There are a lot of myths about Marijuana. Marijuana is widely regarded as one of the softer drugs in our society. While it is arguably less dangerous than heroin or ice, it is nonetheless an illegal drug. As with most illicit drugs, there are a lot of misconceptions in the general public.
Ignorance is clearly dangerous when it comes to consuming substances that alter perception and the ability to make proper judgements. Here are ten of the most common and serious myths about marijuana.
1. I can be as cool as Bob Marley.
Cannabis users think that all the cool and powerful people have used marijuana at work at some point in the lives, the most popular of which is Bob Marley. If they start smoking marijuana, they can be as awesome as these icons.
Reality: I’m still a regular dude.
It takes a lot to be “cool,” and using prohibited drugs like marijuana is definitely not one of them. Drugs alter the brain chemistry, causing all sorts of problems in a person’s life, work and relationships. Nobody will think you’re cool if you start to lose appetite, become irritable and develop insomnia because of cannabis use.
2. I’ll have no hangover in the morning.
If it’s marijuana vs. alcohol, most people believe they won’t have any hangover like they would when they drink too much alcohol. They can function normally and get on with their day like nothing happened, or so they thought.
Reality: I have a killer headache and I want to spew!
Overindulgent cannabis use can also lead to a hungover morning. Marijuana hangovers is more likely to develop when eating and digesting marijuana edibles than from vaporizing marijuana flowers. Unlike smoking, it is difficult to track if you’ve consumed too much cannabis, and this can result in accidental overindulgence. It’s not very good to have hangovers from marijuana at work.
3. I won’t get lung problems from smoking marijuana not like if I smoke tobacco.
Some users believe that marijuana has an entirely different chemical composition from tobacco. Because of this, they don’t think they will have the same lung problems as tobacco smokers.
Reality: Cough! Cough! Cough!
Marijuana users think cannabis is a natural drug and so it won’t do them any harm, unlike tobacco. But, studies showed that smoking marijuana also leads to the same health issues as those who abuse tobacco, including: chronic coughing and wheezing, breathing problems, and obstructed airways.
4. I won’t get addicted to marijuana.
Marijuana is not a hard drug so there is no way a person can get addicted to it. And besides, it’s an “herb,” and no one gets addicted to herbs.
Reality: Pass me a joint now!
About 30 percent of marijuana users are likely to develop a marijuana use disorder or addiction. This dependence causes a number of marijuana withdrawal symptoms like decreased appetite, mood swings, irritability, restlessness, sleep problems, and other forms of physical discomfort for at least 2 weeks after quitting.
5. I can drive like normal even after I smoked a joint.
Being high and being drunk are two different things, marijuana users say. It is better to drive high than to drive drunk because marijuana makes a person more focused.
Reality: *crashes into tree, ends up in hospital*
Neither driving high nor drunk is safe. Driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana lowers alertness and focus, thereby increasing the risk of crashing into a tree or another vehicle. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that accident-involved drivers with THC in their blood are three to seven times more likely to be responsible for the accident than drivers who do not use drugs.
6. I’ll be more artistic after I’ve smoked a joint or two.
People have seen it on TV or in the movies, drug intoxication leads to more creative outputs. History also showed that all the best artists have used drugs when creating their masterpiece.
Reality: This painting looks like a kid made it.
A study at Leiden University found that smoking marijuana, or any form of drugs, does not really make one superior creatively. It just gives marijuana user an illusion of enhanced creativity.
7. Marijuana is brain food.
Two words: it’s herbal. Anything herbal can do wonders for the body, especially the brain.
Reality: I keep forgetting things.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary active ingredient in marijuana, targets the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. It affects concentration, time perception, memory and thought, so marijuana could be to blame when you keep on forgetting where you put your keys.
Marijuana addiction also increases the risk for mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks and even schizophrenia.
8. I can cheat my workplace drug testing.
Marijuana doesn’t stay inside the body for long. You can flush it out with a lot of water and milk. Your employers will never know you’re using it.
Reality: I’ve just been fired for drug use.
Reputable drug testing companies conduct different types of tastes, like the marijuana urine test, hair strand test and oral test, that has long windows of detection, from 24 hours to as long as 3 months. So if you’ve been using marijuana, you can run but you can’t hide from workplace drug testing for marijuana.
9. Nobody has died from cannabis use.
Marijuana is not like any hard drugs that can kill you from overuse. It’s from the cannabis plant and plants are good.
Reality: Marijuana use can be fatal.
You can definitely die from Marijuana use alone. Two patients at the University Hospital of Dusseldorf have died from cannabis-induced arrhythmia, according to a full post mortem report. Marijuana use has also indirectly caused deaths due to accidents in various workplaces.
10. I don’t look like I use marijuana.
The stoner look is nothing but an archetype established by pop culture. It’s hard to pinpoint a drug user if it was merely based on looks alone.
Reality: I act like I use marijuana.
Physical appearance isn’t the only way people can detect if an individual could be using prohibited drugs. Some people show their cannabis use through their actions – sleepiness or lethargy, lack of coordination, increase cravings for snacks, confusion and lack of focus, unusually talkative or skipping work or usual activities.
So there you have them. The top ten myths about marijuana use and their very real consequences.
I may have written this piece in a somewhat whimsical fashion, because a lot of the misconceptions make me shake my head. But the consequences are serious and real. Stay safe and keep your family, co-workers and employees safe as well.