With so many people in power still against cannabis legalization who believe old propaganda and misconceptions, we thought this article would be good to clear things up.
Here you’ll find points covering cannabis use in relation to;
- Spice & Skunk
- A gateway drug
- A dangerous drug
- Damages communities
- Antisocial behaviour
- Medical Use
- Harmful to health
Overdosing from cannabis
Firstly, cannabis has been used for thousands of years by humans as fabrics and foods and has also been used recreationally. The claims that cannabis is dangerous and that you can overdose are complete nonsense. There have never been any recorded deaths from using cannabis. A person would have to consume over 500kg of cannabis in under 15 minutes to overdose.
The term “greened-out” or “whitey” refers to a person who (usually) consumes cannabis for the first time and throws up. This is very uncommon in the USA due to the fact people who consume cannabis don’t mix it with tobacco. It’s the mixing of cannabis with other drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco that will cause a whitey. However, a whitey is not an overdose!
You’ll also probably feel pretty queasy if you try cannabis for the first time after having consumed alcohol. There’s a saying that goes, “Grass before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before grass, you’re on your ass.”
Psychosis and cannabis use
There is also no evidence that underage cannabis use is linked to developing psychosis. However, frequent use should be avoided until the brain has finished developing as you’re statistically more likely to form a dependence if you frequently consume cannabis before your brain has finished developing.
If a person already has psychotic tendencies, they are more likely to use cannabis, which increases the chance their schizophrenic symptoms will be triggered. This does not mean that the cannabis caused the psychotic tendencies, as they already had the psychotic tendencies prior to use.
Just to name a few, here’s a list of celebrities who are known cannabis users; Snoop Dogg, Bob Marley, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Morgan Freeman and even Barack Obama. So if cannabis use causes psychosis, are those celebrities all psychotic now?
You simply cannot link cannabis use to psychosis. I could say, “The number of people who eat bread is increasing. The number of people with psychotic tendencies is also increasing, so that must mean eating bread causes psychosis..”
Spice and Skunk
Spice is not cannabis. Spice is a synthetic drug created in a lab which intends to mimic cannabis. This drug is sold on the streets by fake cannabis dealers. Users of spice will look like zombies – you may have seen some users in the streets. Using spice can be fatal.
Skunk is not spice. Skunk is simply a strain of cannabis that has a high THC content and a very pungent, earthy aroma, hence the name skunk.
There are claims that skunk causes psychosis. Again, this is not true and there is no evidence to back up these claims. When using skunk, you experience a more intense head high compared to other strains due to its high THC content, but you won’t develop psychosis.
A gateway to hard drugs
You’ll often hear that cannabis is a gateway drug. I.e. If you use cannabis, you’ll eventually start using cocaine and heroin etc.
One reason a person would start using harder drugs is that the dealer they buy cannabis from pushes them to purchase hard drugs. Under a legal, regulated system, the pushing of harder drugs by dealers would not occur due to people purchasing their cannabis in a safe environment. You will not find a cannabis dispensary or coffee shop pushing hard drugs to customers.
Cannabis is not a drug that makes you feel like you need to move to harder drugs. You will never hear a cannabis user say something like “This weed is doing nothing for me, I’m going to start using cocaine instead”.
Some people blame cannabis as a gateway due to a relative/friend becoming a hard drug addict after using cannabis. In cases like these, the person could have an underlying problem which they are trying to escape from. Blaming cannabis as the cause of them using hard drugs does not make logical sense.
Cannabis is in fact the opposite to a gateway drug. Cannabis can be used to aid people who are addicted to hard drugs or alcohol by helping them recover from their addiction.
The only gateway cannabis provides is to great food, awesome sex, good music and chilled vibes.
Cannabis is a dangerous drug
Cannabis has a bad rep in the UK as it is referred to by many as a bad drug. We’ll just remind you that coffee, paracetamol and alcohol are also drugs but are happily consumed by many on a daily basis without thinking twice. In fact, cannabis is safer than all three of the above. You can overdose on the caffeine from coffee, taking too many paracetamol will obviously kill you and drinking too much alcohol can also kill you.
Prescribed drugs such as codeine are also taken without much thought. The list of side effects on prescribed medicines sometimes take up two sides of a leaflet. Cannabis however does not have severe side effects and can be used as a substitute to a wide variety of prescribed drugs.
We’ll reiterate: You physically cannot overdose from cannabis. Cannabis is not dangerous. You will not die from using cannabis.
Drugs are harmful to communities and families
We really don’t understand why people still believe that cannabis is harmful to communities and families. If anything, cannabis brings people together, not break them apart.
It is true that a small minority of chronic cannabis users can develop a dependence on cannabis (more on this below). However, why criminalize people for using cannabis? It makes far more sense to give those who have developed a dependence some support, not further damage their lives by criminalizing them.
There is literally nothing we can think of that makes cannabis harmful to communities apart from police intervention in illegal growing operations which can spark violence from gangs.
No matter how many “Big cannabis farm busts” the police make, there will always be a demand, which will always be fulfilled. Plus, the majority of people who grow cannabis do so for medical reasons – yet they are snitched on by a neighbor who views growing cannabis as a meth lab.
