FAQs: Common Cannabis Myths
In this section, we address several myths that we commonly hear about medical cannabis.
Myth 01. You always need high doses of cannabis with high THC for medical relief.
This is a common misconception, in fact, many patients find relief from using high-CBD/low-THC products. Patients who have been using high-THC cannabis before entering the medical stream mention anecdotally that CBD may be just as effective or better for certain symptoms. Also, THC levels may not always be related to relief. Researchers are now examining how cannabinoids and terpenes work together to create the "entourage effect". Patients also report that using high-quality products grown LPs, as opposed to grey market cannabis products allows them to find relief using less product. For this reason, we encourage patients to "start low and go slow", titrating upwards slowly to find their optimal dose.
Myth 02. Cannabis is harmful to your health.
The World Health Organization considers CBD to be a safe drug, and cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years. However, some patients may have risk factors that make cannabis an unsuitable choice. For this reason, a patient's medical history is fully and thoroughly assessed by our healthcare professionals to ensure that cannabis is a viable option, and why Health Canada requires a medical document for medical cannabis access. For those who prefer to use inhalation as their preferred method of intake, the use of a vaporizer is strongly recommended to avoid the health risks associated with smoking.
Myth 03. Cannabis makes you lazy and unmotivated.
Drowsiness is a reported side effect from cannabis, which is why it is often used by patients as a sleep aid. Quality sleep may contribute to a patient feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Some patients also report that certain strains, often from the Sativa family, may provide an uplifting and energized response, offering focus and clarity. It is important to note that cannabis should always be used responsibly, under the guidance of a medical professional.
Myth 04. Cannabis is stored in fat cells for a very long time.
The effects of inhaled cannabis can usually be felt almost immediately, with effects wearing off within a 4-6 hour window. The effects of ingested cannabis may take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to be felt, with a longer duration of 4-12 hours. Though no effects should be felt after these indicated time frames, some residual chemical compounds may be stored in the cells of the body, resulting in a positive test for THC. Research has indicated that trace amount of THC may be detectable for up to 30 days after consumption.
Myth 05. Cannabis users are criminals.
With the introduction of the The Cannabis Act and legalization, responsible cannabis consumption is no longer considered an illegal activity in Canada. Data shows that most cannabis-related crimes were related to possession and trafficking, as opposed to violent offences.
Myth 06. Respectable people don't use cannabis.
At Harvest Medicine, we help people from all walks of life including professionals, teachers, parents, first-responders, and veterans. The average age of a medical cannabis user is approximately 55, but we do see a large number of seniors, over the age of 65-75, looking to medical cannabis for relief. You can see anonymous results in our patient-reported outcomes for improvements in quality of life and symptom management.
Myth 07. Cannabis is a gateway drug, leading to the use of more potent drugs.
As with any drug, cannabis should always be used responsibly. According to the US National Institute of Drug Abuse, "the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, "harder" substances", and "alcohol and nicotine also prime the brain for a heightened response to other drugs". In fact, medical cannabis, CBD in particular, is now being further researched and used as a harm reduction method to help individuals reduce their reliance on opiates and other harmful substances. For this reason, the use of medical cannabis should always be undertaken with the guidance of a knowledgeable healthcare professional, who will assess the risks for those who may be generally prone to addiction.