There is only one thing more annoying than an uneducated stoner, and that's an uneducated anti-stoner! Thanks to generations of lies and propaganda against this healing plant, many people believe that it is actually 'just another drug' or more typically where I am from - 'the gateway drug.' It is believed by many to be a dangerous, mind altering, life changing drug that people get addicted to. When in fact, smoking cannabis can bring some very healthy changes into your life. More people smoke cannabis than what you know, and as the law and public opinion slowly changes about cannabis, many celebrities and even politicians have admitted to smoking cannabis, most recently by President Barack Obama.
So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the top 10 Cannabis myths.
1. "Smoking Cannabis can kill you."
For me, this is the worse thing that anyone can say. It irritates me that anybody can have such a lack of knowledge! The most interesting fact is that peanuts kill more people per year than cannabis does. In fact, there is a total of, you guessed it, 0 deaths on record caused by Cannabis. In theory, Cannabis does have the ability to kill, but for that to happen you would need to smoke your own bodyweight in weed. (Don't worry, nobody has ever managed to do that).
2. "Marijuana is worse for the lungs than tobacco."
Well, scientifically speaking, this is not correct. On paper however, the smoke from smoking cannabis contains several cancer causing compounds, very similar in fact to those found in tobacco. So, it is understandable that people believe this myth. On top of this, cannabis smoke deposits large amounts of Carcinogen to the lungs, over 4 times as much as cigarettes, according to some studies. This study is based on joints being rolled unfiltered and loose.
So this sounds pretty dangerous. Is it worth the risk? Afterall, tobacco kills millions of people per year. Well, the saviour comes in the form of THC and CBD. These natural compounds are uniquely found in cannabis smoke and many studies have shown than cannibanoids have significant anti-cancer & anti-tumour effects.
So the real difference between smoking cannabis opposed to smoking tobacco is that the CBD plays a vital role in keeping you from harm. In fact, many people turn to smoking cannabis to help them with various life threatening illnesses.
3. "Cannabis causes schizophrenia."
Whilst Cannabis can potentially make schizophrenia worse, it simply cannot create something which isn't already there, according to science. Harvard recently did a study to prove such a bold statement:
“The results of the current study suggest that having an increased familial morbid risk for schizophrenia may be the underlying basis for schizophrenia in cannabis users and not cannabis use by itself,” note the researchers.
4. "If you smoke Cannabis, you'll see things which aren't there."
Well, it is fair to say that this is highly unlikely. Albeit, Cannabis can effect people in different ways. A lot of your experience is subject to how much cannabis you smoke in one sitting. Typically, at least from my encounters, people do not reach out to cannabis for hallucinations. It simply isn't that kind of 'drug'. Potentially people are getting cannabis confused with Shrooms or LSD. However, if this does happen, there is a large possibility that the cannabis was 'laced' with another drug. This is most likely to have been done with intention.
5. "If you smoke Cannabis, you will get addicted."
Like with anything else, some people can take things too far. It is true, that a small percentage of users can become cannabis Dependant (Less than 10%), but certainly not all users. Many people agree that it is down to the personality of the smoker, opposed to cannabis itself being addictive.
6. "Smoking Cannabis will lead to other drugs"
This is a classic. Cannabis is THE gateway drug. Be warned: If you smoke cannabis for the first time, you're one step away from sticking needles up your anus at the back of a disused warehouse. At least, that is what many people would have you believe. The truth is, if there is such a thing as a gateway drug, that 'drug' would be alcohol. Most people start smoking cannabis in a friendly social environment such as college. If they chose to move on or experimentate with other drugs, that is totally up to them. I can't think of anybody I know who smoked a spliff and then said 'Fuck me, this is good shit... Let's get some heroin.'
Truth be told, all of the 'other' drugs that I have experimented with has been under the influence of alcohol. That is also the same for 99% of all the people I know who smoke cannabis on a regular basis.
7. "Smoking Cannabis is harmful."
These days, everything is either 'harmful', 'dangerous to the environment' or 'has the ability to cause cancer'. Well, there is no scientific proof that casual smoking of Cannabis is harmful to your health.
"The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.”
- This quote comes from the peer-reviewed British medical journal The Lancet (founded in 1823).
So there we have it. Cannabis has faced criticism over the years thanks to propaganda and an agenda to portray cannabis in a bad light. I feel that it is important for people to understand the truth from the perspective of casual smokers AND from science.
There are other myths out there, but I strongly believe in time that these myths will disappear completely. As the world Wakes up and realises that Cannabis is in fact very useful, these silly myths will be long gone.
As always, bear in mind that everybody is different. The advice above is based on a general guideline. Yet still, the fact remains that nobody in recorded history has ever died due to smoking cannabis.
With that in mind, enjoy your next hit!