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Is Cannabis Really That Bad?

Though some studies point to negative consequences of pot use in adolescents, data on marijuana’s dangers are mixed.

By | January 23, 2013

Flickr, PabloEvansMarijuana is a tricky drug, alternately demonized as a gateway drug and lionized for its medical promise. And while the juries remain out on both sides of the coin, one thing is clear: its use is on the rise. According to the US Department of Human Health and Services, the number of people in the United States who admit to smoking pot in the last month climbed from 14.4 million in 2007 to over 18 million in 2011.

This increase may in part be due to the lack of strong evidence supporting the suspected risks of cannabis use. Indeed, though marijuana smoke carries carcinogens and tar just as tobacco smoke does, definitive data linking marijuana to lung damage is lacking. And a recent long-term study that seemed to conclusively link chronic marijuana initiated in adolescence to a lowered IQ in New Zealanders was quickly challenged by a counter-analysis that pointed to socioeconomic status as a confounding factor. According to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cannabis use increases in teenagers as marijuana’s perceived risks decline, and researchers—and undoubtedly some parents—are anxious to get to the bottom of the matter.

Take a deep breath

In 2012, a study at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) calculated that even smoking a single joint every day for 20 years might be benign, though most participants only smoked two or three joints each month. “I was surprised we didn’t see effects [of marijuana use],” said UCSF epidemiologist Mark Pletcher, who led the study.

One assessment of various epidemiological studies points to small sample size and poor study design as reasons for scientists’ inability to nail down a link between cannabis and cancer risk. But some suspect that such a link doesn’t exist, and that marijuana may even have cancer-preventive effects. A 2008 study, for example, suggested that smoking marijuana may reduce the risk of tobacco-associated lung cancer, calculating that people who smoke both marijuana and tobacco have a lower risk of cancer than those who smoke only tobacco (though still a higher risk than non-smokers).

But even Pletcher isn’t sanguine about marijuana’s effects on the lungs, and suspects that there may still be long-term lung damage that can be hard to detect. “We really can’t reassure ourselves about heavy use,” he explained.

Your brain on drugs

There is some evidence to suggest that stoned subjects exhibit increased risk-taking and impaired decision-making, and score worse on memory tasks—and residual impairments have been detected days or even weeks after use. Some studies also link years of regular marijuana use to deficits in memory, learning, and concentration. A recent and widely discussed report on the IQs of New Zealanders followed since birth found that cannabis users who’d started their habit in adolescence had lower IQs than non-users.

In this study, led by researchers at Duke University, “you could clearly see as a consequence of cannabis use, IQ goes down,” said Derik Hermann, a clinical neuroscientist at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany who was not involved in the research.

But not 4 months later, a re-analysis and computer simulation at the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Oslo countered the Duke findings. Ole Rogeberg contended that socioeconomic factors, not marijuana use, contributed to the lower IQs seen in cannabis users.

Rogeberg’s conclusion counters a sizeable literature, however, which supports a link between pot use and neurophysiological decline. Studies in both humans and animals suggest that people who acquiring a marijuana habit in adolescence face long-term negative impacts on brain function, with some users finding it difficult to concentrate and learn new tasks.

Notably, most studies on the subject suggest that while there may be negative consequences of smoking as a teen, users who begin in adulthood are generally unaffected. This may be due to endocannabinoid-directed reorganization of the brain during puberty, Hermann explained. The intake of cannabinoids that comes with pot use may cause irreversible “misleading of the neural growth,” he said.

In addition to the consequences for intelligence, many studies suggest that smoking marijuana raises the risk of schizophrenia, and may have similar effects on the brain. Hermann’s group used MRI to detect cannabis-associated neuron damage in the pre-frontal cortex and found that it was similar to brain changes seen in schizophrenia patients. Other studies further suggest that weed-smoking schizophrenics have greater disease-associated brain changes and perform worse on cognitive tests than their non-smoking counterparts.

But much of this research can’t distinguish between brain changes resulting from marijuana use and symptoms associated with the disease. It’s possible that cannabis-smoking schizophrenics “might have unpleasant symptoms [that precede full-blown schizophrenia] and are self-medicating” with the psychotropic drug, said Roland Lamarine, a professor of community health at California State University, Chico. “We haven’t seen an increase in schizophrenics, even with a lot more marijuana use.”

