What do you think are the most common marijuana myths that we hear from patrons? While cannabis myths are no new thing, they seem to keep growing like the plants in our nursery. Cannabis educational materials are more prevalent now than ever, yet while giving our award-winning cannabis tours, serving medical patients & recreational consumers in the dispensary, and at cannabis events, we seem to hear myths circulating more than ever rather than marijuana facts. One reason this may be happening is that legal cannabis is now more available across the country so there is a novel learning curve for new users. Another reason marijuana myths could be growing is due to false advertising, media misinformation, and general public opinions that spread like a game of telephone.
We’d like to set the record straight! In this short blog, we’re going to disseminate the most prevalent myths and share some marijuana facts. Let’s start off with our favorite one first…
Cannabis Myth #1: Sativa means head high, Indica means body high
As cannabis cultivators at heart, we can’t stress how much this myth has been misguided by public sentiment. While there may be a glimmer of truth based solely on how strains are classified to fit this myth, the truth is cannabis plants as an indica or sativa is a classification of how the cultivar tends to grow. Short, stockier plants with broader leaves indicate a plant is more indica, while taller, trimmer plants with lighter leaf coverage indicate a plant is more sativa. This myth is easily dispelled by any true cannabis grower, and nowadays most strains exhibit characteristics of both as hybrids. If you read our article about the entourage effect, you know that the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in a particular strain are what create the effects you feel, along with your unique endocannabinoid system.
Bottom line, the myth is not true as some indicas can spur heavy cerebral action, some sativas can give you couch lock, and most importantly, indica vs. sativa is a growth attribute of cannabis plants.
Cannabis Myth #2: You cannot overdose on marijuana
It’s estimated that one would need to consume 15,000 pounds of cannabis in a 15-30 minute period to medically overdose and die from marijuana use–which by all accounts isn’t humanly impossible. Some of the most legit stoners in the game can’t even get remotely close to consuming a single pound of marijuana in 30 minutes. While overdosing is typically defined as a substance consumption that leads to death or severe injury, for cannabis, this term takes on a new meaning as death-by-marijuana has been deemed medically implausible. When you hear, or if you have ever heard, someone say they’ve overdosed on cannabis, it usually refers to a negative experience due to consuming too much marijuana. Side effects of over-consumption can be anxiety, nausea, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, & loss of coordination, among others. So while this myth tends to have some truth to it, over-consumption is very real and should be regarded seriously. Try to dose your cannabis consumption as best as possible and when in doubt, pass the joint.
Cannabis Myth #3: Marijuana is a gateway drug
This myth is one of the oldest tricks in the book, falsely proclaimed by anti-marijuana agents & groups. Let’s debunk this one right away: several studies have proved that cannabis in not a gateway drug. Our favorite evidence to support the marijuana fact that it is not being linked to ancillary drug usage as a causal catalyst comes from a lengthy 96-page inquiry by the Justice Department and the Library of Congress in 2018. Their conclusion: “No causal link between cannabis use and the use of other illicit drugs can be claimed at this time.”
While this cannabis myth is certainly a prevalent one, it is also a valid question by those interested in consuming cannabis or parents who are evaluating medical marijuana for legal dependents. At this time, there is no definitive evidence suggesting cannabis has a direct impact or causal effect on consumers seeking out other drugs. Several studies also refute this myth.
Cannabis Myth #4: THC percentage matters in how high a strain makes one feel
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen this myth being disputed recently. A more common question we get at our cannabis dispensaries in Louisville, Colorado, and in Denver, Colorado, revolve around this marijuana myth. For starters, this egregious cannabis myth is easily disputed with anecdotal evidence from frequent consumers; many habitual consumers realize a strain’s cannabinoid profile and terpene profile impact how high they feel instead of just the THC concentration. Secondly, it’s widely known that lab testing for THC concentration is done with less than premier protocols, often resulting in shoddy data and near fraudulent THC percentages advertised. Lastly, while THC concentration can impact one’s high and the effects, total consumption amount is more correlated with how high one gets. THC concentrations vary widely from flower to concentrates to edibles as well.
Cannabis Myth #5: Cannabis in non-addictive
This marijuana myth may take some people by surprise or be hard to agree with, but recent studies have shown marijuana can create substance dependency. Substances that change one’s physiological state are capable of addictive potential; in this case, the THC in cannabis can create addictive dependencies. As more research studies on this topic have been conducted in the last decade, the data shows individuals who consume cannabis regularly can develop marijuana use disorder. Other points that support marijuana being capable of creating a user addiction is users’ ability to create a tolerance and users who exhibit withdrawal symptoms in some instances.
While this marijuana myth is ultimately false, the good news is cannabinoids do not have the addictive tendencies of compounds like opioids. It’s also fairly easy to give your brain receptors a break from THC–check out our article on tips for taking a T-break, also known as a tolerance break.
How To Decipher Myths vs. Marijuana Facts
Marijuana myths are far and wide, yet these are some of the most common ones we come across. You may have heard many others, and we’re certain new ones will pop up in the future. Our best suggestion is to conduct your independent research and look for credible sources or studies that have unbiased evidence and marijuana facts to compare against the myth. Lastly, our friends at Leaf411 are always a valuable resource for your inquiries about marijuana and medical questions associated with cannabis.