Twelve High Chicks thanks guest contributor John Levy of Pot Valet for this post on ridiculous cannabis myths. 

Cannabis enthusiasts hear people utter the most ridiculous words all the time, especially now that science is disputing previous prohibition propaganda. Some cannabis myths are persistent, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. So bad are these lies, that they prevent the industry from expanding. With legalization come entire populations still new to the idea of using cannabis medically or recreationally.

It took decades to alter public perception about cannabis, to make society believe it a dangerous, addictive, and poverty-stricken drug. So it will take some time for people to adjust to the reality of cannabis as a safe, effective, and healthy herb that is beneficial for human health and happiness. It is likely that weed is the most misunderstood plant in the history of humankind.

Cannabis Myths and Truths

The sheer volume of misinformation surrounding cannabis is ridiculous. Consumers are quickly learning the facts, but we still have far to go. It is impossible to change a perception merely by calling it a lie. Evidence supports facts, and it is important for weed lovers to exercise patience toward naysayers. You must be able to explain to opponents exactly how and why cannabis is actually good for you.

Over the years, those opposing cannabis have had an arsenal of lies to use in their fight against legalization. Some of those mistruths still pervade society, and weed consumers hear them often. If you smoke cannabis, eat it, drink it, bathe in it, or consume it some other way, then you likely have some friends who say the following ridiculous things to you:

Raw Cannabis Makes You Stoned

Cannabis myths raw plants

Fact: These raw plants will not get anyone high. (Photo by EDI – Easterbrook Digital Imaging)

It is impossible to get high on raw weed. No matter how you choose to ingest it, the only way you can get high from it is by heating it up first.

THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, requires heat to activate its properties. In infused products, such as edibles and oils, manufacturers activate THC by heating it up and combining it with fat, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and even butter.

Driving Stoned Is As Bad As Driving Drunk

Climbing behind the wheel after a joint is not nearly as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Statistics prove this. Drunk drivers kill thousands of people in every state each year, yet stoned drivers kill nobody. It is a fact that alcohol abuse causes fatal wrecks, and that drunk drivers wreak havoc on the road.

Although drunk drivers are worse, it does not make driving stoned acceptable.

The law prohibits stoned driving, as it should. Cannabis affects the brain in many ways. You may not make the same irresponsible decisions on it that you would on alcohol, but it does affect behaviour, mood, and visual perception. Stoned drivers become overly cautious. They are usually the ones driving dangerously slowly, often not particularly straight. Study is necessary, but you should avoid driving high.

Brain Cells Die on Cannabis

Weed does not kill brain cells. In fact, some studies indicate that it promotes growth of new ones. This lie entirely demonized cannabis, but a University of Louisville study recently proved it undeniably false.

Other studies tested IQ levels of pot-smoking students. All of them found that weed had no effect on reducing IQ whatsoever. Evidence is abundantly available proving that weed does not make you stupid.

Using Weed Will Make You Addicted To It

Cannabis is not addictive. It lacks the addictive properties of tobacco, alcohol, and other dangerous substances. Addiction does not exist in the traditional way, but there are rare cases of people developing mild dependencies on weed. This is especially true among very heavy users, and some studies even show symptoms of psychological dependence.

However, it is not in any way as severe as opioids or tobacco, for example. There are few physical withdrawal symptoms, and no overwhelming instinct to get the next hit by any means necessary. Weed dependency is more of a mental attachment, much the way some have attachments to exercise, food, or even social media.

There Is No Such Thing as Weed Munchies

Cannabis myths munchies

Fact: Even if you were full before you get high you’ll want munchies afterwards. (Photo by MaryBeth Lafferty Photography.)

Many believe that munchies are a misunderstood side effect of cannabis on normal hunger. But anyone who has ever felt it knows that the munchies are very real. Stoners are always looking for food, and scientific studies exist proving that cannabis stimulates specific neurons in the hypothalamus responsible for signalling hunger.

As with munchies, cannabis also enhances other senses, including taste and smell. Food is just more flavourful and it smells irresistible in a way non-consumers cannot understand. Munchies can be strain-dependent, and despite indicas having a reputation as being more hunger inducing, some sativas have starving, fridge-emptying effects, as well.

Every Weed User Is a Pothead

The pothead stereotype is an exaggeration, a gross one overblown out of all realistic proportion. The media is largely responsible for this cannabis myth, and the film and TV industries played their roles perfectly too.

Depicting weed users as stupid, dirty, constantly smoking potheads is inaccurate in every way. Most cannabis consumers are intelligent, clean, employed folk who use it moderately.

People Die from Fatal Pot Overdoses

When refuting this ridiculous statement, it is important to know what an overdose is. People do overdose on weed in that they take too much and do not enjoy the experience, but this is true of using too much of anything at once. Weed overdoses cause coordination problems, paranoia, dizziness, anxiety, and headaches. But people do not die from ingesting too much weed.

Over-consuming cannabis is uncomfortable, yes. It occurs commonly among inexperienced users still unaware of its effects on the body, or newbies taking too much too fast without knowing their tolerance levels. Despite this, it will not kill anybody and never has. Not once in the history of cannabis has anyone died from using it. Not one case exists anywhere on earth.

Conclusion

This is a short list of a few ridiculous cannabis myths people say to weed smokers, but there are many, many more. The path to an educated society is slow and long, but with cannabis now legal in more than half of the United States, and coming recreational legalization in Canada, the pace is gaining momentum. More and more people are realizing the truth about cannabis and its medical benefits, and many are even throwing away their opioid prescriptions.

There are more lies told about cannabis so please, do not believe everything you hear and enlighten those who don’t know. It is always best to stay informed.


Author Bio – John Levy is a blogger for Pot Valet, a leading online cannabis dispensary in Vacaville. John is a cannabis supporter and supports its legalization for medicinal purposes. You can follow Pot Valet on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.