You don’t need me to tell you this. But…as popular as cannabis is, there are too many things about it that are just false and/or are old wives tales that shouldn’t be carried forward. Here are the top 10 cannabis myths (in my mind anyway):
- The more THC the better the weed.
- There are two types of plants; indica and sativa.
- Smoking weed is bad for you.
- Edibles are just as good as flower.
- It’s addictive.
- Cannabis makes you gain weight.
- Cannabis is demotivating.
- Cannabis can cause IQ loss.
- All growers are the same and make the same product.
- Strains are all the same, no matter who grew them.
Let’s go through these 10 statements.
Cannabis Myths #1: Is more THC better? or, The More the Merrier???
Somehow, people who are trying cannabis seem to think that high THC percentages in flower is good. It ain’t necessarily so. Imagine walking into a wine shop and asking for a chardonnay that has the highest percentage of alcohol. Not a good idea since wine stops tasting like good wine around 16%. Cannabis isn’t the same, but low 20%s are sufficient. One of the stores in Taos, New Mexico prices their flower based on THC percentages. This is stupid. Cannabis flower and effects can be very subtle, even if cannabis is not subtle at all. The effects of cannabis are created by a raft of different compounds that act in concert with THC. Look for flower with terrific aromas (terpenes) and you probably can’t go wrong.
Cannabis Myths #2: What is Cannabis Indica?
Many people think that there is a plant called cannabis indica. There is not. It’s all sativa. People sometimes refer to a third variety called ruderalis. Ruderalis is not a high THC producing plant. It’s higher with CBD than THC and it has an advantage over other sub species in that it flowers based on age, not sun periodicity like our favorite other strains do. Our favorite plant flowers because of the number of hours of sun. Ruderalis flowers because of how old it is. But to a taxonomical specialist, it’s a different plant. Yes, there is a lot of argument in the scientific community about whether or not there are different species, but so far there is only one sativa and that includes what we call indica.
Cannabis Myths #3: Is Weed Bad or Good for You?
So far, the evidence is that cannabis might be beneficial for health. Maybe Since there hasn’t been a lot of scientific research yet, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that’s not substantiated by science. As the science is developing, it does appear that cannabis might have benefits to the human condition. This is a wonderful thing although other cultures have apparently known this to be true for thousands of years.
If you smoke, how bad can it be? Turns out that you ingest so little smoke (compared to cigarettes) that it’s probably OK to consume cannabis by inhaling smoke. But…we just don’t know yet.
Cannabis Myths #4: Are Edibles as Good as Flower?
In a word; No. Not now. Not yet. The process to make consistent doses for edibles is still being developed. For example, when you ingest a gummy that’s listed as 10mg, may or may not be 10mg. It’s difficult to create an edible with a consistent dose because cannabis extract is oil-based and it does not combine evenly with the water-based ingredients of the gummy. Also, any user must realize the effect from edibles is not the same as smoking or vaping. Edibles and vape extracts tend to have more of a body effect and less of a mind effect.
Cannabis Myths #5: Cannabis is a Gateway Drug and You’ll Become Addicted
By this time (and it’s about time) if you still believe this, you have had your head in the ground. Fact is, anything and everything is addictive. You can be addicted to chocolate, coffee, tea, steak, whatever. It’s all potentially addictive. We need to move past this and realize that addiction to anything is partly personality driven as well as drug dependent. Caffeine is a drug. The alkaloids in chocolate are a drug. Everything we take into our bodies is a drug. Watch your own behavior and listen to your friends and family. If you feel out of control and can’t stop using any substance, seek professional help.
Cannabis Myths #6: Cannabis Makes You Gain Weight
Consuming cannabis is supposed to give you the munchies. While I haven’t had them in a long time and I’m sure some strains still possess this attribute, it’s just no the case anymore. In fact, scientific studies are beginning to show that the opposite is actually true. Cannabis use (moderate, of course) can lead to weight loss. This is a perfect example of another myth we need to get past.
Wait — don’t people use Cannabis to help them improve appetite and decrease nausea?
Cannabis Myths #7: Does Cannabis Reduce Motivation and Make You Lazy?
Reality check. Cannabis does not destroy motivation. In fact, cannabis has been shown to increase creative motivation. So many myths. So many lies for the last 85 or so years. Decades have passed. And a substantial part of the U.S. population still believes in many of them. More’s the pity because as we’re beginning to find out, while there’s a downside, the upsides are far greater than the downsides. No, cannabis consumption does not demotivate people.
Cannabis Myths #8: Can Cannabis Cause IQ Loss?
Look again at number 7 above. There is evidence, scant evidence, that cannabis can actually increase creativity, analytical thinking and enhance many other cerebral functions. My saying is; “If it was good enough for Carl Sagan, it’s good enough for me.”
Cannabis Myths #9: Are All Cannabis Growers The Same?
Do all growers of grapes for wine grow the same grapes? No. They might all grow something like Cabernet Sauvignon, but none of their grapes will make the same wine…even if the vineyards are across the road from each other. So why would one cannabis cultivator create the same finished plant as another, even if they are right across the street from each other? While the answer should be obvious, it’s not to many people . The exact same seed or clone in the hands of two different growers, might have different THC levels. One grower might have more terpenes and lower THC (a better product in my opinion) while another might have lots of THC and not much else. It’s difficult to grow cannabis, even if it is called weed.
Cannabis Myths #10: Strains Are All the Same?
Read number 9 above for a start. Different strains do create a different effect, so they’re not the same. I’ve never had two strains that were the same. Some make me energetic. Some make me sleepy. However, calling them sativa and indica is a disservice to both the plants and the people who grow them. I’m beginning to believe that strains are really defined by their terpenes. It’s been called the entourage effect, but it’s more than that. Since research is just beginning, it’s really difficult to tell what is what in cannabis.
We’ve come a long way since Colorado first legalized adult use cannabis. But we’ve got a lot farther to go before we understand what cannabis really is and what it does and more importantly, how it does it.