Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs in America, with more than 11.8 million young adults using the substance in 2018, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Due to its popularity and path to legalization, it is one of the most talked about substances in the country. Because of this, and both the pro-legalization and anti-marijuana advocates, there are many myths and misconceptions spread about marijuana.
Below are some of the most common misconceptions about marijuana and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug
The gateway drug theory is one of the most common arguments against the legalization of marijuana. The gateway drug theory states that the use of marijuana will lead to the abuse of more intense and harmful narcotics down the line. However, there is no evidence that this is true.
While individuals who abuse more addictive drugs like cocaine and opioids have typically also used marijuana, this is relationship can be described as a correlation rather than a causation. This means that where they are many people who use both marijuana and other more intense substances, marijuana use is not the cause of the use of harder drugs. In fact, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, most people who use marijuana never go on to experiment with other substances.
Myth #2: Marijuana Can Kill Brain Cells
The origin of this myth can be traced back to the 1970s, when Dr. Robert Heath published his rhesus monkey study, where he reported structural changes in the brain of monkeys that he heavily dosed with marijuana. This study was commonly cited to support that marijuana kills brain cells.
However, it was later discovered that the brain damage was a result of oxygen deprivation because the monkeys were unable to breathe. In addition, when the study was replicated by Dr. William Slikker of the National Center of Toxicological Research, there was no evidence of any physical brain damage in the monkeys when exposed to marijuana daily for a year.
While the use of marijuana may provide temporary memory loss effects, there is no evidence that supports long term brain damage. For example, a 2001 study conducted by a research team at Harvard University found that regular cannabis users reported no long-term memory effects and had normal memory test scores within a month of testing.
Myth #3: Marijuana Can Make You Lazy
While there has been a popularized stereotype of the “lazy stoner”, like most other stereotypes enforced by the media, there is no factual evidence to back this up. In a 2006 study conducted by the University of Southern California, “participants who used cannabis seven days a week demonstrated no difference from non-cannabis users on indices of motivation. These findings refute hypothesized associations between heavy cannabis use and low motivation.”
More than this, for people who use marijuana to treat medical conditions, their use may actually lead to more productive lives. Because marijuana can be used to treat, pain, nausea, anxiety, and other chronic conditions, patients can focus on productive tasks instead of their medical aliments.
It is important to distinguish between fact and fiction when it comes to cannabis use in Colorado and beyond. At Green RiNo, we are proud to provide Denver’s most sought after variety of flowers, concentrates, edibles, and other marijuana-infused products. Stop by today and learn more about the Green RiNo difference.