Top 5 Cannabis Urban Myths – Busted
Now that we’ve marked approximately 80 years of cannabis prohibition, what better time to examine the top five urban myths about cannabis? After all, if it hadn’t been made illegal in the first place, it’s unlikely that these rumors and legends would have persisted. Despite the ever-increasing amount of research, these urban myths have been around for decades, whereas others are more recent. Here are our top five myths about cannabis that are definitely not accurate or true.
- The U.S. Constitution Was Written on Hemp Paper
Although it’s likely that the drafts of the U.S. Constitution were written on hemp paper, which was widely available at the time, the final document was not. Like most important documents of this era, it was written on vellum—a type of very thin leather made from calf foetuses and calfskin (which is one reason why we wish it had been written on hemp paper instead!) The same goes for the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
It is Possible to Overdose from Cannabis with a High-THC Content
In countries where cannabis flowers are legal for medicinal purposes, many patients prefer flower varieties with a high level of active cannabinoids. Although some might claim that flower with high THC can lead to an overdose, there is no evidence to support this claim. Nowadays, a lot of cannabis flower has been tested, so the THC content of cannabis is often precisely indicated. Cannabis with a high THC content allows patients to smoke, eat or vaporise less plant material to achieve the desired effect. The THC content has nothing to do with the development of problematic consumption patterns like addiction. Safe cannabis use means being able to verify the active ingredient content, which is impossible in an uncontrolled black market.
- Naked Cannabis Harvesting
Since the 1970s, the urban myth has persisted that in some countries, hashish is harvested by farmers riding a horse or running naked across their fields, and then scraping the resin from their skin. Despite supposed eyewitness reports from Nepal or Kazakhstan, there is little photographic or film evidence of this. The method would also not be very effective because most of the resin would simply remain on the plant. Indian Charas may be rubbed from the flower by hand, but the rest of the body stays covered while the farmer is at work.
- Black Market Cannabis Can Be “Cut” with Opium, Heroin or Crystal Meth
Also since the 1970s, reports of weed or hashish sprayed or combined with opium, heroin, and more recently crystal meth, have been circulating. First of all, there is no evidence for this in the form of laboratory analyses, and secondly, there would be no financial gain in diluting cannabis with substances that are more expensive than cannabis itself. Thirdly, most consumers would immediately change their source of supply, which is of course not in the interest of illegal cannabis dealers.
- Smoking Hydrangeas will Get You High
The European media in particular keep reporting alleged hydrangea thieves who, due to a lack of cannabis flowers, are ransacking front gardens in search of a replacement substance that offers psychoactive effects. However, hydrangea has no psychoactive effect; in the worst case someone doing this might get hydrogen cyanide poisoning. Also, no cannabis lover has ever been caught in the act. The countless reports are all based on assumptions. This myth was started by a German pharmaceutical magazine in 2009, which to this day has failed to rectify its error. Fun fact: Most of the hydrangea thieves are squirrels!
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