Ganja: Myths Busted

 - Sakshi Post

Although trade and consumption of cannabis are banned in India under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985, there is a growing cannabis addiction problem in the country. 

In a 2019 study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), 7.2 million Indians consumed cannabis the previous year. 

Despite the cannabis ban in the country, we see some blanket statements have been made in support of marijuana use. Let’s take a look at some of the myths floating around it. 

Myth: Marijuana is not addictive

Fact: It has been generally recognized that marijuana is psychologically addictive. Statistically speaking, one in six adolescent users will become dependent on marijuana – and one in 10 adult marijuana users will become dependent to the point of requiring treatment (Giedd, 2004).

Signs of withdrawal include:

  • irritability
  • mood and sleep difficulties
  • decreased appetite
  • cravings
  • restlessness

Myth: There are no long-term effects of marijuana use

Fact: Marijuana causes a 17% increased risk of depression onset among all consumers. There have also been studies that showed lasting cognitive disabilities.

A 40% increased risk of psychotic symptoms/disorders occurs in those who use marijuana as compared to those who do not (Moore, 2007)

Myth: The ‘high’ lasts only for a few hours

Fact: Marijuana is stored in the body and its effects may be felt for days or weeks following ingestion. It is stored in hair follicles for up to a month

Myth: Marijuana is safe, it is all-natural

Fact: The presence of carcinogenic chemicals that have been associated with the development of severe lung, liver and cognitive impairments proves it is not a safe alternative.

Many people believe cannabis can’t be harmful because it’s natural and comes from a plant. It’s important to note that “natural” doesn’t mean safe. Poison ivy, anthrax, and others are natural, too.

Myth: Using marijuana leads to crime and delinquency

Fact: There has not been enough empirical research to support the claim, that delinquency is dependent on socio-cultural, and psychological factors. It isn’t an if-then scenario.

Myth: Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and cigarettes

Fact: Marijuana creates its own brand of problems, permanent damage to brain function and long-term mental health detriments are not only indisputable but incomparable to cigarettes and alcohol across the board.

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