When surfing the web, one wouldn’t have to look too hard to find ‘fake news’ on cannabis. The range of extremes these news stories present can vary depending on the latest scoop. Whether insisting that one can overdose by smoking marijuana (you can’t) or that chronic marijuana users are at an increasing risk of flawed medical conditions, the focus of these fake news stories are clear: that cannabis-use negatively effects your health, that it could “possibly” cost you your life.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)
As a relatively new and rare diagnosis, the cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is said to cause cyclic episodes of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain in chronic marijuana users. As a treatable condition (hot showers and baths were found to relieve symptoms, how about that?), it is often confused with Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS), in which cannabis plays no part. The confusion lies in the study itself, where this distinction was never mentioned and completely ignored in patients.
What mainstream media overexposed in a frenzy is the existence of a “researched” medical condition pertaining to a negative effect of marijuana-use. Evidently, the news outlet CBS Boston decided to take advantage of this opportunity at anti-cannabis propaganda with its article titled “ Mysterious illness tied to marijuana use on the rise in states with legal weed.” Readers wouldn’t even have to open the link to know its written in a negative light.
A More Extreme Case
A fake news story by the Daily Currant was released earlier this year that convinced plenty of the “life-threatening” dangers of marijuana. Originally a hoax story, this particular article went viral in the U.S. and managed to fool and anger those unfamiliar with bud-knowledge. With a headline reading “Marijuana overdoses kills 37 in Colorado,” its no wonder antiquated thinkers rushed online and took to the internet to profusely exclaim, “I was right! It’s dangerous!” Now deleted, the article and story itself has been corrected by many pro-cannabis news outlets.
Whether written convincingly with scientific connotations or written so outrageously that one would wonder why its even considered news, these stories exist. Although stories like the ones presented are uncommon in the Netherlands, access to the world wide web is fairly easy. Here at Azarius, we try to present clear information with further additional sources for our readers. With the media’s obsession on its focus with the negative, its important to keep a critical eye on the information we consume. As the saying goes, don’t believe everything you read online.
If you’re interested in reading more about fake news stories on cannabis, relevant articles are presented below:
1. Galli, J.A., Sawaya, R.A., & Friedenberg, F.K. (2011). Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Temple University Hospital. Published in final edited form as: Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2011 Dec; 4(4): 241–249.
2. Lapook, J. (2016). Mysterious illness tied to marijuana use on the rise in states with legal weed.
CBS Boston. Retrieved here.
3. Jivanda, T. (2014). 'Marijuana overdoses kill 37 in Colorado': Scores duped by satirical website. The Independent. Retrieved here.
4. Kossen, J. (2016). Marijuana Drains Brain Blood Flow, Boosts Alzheimer’s Risk’: Fake News or Flawed Study? Leafly. Retrieved here
Author: Sarah Picolet