Cannabis gets a bad rep more than any other drug for all the wrong reasons. There are myths flying left and right giving marijuana an undeserved bad name. Because cannabis is a mysterious danky cloud of smoke for most people, it strikes up the vivid imaginations of many creating fictional rumors. Since many people don't know much about cannabis they easily fall for the myth. Let's clear the air and destroy the myths giving our precious marijuana a bad name.
The first myth that need to be debunked is that smoking marijuana is worse for your lungs than smoking tobacco. Some anti-pot people say because weed is smoked without a filter it is worse for your lungs. This is completely false. In 2012 a study showed that, "Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function." This doesn't necessarily mean that there are no negative effects on your lungs when smoking weed, but smoking a couple of bowls a day doesn't compare to a pack of cigarettes. If you're really concerned with protecting your lungs from cannabis then opt for edibles or vaping.
Marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs
This next myth is certainly one you have heard before; it's probably the most common marijuana myth. Marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs. It's probable that people shooting up heroin used cannabis previously, but they probably also used other mind altering substances like alcohol. Yet, alcohol doesn't get blamed to be the gateway to doing hard drugs. In a recent survey done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse it was found that marijuana use among adolescents has increased in recent years, but the use of hard drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin use has decreased. I think that is enough evidence showing that cannabis isn't the gateway drug so many people make it out to be.
Weed is highly addictive
It is a myth that weed is highly addictive. However, it is a fact that less than 1% of Americans smoke cannabis more than once a day. Only a tiny minority of heavy users develop a dependence and require the help of rehabilitation services to stop smoking. There is nothing in cannabis that causes physical dependence, so those that need rehab to quit smoking are probably just in need of aid to break the habit, not the addiction.
Cannabis kills brain cells
Another myth that needs to be busted is that cannabis kills brain cells. There have been many studies on what marijuana does to your brain. The findings of the University of Louisville has determined that it doesn't kill off your brain cells, thankfully. This study collaborates with a 2003 report in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society published by Cambridge University making the same claim. So, even though you may say dumb or insensible things when you're high it doesn't mean that you have just fried your brain cells.
It's a myth that stoned driving is as bad as drunk driving. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol dill 28 people every day in America. There are no statistics that driving while high causes traffic accidents. It's no doubt that marijuana may affect driving ability, but for many of us it makes us much more cautious. Some people say that they are much better drivers after a hit of cannabis. Just imagine, you're so chill that you have no road rage. For many other people, they feel so cautious that they opt not to drive at all. For the more seasoned smoker, driving after smoking weed doesn't affect their driving much.
You can overdose on weed
This last myth is easy is debunk: you can overdose on weed. According to the National Cancer Institute, "Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur." In other words, unlike pain killer medication that can cause you to stop breathing if you take too many, marijuana works on completely different pathways that do not affect breathing. So, even if you get paranoid out of your mind from smoking too much cannabis- and you may think everyone is out to get you- at least you can be rest assured that you won't die from all the weed you may have just smoked.
I'm sure you may have already known many of these myths were false but now when hearing them again you can have an explanation of why they are false. Hopefully as these myths fall away more people can use their common sense instead of believing the rumors.