In fact, other research suggests that cannabis-using schizophrenics score better on cognitive tests than non-using schizophrenics. Such conflicting reports may be due to the varying concentrations—and varying effects—of cannabinoids in marijuana. In addition to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a neurotoxic cannabinoid that is responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering properties, the drug also contains a variety of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which can protect against neuron damage. Hermann found that the volume of the hippocampus—a brain area important for memory processing—is slightly smaller in cannabis users than in non-users, but more CBD-rich marijuana countered this effect.

A deadly cocktail?

While data supporting the harmful effects of marijuana on its own are weak, some researchers are more worried about the drug in conjunction with other substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, or cocaine. Some studies suggest, for example, that marijuana may increase cravings for other drugs, leading to its infamous tag as a “gateway drug.” A study published earlier this month supported this theory when it found that, at least in rats, THC exposure increases tobacco’s addictive effects. Furthermore, marijuana may not mix well with prescription drugs, as cannabis causes the liver to metabolize drugs more slowly, raising the risk of drug toxicity.  

Despite these concerns, however, Lamarine thinks it’s unlikely that the consequences of cannabis use are dire, given the amount of research that has focused on the subject. “We’re not going to wake up tomorrow to the big discovery that marijuana causes major brain damage,” he said. “We would have seen that by now.”

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Avatar of: cvwaller

cvwaller

Posts: 1

January 23, 2013

The article incorrectly refers to THC as a neurotoxic substance. This is not accurate.

Avatar of: GerryS

GerryS

Posts: 11

January 24, 2013

It boggles my mind why people want to return to archaic forms of medication.  We have in our age the best medicine in human history, but it is confounded by the casual abuse of these substances.  Let me speak of another failure.  Tobacco cotains a large number of bioactive substances including known cardinogens.  The use of these in medical treatment is rendered useless.  For example, I sat in on a conference in which one researcher noted that in his model, he could produce near 100% acceptance of organ transplants by giving a dose of nicotine immediately prior to the procedure.  However, if the dose was given more than 4 hours before the procedure, there was nearly 100% rejection.  So, one goes in for transplant surgery, happens to get some second hand smoke, and drops dead because of immediate organ rejection.  Nice.

Now as for cannabinoids, research is positive in treatment of glaucoma, and bone healing.  At the same time, there is the very real threat of inducing schizophrenia or schizoid disorders, or creating just enough mental disorder tht an individual never reaches their full human potential.  Maybe this was causal in some of the abuses in military operations in the past such as made public from the Vietnam war.  I recall another researcher being able to induce certain malformations in the brains of his model that directly resembled some electron micrographs of certain areas of the human brain found in autopsies of schizophrenics compared to non schizophrenics that I had seen years prior.  The difference was astounding.  If there is a loss of IQ, this is consistent with schizophrenia.  This is a very serious matter, as to save even one person or family or community from the scourge of schizophrenia is worth the while of keeping cannibis under lock and key.

As for its pain killing abilities, cannibis is very poor so that can not be justified.

As long as many people continue to use these substances as a usual practice or even a once in a while practice, we all stand to lose.  Research will be unable to study these substances for the commmon benefit because so many chose to look only after themselves in their self-centered interests.

Most interesting is the correlation of tobacco use with schizophrenia, around 95% correlation.  Then there is the very high tobacco use among those in combat.  It is possible that canibis adds to the scourge of post-war trauma and nicotine aids in the prevention of such and in preventing or slowing the progression of schizophrenia (it cannot reverse schizophrenia). 

The gravest human abuses I have had to personally witness have been under the influence of not alcohol, but cannibis, including attempted murder, abuse of weaponry, and narcissistic and sadistic behaviors.

Much needs to be learned by the rational study of substances for mutual benefit.  The stupidity of legalizing them is a travesty against humanity, but whoever accused politicians of being intelligent?

