Cannabis Myths and Facts: Safety

Just like with anything we do regularly, it’s good to examine our behaviors and be honest with ourselves about our habits.

The pop culture saturation of cannabis has reached a new high. On HBO, High Maintenance finally found its groove; in the Hip-Hop charts. Even in… National Geographic? But if cannabis is suddenly as all-American as “Milk and Cookies,” that’s not to say everything you hear about it is true. Because there are so many cannabis myths floating around out there—and because we value valid, authoritative information at our Venice Beach cannabis dispensary—we’d like to help set the record straight.

In today’s post, we’ll be tackling some real-life cannabis myths and facts. Our goal is to give you trustworthy information so you make smart, educated decisions about how you use cannabis. Ready? Let’s get this thing rolling.

Cannabis Facts and Myths: Cannabis Isn’t Addictive

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. It’s not characterized as addiction clinically, but there is a possible outcome to be aware of. In the clinical world, “cannabis addiction” is actually called cannabis use disorder, and it’s definitely a thing in a small minority of the population of people who regularly consume cannabis. Currently, researchers estimate that roughly 9% of people who regularly ingest cannabis will develop it at some point. Among those who use cannabis as teens, that number climbs to 17%.

What does “addiction” mean in this context? Essentially, you could have cannabis use disorder if you are using cannabis despite negative consequences on your health, your relationships, or your work. If you feel that you’re using more cannabis than you’d like to—or you’re tempted to be dishonest about your cannabis use with friends and family—and you feel like you can’t stop, there are resources you can turn to, in addition to talking with your doctor about your questions or possible concerns. In addition to the large and popular Narcotics Anonymous community, several forms of therapy have been shown to be helpful in combating cannabis use disorder.

For the vast majority of people, cannabis use can be a positive experience.

Cannabis Myths and Facts: You Can’t Overdose on Cannabis

So, this statement requires a little clarification. If you mean “fatal overdose,” it’s largely true as there has never been a recorded THC overdose death in the U.S. (in all of history, only one mysterious case from 2019 was a possible anomaly, but there are a lot of remaining questions from experts surrounding that one).

Conversely, if you mean “potentially having a really bad time after having too much cannabis,” it’s certainly possible. In this second case, having a bad time by “overdosing” on cannabis (meaning taking enough that you did not enjoy the experience) is somewhat common. The good news is that, typically, it’s also brief and quite treatable. It’s also usually avoidable if you start with a small dose and only increase slightly with each session, over time.

In most of the (very rare) cases relating to cannabis reported by hospital ERs, patients are admitted suffering from delusions: paranoid behavior, visual or auditory hallucinations, and other such symptoms. It’s important to note that such cases typically occur in people who already suffer psychiatric disorders or are prone to them. And while the clinical findings aren’t crystal-clear, it’s believed that consuming high-potency cannabis—a topic we’ll return to in a moment—could increase the likelihood of such episodes.

The other reason ERs have noted as a reason, albeit rare, for hospital admission is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Characterized by repeated and extreme bouts of vomiting, this outcome is extremely rare and, obviously, definitely something you don’t want to experience. But therein lies a silver lining: According to recent studies, in the overwhelming majority of the already small number of cases, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is limited to very heavy cannabis users, and stopping (or significantly decreasing) cannabis use is known to remedy it.

cannabis myths and facts

Cannabis Facts and Myths: Cannabis Is Stronger Than It Used to Be

You know the saying, “This ain’t your parents’ weed?” Guess what: It’s true. While analyzing the potency of cannabis from the ’70s and ’80s is hard, for a variety of reasons, the best science we have suggests that even as late as the mid-’90s, the THC content of many cannabis samples hovered around the 4% range.

These days, of course, things are different. Premium cannabis flower—such as the strains we offer at our Venice Beach cannabis dispensary—regularly top out at over 25% THC. Then there’s the topic of cannabis concentrates, the vast majority of which didn’t even exist until at least the late ’90s.

Our point? Don’t make assumptions about how strong a given cannabis strain is, unless you have reliable information or experience with it. Instead, do like we do: Start low and go slow. You can always have more, but you can’t have less.

Do you have more questions about cannabis facts and myths? Drop us a line! Better yet, come by and talk with one of our experienced cannabis advisors. We’re here to hook you up with the best possible plan for your preferences.

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