Nowadays, you hear about the various uses of the marijuana plant. With the recent legalization and decriminalization of this plant in numerous states and countries, it’s practical uses are generating a lot of talk. But many people are left believing old and out-of-date myths about the medical and recreational consumption of marijuana. These myths are harmful to a thriving and legitimate industry. Let’s set the record straight with four popular misconceptions about marijuana.
“Marijuana is a gateway to harder drug use”
For years, people have spread the myth that the consumption of marijuana acts as a gateway to the use of harder drugs. This is often because marijuana is a schedule I drug in the United States. However, recent evidence shows that marijuana may not necessarily lead people down the path of consuming harder drugs. For example, cocaine use has gone down in recent years and heroin use has stayed about the same, while marijuana use has only increased. The fact that the number of pot smokers has increased and the number of harder drug users doesn’t align with that number means that pot may not be the gateway drug that it was always believed to be.
“Smoking marijuana can cause lung cancer”
Contrary to this belief, there have been a large number of studies performed in recent years to link cancer to the use of marijuana. However, none of these studies have been able to prove that marijuana smokers face any higher risks of contracting cancer than nonsmokers. Unlike tobacco smokers, it seems that marijuana smokers don’t seem to be suffering from an extremely high rate of lung cancer-related deaths.
“Like marijuana, hemp can also get you high”
While hemp and marijuana are both in the Cannabis genus, hemp does not cause THC. This is the chemical that is responsible for getting people “high”. Hemp does contain CBD, which is often used for medical purposes as often as THC is. CBD, however, does not get you “high” and is not a psychoactive chemical. Hemp plants are also used for a variety of practical materials such as clothing, lotions, foods, and nutritional supplements. However, due to its association with the marijuana plant, the manufacturing of hemp has also faced a long history of being banned in various regions.
“Marijuana is not safe in any dosage”
This is another myth due to marijuana’s schedule I category status. Other drugs that are schedule I in the United States include heroin and methamphetamine. Despite this, no deaths have ever been recorded in the United States from the consumption of marijuana. This cannot be said for numerous other illegal drugs, prescription drugs, tobacco, or alcohol, all of which kill hundreds of thousands of people annually. In fact, no lethal dose has ever been determined for marijuana.