Avatar of: JToeppen

JToeppen

Posts: 28

January 24, 2013

 

Cannabis is widely used as an alternative to and in combination with alcohol. If we consider alcohol and firearm related deaths the legalization and taxation of cannabis looks more like a relative solution and not a problem. The cost of enforcement has been high in many regards. The greatest damage to our culture comes from our enforcement of inappropriate, ineffective, unenforceable, and unjust laws. We are paying to incarcerate 1/2% of our population by enforcing these laws.   These laws come from a history of cultural bias and have been used as a tool of ethnic and social persecution. The legal scheduling of the drug prevents research on a substance that is widely used. America’s war on drugs has become a groundless war on Americans. Too bad that reason and logic are not more widely applied to laws and justice.
Avatar of: Paul Stein

Paul Stein

Posts: 126

January 24, 2013

Is cannibis really that bad?  Yes, if adolescents come to school high and are disruptive in class, they influence others to come to school high, and if they all smoke so much during the time when they should be studying that they eventually flunk out of school...yes!  Let's set aside the scientific issues of chronic use for a second and focus a bit on the social, acute, immediate ones. 

Avatar of: amarie

amarie

Posts: 1

January 24, 2013

GerryS: You think we have the best medicine in human history?  Our country has commercialized medicines with enourmous negative side effects just to make a profit.  Most prescription medications do more damage than a joint could do.  Additionally where are you even going with your thoughts on tabacco? You say it sabotages medical treatments, but then go on to say the following.... (are you being sarcastic? Im not sure)

"Most interesting is the correlation of tobacco use with schizophrenia, around 95% correlation.  Then there is the very high tobacco use among those in combat.  It is possible that canibis adds to the scourge of post-war trauma and nicotine aids in the prevention of such and in preventing or slowing the progression of schizophrenia"

  Schizophrenia is predominantly genetic.  If you have it in your family, outside enviromental factors which could include war, alcohol, stress, and possibly cannibis or other drugs could bring about these dormant symptoms at the end of adolescence/early twenties. Individuals with it in their family could probably benefit from living as cleanly as possible (drug and alcohol free).  Also, children and teenagers shouldnt be smoking weed anyway just as they shouldnt be drinking coffee or alcohol...there is no medical reason why a healthly (or unhealthy) able minded adult shouldnt partake in smoking marijuana...except possible exacerbation of a sore throat.

  As for the correlation with tabacco, mental illness (including PTSD) can cause extreme anxiety, habit forming behaviors( with the intention to self soothe), and stress for the individual.  I would argue that the excessive tabacco usage comes AFTER...not before the onset of mental illness...

Avatar of: WilfTarquin

WilfTarquin

Posts: 2

January 24, 2013

Everyone who smokes pot will tell you how completely safe and beneficial it is.

Anyone who knows someone who smokes pot can tell you about the negative effects of pot.

Should adults be allowed to decide for themselves if they want to smoke pot? Yes.

Is the pro-legalization propaganda as tendentious as it is loud? Yes.

Avatar of: jstewart

jstewart

Posts: 1

January 29, 2013

I definitely believe the negative cognitive affects of marijuana outweigh any short term benefits. It's not as if marijuana is the worst thing in the world, especially if only used sparingly. But overall, I would say marijuana harms any individuals quality of life if it becomes a habit; to be blunt, weed makes you stupid.

I hope there's more research into marijuana use  so all the negative cognitive/ physiological affects can be understood and so perhaps less damaging strains can be engineered.

Avatar of: Mom with a PhD

Mom with a PhD

Posts: 1

February 13, 2013

I am concerned about the comments of professor Roland Lamarine, who downplays the association between cannabis use and subsequent schizophrenia. He is a professor of community health, but is not an internationally renowned expert in the field of psychiatric epiodemiology.  Researchers in that field  (the author should contact Jim van Os for e.g.) will tell you that in all but a few countries (and the U.S. is not one of them), the mechanisms are not in place to follow the rates of schizophrenia across time.  Many schizophrenics here become homeless and are not treated or diagnosed by any medical professional. 

