Cannabis Facts vs. Fiction: A JACANA Point of View

As a fully licensed cannabis operator with four  Jamaican dispensaries, we’re glad to see the conversation around cannabis grow, with recent research supporting the plant’s potential benefits.* In fact, more and more people are advocating for cannabis, with nine out of ten Americans saying that the plant should be legal for medical and recreational use. Other studies reveal that cannabis consumption has increased significantly over the last ten years, with weed users now outnumbering those who smoke tobacco. 

While it’s exciting to see the growth in research, access to information, and advocacy for cannabis – the plant is still stigmatized. Part of breaking the stigma involves educating the public and changing the current dialogue. To that end, let’s look at some of the most common myths and misconceptions to see whether, when compared with the latest research, they still ring true.

Embracing Cannabis Education

Myths and misinformation surrounding cannabis products run far and wide. However, the plant has been used for centuries by people around the world. After abandoning studies in the 1940s, the spotlight is back on cannabis with cutting-edge research challenging many widely held beliefs.

#1 Cannabis Affects Your Memory

It’s true that when you smoke cannabis, your memory can be affected. However, once the effects of the THC have worn off, you’ll be back to normal. Consider it similar to having a glass of wine. Being tipsy temporarily affects your memory, too.

Of course, the adolescent brain is still developing, so early use can potentially negatively impact memory processes. Still, much of the evidence has debunked this myth. At JACANA, we only allow those over the age of 18 to visit our farm or dispensaries in Jamaica, and we always encourage safe and responsible use. Annual consultations with a physician are mandatory. 

Overall, studies supporting any long-term effects on memory in adults are not significant. For those concerned about the potential memory loss that comes with consuming THC, THC-free cannabis products are a stress-free option. Note that unless you smoke more than you’re used to, you’ll never ‘black out’ on cannabis, and no one has ever overdosed on the plant, either.

#2 Cannabis Makes You Demotivated

There is a common stereotype that cannabis makes you lazy – the ‘stoner’ archetype – but there’s just as much anecdotal evidence that suggests otherwise. A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge performed a study on this very topic. They tracked cannabis users’ levels of apathy (or loss of motivation) as well as feelings of anhedonia (loss of interest or pleasure in rewards).

The results from the study revealed that the cannabis users actually had fewer feelings of anhedonia than non-users, and there was no significant difference in levels of apathy. Cannabis users seemed to enjoy themselves more than non-users, and the list of successful people who openly consume the plant is proof in itself. Elon Musk, Michael Phelps, and even Oprah have claimed to enjoy its benefits.*

#3 All Cannabis Gets You High

This one is just plain wrong. Not all cannabis gets you ‘high.’ The ‘high’ – the euphoric or relaxing effect – from cannabis is a result of its THC content. Some cannabis plants are exceptionally low in THC, and, as a result, they contain the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects. The THC can also be removed from the plant during its processing to produce CBD oil and other products. Cannabis is now more than just ‘getting high.’ Our customers use cannabis for a variety of reasons, including focus and creativity, as well as for social purposes.

There are many THC-free cannabis products available to help promote relaxation and boost well-being.* Just take a look at our range of CBD products on the JACANA Wellness website to see for yourself. From tinctures to massage oil and more, there are plenty of THC-free options to choose from.

#4 Potency Means Quality

The potency versus quality argument is interesting. Cannabis potency refers to the plant’s THC quantity. However, this does differ from quality. Just because your ganja is stronger doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. There are many excellent cannabis strains and flowers that contain less THC but may be of a better quality. The same product may have a totally different effect from person to person, as their bodies may interact with cannabis in a different way. 

In addition, the plant’s terpenes play a significant role in its effects. Terpenes are the chemical compounds responsible for the scent and flavor of plants (and even some animals). Just as the smell of an apple can change how you perceive its taste, the complex combination of different terpenes in a strain of cannabis will affect how you experience its effects – including the ‘high.’ This is why different strains with the same THC levels won’t produce an identical experience.

The plant’s quality depends on the strain used, the soil it’s grown in, and how it’s grown, harvested, and prepared. It can also be proven through lab testing, like all of the cannabis products available at our dispensaries in Jamaica. As with anything you consume, non-GMO, preservative-free, and organic options are better, as are products that do not contain harmful pesticides and chemicals.

#5 Legalization is Dangerous

In 2015, small-scale cannabis cultivation and possession were decriminalized and legalized for religious and medicinal purposes in Jamaica. The changes in legislation opened the door for the licensing of cannabis dispensaries in Jamaica, where people can consume the plant safely and with quality standards in place. Bringing the cannabis industry into the open allows it to be regulated, which improves the safety of the cannabis that is being produced and the accuracy of labeling on CBD products.

The decriminalization of cannabis also helped boost the Jamaican economy, providing jobs through cultivation and tourism while protecting and conserving local land. Legal cannabis farmers place great emphasis on sustainable farming practices and creating a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with the communities in which we operate. 

Always be aware and respectful of the local laws and customs when you are abroad. For example, in Jamaica, while you can purchase and smoke your cannabis at designated dispensaries, carrying more than two ounces on your person could result in a fine.

Experience the Best of Jamaican Cannabis

The future of cannabis is bright, and we’re excited to see where the latest research takes us. Opening up the conversation, sharing knowledge and accurate information, and decriminalizing cannabis are making huge strides in changing the landscape and narrative surrounding the plant.

Each JACANA Jamaican dispensary champions ethical practices in terms of our cannabis cultivation, distribution, and consumption. We’re passionate about growing the local community while providing top-quality experiences to passionate and beginner users alike. Visit one of our four stores, or join us for a tour of our farm and see the plant as it was meant to be seen: glistening in the sunlight on the rolling hills of Jamaica.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.