“Weed is natural, so in what way could it be harmful?”
Many teens ask this question, and it’s a very valid one—an incredibly important question.
People frequently believe that substances found in nature are naturally safer than chemicals that are processed in a laboratory or a factory. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Lots of beneficial drugs are man-made (medicines such as, Lipitor), and many unsafe ones can come straight out of the soil.
Jimsonweed is a great example. Like marijuana, jimsonweed is a plant whose leaves have been dried, disintegrated, and smoked in the place of marijuana. It was used within religious ceremonies by Native Americans, who accepted that breathing in jimsonweed smoke actualized their prayers and thoughts and helped them communicate with God in heaven; they likewise believed it had therapeutic properties.
Once American pilgrims started developing it alongside their tobacco harvests and trading some of their stash to European traders, the rest of the world soon hallucinated to Jimsonweed. Jimsonweed delighted many and had a reputation of being like Ayahuasca does today. Some rulers and religious leaders thought it was unhealthy and ethically wrong for their communities to attempt to boycott the substance. Many individuals appreciated the “valuable weed” and agreed with the spiritual healers of the time, who really commended its healing virtues—asserting that smoking jimsonweed could cure most types of psychological disorders and even prevent an individual from further emotion problems!
It wasn’t until around the 1950s that cutting edge drug makers, outfitted with better science, created DMT and changed the psychedelic drug scene—it can result in ailments like bad hallucinations and extreme paranoia. No one would now argue that Jimsonweed is safe, left alone beneficial for you. But it is “natural.”
Advertisers of foods and different products use the theme of “natural equals good for you” euphemism all the time to manipulate people’s buying habits. For example, when customers see the “All Natural” label on a food, they have a tendency to think its beneficial for them, regardless of the possibility that it could contains lots of undesirable sugar or fat—both of which are, destructively “natural”.
Most addiction recovery services say that it has other terrible side effects: It interferes with cognitive function and memory. The drug can lower your IQ in the case that you smoke it excessively in your formative years, and—as a result of marijuana and other extenuating factors—it can keep you from accomplishing your fullest potential in life.
Is the “natural” ways of damaging your brain any better than the unnatural drugs?