The long years of marijuana prohibition has certainly taken their toll on cannabis research, so it’s no surprise that there are lots of myths circulating about the drug. Addiction psychiatrist and author Kevin Hill took to Reddit to answer these seven marijuana-related questions from the public and finally put an end to baseless speculation:
- What are the medical uses of marijuana backed by scientific evidence?
The Food and Drug Administration has only approved two commercially available cannabinoids targeted for nausea and appetite stimulation. However, there is also strong evidence supporting the use of cannabis for chronic and neuropathic pain and spasticity related to multiple sclerosis.
- Do people easily get addicted to marijuana?
No. As a matter of fact, studies show that only nine percent of adults and 17 percent of young people who use marijuana become addicted to it.
- Why do people get addicted to marijuana?
Like other addictive substances, marijuana can affect the brain and cause surges in certain stimulants like dopamine, which gives a pleasurable high that makes people want to use it again. Marijuana addiction is both physical and psychological, as people who overdo it use it as a coping mechanism to deal with stress. Withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and irritability may also prevent someone from stopping the use of cannabis. However, unlike alcohol withdrawal, marijuana withdrawal isn’t fatal.
- Is eating edible marijuana riskier than inhaling it?
The form matters less than the contents of marijuana. What makes edibles risky is the fact that the onset of action is longer, so people take higher doses if they don’t feel the effects quickly.
- Is there a marijuana drug test?
Hill said he isn’t aware of any drug test kit. However, marijuana can be detected in the urine about four hours after use.
- Is the potency of marijuana increasing?
Yes, potency has dramatically increased since the 1960s, when the average THC content in cannabis products was just within 3-4 percent. Now, the average potency is at 13 percent.
- What’s the most dangerous marijuana myth?
The most dangerous myth is that marijuana is harmless. It isn’t. Early and regular use of marijuana for people aged 25 and below can have long-term negative effects, including cognitive difficulties, anxiety, depression, and increased likelihood of expressing a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia.
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