Updated: May 7
Cannabis is an often overlooked substance. There is a lot of misinformation about this drug, and a lot of bias due to this misinformation.
Cannabis has been used by mankind for thousands of years, both for medical and recreational purposes . Throughout human history, cannabis has been used and shared freely, without persecution or discrimination. It has only been in the last hundred years that we have made it an illegal substance, with no scientific basis to justify the ban.
The prohibition of cannabis is largely the result of lies from industrialists and politicians, who saw it as a threat and a scapegoat for xenophobia. However, with the growth in popularity of the substance, the scientific community has begun to conduct research on the exact effects of cannabis on humans, and its possible medical uses .
The findings of most of this research are eye opening, and public opinion is increasingly aware of what cannabis can do for humanity. This has resulted in increased support for the cannabis movement, and a much more positive view of the substance by opinion. All of this is great, but myths still float, myths that anti-cannabis activists are quick to erect in truth with little or no evidence and without thinking about it.
TEN FASCINATING FACTS AND MYTHS ABOUT CANNABIS.
1. FACT: CANNABIS IS ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY USED DRUGS IN THE WORLD
It is only surpassed by alcohol. Millions of people use cannabis daily, and many more do so at least once in their lifetime. It is estimated that about 6,000 Americans try cannabis for the first time every day.
2. MYTH: CANNABIS IS A GATEWAY TO OTHER DRUGS
This is another argument often put forward by worried mothers. The fear that cannabis may lead to hard drugs, has no basis and is not supported by any solid scientific evidence. In fact, research on the subject has found that it is alcohol, not cannabis, that acts as a gateway to other drugs. And we are sure that many people opposed to cannabis succeed in drinking alcohol without switching to heroin; cannabis smokers probably do too.
It is a myth whose falsehood has been recognized for a long time, but it seems not to want to disappear. To support our argument, in 1999, a very detailed and comprehensive study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences was submitted in the form of a very detailed report to the United States Congress. She emphasized the extent to which there was no conclusive link between the use of cannabis and that of hard drugs.
3. MYTH: CANNABIS HAS NO MEDICAL APPLICATION
This is one of the most ridiculous and outdated arguments we have ever heard. This is an argument based on the classification of cannabis in the United States: any drug listed there in Annex I has no recognized medical value. But there is now a mountain of studies that prove the medical benefits of cannabis on humans and some large pharmaceutical groups are even developing cannabis-based drugs. Go tell Charlotte Figi and the thousands of others who suffer from chronic pain, seizures, Multiple Sclerosis, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, glaucoma and many other disorders, all of which benefit from cannabis use, that they are wrong.
4. FACT: MORE THAN HALF OF DRUG-RELATED ARRESTS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE RELATED TO CANNABIS
More than 800,000 people are arrested each year for cannabis-related crimes. Some of these arrests even lead to incarceration, which unnecessarily clogs the penitentiary system.
5. MYTH: CANNABIS IS A DANGEROUS DRUG
Cannabis is probably the least dangerous of all drugs. Compared to legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol, marijuana is actually much less dangerous. No one has ever overdosed on cannabis . There is no way to die from cannabis, because you would have to smoke about 800 joints to die from it, and again, the cause of death would not be cannabis, but carbon monoxide poisoning.
6. FACT: HEMP PLANTS BENEFITS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND HUMANITY
Using hemp plants for anything other than grass, marijuana, can be very beneficial for the environment and humanity. Hemp can yield very high quality paper and rope. It is also used in textiles, building materials, soaps, diapers, as fuel, and many other common objects.
It is much more renewable than the resources currently used in the manufacture of these objects and many others. The seeds can even be used as food! Growing hemp would create work, help reduce hunger in the world, relieve pain and even reduce greenhouse gases.
7. MYTH: MOST CANNABIS SMOKERS ARE HEAVY SMOKERS
The fact is that a good proportion of people who have smoked cannabis (40 to 50%) do so irregularly, or have only used it in the past. And many people don't make cannabis a habit, but this brings us to the next point ...
8. FACT: CANNABIS HAS SOME NEGATIVE EFFECTS
One of them is that it is possible to become addicted to drugs. The percentage of people becoming dependent is very low, however, and most of them are found in the small circle of heavy consumers. Other negative effects of cannabis are a bad influence on the ability of smokers to drive and that pregnant women smoking cannabis are more likely to have children born with deformities.
9. MYTH: MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT CANNABIS IS AS DANGEROUS FOR THE BODY AS ALCOHOL
It's a legend. Cannabis users are less likely to have damaged brain cells than those who consume alcohol. It is also legendary to say that consuming large amounts of cannabis causes lung cancer, because studies on the subject have had results that did not confirm this claim.
We can safely say that alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs and poor diet choices are far more dangerous for our health! Alcohol kills 3.3 million people worldwide each year, according to a report published by the World Health Organization. In addition, it appears that in the United States, one person dies of drug overdose every 19 minutes. Guess how many people have died from using cannabis since the deaths were recorded? Any.
10. MYTH: CANNABIS IS ADDICTIVE
This is one of the favorite arguments of people opposed to the legalization of cannabis and it has been an argument that has been totally exaggerated. Some claim that one in 11 people, or 9% of people using cannabis, will be addicted. All of this comes from an old study from the 1990s that analyzed the addictive properties of different substances.
Many scientists and health professionals believe that this figure of 9% of addicts is completely exaggerated. Dr Drew Pinsky, an addiction specialist, expressed disbelief at this figure, saying that addiction to cannabis was "very uncommon" and far from 1 in 11 people.
A 1999 report to the US Congress stated that addiction to cannabis is rare and that when it does exist, it is much less severe than addiction to alcohol or nicotine.
In the end, cannabis should not be imposed on those who do not want to use it, of course. But defending its total ban, while cannabis helps so many people, has only minimal negative effects and could potentially be the source of economic dynamism, is a completely crazy move.