In honor of Friday the 13th: 5 myths about cannabis, debunked.

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Friday the 13th is a day rooted in superstition. While the origins of why this particular day is considered unlucky is shrouded in Western lore and legends, it still causes a sense of uneasiness in many people. Even so, the day is mostly like any other day (maybe with the additional free tattoos and piercings offered at many parlors); statistics don't show any correlation between Friday the 13th and accidents or unfortunate happenings. Really, a lot of the fear surrounding the previously incongruous date are unfounded. Similarly, much of the fear surrounding cannabis is not backed by factual evidence.

In honor of Friday the 13th, the day with the worst reputation, we have compiled a list of debunked myths about cannabis. Stigma and negative stereotypes continue to surround cannabis, and part of our job at High Mountain Health is dispelling this false information.

Myth 1: Cannabis makes you dumb

If you grew up in the '80s or '90s, pretty much the take-home advice regarding marijuana was that it makes you dumb. Most recently, a 2012 Duke University supported this claim, however it failed to consider alcohol and tobacco use. Also, cannabis patients are incredibly intelligent individuals AND benefit from cannabis. Being a cannabis patient and a smart person shouldn't be mutually exclusive.

Myth 2: Cannabis is a gateway drug

A common rhetoric that cannabis patients often hear is cannabis-use often leads to abusing harder drugs. While many hard drug users initially smoked cannabis, correlation does not equal causation. Quite contrarily, cannabis can help people end hard-drug use. Most people who use cannabis do not move onto other drugs.

Myth 3: Marijuana legalization will lead to more crime 

Actually, states that have legalized (data from Colorado and Washington) show a drop in crime since legalization. While, yes, correlation does not equal causation, opening dispensaries doesn't result in more crimes being committed. Furthermore, arrests for possession of marijuana, violent crime and property crime dropped significantly, saving the state thousands of dollars that would originally be used for judicial costs.

Myth 4: Using cannabis makes you lazy

More and more studies are being released showing the benefits of exercise supplemented by cannabis. Our bodies produce their own cannabinoids when exercising, lending to the term "runner's high." Cannabis can also effectively help with muscle soreness and fatigue after exercising. Some athletes prefer higher CBD strains, some prefer higher THC, but it is apparent that a moderate combination of exercise and cannabis can help us feel our best.

Myth 5: All cannabis gets you "high"

First of all, every body is different and may react differently to different strains. If you are seeking out particular effects, trial-and-error is your best bet. If you do not like the sensation of feeling "high," there are other options: CBD-only products. CBD products do not contain any THC — the cannabinoid that produces psychoactive effects when ingested.

Don't let these common myths about cannabis prevent you from experiencing the amazing medical benefits of this plant. AND, don't let superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th keep you from enjoying a beautiful, sunny spring day.