The only way to reduce gang violence in relation to drugs (namely cannabis) would be to legalize and regulate – taking the market out of their hands.
Looking down on cannabis users, especially those who are consuming for medical reasons must stop, as this is the greatest harm to communities. This will only be possible once cannabis is legalized and normalized – only then will the general population see that cannabis isn’t as dangerous as the media makes it out to be.
Cannabis causes antisocial behaviour
Have you ever seen a stoned person wanting to cause havoc anywhere? No, neither have we. If anyone ever tells your cannabis causes antisocial behaviour, they have obviously no idea what they’re talking about and are completely uneducated on the subject of cannabis.
Just because Joe Bloggs was charged with antisocial behaviour and is known to consume cannabis does not mean that cannabis increases antisocial behaviour.
A study conducted by the university of Pennsylvania found no link between cannabis use and an increase in antisocial behaviour in teenagers. The study found that children have bad behaviour traits (which eventually lead to antisocial behaviour later in life) way before they start consuming cannabis.
As stated earlier in the article: Cannabis is not addictive. A person who uses cannabis will not become physically addicted to cannabis through excessive use like they would with alcohol, tobacco or cocaine. A person can develop a dependence where they start using cannabis daily, although the percentage of people who develop a dependence is very low.
The causes of cannabis dependency are usually excessive underage consumption and/or moderate-severe depression; People who self-medicate with cannabis for depression are at risk of developing a dependence in the long run if they do not address any issues which could be causing the depression – You’ll psychologically be attached to cannabis as an escape from your problems.
Giving up a cannabis dependence is not as hard to stop as an alcohol, cocaine or heroin addiction. You may experience mild withdrawal symptoms, such as minor anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. For more information on cannabis dependency, see this article on the risks and dangers of cannabis use.
The likelihood of developing a cannabis dependence can be reduced by consuming cannabis with a higher CBD content than usual “street” weed – CBD is non-addictive and has been used to treat addictions.
High grade strains containing a high CBD content would only become more widely available under a legal, regulated market.
Another reason a person may form a habit of using cannabis daily or feel like they’re addicted to cannabis is due to the use of tobacco. A high proportion of people in the United Kingdom mix tobacco with cannabis when rolling a joint. Tobacco is well known to be an extremely addictive substance.
Medical uses of cannabis
Many people who are against cannabis reform claim that cannabis has no medical benefits. However why would the USA and Canada have medical marijuana if there were no medical uses?
You have probably read or heard about the recent cases of regarding children such as Billy Caldwell suffering with epilepsy, requiring cannabis oil to suppress their constant seizures. However, epilepsy is not the only medical condition that cannabis can be used for. The list below is only a few conditions which cannabis can treat;
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain relief
- Spinal cord disease
- Spinal cord injury
Cannabis is not only a drug used to get high – it is a genuine lifeline for a vast number of people, and without it they would likely not still be living.
For more information on some of these conditions, refer to our article discussing the medical uses of cannabis.
Cannabis is harmful to human health
On what basis is this claim made? Cannabis is quite the opposite of harmful to human health, as made clear by the medical benefits section above.
There are long term risks from frequent cannabis use, which should not be ignored. However, all of the long term risks associated with frequent cannabis use are only experienced by a minority of users and are reversible.
Ignoring the medical benefits of cannabis and treating it as a harmful drug is completely ignorant when there is ample evidence stacked up, proving the health benefits of cannabis.
The funny thing is, most people who are vocally “against drugs”, drink coffee, alcohol and take paracetamol and other prescription drugs. If cannabis is so “harmful” then when are we having a vote as to whether alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, sugar or fats should be prohibited?
This point is really aggravating to any cannabis user: The general stereotyping of a person as a “stoner” just because they smoke weed. No, you will not start growing dreadlocks or turn into a nature loving hippie just because you use cannabis. In fact, there is a high number of people who use cannabis that you would never even know used cannabis if they didn’t tell you.
If a person tells you they drink alcohol from time to time, you don’t automatically judge them by thinking they are wasting time/money to relax or are an alcoholic. But why is this the case for cannabis users? Why is it as soon as someone finds out you use cannabis, you’re classed as a crazy deadbeat hippy?
Take a look at this article, that explains the middle class use of cannabis in Canada.
Also along the lines of this stoner stereotype are the news articles which headings read “What to do if you think your neighbor is smoking cannabis” or similar. If you can smell cannabis coming from a neighbor, they’re 99.99% going to be just relaxing in their house, not causing trouble. So our answer to what you should do if you think your neighbor is smoking cannabis?… Go round, try some cannabis, relax, de-stress and think about the beauty in life instead of calling the police and wasting everyone’s time over nothing!
Cannabis may not be for everyone, as alcohol is not for everyone. However just because you don’t enjoy cannabis does not mean it’s not ok for others to use it, and it certainly should not mean those who need it medically are criminalized.
Have a look at our article explaining how legal recreational cannabis will benefit the UK.
What is it that has been instilled in a large majority of the population to believe that cannabis is so dangerous and bad for us?
Please share this post so that everyone can be made aware of these common misconceptions.