They’re popular mantras in the cannabis community: “There have been no overdoses on marijuana,” and “You can’t overdose on marijuana.” On the other side of the fence, there are handfuls of people left who were taught their entire lives that cannabis is a dangerous drug and can indeed lead one to overdose. The truth does not lie in the middle, the truth is that cannabis is simply not toxic, even in high doses.
Our bodies are absolutely saturated in cannabinoid receptors. Naturopathic medicine practitioner Dr. Dustin Sulak explains the receptors as thus, “The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks… But the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.”
So in other words, cannabis is doing good things to your body beyond heightened sensations, enhanced tastes and activities and generally easing hundreds if not thousands of ailments. Cannabinoids have been shown to attack certain cancer cells and aging cells that can lead to cancer and other diseases. These important attacks are where the “killing brain cells” myth came from.
There are risks to one’s health that come with cannabis, but they aren’t from the plant itself. If pot is not properly flushed of chemicals, pesticides or nutrients it poses a threat in that way. There is also the chance that a grower allowed for a crop with powdery mildew or mold to make its way out of the grow area. When patients are sick, these types of irritants can exacerbate conditions, especially those of the lungs.
Willie Nelson once said, “[Cannabis] won’t kill you unless you let a bale of it fall on you.” Bill Murray Tweeted in June 2014, “I find it quite ironic that the most dangerous thing about weed is getting caught with it.” Their fame doesn’t make them right, but facts do. No one has ever died of a cannabis overdose.
Another factor to this point is that one of the most psychoactive components of cannabis, THC, produces pregnenolone when stimulated by high dosages of the plant. This substance actually inhibits THC, thus protecting the individual from a scary experience, let alone a life threatening one.
Not only is cannabis non-toxic, it is a healing herb with so much medical value that 30 states plus the District of Columbia have deemed it “medical marijuana.” Medical, recreational or somewhere inbetween, it’s time for the facts to not only come out of the grow closet, but to be explained in ways that those unfamiliar with the plant can understand that it is simply safe.