If you’re an alternative medicine enthusiast, the chances are that you’ve considered integrating cannabis products into your health and wellness routine from time to time. However, you can’t seem to make up your mind due to the numerous marijuana myths out there.
Or, you might be already a seasoned cannabis user but are still struggling to shake the various stereotypes associated with marijuana off your head.
Whichever the case may be, this article is for you. Read on as we demystify some of the common myths and stereotypes associated with cannabis use.
Cannabis has no known therapeutic benefits
This is arguably the most common stereotype associated with cannabis use.
Many cannabis opponents claim that there’s no scientific evidence suggesting that marijuana might treat any medical condition. According to them, the medicinal properties of cannabis are all based on anecdotal evidence.
Well, nothing can be further from the truth. On the contrary, cannabis boasts plenty of science-backed medical benefits.
Extracts from the herb are mostly prescribed for pain treatment due to their powerful analgesic properties. Cannabis treats pain by optimizing the endocannabinoid system, a complex cell-signaling system in all animal’s body.
Cannabis can also treat mental disorders like stress and anxiety. The plant exerts its anxiolytic effects by helping the body to harness its own neurotransmitters associated with feelings of happiness and positivity. Examples of these neurotransmitters include dopamine and serotonin.
In addition to pain and anxiety, the following are other medical conditions that you can treat or manage using cannabis;
- Inflammatory conditions like inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Sleep disorders like insomnia
- Neurological problems like epileptic seizures
- Digestive issues like nausea and vomiting
- Metabolic disorders like diabetes
- Sexual performance issues like erectile dysfunction
All cannabis products are the same
Many people wrongly believe that all cannabis products are made equal, hence deliver similar effects. Again, this is nothing but a sheer misconception.
Unknown to such people, cannabis is actually not a distinct plant but a genus of flowering plants. As a plant genus, cannabis produces several species, which are also known as strains. Examples of cannabis species include Cannabis indica, Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis hybrids, etc.
As you shall find, these species differ across multiple parameters, including overall resilience, maturation period, and their cannabinoid profile.
For instance, Cannabis indica strains tend to produce more cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis. On the other hand, Sativa strains generally give higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) yields, the most popular psychoactive compound in marijuana.
The distinctiveness of various cannabis products also depends on the manufacturer or retailer. For instance, established suppliers like CanVape generally offer high-quality products compared to new traders.
Cannabis will get you high
Granted, cannabis contains some psychoactive properties. However, it’s misleading to claim that the plant, as a whole, is psychoactive.
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds. These compounds fall into three distinct categories – Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids.
Cannabinoids refer to the compounds that account for the vast majority of cannabis’ healing properties. Terpenes give cannabinoids their distinct flavors and aromas, whereas flavonoids act as antioxidants.
Out of all the compounds in cannabis, only a handful can induce euphoria. So far, THC remains the most popular psychotropic chemical in marijuana.
When consumed, THC binds to certain receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system that are located closer to the brain and central nervous system, known as CB1 receptors. Although this mechanism may produce a host of therapeutic benefits, such as relief from pain and anxiety, it can also trigger psychedelic side effects like hallucinations.
You can always tell that a cannabis product will get you high by looking at the ingredients list. Cannabinoids that begin with the prefix CB- are generally non-psychoactive, whereas those that start with the prefix TH- tend to induce euphoria.
Cannabis use is associated with lung damage
It may happen that many cannabis smokers also experience lung and respiratory issues. But as you shall find, the problem is not so much related to cannabis itself as it is related to smoking.
Note that there are no official studies linking cannabis use to any serious long-term complications. The only problem is that when you smoke marijuana, there’s some combustion involved.
And as the cannabis extracts burn in the air, the combustion process might introduce potentially toxic chemicals into the smoke, including carbon monoxide and heavy metals like mercury and lead. Unfortunately, you’d end up inhaling these toxins along with the cannabis smoke.
So, in reality, it’s not the cannabis itself that causes lung damage, but the act of smoking.
The saving grace, however, is that there are numerous healthier ways to consume marijuana, including;
- Vaping cannabis-infused vape oils
- Consuming cannabis edibles
- Administering cannabis oral sprays sublingually
- Applying cannabis topicals externally
Cannabis is illegal
This is another misconception about cannabis that’s not entirely true.
Although cannabis remains illegal in numerous countries around the world, there are equally many countries that have since legalized marijuana. As you shall find, cannabis is largely legal in North America and most European Union countries, whereas the herb remains illegal in most Asian, African, and South American countries.
It’s also important to note that the legality of cannabis products mostly comes down to the individual ingredients in the product.
Generally, CBD-based products tend to enjoy higher legal backing than their THC-based counterparts. That’s because CBD has been widely-studied for its therapeutic properties, whereas THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids are still considered primarily on the basis of their mind-altering effects.
For instance, in the United States, the passage into law of the 2018 Farm Bill decriminalized the possession, distribution, or use of hemp-derived CBD products. The only condition is that these products must contain no more than 0.3% of THC.
Despite its immense medicinal value, cannabis is still treated with a degree of skepticism. That’s mostly due to the myths and misconceptions being propagated by marijuana opponents.
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