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Five Myths About Cannabis

Thanks to prohibitionist misinformation, cannabis is one of the most misunderstood plants in the world. So, it makes sense that there should be so many myths surrounding it. Even today the general public still believe many of the old prohibitionist lies. Myths like cannabis is a dangerous drug that will destroy your life and turn you into a brain damaged degenerate die hard.

Cannabis users may be wise to this kind of propaganda, but there are still a number of popular myths that a large portion of the cannabis community still believe. So, let’s take a look at some common cannabis misconceptions.

1. You Can’t Overdose on Cannabis

Contrary to popular belief, you absolutely can OD on cannabis. Now it’s important to note that a THC overdose is non-lethal, but just because a cannabis overdose won’t kill you doesn’t mean you can’t take too much. In fact, the hallmarks of a cannabis overdose have probably been experienced by most of you at one time or another. Ever felt agitated, paranoid, sweaty, or had heart palpitations after smoking weed? Well that was a THC overdose.

2. Holding a Hit Longer Gets You Higher

We’ve all heard this one, and it kind of makes sense at first. Holding in a hit longer allows for more THC to be absorbed right? Well actually, no.

THC actually absorbs into the lungs instantaneously, so holding your hit in longer in an attempt to absorb more is a wasted effort because all of the THC was absorbed straight away. If you do feel any increased euphoria from holding in a hit for a long time, then this is actually caused by Hypoxia. Hypoxia is you starving your brain of oxygen by holding your breath, so feeling light headed is not because you took more THC into your body.  In short, holding a hit longer in order to get higher is the cannabis version of an old wives tale.

3. CBD isn’t Psychoactive

With the explosion of CBD products hitting the shelves these days, you’ve no doubt heard CBD being referred to as non-psychoactive. It’s proudly emblazoned on numerous marketing materials associated with CBD products, but the fact is it’s simply not true.

CBD has been proven to have antipsychotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressive inducing properties; which are all technically psychoactive effects. More accurately, CBD should be referred to as being non-intoxicating. This means CBD does not create any stimulating or arousing effects compared to THC, but it still is psychoactive.

4. Cannabis is Over 10 Times More Potent Today Than in the 60s

Undoubtedly the general quality of cannabis is far better today than it was in the 1960s. However, a recent myth has sprung up insisting that cannabis today is ten times more potent than crops of yesteryear. It does sound plausible, but thanks to poor scientific methods and record keeping on the police’s part, the statistics are somewhat skewed.

Firstly, up until 2008, police labs used gas chromatography to quantify cannabinoid content of their samples. This is an inappropriate method for testing cannabis, as it requires heating the sample up first, which changes the chemical composition and – not to mention – breaks down the THC. Secondly, the samples tested came from seized cannabis that was years old in some cases. What this means is that the police have been consistently underestimating the THC content of cannabis ever since they started testing it in the early 1970s.

Compared with the more accurate testing of today’s widely available high grade, the skewed data makes it appear as though cannabis potency has skyrocketed in the intervening decades. But unfortunately, that isn’t entirely accurate. Yes, cannabis today is stronger than in the past, but ten times stronger is a gross overestimate; one that conveniently allows the DEA to say cannabis is ten times more dangerous than it was in the sixties.

5. Sativas are “Uppers” and Indicas are “Downers”

The idea that sativa varieties of cannabis produce an uplifting head high, while indica strains elicit a couch locking body high has been part of cannabis culture for decades.

Almost all strains of cannabis are described in this fashion, with hybrids commonly referred to as sativa dominant or indica dominant as a way to continue this tradition. However, environmental conditions, cultivation practices, and when exactly a crop is harvested play a much larger role in the final flower produced and it’s given experience than the strain itself.

Yes, some cannabis will give you an energetic feeling and others will stick you to the couch for hours. But this has very little to do with whether it’s a sativa or indica and is more down to the complex interactions of all the cannabinoids and terpenes in a given bud of weed. There’s so much more to cannabis and its effects than its genetics that this age-old dichotomy is for the most part, useless.

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