August 20, 2020 4 min read
Even though ganja has made it into the mainstream, there are still many misconceptions regarding the plant. Some of these common marijuana myths about pot have been reinforced over the decades and are just assumed by most to be true. However with increasing legalization and talk about pot at the state and federal level, more studies are being conducted to gain additional insight into marijuana, its benefits, and usage. From the stoner stereotype to the truth about marijuana as a medicine, these are just a few misbeliefs that seem to still persist despite the research.
The cannabis plant has been used as a medicine for thousands of years by various cultures around the world. In ancient times, the entire plant was utilized, including its fiber for making hemp rope. Today, the green goddess is praised for its health benefits which span everything from anxiety, insomnia, and menstrual pain, to depression and PTSD. Charlotte Figi popularized CBD for medical use to help treat people suffering from severe epilepsy and seizures. Multiple studies have looked into the use of ganja on chronic pain, particularly as an alternative to highly addictive opioid medications and found it to be successful. The MLB league recently announced that players are permitted to use marijuana in the hopes of reducing the number of players addicted to opioids after being prescribed the drugs for sports-related injuries. So many people rely on pot as a natural alternative to traditional medicine.
Actually, the delivery method makes a huge difference when talking about marijuana health risks and of course, there are certain risks when anything is burnt and smoked. Edibles, tinctures, and topicals are the healthiest options to get a dose of ganja since it is absorbed directly into the skin or sublingually and not inhaled via the lungs. When it comes to vaping vs smoking, studies have found that vaping is by far the healthier alternative. Most vape studies are conducted with the medical-grade Storz n Bickel Volcano Vape, which uses convection heating technology instead of combustion, and was found to release just three harmful compounds in the smoke (by comparison, a joint produces 111 and a cigarette at least 250). One groundbreaking study found that stoners with pre-existing respiratory symptoms who switched solely to vaping saw significant improvement after just one month of making the change, proving that consumption method matters.
CBD is one of many chemical compounds called cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant. By itself, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects and will not get you high. It has calming effects that work wonders for anxiety and stress, which makes it a great choice for working professionals or parents who need to remain sharp throughout the day but are seeking relief. The typical marijuana high comes from a different compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Many high-CBD strains still contain trace amounts of THC, so it’s important to check the CBD to THC ratio in any tincture, edible, or dry herb before consuming.
Bud is used recreationally and medicinally by people of all ages, backgrounds, and political affiliations. A study from 2017 found that 52% of American adults (roughly 129 million people) have tried marijuana, 44% of which currently use it. While most pot smokers are millennials (52%), more telling is that the majority (54%) are parents and most report just using it to relax. Older adults are also finding the benefits of marijuana to be useful as it becomes less stigmatized. In just three years, cannabis use amongst U.S. adults aged 65 and over increased 75%, making them the group with the highest rate of increase. Most of these seniors were women, minorities, or diabetics. Professional athletes from a wide range of sports including basketball, MMA, American football, cycling, soccer, and gymnastics advocate for CBD use during competition for training and recovery. So many athletes use CBD and find it useful in their daily routines that the cannabinoid is now acceptable according to the World Anti-Doping Agency. All of these groups fall outside the “normal stoner” stereotype.
Some people believe this widespread myth since pot is still federally listed by the DEA as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, ranking it alongside heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Not only do most Americans agree that pot isn’t a harmful drug, study afterstudy has confirmed that marijuana is nowhere near as deadly as other commonly used drugs like tobacco, alcohol, or prescription painkillers. Research from the U.K., determined that alcohol is twice as harmful to the user than cannabis and five times as harmful to others (think crime and violence). This makes sense since stoners are more likely to be found curled up on the couch watching cartoons and ordering Uber Eats than out wreaking havoc on the streets, which is often the case after a long night out at the bars. There are few dangers of marijuana use and no known fatalities or overdoses related to pot alone.
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