Cannabis Is Natural, How Is It Harmful?

Teenagers often ask if cannabis is harmful since it’s a natural plant. We have the impression that products in their natural state are going to be better for us than those that are made in a laboratory with chemicals and additives. In truth, there many useful medicines made in a laboratory as well as harmful ones. Similarly there are many substances in nature that are good for us as well as ones that are harmful.

Tobacco is a natural plant that was used by the Indians for centuries. They believed that it had medicinal properties. They dried the plant out and smoked the crumbs left behind and it was part of their religious rituals. They thought that their prayers would go on the smoke up towards heaven.

American settlers grew and exported tobacco back to other parts of the world and to Europe. Like marijuana today, tobacco got a reputation as being healthy for you. There were several European leaders who thought that tobacco was unhealthy and immoral. They tried to ban the substance but people continued to enjoy it and thought that it was “precious.” Physicians at the time even thought that tobacco was good for you and had healing virtues. They even thought that you could be protected from the plague if you smoked tobacco.

In the 1950s the scientific community used evidence to show that tobacco smoke wasn’t good for you at all. They showed that it leads to diseases such as lung cancer and that it’s addictive. We know that tobacco is a natural product but we also know that it’s not good for us and it harms our health.

Product manufacturers use the words “natural” to trick us into believing the product is good for us. This is done to manipulate the way that you buy products. If you see something that says “all natural” you are more tempted to buy it because you get the impression that the product is going to be healthy. There may be a lot of sugar or fat in the product and these are “natural” just like tobacco is.

We don’t know if cannabis causes lung cancer like tobacco does but there are other things that we do know. It’s been shown that cannabis interferes with thinking and our memory. As a teenage it may even lower your overall intelligence so you don’t enjoy a full and productive life.

You can still hurt your brain in a “natural” way just as much as an “unnatural” way. Is cannabis really worth it?

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Photo Credit: Nina J.G. on Flckr