As for cause and effect, large prospective studies of teens have shown that those who are normal at study onset, but who begin to smoke pot during the course of the study, are much more likely to become psychotic; but for those who were exhibiting some symptoms of psychosis at study onset, the risk that they would begin smoking pot was much less than the risk for psychosis in the other group.  In addition, in study after study,  marijuana use has been shown to lower the age of onset of schizophrenia, much as cigarette smoking will lower the age of onset of cancers (that was considered one of the pieces of evidence for cause and effect in that relationship).  Finally, there is a dose-response relationship.  Those who smoke more and/or marijuana with a higher concentration of THC are at much higher risk for schizophrenia.

Basically, all the average lay person has to do is google marijuana and paranoid, and just see how many posts there are on marijuana user's message boards about what to do for paranoia.  Unfortunately, studies out of Denmark have shown that for those who become paranoid from pot, unless they stop smoking within short order, the risk of converting to full blown schizophrenia is very high.

Avatar of: intelligence

intelligence

Posts: 1

July 22, 2013

Just a thought,

                         My opinion on smoking marijuana can lead to schizophrenia is that it all depends on the enviroment the marijuana is smoked in.

The thing is that most drug users come from lower income and bad living areas and not everyone is a "drug dealer" so if they want to smoke pot they have to deal with these very unpleasant people "drug dealers" who are normally pre evolved criminals looking to make everyone a drug addict so they can make more money.

To the newly drug user this persons life and attitude can be very appealing and desirable creating the "user" to gain a more meaner attitude tho the user may never become a "drug dealer" they begin to hang with these people even more. Drug dealers are not freinds but the user doesnt see this, but still hangs with the dealer., this story is very common but billions of people have lived this exact scenario people dont seem to learn. This environment is a bad one to take drugs in, if u do this your on your way to jail or meltdown either sooner or later.

Ive done some studying and i believe scizophrenia is caused by the addicted users build up of anxiety from when the user worrys about the next hit.

My research says if you want to smoke everyday  the only way to really confirm no rehab is that you have unlimited source of marijuana also my opinion is if the governments made it legal to grow marijuana and smoke it but illegal to sell it and a set limit on how much you can own the world may improve.

 

Avatar of: BudBarter

BudBarter

Posts: 1

August 14, 2013

GerryS

No one has called you on such blatent distortions? Lets start with:

The gravest human abuses I have had to personally witness have been under the influence of not alcohol, but cannibis, including attempted murder, abuse of weaponry, and narcissistic and sadistic behaviors.

Please explain this statement and provide detail. I came here looking for fact and instead found something entirely different. Wow, and if your post was meant to be sarcastic - big fail. 

Avatar of: TDC223

TDC223

Posts: 1

September 25, 2013

           I am epileptic and with the legal use of medical cannabis spreading across the country I know that there is hope for me. I'm sharing my story so that there is even more proof out there of what cannabis can do.

 

           I don't smoke cannabis right now but when I was smoking it for 5 years I had no seizures at all, but then I stopped smoking. My main reasons for stopping were my fear of arrest, my fear of losing my job because of a failed drug test and also for a woman I was dating that didn't know how much it had been helping me. I have been on expensive anti-seizure meds since I gave it up and I still have had 3 grand mal seizures and more than 20 partial seizures in the 5 years since I stopped smoking cannabis

           I was in a bad car accident in 1998 at age 22. I had brain trauma and was in the hospital for 6 weeks. The doctors told me that I might start having seizures in the future and at 24 I started having partial seizures. They were minor but they scared me. I have never been closer to suicide than I was during one of these seizures.

           In 2003, I moved to San Marcos, TX to go to college at Texas State University and started smoking cannabis with roommates regularly. I usually smoked less than 1-2 small bowls(in a pipe) of the cheap, weak type of cannabis(schwag) per day. I didn't have any seizures while I was in college at TSU and for several years after graduation in 2006. 

