How To Discern Facts VS Exaggeration

By @oluwastoner on 7 Sep 2019.

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Reading about the benefits and use of cannabis gives me this deeply relaxed feeling that cannabis will one day be decriminalized in my country Nigeria. But if we need to achieve this we need to take it upon ourselves to share valid information only not personal statements.

If you look at the video below you will understand why personal statements can not be regarded as fact:

People have seen through history the medicinal and recreational benefits of cannabis and also the economic impacts in some Africa country like Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

More people are beginning to enjoy and use cannabis even in countries where it is not legalized. Nigeria is one of them. An estimated 20.8 million people consume cannabis every year, in Nigeria. with an estimated market at $15.3 billion in two new reports, by New Frontier Data, an organization that says it is providing transparency into the cannabis industry via unbiased vetted data & analytics reporting.

As more people in Nigeria and globally find interest in cannabis large amounts of conflicting information may fly around. People have presented misleading information about what cannabis is, what it can do, what it cannot do. Have seen this more with the Nigeria cannabis users on twitter. The ability to suss out anecdotes, facts and to an extent lies is imperative.

Prohibitionist and law enforcement agencies have also contributed to the information in circulation as well as pro-cannabis users. And I won't blame them. It is difficult to share information about cannabis in a country where cannabis is illegal. There is more than enough damage that prohibition has caused in Nigeria. No research has been carried out on this plant. No single Nigeria Doctor has spoken or explains about the medicinal benefits of cannabis. What then is the Job of our pharmaceutical institutions? Why are these institutions not responding and commenting on this cannabis plant? We have several Medical Doctors commenting on the use of herbal drugs which some of them have had harmful impacts on biological functions in humans. You can imagine how very good we have managed and are managing the legitimate and licensed medicines e.g. Tramadol, Rohypnol and Codeine. If the Nigeria government can allow the importation and distribution of opioids which is responsible for two-thirds of global drug death according to the annual drug report why then is the government deliberately refusing to research on cannabis as a better alternative to opioids. We really have a long way to go as a country.

Back to the subject; how do we know when someone is spreading superstitions, anecdotes, misconception and lies?

Ask yourself what type of evidence is he or she bringing ? is this based on clinical or empirical research? have this gone through peer review or clinical trial?

Empirical Evidence; Any experiment derived from experience, and observation rather than from theory or logic is a shred of empirical evidence. This isn't entirely wrong because evidence like this has been able to help us to learn how the plants benefit people around us. It is like a testimony. Empirical research has helped developed nations to forge ahead with formal research and also create policy. The question now is can the evidence be demonstratable and repeatable?

Clinical Research: Clinical research is logical and unemotional. it is the truth that doesn't care about your emotions. Clinical research is performed in laboratories and controlled settings, which will help us demonstrate and recreate results. After the experiments have been concluded it still needs to undergo a peer-reviewed which will be published in journals, which can often be accessed by the public, but not always. The results of this research are what is most often used to to create laws and policy and amend constitutions in the US and other countries where Cannabis have been decriminalized.

Validate source materials: always check to validate if the information is biased or not. Check from relevant peer-reviewed studies this can be found on PubMed, Scopus, and Google scholar. Studies on this site help to ensure that the information is true and not biased if the information is not found on any of these then be critical about them.

Critically review your sources: How many times has this article been cited? With that, you can use it to substantiate your evidence. Use Scimango as an indicators to assess and analyze scientific domains. With this, you can know if you should trust the information or not.

Have always said, as a consumer of cannabis you will do yourself a lot of good by being informed and then pass the baton. Information is better when shared but make sure it is valid enough to go around.

Example of misleading information via twitter; main image.png

There are lot and lot of such misleading information but it is already 4:20 here will need to drop the keys! Smoke on Buddy!

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