Misconceptions About Medical Cannabis
Myth: Cannabis makes you stupid and/or forgetful.
Short term memory is reduced if a person is intoxicated with cannabis. Don’t try to learn new things while affected to this degree, if you ever are. Most patients micro-dose to feel better, and are not intoxicated.
There is NO evidence that it affects long-term memory, learning ability, or IQ.
Myth: Cannabis makes you lazy and unmotivated.
Your medication will do what you choose it for. For example:
- Sativa-based cannabis can be highly motivating and energizing. Patients report clarity, focus, better athletic endurance, and happier attitude.
- Indica-based cannabis can help you relax and prepare for sleep. Patients report relief from the day’s stresses, and rejuvenating sleep that leaves them refreshed and ready for the day.
Myth: Cannabis is harmful to health.
The plant has a 12,000 year history in humankind. There are numerous peer-reviewed medical publications stating NO evidence of health hazards, and many studies the world over are ongoing to uncover the healing potential of cannabis.
No one has died from a cannabis overdose.
Some patients have risk factors which the doctor might decide makes a patient unsuitable for cannabis medication. That’s why Health Canada requires a Medical Document for medical cannabis.
Remember that cannabis does not have to be inhaled. If you prefer inhaling, please vaporize instead of smoking.
Myth: Cannabis is stored in fat cells for a very long time.
It is true that most drugs enter the body’s fat cells and therefore are detectable long after their use. However, it is only residue, with no lasting effect. The residue is not harmful or impairing in any way.
Myth: Cannabis users are criminals.
Actually, more serious, violent crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol (which is a drug, though we sometimes forget). Cannabis reduces aggression.
As for possession crimes, the definition of crime is at the discretion of your country. Unfortunately, the laws are not necessarily fact-based. There is a good reason why Canada is moving toward re-legalization of cannabis.
Myth: No one of calibre uses cannabis.
If it was good enough for Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln, maybe it’s good enough for us. There are many other examples of respected individuals who have used cannabis, many of them living long, healthy lives.
Myth: Cannabis is a gateway drug, leading to the use of more potent drugs.
There is no evidence of cannabis leading to the use of other drugs. It is in fact utilized to ease people addicted to harmful substances off their habit, reducing painful withdrawal symptoms and helping them stay off “the hard stuff”.
Naysayers often play with statistics. For example: it could be argued that almost 100% of alcoholics have eaten tomatoes. We likely all agree there is no correlation between tomatoes and drug use.
Myth: Cannabis these days is far stronger than in the past.
There are a number of theories on why this belief is making the rounds. The primary suspect is the small sampling taken, and the fact that the samples are black market street cannabis which might not be pure. Street cannabis is not medical cannabis.
To a patient, increased strength means value for the dollar because very little is needed to relieve symptoms.
Myth: Cannabis is addictive.
There is nothing in cannabis to cause physical dependence. Your body’s endocannabinoid system does not “crave” cannabinoids even if it is deficient.
Unfortunately, the words addiction, dependency, and habit are used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. We are dependent on food and water to survive; are we addicted to them? Many people complain that they are addicted to coffee and sugar. They will miss them if they stop “cold turkey”, but they won’t die. We might have old habits that are hard to break, or new habits that are hard to form. That’s human nature.