           In the spring of 2008 I started dating a woman that didn't want me to use cannabis. I went from smoking that small amount to an even smaller amount of 1 bowl every 2 days or so. I had a grand mal seizure at work. I woke up in the hospital with a black eye from hitting the floor. I went to a neurologist and he sent me to get an MRI on my brain. I had scar tissue in my brain from the car accident that was causing the seizures. I was put on Trileptal, an expensive anti-seizure drug.  The side effects of this drug didn't seem to bother me at first. I knew that cannabis had been helping me but there were too many risks so I didn't use it very much and would soon quit smoking it all together. I eventually broke up with that girl and in 2009 I met my wife to be. She didn't like cannabis either and was even more against me smoking it than the other woman was. I loved her so I eventually gave up cannabis before we got married in late 2009.

           My dosage of Trileptal has been increased over time. The side effects that didn't bother me at first now cause problems. I have also been put on another anti-seizure drug, Dilantin. These two medications cost more than $600 per month. The damages being done to my body by these are horrible. They have been studied well. I hate life sometimes when the side effects are really harsh. There is a good chance that these dosages will keep being increased over time, meaning this cost will increase. Every time my meds are increased or another one is added more side effects always follow. My wife has changed her views on cannabis and is in favor of me using it but there are laws that make no sense still keeping me from what I need.

           Cannabis is a simple plant that is grown out of the earth and with no refining or additions needed it has already proven to help me so much. I can grow it myself and spend a lot less than the $600 per month that the meds cost. Medical grade cannabis is much more potent than the cheap, weak stuff that I used to smoke. Medical cannabis will help me in a better way than what has already worked so well.

           In the hard times we are living through doesn't it make sense to let all Americans choose from the options? I can either continue to destroy my body that has been damaged by years of using these meds with their side effects or I can choose to let nature help me. I can continue to spend $600 per month on these meds or I can spend that money supporting my family and helping the economy grow. Americans are said to be free. Give the people that need it the freedom to choose another option besides these meds. This madness has to stop and medical cannabis needs to be allowed to help the people that need it.

TC 8/2013

 
Avatar of: TheCleanGame

TheCleanGame

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from GerryS made on January 24, 2013

October 22, 2013

At the same time, there is the very real threat of inducing schizophrenia or schizoid disorders, or creating just enough mental disorder tht an individual never reaches their full human potential.

The problem isn't cannabis... it's prohibition.

This is a direct result of the CBD levels in the cannabis being used.  Prohibition is actually the biggest cause of schizo or psychosis issues attributed with cannabis use due to the pressures it's imposed on the production of cannabis.

Prohibition has directly impacted cannabis breeding in a negative way, creating strains of cannabis that are extremely high THC and extremely low CBD... CBD is the throttling agent that counteracts the psychosis effects of TCH

Without CBD or with very low levels of CBD... cannabis can have detrimental effects on some people... with prolonged or extreme dosage use.

Strains like Harlequin (Which I happen to be lucky enough to be growing and sharing) is 8% CBD and only 6% THC...

Harlequin does not produce a 'High' or 'Stone' at all... just a deepening 'mellowness'.

Cannabis is actually non-addictive...

http://thecleangame.net/2013/09/cannabis-is-non-addictive-period/

Spread the Truth!  Fix the Issues!

Keep it Clean! :D

 

Avatar of: GerryS

GerryS

Posts: 11

November 11, 2013

Amarie:  Thank you for your reply to my former comment.  Yes, I do believe we have the best medicine in human history (though far from perfect) and I despise what greed has done to it.  I almost screamed when years ago the US government allowed medicine to be 'for profit'.  This was an act of ignorance and short sightedness.  Side effects must be discovered and be carefully weighed against the benefits.

Yes, self-medication in many cases can sabotage medical treatments.  I did not make an absolute ‘always’ statement.  The observation is a sign that research needs to be done, to take the observation to a higher degree of understanding and yield more effective treatment programs.  (I also have noticed that most people I have known who have used cannabis also use tobacco products.)  It makes great sense to me that the most vulnerable to the threat of developing ‘schizo-‘ diseases are youth in their adolescence.  At this time, youths are beginning to rapidly turn life experiences into the personality which they will carry for most of their lives.  I interpret this to mean that cannabis is probably accelerating the process.  This I conclude from the personal observations that I have made over many years that there seems to be in just about all of those I know who have known, both politically conservative and liberal, a marked inability to see beyond the scope of their opinions and make compromise.  There is often an overarching denial of cannabis having had any effect on their personality (the excess of defense mechanisms has long been noted in persons suffering from schizophrenia and to a less degree in its lesser forms as schizoaffective and schizoid personality disorder, especially by the psychoanalytic discipline).

