Breaking Myths: Debunking Common Misconceptions about Cannabis

Myth: Marijuana is not addictive

This manual began by addressing the myth that the first time someone uses they don’t usually experience the negative things that they have been told as a youth. This many times leads one to doubt the harmful effects and continue to use the drug. The most popular myth to explore is whether marijuana is addictive. For years it was believed that marijuana could not be addictive and many people today still hold that belief to be true. Current research supports that marijuana is both physically addictive and psychologically addictive.

Marijuana meets the criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) for substance dependence. A person needs three of the following criteria occurring at any time in the same 12-month period to meet the diagnosis of dependency.

1) Tolerance: needing more of the substance to achieve the same effects, or diminished effect with the same amount of the substance. Individuals with heavy use of cannabis are generally not aware of having developed tolerance.

2) Withdrawal symptoms: with marijuana use this can be experienced as irritability, restlessness, loss of appetite, trouble with sleeping, weight loss, shaky hands and loss of motivation. Some people have displayed increased verbal and physical aggression after one week of not using marijuana.

3) Continuation of use despite the presence of adverse effects: a person continues to use even after they have hurt someone or themselves, have experienced suicidal ideation, relationship problems, etc. related to use.

4) Giving up social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the use of marijuana. Due to the progressive nature of these symptoms, the user does not recognize these changes despite comments and concerns of others. As the use of marijuana increases a person slowly changes their social group and activities with peers who use about the same if not more. This tends to normalize use for the person despite the increase in need.

5) The individual may withdraw from family activities and hobbies in order to use the substance in private or to spend more time with substance-using friends. Despite recognizing the role of the substance contributing to a psychological or physical problem the person continues use.

6) Marijuana is taken in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended.

7) There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.

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Choosing the Right Edible for You

When it comes to choosing the right edible and edible form, it’s important to consider the cannabinoid ratio, which is the ratio of THC to other cannabinoids like CBD. Experienced consumers may prefer a higher THC ratio for a more intense cannabis experience, while those with medical conditions may benefit from a 1-to-1 ratio or higher CBD ratio. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Start with a low dose: As we mentioned earlier, edibles can be more difficult to dose accurately than other forms of cannabis, which can lead to overconsumption and uncomfortable or even dangerous side effects. It’s essential to start with a low dose of edibles, typically around 5-10mg of THC, and wait for the effects to kick in before consuming more.
  2. Check the potency: Different edibles can vary widely in their potency, so it’s important to check the label to determine how much THC is in each serving. Look for products that are accurately labeled and tested by a third-party laboratory to ensure consistency and safety.
  3. Consider the type of edible: Edibles can come in many different forms, from sweet treats like brownies and gummies to savory snacks like chips and crackers. Consider your personal preferences and dietary restrictions when choosing an edible, and look for products that are made with high-quality ingredients.
  4. Choose a reputable source: With the growing popularity of edibles, there are many different products on the market, and not all of them are created equal. It’s important to choose a reputable source for your edibles, whether it’s a licensed dispensary or a trusted online retailer. Look for reviews and recommendations from other experienced consumers to help guide your decision.
  5. Consider the effects: Different types of edibles can have different effects, depending on the strain of cannabis used and the other ingredients in the product. Some edibles may be more relaxing, while others may be more energizing or stimulating. Consider your personal goals and preferences when choosing an edible, and look for products that are specifically formulated to meet your needs.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can choose the right edibles for your individual needs and preferences, and enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience.

Breaking Myths: Debunking Common Misconceptions about Cannabis

“Today’s marijuana is more potent than it was in previous generations”

It is absolutely a lot stronger. The amount of the main psychoactive in marijuana — a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — has skyrocketed because of advances in plant breeding and purification over the last few decades. This is not your parents’ marijuana and this is definitely not your grandparents’ marijuana. People need to be aware of that. Some parents might say, ‘oh, I used marijuana pretty regularly when I was a teenager and it was fine.’ But this is a different beast altogether.