We’ve all heard them. The myths that have been circulating since the beginning of time that will tell you that marijuana is a gateway drug, that it will kill your brain cells, and most laughably, that it will give you man boobs or turn you gay. And while many of us shrug off these claims for exactly what they are – myths brought on by anti-marijuana groups and propaganda - is there any hard evidence for or against them? We investigated further to find out.
“This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.” Many of us have seen this commercial or heard this metaphor, wherein a brain on drugs is similar to an egg in a frying pan. Weed will kill your brain cells; it’s one of the earliest marijuana myths. But in early 2015, a study conducted by the University of Louisville confirmed the findings in the 2003 Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society that marijuana does not in fact, kill brain cells. So your noggin, and the egg, will remain intact.
If you buy drugs, you’re supporting terrorists
This is one of the more preposterous marijuana myths out there, but thankfully it’s one that’s becoming quieter as the laws surrounding marijuana start to relax. The myth goes that when you buy drugs, you’re contributing to the criminal market and eventually that money is going to be in the hands of major terrorist groups. But while buying anything illegal is contributing to some form of criminal activity, you’re likely just helping your local dealer out with their own expenses.
Smoking marijuana will give you man boobs
This is a myth we can thank CNN for. In 2013 the news broadcasting company reported that smoking marijuana can be a cause of gynecomastia or, man boobs. Since that time, this myth has been debunked, largely because the initial study was performed on animals, not people. A report titled Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, published in 1997 also concluded that smoking marijuana did not cause members of one sex to take on attributes or characteristics of the other.
Marijuana is the gateway drug
So if you smoke pot, you’re going to become a crackhead, right? This is another one that’s been heard so often, it’s becoming more of a punch line than it is an actual fact. However, it’s not so much that drug use is a “slippery slope” that starts with weed, but rather that marijuana is so common that people are exposed to it before harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin. That’s not to say that some people who start smoking pot won’t turn to harder drugs in the future. But for the most part, people who start with weed stick with weed.
Marijuana will turn you gay
Marijuana will turn you gay as much as drinking alcohol will turn you gay. If you experiment with the same sex while or smoking marijuana, you’ve probably had those feelings your entire life, the weed just lowered your inhibitions so you could act on them.