Smoking is not the safest way of ingesting the active components of cannabis.

Schizophrenia is not definitively genic.  It has a genetic pre-disposition (possiby linked to a high level of endo-cannabinoids or sensitivity to them during certain times of development).  The same genetic pre-disposition also exists for people of high creativity.  I think that what may happen is that especially in adolescence,  whatever experiences are in existence at the time of concretization are linked to many processes in the brain through a kind of neuronal 'hard wiring' thus producing the physiological basis for personality.  The previous comment by 'intelligence' informally touched on this.  Bad memories peri- this time might be concretized into the nightmare of schizophrenia.  Though it cannot reverse the process, nicotine may slow down the dendritic connection process such that the memory takes on less of a physiological significance.  In other words, schizophrenia might be a condition where one switch turns on too many lights at once and the individual gets ‘burned’ in the process.  To fully understand this, a deeper understanding of the disease needs to be sought.  For a schizophrenic, the term "set in their ways" may mean ‘nightmare’.  Heaven knows, battle fatigue might one day be fought by the use a a nicotine patch in the time of the encounter to prevent the concretization of the bad memories (and stopped before the individual becomes nicotine addicted).

I am convinced that cannabis (specifically THC) is a personality altering drug (in the sense of unnatural concretization) that is quite possibly more dangerous than LSD (whose deleterious effects bay be caused by the effects of cannabis taken peri-temporally, interweaving the memories of the 'bad trip' into a wide range of neurological processes).  It may well be the drug of choice for brain washing.

Avatar of: GerryS

GerryS

Posts: 11

November 11, 2013

BudBarter:  Some effects of cannabis are produced acutely and others slowly and over a period of time with permanent effects.  We tend to ignore the long-term effects as irrelevant, but they are never-the-less equally if not more deleterious.  Perhaps I use the terms "under the usage" and "as a result of the usage" concurrently.

Sorry, but the details are not mine to give out.  Perhaps someone in criminal science should write a thesis on the subject.

Avatar of: clive

clive

Posts: 3

November 18, 2013

I was going to leave a comment, but then I got stoned...

Avatar of: clive

clive

Posts: 3

Replied to a comment from jstewart made on January 29, 2013

November 18, 2013

Weed doesn't make you stupid, it's being a redneck that does that!

Avatar of: Ed M.

Ed M.

Posts: 44

November 18, 2013

"Anything that makes life tolerable is better than nothing."- G.I. Gurdjieff.

Avatar of: Ellen Hunt

Ellen Hunt

Posts: 13

November 20, 2013

Hash oil was the only chemical tested (IIRC by Project Bluebird) for interrogation by US that worked. In a study interrogating 8 hardened criminals, it had 100% success. 

At a convference a few years ago, two psychiatrists told me that most of their practice today was "amotivational syndrome". One laughed and said, "Kid discover's pot, kid's grades go in the toilet, kid's parents freak out. All kid wants is to hang out getting stoned." 

Avatar of: okhotnik

okhotnik

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from cvwaller made on January 23, 2013

November 21, 2013

You can argue, of course, but what's a neurotoxin if not a substance that is toxic to neurons?

THC, for example.

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/18/14/5322.long

Avatar of: kienhoa68

kienhoa68

Posts: 33

December 9, 2013

I think it will all work out just fine. The article seems slightly tongue in cheek as I'm sure the authors tested the Cannabis. This is a science magazine. 

Avatar of: Troy Dube

Troy Dube

Posts: 4

Replied to a comment from Paul Stein made on January 24, 2013

January 21, 2014

This site's called "the-scientist" right? Is your argument that rude people bugging other people during school is an adverse health effect of cannabis? I missed that social study i guess. You didn't really seem to describe the effects of cannabis use, you described annoying and dump people who also like to smoke pot.

