Why people really need to stop generalizing about cannabis

Published Jan 6, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / amanalang

The more we research this natural green plant, the more we realize that we knew very little about its potential for a very long time, which has led to some significant myths and generalizations that are simply not true. This can be problematic for consumers, industry experts, advocates, and everyone in between, which is why it is so important for all of us to recognize when we’re generalizing various aspects of the plant so that we can stop it.

Common generalizations that cause the most harm

Some generalizations help to sell cannabis products, and that’s something that some would view as a win for the cannabis industry. Still, the downside is that someone is always left disappointed, and that truly isn’t a good thing for anyone. Here, were going to talk briefly about ten different generalizations about cannabis that are most destructive so that you can see why this kind of thing really needs to end.

1. Medical cannabis is somehow different than recreational products

Medical cannabis is placed on a pedestal of sorts as if it is somehow a more superior product than similar options on the recreational market, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, since the medical market is so focused on avoiding stereotypical highs, and bringing forward high CBD strains, that for many, they simply don’t work. Medical strains only have a history of helping in medicinal situations. That’s it, that’s all. It’s not purer, or safer, or even guaranteed to be more effective.

2. All medical strains will cure what ails you

Again, we cannot stress this enough. Medical cannabis is only used to reference the thoroughly documented history behind a strain that has been successfully tested to treat medical conditions or symptoms. Many believe that all labelled medical strains can cure any issues you might have, and that’s’ just not true. Some might only work well for a specific condition, and others might not work for you the same way that they did in medical trials, which is important to remember.

3. Most stoners are not stereotypical potheads

Most stoners are generalized and assumed to fit into one narrow-minded box filled with lazy, unmotivated, and unhygienic individuals, like what we see portrayed in the media in flicks like the Cheech and Chong series, or other big names like Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle. Cannabis users aren’t generally believed to be successful, but now that pot is legal, some of the leading world experts have admitted that they use it, and you just can’t argue with the numbers. Most are employed, motivated, and pretty much normal, so cannabis use is rarely something that you can see just by looking at someone.

4. Cannabis will make you lazy

We’ve all had those mind-numbing cannabis strains that make you feel like you’re glued to your seat and unable to move due to a tingly sensation and a lack of motivation, and that’s a large part of why this is such a well-known side effect. Still, it’s not something that happens to everyone, or even with every strain. Some strains might even be able to help by putting some extra pep in your step, which is part of why this generalization is so damaging.

5. Smoking weed can help you to lose weight

You have probably seen the headlines that claim incredible victories where individuals have managed to knock off excessive amounts of extra weight with the help of weed, but this isn’t something that all cannabinoids or strains can do. THC can give you a really bad case of the munchies, which would have the opposite effects that weight seekers hope for, so it is essential to recognize that this isn’t a feature of all pot products.

6. All pot products will get you stoned

Could you imagine slathering yourself up with some thick THC cream just so that you could feel high and tingly from head to toe? Or perhaps, you’re one of the unlucky few who bought a bag full of CBD gummies in hopes of a buzz, only to find that the sugary treats did absolutely nothing for you. Many people assume that all cannabis products will get you high, but the reality is that it all comes down to the method of consumption and products chosen. Even inhalable pot goodies might not get you stoned, as only those that activate THC are capable of producing this euphoria.

7. Recreational weed is more potent than medicinal strains

Medical dispensaries are well known for their wide variety of low THC strains because many medicinal patients want all of the incredible benefits of cannabis without dealing with any of the possible adverse effects, like feeling impaired, but that’s not all they have to offer. Some of the most potent weed strains out there are deemed medicinal strains, and many of them far outweigh anything that the recreational market offers.

8. The Indica vs. Sativa debate

This is one of the oldest, more original myths surrounding the cannabis plant. Despite mountains of research that attest otherwise, many still believe that Sativa products will provide a mellow buzz. At the same time, Indica is more likely to glue you to your seat. Of course, like many of the other generalizations we’ve covered, this one is rarely true. It’s false so often that you’d probably have better luck accurately guessing a coin toss; than you would predicting whether or not this could be accurate with strains from either label.

9. What it actually means to be high

What does it mean to be stoned? Every person you ask this question will answer in a slightly different way, which is for various reasons. They might have unique preferences, or their bodies might process cannabinoids at a different pace than most, which is entirely normal. Being high isn’t the same thing for everyone, as some might feel sedated stoned, whereas others might achieve a lighter, milder, more functional high. There is no one kind of buzz to aim for, which is why the term being high is just another generalization.

10. All pot products are hazardous to children and pets

Most current cannabis consumers grew up being told all kinds of scary things about cannabis. It was so bad that a significant number of them still believe today that any cannabis products are dangerous to keep around animals or children. Of course, this is only true with activated pot products, like distillate, or cannabutter, both of which have been exposed to heat to trigger the change in the molecule that eventually gets you high. In contrast, things like raw buds and even most other concentrates are entirely harmless because they are not activated and will not produce a psychoactive effect.

As you can see, generalizations when it comes to cannabis do far more harm than they do good, and it’s our job to make sure that we put an end to this unfortunate fountain of misinformation. When cannabis consumers are uneducated on the reality of the substance, they’re choosing. They won’t be able to use it to the best of their abilities; that’s a problem for everyone involved.

Witnessing the next evolution of stoner stereotypes

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