Cannabis and Gateway theory
What is the Gateway Theory?
Is CBD a gateway drug? There are some people that claimed cannabis as a gateway drug. By definition, a gateway drug is a habit-forming drug that causes you to use more addictive drugs. There are many drugs in the world that are considered as gateway drugs. These includes nicotine, alcohol, opioids, marijuana, caffeine, amphetamine, inhalant drugs, ecstasy, anabolic steroids, and even some energy drinks. So, is alcohol a gateway drug? The answer to that is big YES!
As mentioned above, Cannabis or marijuana is considered as a gateway drug; this means that people who use cannabis is at higher risk to take harder drugs such as heroin and other illicit drugs. There are two proposed reasons to gateway drug theory in Cannabis:
When you smoke cannabis, you increase your taste for other drugs. You would want to try other drugs and want to experience its effect. Other people would even have an idea that some drugs may offer more pleasurable experience thus leading to further experimentation.
#2 Social groups
Do you have smoke cannabis? Chances are, you also know a person or two that smoke cannabis. It increases your risk of exposing to other drugs and substances. What if the individual you know do other drugs too? You will have increase opportunity to other drugs and access to it as well.
The Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most psychoactive component in Cannabis, could be the reason why Cannabis is considered as a gateway drug since it is the component that gives toxicity and causes the “high”. It makes you addicted to the drug and might tempt you to try stronger drugs especially when you have developed tolerance on it. However, there is another component found in Cannabis called Cannabidiol or CBD which acts in concert with THC. CBD is the component mostly found in hemp plant that has almost none to zero toxicity. When CBD is taken alongside with THC, it will minimize the toxicity brought by THC. Meaning it lowers down the habit that you are about to develop towards Cannabis, instead; it minimizes the health benefits you could get from the plant.
The Gateway drug theory stands on the principle that cannabis users will progress through a sequence of stages. You start with socially acceptable substances like alcohol, progress to illegal soft drugs like cannabis and then later, the use of illicit drugs. Whether Gateway theory is true or not, this remains to be seen especially for cannabis users all over the world.