Depending on where in the world you are based, weed is a legal, widely accepted and recognized plant due to its endless medicinal/health, relaxation and social benefits; a magical tool for recreation, meditation, inspiration and much, much more – The list could go on and on.
In some parts of the world, however, cannabis is still illegal, demonized and seen as a big taboo. In some places in this world, there is still an outdated and rather common misconception that weed is an evil drug, that it is horrible for you and your health. Some people still claim cannabis is the number one substance that leads to heavier stuff.
Let’s take a look at some of these myths, and all the lies you have been told about our beloved, sacred herb, in the words of Matthew Santoro, an American author, YouTuber and podcaster based in California.
He made a video about ten lies you were told about cannabis. Let’s take a closer look at what he had to say, and learn more about these lies which have been fed to us through the mainstream media and other sources throughout the years.
Nr. 1 – 420 Is A Police Code
As we all know, 420 has become the universal code for lighting it up, and that time of the day (4:20 pm) has become the universal time for sparking up a joint. Not only that but also the date April 20th (or 4/20) has become the official smoking day in many countries around the world.
Accordingly, many people have theorized that 420 is a police code for either juvenile delinquency or possession of marijuana. As you probably know, this theory is not real. 420 came from five stoner teenagers in 1971 who came across a secret stash of pot plants which have been abandoned. This group of California high school teenagers then made a plan to meet every day at 4:20 to look for these plants, and after weeks of searching, these plants have never been found. Regardless, they started spreading the term 420 between their friends, which then spread the word to their friend’s friends, and so on. It eventually reached the ears of a famous Rock band of that time, the Grateful Dead, becoming a popular expression amongst their fans, and from that point on, it just literally went viral around the world until the present day.
You can read the full story here.
Nr. 2 – Weed Is A Gateway Drug
We’ve all heard that BS before… That weed is a gateway drug that users will build a tolerance for it, and then after a while, it won’t give those same pleasant effects and high like in the first times smoking it. Therefore, it leads smokers to look for a more extreme, intense high and eventually climbing their way up into the harder stuff.
This is not true. Studies conducted in 2013 found out that 32% of American students have used cannabis, but only 1.8% of them have ever tried cocaine, and only 0.6% of them have used heroin. That only comes to prove that it doesn’t make any sense to tax weed as a gateway drug. Under the same logic, alcohol or energy drinks could also be taxed as gateway drugs, which doesn’t make any sense either.
Nr. 3 – Weed Kills Brain Cells
It is a relatively common misconception that a lot of peoples started to believe (thanks Fox news): Smoking weed or even breathing in second-hand smoke accelerates the process of brain cell depletion. This is a myth that was created by a U.S. government-funded study by Doctor Robert G. Heath published back in 1974. During the study, “scientists” forced monkeys to smoke two joints a day for almost a year. The data that was collected from the monkey’s brains via electrons hooked up to their heads showed that they had suffered severe damage, but in the early 90s, two other studies were conducted to replicate these results, and the results indicated no brain damage at all.
Nr. 4 – Holding In Smoke Gets You Higher
How many times did you hear this from your friends or read that the longer you hold the smoke in your lungs, more of the THC will be absorbed, thus making you higher? It is not true, and it has been scientifically proven as well. A study by the University of Chicago in the summer of 1989 found that any THC you absorb. Therefore, the time taken to inhale and exhale the smoke would be more than enough for a complete absorption. This myth is even made more credible by the fact that when you hold your breath in you are depriving your brain of receiving oxygen, making you light-headed. This is what many confuse with the feeling of getting higher.
Nr. 5 – Weed Causes Cancer
When it comes to health risks, smoking weed carries a few, it’s true. But cancer is not one of them. Many people claim that smoking cigarettes and smoking weed carry the same risks for developing lung cancer, which is absolutely not correct and scientifically unfounded.
According to a 2006 study by the National Institute of Health, there is no relation between cancer and cannabis consumption whatsoever. At least in one way, smoking weed is healthier than smoking cigarettes. Researchers found out that any cells which were damaged from the weed smoke were somehow prevented from turning carcinogenic, so the risk of developing cancer is way smaller than when compared to smoking cigarettes. So let’s light up a fatty to celebrate this one folks, if possible without any tobacco in the mix 😉
Nr. 6 – Weed Is Addictive
There is a clear difference between addiction and physical dependence. Cannabis by itself is not an addictive substance, as there are no highly addictive compounds added to it, unlike nicotine and cigarettes which have a ton of addictive chemical compounds added. Heavy users do have a 9% tendency to become physically dependent on the drug, but that is an entirely different matter. Addiction is defined as an uncontrollable craving to consume a substance, even if that habit is harmful to yourself and others. Without these intense mental cravings, there is no addiction. Some weed smokers might have a dependency, but it is far from being comparable to a true addiction which is developed by using cocaine, heroin, or even cigarettes.
Nr. 7 – Weed Makes You More Creative
“Oh man, I’m going to paint the greatest mural the world has ever seen, but let me hit this bowl first!”
So many painters, musicians, authors and artists of all sorts claim that weed is their magical go-to tool for creativity, and that smoking weed truly enhances their creativity and inspires them to create their masterpieces. A study by Leuven University in 2014 found out that smoking weed, even a strain with high THC content, does not help to improve creativity. It revealed that smoking weed has the complete opposite effect, making it harder for smokers to come up with creative ideas. In reality, it was just making them think they were more creative after smoking.
Nr. 8 – Weed Makes You Less Ambitious
In many people’s minds, weed smokers can be seen as being extremely lazy, which is not true. It certainly does make you feel very relaxed and chilled, but that has absolutely nothing to do with being lazy or unmotivated. In fact, so many smokers have gone on to achieve amazing things in their lifetime. Barack Obama used to smoke in his early days and went on to become nothing less than the president of the United States. Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Records), who admittedly still lights it up nowadays, and even the Doggfather Snoop can be seen smoking a joint in literally every professional activity he is involved in. The list goes on and and and i think we can all a agree that this theory is absolutely unfounded.
Nr. 9 – All Weed Is The Same
There is a widely believed theory claiming that no matter which strain or type of weed you smoke, it will get you high in the same way every time and that all those fancy sounding strain names are just a marketing trick. This is untrue, and there is a huge difference in the effects that you will get from each strain.
There are three types of cannabis types: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids. Indica strains give you a strong and relaxed body high and is associated for example with being locked in the couch or getting sleepy. Sativa, on the other hand, provides a more uplifting and energetic mental high. Then there are the Hybrids, which are a mix of Indica and Sativa, offering a more customized set of features from both strain types. Besides, each strain also offers unique medicinal properties. For example, Indica strains help with anxiety and insomnia, while Sativa strains help with ADD and fatigue.
We already published an article that covers this topic in great detail.
Nr. 10 – You Can Overdose On Cannabis
Some people think that if you smoke a LOT of weed, you can overdose on it and end up in the hospital or even worse, dead!
There is no record of anyone dying from smoking too much weed, and according to doctors, doing so would be nearly impossible. Unlike opioids, for example, cannabis doesn’t affect the part of your brain that controls breathing, so, no risk of overdose.
Let’s face it; even if you tried hard to come to this point, you would end up falling asleep in your couch holding a box of Pop-tarts or a huge bag of Cheetos.
So there you go. These are the 10 BIG LIES which have been fed to us throughout the times. Could you think of any others which were not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!