A herb used as a drug, marijuana is the common name for both Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Two forms of cannabis, herbal and the resinous, are used in the preparation of drugs. Hashish is the resinous form of marijuana. Sub-tending leaves and flowers of this plant are used in preparing the drug. The plant contains a chemical compound, tetrahydrocannabinol, which is used for medicinal purposes. Some of the myths and facts about this drug are listed below.
- Myth: It is said that the intake of this drug leads to permanent mental illness. Even small amounts of it are capable of causing psychological damage in children.
Fact: Marijuana intake sometimes results into anxiety, panic, and paranoia; however, it doesn't cause permanent mental damage. If it is eaten directly, chances are that the person will temporarily suffer from toxic psychosis.
- Myth: The drug is considered highly addictive. People who use marijuana face severe withdrawal symptoms.
Fact: According to the facts recorded in the USA, not even 1% Americans are addicted to marijuana. Even those who use heavy doses of the drug don't face any kind of withdrawal symptoms.
- Myth: The marijuana that is available today is more potent than that of the '60s decade. The drug has become more dangerous over time.
Fact: The drug hasn't undergone any changes in its properties, as is presented by some people. The samples seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration do not represent the marijuana that is generally used by people.
- Myth: The offenders who violate the laws regarding the usage of marijuana are not arrested. Strict action is not taken against them.
Fact: Contrary to the belief that violators are not punished, the truth is that around 86% of the offenders were arrested for illegal possession of cannabis. Thousands of people have served the punishment for this offense.
- Myth: Marijuana is considered the cause behind diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis.
Fact: The above argument doesn't hold much truth in it. Marijuana smoking is not frequent even among regular smokers in comparison with those who smoke tobacco. Marijuana intake doesn't play any role in the development of lung cancer. The fact was supported by a paper presented to the American Thoracic Society in the year 2006.
- Myth: Cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive substance that is used for medicinal purpose. It is said that drugs that are more effective in action than marijuana are available in the market.
Fact: Even today, marijuana is used in the treatment of various problems. The drug is used to reduce nausea that results from chemotherapy. It is also used to reduce the spasticity in muscles in patients suffering from various neurological disorders.
- Myth: Cannabis is considered a gateway drug, i.e., it is believed to induce the intake of potent and dangerous drugs such as cocaine, LSD, and heroin.
Fact: The myth that marijuana is a gateway drug, is based on a fragile assumption and statistical association between the usage of common and uncommon drugs. The facts state that many of the people who use cannabis have never consumed any of the other illegal drugs.
- Myth: It is believed that the intake of marijuana induces apathetic behavior and makes people passive in their approach. People tend to lose their productivity in work and students perform badly in studies.
Fact: Even after many years of research, scientists have failed to understand the relation between marijuana and the apathetic behavior in people. Thus, the drug has nothing to do with the productivity of employees or the grades of students.