5 Common Misconceptions About Cannabis

Our goal is to shine A light on these myths and provide insight toward a better understanding of the plant.

Myth #1: Cannabis causes memory disfunction.

A lot of people associate cannabis with memory loss, but recent studies have shown that there are certain strains and products that can be used to improve memory. Commonly found in sativa-based strains, the terpene Pinene, also found in pine trees, has shown to be beneficial in increasing memory and focus in small micro-dosed servings. Try stimulating your memory and focus with strains like Jack Herer or Dutch Treat, which are known to have high concentrations of this terpene. 

Myth #2: Cannabis makes you lazy and unproductive.

This myth is incredibly frustrating and stereotypical and was used in prohibition propaganda as a scare-tactic. In fact, an increasing number of people are using cannabis every day in place of coffee and other stimulants in order to stay motivated and naturally boost energy levels throughout the day. Cannabis typically doesn’t have the “crash” that caffeine can cause, making it an excellent option for productivity and curbing fatigue. 

Myth #3: Hemp and cannabis are the same.

A lot of people think that hemp and cannabis are the same plant and have the same potential therapeutic benefits. This is not entirely true, as hemp is more like a cousin to the cannabis plant and contains less than .3% THC. Hemp does produce CBD, which means it may be beneficial for relieving minor cases of inflammation or potentially anxiety. Hemp has been used for thousands of years but mostly for agricultural purposes. Cannabis does produce both CBD and THC, making it very effective at reducing chronic pain and can be used in place of opioids. Using cannabis products with a small amount of THC with CBD creates what we call an “entourage” effect, and those cannabinoids with terpenes enhance the therapeutic effects, and this can be done without causing intoxication. 

Myth #4: THC is the bad one, CBD is the medical one.

Quite often as medical cannabis consultants we hear our patients tell us that THC is only used for recreational purposes and CBD is only medical. This couldn’t be any further from the truth and is possibly a byproduct a of cannabis prohibition. Many patients will tell us that they don’t want any THC at all or have been told to completely avoid it altogether because it’s only for “getting high”. While THC can cause intoxication, this only happens when large amounts are consumed and it is working throughout your brain looking for something to do. When there is no pain or symptoms for THC to alleviate, you typically get an intoxicating effect. However, if you consume THC with your CBD, you may find greater relief rather than having no THC at all, because they enhance the effects of each other. We have receptors all throughout our endocannabinoid system for THC and CBD, meaning it is not a foreign body to us. Our body produces compounds that are similar to the compounds found in the cannabis plant. CB1 receptors are found throughout our brain and when THC binds to them, it can change the way we perceive pain and potentially help reduce nerve related pain as well as transporting the CBD through our immune system. Our CB2 receptors are found throughout our immune system and these are what CBD binds to, potentially alleviating symptoms associated with anxiety, inflammation, and many other ailments.

Myth #5: Cannabis is a gateway drug and you can overdose 

Cannabis being a gateway drug is one of the older myths that was originally developed by Harry Anslinger in the 1950s, who was the first commissioner of the United States Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and was actively involved in cannabis prohibition. Former U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a public statement discussing that cannabis use does not lead or cause a person to pursue harder drugs. She also stated that rather than cannabis, prescription pills are a major introduction to other opiate drugs. As for overdosing on cannabis, this is not possible. While you can certainly over overconsume and become uncomfortable, there are no reported deaths on record. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day more than 130 people in the U.S experience a lethal overdose on opioids, some including heavy pain killers, heroin, and fentanyl.

Fortunately, cannabis is an alternative herb that is not associated with the risk of death or harmful side effects. 

By Keiana Stiell