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Top Five Myths Used in Cannabis Prohibition

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Cannabis sativa  L. is a plant globally known both for its positive characteristics and controversial politics. Its use is still questionable in many countries worldwide. People are still trying to criminalize cannabis using misinterpreted fairytales directed against a mere plant. Being engraved as a harmful drug, some people consider cannabis as a sinful indulgence by despicable humans. But these people seem to be dwindling in number with each passing day and every relieved ailment. And although the debates might say otherwise, cannabis is simply a natural medicinal plant that has been used to treat illness for centuries.

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Although cannabis is increasingly identified as repository for many beneficial molecules, it’s still surrounded by a large volume of misunderstood folklore. Here are five prominent myths that are used to argue against the usage of cannabis:

  1. Cannabis invites delinquency: A common myth is that using cannabis will lead one to indulge in criminal activities. Although people think cannabis invites delinquency, some studies say otherwise. According to research carried out in few states of the U.S, the places which legalized the usage of medical cannabis did not observe any increase in the rates of crime or delinquency. [1] The crime rates noticeably remained the same or decreased.
  2. Cannabis can make people addicted and dependent: Excess of several substances can cause an addiction or dependency, including food, caffeine, opioids, alcohol, or nicotine. The number of people dependent on cannabis is relatively lower than the number of those people addicted to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs such as heroin. [2] While cannabis is natural and has certain beneficial aspects to it,  the other options such as tobacco or narcotics can hurt rather than heal the body. What you must keep in mind while consuming cannabis is that using a modest amount has a lesser chance of harming you.

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  1. Cannabis is not medicinal: Another common myth about cannabis is that it is only useful for getting ‘high.’ The fact that the market is flooding with cannabidiol (CBD) products speaks for itself. CBD oil is extracted from cannabis and hemp. Even the US Food and Drug Administration recognized the medicinal merit of CBD, and as more research validates long-standing anecdotal claims regarding the healing capacity of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), other cannabinoids like cannabichromene (CBC) [3-5] or cannabigerol (CBG) [6-8], and the myriad of terpenes, the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis will be illuminated.
  2. Cannabis is a very dangerous drug: Medicinal cannabis is a natural ingredient, and its demand is growing in the medical and nutraceutical industries. Increasingly frequent cannabis research by entities seeking to exploit its therapeutic properties, including more traditional pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical product manufacturers is helping to reveal a more complete understanding of how we can best utilize this ancient plant. Misinformation regarding cannabis still runs rampant as some still seek to keep it criminalized while vendors sell potentially hazardous products such as tobacco and alcohol legally. Time and again, experts have claimed how cannabis is safe to use in moderate quantities.

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  1. Cannabis acts as a gateway for other drugs: Some cannabis users might want to try other drugs after smoking cannabis, but the claims that cannabis drives people to use hard drugs are simply not true. Experts have not found that the use of cannabis triggers people to use narcotics.

The stigma attached to medicinal cannabis has traveled a long journey. From being strictly prohibited from endorsing cannabis oil-induced products for daily use, it still has a long way to go.

References

[1]The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006

[2] Budney, A. et al. “Marijuana Dependence and Its Treatment”, Addict Sci Clin Pract., 2007, Volume 4(1): 4–16.

[3] Ligresti, A. et al. “Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 2006, Volume 318 (3): Pages 1375-1387. [journal impact factor = 3.867; cited by 372] [4] Nakajima, J. et al. “Structure‐dependent inhibitory effects of synthetic cannabinoids against 12‐O‐tetradecanoylphorbol‐13‐acetate‐induced inflammation and skin tumour promotion in mice”, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2013, Volume 65(8): Pages 1223-1230. [journal impact factor = 2.405; cited by 14] [5] Shinjyo, N. & Di Marzo, V. “The effect of cannabichromene on adult neural stem/progenitor cells”, Neurochem Int., 2013, Volume 63(5): Pages 432-7. [journal impact factor = 3.603; cited by 32] [6] Cascio, M. et al. “Evidence that the plant cannabinoid cannabigerol is a highly potent α2-adrenoceptor agonist and moderately potent 5HT1A receptor antagonist”, Br J Pharmacol., 2010, Volume 159(1): Pages 129–141. [journal impact factor = 6.81; cited by 99] [7] Borelli, F. et al. “Colon carcinogenesis is inhibited by the TRPM8 antagonist cannabigerol, a Cannabis-derived non-psychotropic cannabinoid”, Carcinogenesis, 2014, Volume 35(12): Pages 2787–2797. [journal impact factor = 5.334; cited by 53] [8] Brierly, D. et al. “Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats,” Psychopharmacology (Berl)., 2016, Volume 233(19): Pages 3603–3613. [journal impact factor = 3.875; cited by 4]

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