Are you like so many other Americans who think that marijuana is basically a harmless drug? The bottom line is that there is no such thing. Whenever you make the decision to use a drug, whether it be deemed “natural” or not, there are health implications and social consequences that follow that choice.
We at Asheville Detox understand that smoking weed generally isn’t viewed as serious a problem as most other drugs out there today. With that being said, for many people, it still leads to addiction. Being addicted to any substance is a problem because you are giving away your power to it. Still, think that smoking weed is no big deal? Let’s take a look at several of the most common myths surrounding marijuana and get down to the facts.
Myth #1: Marijuana Isn’t as Bad as Cigarettes for Your Lungs
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana smoke actually contains more carcinogens than cigarette smoke does. These carcinogens include 50% more benzopyrene, 75% more benzanthracene, additional phenols, vinyl chlorides, and nitrosamines.
They go on to add that, because marijuana smoke is usually inhaled deeper and held in for longer, four times the amount of tar is deposited onto your lungs compared to cigarettes.
Marijuana smoking is associated with conditions such as chronic bronchitis. It has also been found that the respiratory system’s immune response becomes weakened with regular marijuana use, which puts a person at risk for infections such as pneumonia.
Myth #2: Marijuana Is Not Addictive
Can an individual become addicted to smoking marijuana? Absolutely. Known as marijuana use disorder, this addiction affects about 30% of people who use marijuana. When an individual is addicted to marijuana, they may experience the following symptoms of withdrawal when they decide to quit.
- Feeling irritable or moody
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased appetite
- Cravings for marijuana
- General discomfort
These symptoms may last up to two weeks after you stop using marijuana. Marijuana use disorder turns into an addiction when the individual is not able to stop using the drug even when it is causing problems in many different areas of their life.
Myth #3: Driving While High Is Safer Than Driving Drunk
Driving while impaired is the same, whether you are driving drunk or driving high. Marijuana has a significant effect on motor coordination, reaction time, and overall judgment. There is a direct correlation between the amount of THC that is present in your blood and your ability to safely operate your vehicle.
After you use marijuana, your risk of getting into an accident doubles. Those who have gotten into an accident who have high levels of THC in their blood are 3-7 times more likely to be at fault for the accident than those who drive sober. Combining marijuana with alcohol intensifies the risk in both cases.
Myth #4: Marijuana Is Safe to Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
If you feel that smoking marijuana won’t affect the development of your baby in utero, think again. Using marijuana while you are pregnant may have an effect on the development of your baby’s brain. When your child gets old enough to go to school, he or she may have behavior or memory issues, depression, or trouble learning to read.
If you use marijuana during pregnancy, it is just as bad as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. Doing so can cause your baby to weigh less at birth, or be born prematurely.
It is also not safe for you to smoke weed while you are breastfeeding. This is because THC builds up in breastmilk at high levels, sometimes reaching 8 times higher than in the mother’s blood.
Myth #5: You Can’t Overdose on Marijuana
For a majority of people, this is true. However, a marijuana overdose is a possibility, though it won’t be fatal. The following are symptoms of a marijuana overdose:
- Having a panic attack
- Heart beating rapidly
- High anxiety levels
- Trouble conversing
- Low or high blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor coordination
- Being extremely confused
- Being paranoid and having hallucinations
Experts suggest that a marijuana overdose is more likely to happen when you consume weed edibles as it is difficult to know how much THC you are actually ingesting. If you or someone that you love exhibits the symptoms above, a visit to urgent care is recommended. This is because they could easily be experiencing a psychotic break due to the overdose.
Myth #6: Marijuana Is a Natural Substance
People who enjoy using marijuana often enjoy describing it as a natural substance, because it grows in the earth. Many people feel it is safe because it grows organically and is supported by the sunlight and rain. Although this sounds nice, it is often far from the truth.
The reality of the situation is that drug dealers often grow their plants hydroponically, inside of their homes. Others may grow their plants outside, but use harmful pesticides to keep the bugs away. This means in addition to the THC you are getting, you are also inhaling harmful chemicals.
In addition to this, many drug dealers choose to lace their weed with all different types of unnatural chemicals such as cocaine, PCP, formaldehyde, and codeine in order to make their drugs seem more potent.
Let Go of Your Addiction in Asheville
Can you admit to yourself that you have become addicted to smoking marijuana? Whether society sees that as a serious problem or not, you know in your heart how it is affecting your overall well-being.
Perhaps your relationships are suffering as a result, or you don’t seem to have the time or energy to do the things that you used to enjoy doing so much. Do you always find yourself strapped for cash? Letting go of your addiction to marijuana will help get your life back on track again.
We at Asheville Detox understand that old habits are hard to break. That is why we are here to help you. Contact us today to speak with a specialist and begin living again.