too. Let’s wrap up today’s blog with a look at a couple of medical marijuana myths and facts.
Marijuana is Very Good for Glaucoma Therapy
THC – one of the primary active cannabinoids in marijuana – is indeed beneficial for relieving glaucoma symptoms, but researchers have determined that it’s not any better than the many FDA / Health Canada-approved medications. Further, the reason that standard medication courses are better than marijuana is that they can be administered in controlled doses. Many people won’t be aware of the THC content of the strain they’re ingesting, and there’s a maximum threshold for seeing therapeutic benefits without unwanted intoxication.
That marijuana’s best for treating glaucoma is one of the most prominent medical marijuana myths and facts.
Marijuana Will Eliminate Your Anxiety
It’s true that there are some strains of marijuana with cannabinoid
and terpene profiles that will serve to reduce anxiety in people. But it is incorrect for someone to broadly state that all strains of marijuana are good for treating anxiety. A strain that is THC-heavy and light on CBD in particular is going to have the exact opposite effect on many people, increasing their anxiety levels.
In general, it’s also fair to say that thinking marijuana is good for treating mental illnesses is one of the medical marijuana myths and facts that’s potentially very harmful if believed to be true.
How about we combine these myths about marijuana use with a few marijuana fun facts? One of the best is the fact that teenagers don’t smoke more pot in States where marijuana is legal than ones where it remains illegal. Safe to say the same is true of the entirety of Canada over the past 5+ months since legalization.
And how about naming the nation that produces the largest amount of marijuana? Any guesses? It’s Paraguay.