Cannabis – Common questions and myths

Cannabis – Common questions and myths

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Common questions about cannabis
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Why do you think most young adults choose not to take cannabis? 

There are many reasons why less than 1 in 10 take cannabis regularly, some because they’ve seen the effects regular use has had on their mates, not getting their work done or dropping out, becoming more anxious or withdrawn or paranoid. Most who use do so occasionally, but it is important to watch out for the signs of slipping into using more and more (See Am I getting addicted? Stay safer around drugs).

young adults no cannabis

Why do people over-estimate cannabis use?

If people around you smoke cannabis, then it seems to be normal and what everyone else is doing – a bit like going to clubs and bars on a Saturday night when be full of drinkers – it’s them who you notice and not the big majority who are at home/ at the cinema/ bowling/ working/ with friends and not getting drunk. 

cannabis, friends, norms

It’s the same with cannabis 1 in 3 have tried on occasions, but very few choose to take cannabis/skunk/weed regularly. Not even 1 in 10 take regularly. 

Why do you think street cannabis is getting stronger and more addictive?


The stronger the weed is, the more likely someone is to crave it and want more, and so dealers make more money, it’s thought that cannabis products are three to five times stronger than 20 years ago.

If less people are taking weed, why are more people are ending up in treatment because of use?

A&E admissions due to cannabis:   Admissions due to mental or behavioural disorders linked to cannabis, England

hospital admissions, cannabis

The many forms of cannabis and especially spice and skunk are getting stronger and more harmful and addictive. ​ They have higher levels of the chemical THC which can trigger psychotic episodes and paranoia. ​


Common myths about cannabis

Cannabis must be safe as it’s used by doctors to treat some illnesses

Is cannabis safe?

Medicinal cannabis is high in cannabidiol (CBD) whereas street cannabis is high in the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Despite their similar chemical structures, CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effects. CBD is shown to help with anxiety, depression, and seizures.

The effects of cannabis are temporary

are the effects of cannabis, temporary?

Some people think that weed only changes the user’s feelings and behaviour for a short period of time. In reality, cannabis can change the way people feel or behave long-term, affecting learning and memory.

As a result, people who abuse or use cannabis a lot may struggle with names and faces, memory and motivation. Even if someone stops drug use, the damage can be permanent.

Marijuana/ cannabis a natural substance

is cannabis is a natural substance?
  • Marijuana is a plant. Some people may claim that it is safe because it grows naturally.
  • In reality, drug dealers will do almost anything to make their products stronger and harder to resist. 
  • Many dealers lace their drugs with chemicals such as PCP, formaldehyde, codeine and cocaine –there’s no knowing or legal control and users may never know until they have a bad reaction. 
  • Some products sold as marijuana are mass produced and chemically altered in a lab.

Cannabis isn’t addictive

is cannabis addictive?
  • Cannabis can and does cause addiction in people who use it a lot.
  • The NHS say 1 in 10 people who use weed will become dependent, and those who start under 18 have a one-in-six chance of dependence.
  • These people may find that they need to take higher doses of the drug in order to feel the same effects and get withdrawal symptoms.

People have used weed since the 1960s, proving it’s harmless

is cannabis harmless?

In the 1960s and 1970s, weed use became widespread as we know from songs and movies. 

The chemical THC in cannabis gives the ‘High’ effects of the drug and is responsible for some of the damage caused by repeated use. 

According to research, THC levels in weed has been on the rise for years, and now weed is up to seven times stronger today than it was in the 1970s. So now, weed isn’t the same as the drug of the past.

The relaxing effects of weed can help people to succeed in life

does cannabis make people successful?
  • When someone uses cannabis, they may feel calm and relaxed, so some users believe the peace they feel allows them to manage stress and cope better.
  • Unfortunately, cannabis use makes work success less likely. Research shows that when a regular user is compared with someone who does not use cannabis, they have lower grades and are more likely to drop out of study and work.

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