Cannabis Myths

The five most common myths are:

Myth #1 Cannabis is not addictive.

False.

Approximately one in 11 users (nine per cent) become dependent on cannabis. The risk is nearly two times greater if you start using cannabis when you are a teen or young adult. Likewise, if you begin using cannabis multiple times a week, the risk of becoming dependent increases to between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.

If you or someone you know is struggling with dependency, contact the centralized intake youth addictions service: 1-877-710-3999, or the Manitoba Addictions Helpline at 1-855-662-6605.

Myth #2  Everybody uses cannabis.

False.

In Manitoba, 55 per cent of people have tried cannabis at some point in their life. However, in 2017, 80 per cent of Manitobans reported that they had not used cannabis in that year.

Myth #3 It’s okay to drive when using cannabis.

False.

Many scientific studies show that cannabis use doubles your risk of being in a car accident.  Cannabis remains in your body even after you stop noticing its effects. You can still be impaired hours after you no longer feel high. If you have consumed cannabis, it is the safest decision not to drive until the next day. If you consume cannabis frequently, you may consistently have levels of cannabis in your body that make it illegal to drive, even if you do not feel impaired.

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by a drug, including cannabis.  Persons who do so can be charged and face penalties under the Criminal Code and also receive sanctions, such as driver’s licence suspensions, under the Highway Traffic Act.  It is important for drivers, including those in the medical marijuana program, to be careful to not get behind the wheel if their ability to drive is impaired by a drug; otherwise, they pose a risk of injury or death to themselves and others and could face serious legal consequences.

Myth #4 Holding it in your lungs makes the effects better.

False.

There is no scientific evidence to support this. Instead, holding the smoke in your lungs potentially increases the damage to your lungs. If you smoke or vaporize cannabis, it is best to exhale and not hold it in your lungs for any amount of time.

Myth #5 You can’t overdose on cannabis.

False.

You cannot die directly from taking cannabis, however, it is possible to overdose and become physically ill (nausea, vomiting), experience extreme anxiety, paranoia, and short-term psychosis (loss of touch with reality). These effects can take several hours to go away, depending on how the cannabis was consumed. The risk for overdose is especially high if you consume homemade edible cannabis products, as it is usually not possible to accurately measure your dosage.

Seek immediate medical attention in case of overdose if experiencing chest pain, panic attacks or seizures. For lesser symptoms, contact poison control (1-855-776-4766 or 1-855-7POISON), Health Links—Info Santé (204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257) for 24 hour advice.