Misconceptions of loose-leaf: The stoner initiative & how to vape responsibly
There’s often a lot of wrong information that you can hear about pot, also known as loose-leaf. From “its not addictive at all bro” to “pot cures cancer dude!” and even “world peace would be achieved if everyone took a bong hit” are some of the things people often talk about. Let’s clear some things up: pot is great. It has several medicinal uses, it can be a great tool to meet new people and is a great way to relax or unleash your creativity in whatever field you may so choose. However, it doesn’t cure cancer, it can definitely be addictive and world peace and pot have nothing to do with each other.
Smoking/vaping loose-leaf responsibly is extremely important for purposes of self-care and improvement, yes, but also to alter misconceptions the nay camp have about pot users. The wave of pro-legalization is on the rise, and while that’s fantastic news, it also means that any and all ambiguities about pot need to be fixed.
Misconception #1: Loose-leaf can’t be addictive
Information on the addictive properties of pot is tricky to vet because of the reputation it has. This does, unfortunately, extend into the medical community, but after evaluating several sources, it’s safe to say that marijuana can be addictive, with anywhere between 9-30% of users experiencing cannabis use disorder (CUD), a DSM-V recognized disorder. While cannabis doesn’t have properties that makes it physically addictive (there are no known withdrawal symptoms for marijuana, at least in a traditional sense when you compare it to other substances), people who use pot on a daily basis and have used it for an extended period of time find it difficult to quit.
Loose-leaf can be psychologically addictive
Psychological addiction to pot is a very real and pressing issue, where people will find any reason to smoke: feeling sad? Pot. Feeling happy? Pot. Can’t sleep? Pot. The list goes on. And the main issue with combating such cases is that the awareness simply doesn’t exist; most people simply assume that marijuana can’t be addictive and hence dismiss any and all signs that point towards intervention. Information on how to rehabilitate marijuana addiction is scarce. However, recognizing an issue is the first step. Substituting cannabis with other things can also help: hobbies, activities and learning a new skill can’t hurt. However, the efficacy of this is a huge question mark.
Misconception #2: It cures cancer
Pot is incorrectly known as a cancer cure: this myth stems from cancer patients using it to alleviate symptoms of chemotherapy
There’s always that dude at a party who wears sunglasses at night and gives you a big smile and goes “smoke pot bro and your cancer will vanish”. If you were a kid when this happened, that explains why you still believe it (which we hope is unlikely). Pot was and is used by cancer patients to help combat the side effects of cancer, with the most prominent one being a drop in appetite. This is how the misconception came into place because some patients would recover and get better and people began correlating pot with cancer recovery.
Misconception #3: It’s a gateway drug
Several research studies have shown that the popular and widespread belief that cannabis is a gateway drug to other harder substances is inconclusive at worst and most likely to be non-existent. This belief has been propagated through the decades from Reagan’s “just say no” campaign and the war on drugs, but it was initially introduced when the movie “Reefer Madness” was released in the 1930s. Reefer madness is perhaps the worst adaptations of the “hate pot hysteria” that there is, with all sorts of terrible stereotypes in place: unassuming drug dealers, sex addiction due to pot, a whole town being ruined because of stoners, etc.
Misconception #4: It’s okay for minors to smoke/vape loose-leaf
Pot should be restricted to adults and not be given to kids: it impairs brain growth
Surprise surprise! Who knew that cannabis should only be used by adults. At the risk of sounding like party poopers, we must tell you that adults should be the only ones consuming pot because of one simple reason: consistent and long term use of cannabis can hamper the growth of your brain, in turn reducing your cognitive functions and even reducing your IQ. Most studies indicate that the brain stops growing when we hit the age of 25. That being said, it also slows down after you become an adult, so smoking pot as an adult is the only way to go, so don’t give minors a toke because that’s irresponsible and illegal.
Misconception #5: It causes mental illness
This is again a tricky area because cannabis can trigger underlying mental illnesses like schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Abnormal psychology does mention that people can go their entire lives without triggering symptoms of mental illness, and in such cases, cannabis can trigger mental illnesses. If there’s anyone in your family who has a history with mental illnesses, try to stay away from pot.
Misconception #6: It doesn’t affect your lungs
There is evidence that consistently smoking pot can affect your lungs:
vaping is a healthier option
People incorrectly assume that since marijuana doesn’t produce tar like tobacco does, smoking it doesn’t affect the lungs negatively. But here’s the thing: if you smoke anything, it’ll affect your lungs. This is corroborated by the American Lung Association, which found that while not as bad as cigarettes, pot does, in fact, have a lot of the carcinogens that tobacco has as well.
This is also why people should vaporize their pot instead. It’s been proven to be 95% safer than smoking, is cost-effective in the long run, not to mention that it even feels fresher and better when you use a vape instead. We have a variety of vapes for pot and are dedicated to making your experience the best it can be!
As mentioned earlier, loose-leaf can be addictive in a psychological sense. So there are a few important points one must consider when smoking pot, particularly on a regular basis.
- Don’t vape and drive. Marijuana impacts your motor senses and your decision-making skills, so don’t get behind the wheel under any circumstances. Hotboxing is fun until you end up in a box yourself.
- Vet your company. What this essentially means is you should choose your company carefully. Cannabis can cause anxiety and panic and unfamiliar/bad company can make things a lot worse.
- Don’t let it affect your work/college: It’s very easy to blame pot for your shortcomings when it comes to your academics or your work performance. If it ever comes to that, know that something has to change (mostly how much pot you vape).
- Be considerate of others: If someone isn’t comfortable with you smoking/vaping in front of them, don’t do it. If you’re smoking in a public area, dispose of your used paraphernalia in a responsible manner. This also sparked an initiative that smashed the misconceptions of pot, but we’ll delve into that in a bit.
- Be aware of your laws: If smoking is illegal in your state, try not to indulge in it. Break only one law at a time if you have to and stay off of pot if your workplace will drug test you. Yes, smoking/vaping can be very beneficial but not at the cost of your freedom or your occupation. Know when you should or shouldn’t indulge and be safe.
- Moderation is key: Vaping loose-leaf moderately is the best way to utilise the benefits of it. Getting too high or as high as possible won’t do you any favours if you want to relax, socialize, listen to music or do any activities, hobbies or tasks (if that’s your jam) because you’ll probably be too impaired to do any of them.
The Stoner Clean-Up Initiative
The stoner cleanup initiative is perhaps the best thing to come out of the subreddit r/trees. It started in 2018 when someone posted a picture of cleaning their smoke up/vape spot. This led to a bunch of similar posts and trending hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Not soon after, media outlets began picking up the story of stoners who cleaned up their smoking spots to counter the stereotype that stoners are lazy people who make a mess. This worked very well since they would usually also clear other people’s garbage, cementing the aim of the initiative. While it has certainly cooled down in the following months, it did lead to a few changed opinions and clean spots.
The website has kept the vision and aim of the initiative going in small ways. Awareness is spread via blog posts, merchandise and links to news stories and social media shoutouts about their cause.
Misconceptions of loose-leaf will perhaps always exist, for the sole reason that people aren’t aware of the positives of it, but also because stoners, despite having good intentions, tend to spread wrong information in the hopes that people will change their minds. It’s important to cross check our information, not only when it comes to loose-leaf, but also for things related to our general well being. It empowers you to be a good and responsible toker, and in our pursuit of enjoyment in a smoke-filled room, letting go of our prerogative goals, ambitions or dreams just to take a hit shouldn’t be what you end up being. Take a doob, but take it responsibly and relax on that comfortable bean bag.