There are many marijuana myths that exist that are set forth intentionally to muddy the water surrounding the subject.Our drug prevention specialist have delivered drug education presentations to over 130,000 people and have heard just about everything when it comes to marijuana. Many young people believe that marijuana:
- Is not harmful
- Is not addictive
- Increases creativity
- Is not a gateway drug
- Cures cancer and other illnesses
- Is natural and comes out of the ground
- Alleviates stress and handles problems
Obviously the masses are influenced by the onslaught of misinformation coming from those that abuse the drug or stand to profit from it’s sales. Marijuana myths always contain just a hint of truth, that’s what makes them believable.
Scare tactics employed by those preventing the legalization and any level of acceptance of marijuana are not helpful either. This method of public awareness provides ammunition and fodder for the opposite side. This negates their argument and helps further the widespread legalization and deceptive and harmful marijuana myths. There are many scientific studies indicating there are forms of marijuana that may have medicinal benefit and highlight harmful effects smoking marijuana has.
Debunking the Myths about Marijuana
The truth is there are over 421 chemicals found in marijuana. Smoking marijuana increases these chemicals to over 2,000, many of which are carcinogens or cancer causing. Marijuana is a plant and the majority of such does grow out of the ground. There are many plants that are natural, grow out of the ground and are toxic like tobacco for instance. Just to mention, marijuana smoke has 50% more carcinogens and tars than tobacco smoke, particularly when considering the indoor grow methods, fertilizers, insecticides and such.
Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC) is the chemical in marijuana that produces the leaves, flowering tops and is what provides the high when smoked. The more THC content, the more potent the drug. Today’s marijuana has 10-15 times the THC content than that of 10-20 years ago. There are studies that show marijuana reduces I/Q, motivation and instigates violence. The latter determined by the number of people involved in criminal violence who either admitted marijuana abuse or tested positive at the time of arrest.
Youth 13 and under who start abusing marijuana usually do not go to college. Marijuana abuse among youth is higher in states with medical marijuana laws. In Hawaii and Washington addiction treatment services report marijuana addiction accounts for 60% of the treatment admissions for youth.
Researchers at Harvard University researchers state hears attack risks are five times higher than usual in the hour after smoking marijuana. For a person who smokes five joints a week, which isnt much for someone who smoke marijuana, can take in as much tar and chemicals that cause cancer as those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day according to the National Institute of Health.
Marijuana and Medicinal Use
As mentioned earlier there are marijuana myths with elements of truth. Marijuana contains the chemical CBD, which is believed to have medicinal value. CBD is not psychoactive and actually thought to reduce the high created by THC. Most marijuana available on the street has CBD systematically bred out.
There does appear to be some medicinal benefit to marijuana albeit not the smoke-able form as many would like you to believe. That’s where the waters are muddied and investor’s want to capitalize. As with any drug, marijuana has adverse effects. These adverse effects include, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, muscle relaxation leading to delayed reaction time,bloodshot eyes, slowed digestion and movement of food by the stomach and intestines, dizziness, depression, hallucinations and paranoia.
Marijuana does warrant further research to debunk marijuana myths on both sides of this topic. As mentioned earlier there are some medicinal benefits to non smoke-able forms of the plant that include under the tongue sprays and pill forms. These have been proven to increase appetite and improve sleep patterns. These forms have the THC removed and do not provide the high.
Understanding Marijuana Myths
It is important to understand the motive behind the widespread legalization of marijuana and its distribution. Tobacco companies have been pushing legalization for years as a means of compensating decreasing cigarette sales. These companies are known to market to our youth and use deceptive practices as a means to make money. Something else to consider is the adverse effects marijuana has i.e depression, anxiety, paranoia and those who provide addiction treatment services for these issues. It wouldn’t surprise me to find these fellows pushing legalization as well.
Please take a look and evaluate for yourself the data in any of the marijuana myths you come across. Do not invalidate you own knowingness. There are those that do not care what marijuana does or does not do, as long as they are making money. Consider the hundreds of the billions of dollars in fines levied against tobacco and pharmaceutical companies for false and misleading practices More data about the medicinal value of cannabis and cannabinoids can be found at www.cancer.gov. Information about marijuana and violence can be found at The University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.