This is a fallacy of perception quite common with the belief that all hair pieces look bad, because you wouldnt notice a good one. How many students show up high and dont bother anyone? As for the effects cannabis has on learning during class?  Here's an example; i hate poetry and struggle with appreciating it. In college i needed to take a fairly advanced poetry class for an English credit, and guess what helped without anyone noticing? Math on the other hand? let's just say if i decided to show up to Finite Math class stoned i had already given up for that day. However, keep in mind I also dont soak in a tub while doing my taxes, they're both fine activities but dont go well together.

I gotta admit im still chuckling that your argument AGAINST cannabis use, that its causing people to act disruptive. Think about it, if you had to live in a neighborhood with a bunch of pot smokers, or a neighborhood with ONE meth user, yer gonna go with the docile pot heads every time.

Avatar of: Troy Dube

Troy Dube

Posts: 4

Replied to a comment from GerryS made on November 11, 2013

January 21, 2014

Please expand on THC being potentially more dangerous to someone's personality compared to LSD. Are their any studies of THC causing violent behavior and psychological breakdown like we've seen with the LSD military test? Also, wasn't it found to be an extremely unpredictable tool for brain washing due to the variables of percieved environment to the subject? I would think combining a cocktail of various drug families would be needed in order to dull the subject's ability to regulate emotions naturally, especially by manipulating depression and euphoria as a reward system when rebuilding a target's reality.

Avatar of: LittleLuther64

LittleLuther64

Posts: 6

February 16, 2014

     I came out of our church luncheon furious today.  I'm a novice baker and I aggressively preach--maybe overly so--about the evils of frankengrain wheat.  My product contains none of that and it SELLS.  The interest in this diet change came from a sports medicine specialist and an acupuncturist who recommended I give up the wheat/gluten products.  While I have no digestive problems of any sort, they urged that I do so treat my neurological disorders which include partial epilepsy, dead artery in the brain, autism and misdiagnosed psychiatric disorders; e.g.:  schiz, schiz/affective, bipolar, etc.

       The medicines I took included Dilantin, Carbamazapine, Depakote, Olanzapine (psych), and Lamictal.  All are gone except the latter.  The former, Dilantin, has effects similar to weed, except it renders you impotent and suicidal.  Olanzpine did little for my psych disorders and took my farm boy awakening hours of 5:30am to 10:00am.  It often rendered restless leg syndrome.

       With the elimination of wheat my health which was "good" before is now superb.  I'm more rational, I've better ideas, I'm a better businessman.  My inhalers collect dust or are given away.  My pain/headache meds go untouched.  Athletically I can keep up with those half my age.

      For the epilepsy I smoked cannabis as a teenager which worked.  Believe me, I'm not exactly a cartel kind of guy.  In all the research I have done I've found only six side effects to marijuana.  There are substantially more damaging health consequences to wheat consumption.  To wit:

        1.  Baldness/balding (mine has stopped).

         2.  Psoriasis and dandruff (I had the latter--it's gone).

        3.  Dementia, e.g. Alzheimer's, et. al..

        4.  Psychiatric and nuerological disorders.

        5.  Obesity (epilepsy med.'s cause the same.  BTW I'm 71" and 154 lb.s)

         6.  Diabetes.

         There's six side effects there and that's roughly 1/3 of them!   And I'd also suffered from asthma.  Think this is Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons?  My sources are Dr.s Wm. Davis and David Perlmutter.  The former is a cardiologist and the latter is a neurologist and nutritionist, with an MD in both.

        So, I have some church lady who suffers from obesity (not due to laziness) and she can't eat this and can't eat that.  I plug my product and she practically tells me to shut up in front of everyone at the luncheon!  She didn't want to "talk about it" and would deal with it in "her own way."  This is the same sort of lady who would disinherit her grandson if he smoked pot!  And this is the same ilk that supports "The Drug War" and probably has no problem with stuffing jails with drug offenders and probably doesn't mind drug screening even though it's anti-Constitutional.

       If I came to church stoned and offered everyone hash brownies she would call the sheriff and see to it I wouldn't come back unless I "straightened up."  If I called the sheriff and told him they were serving wheat products at church I'd get laughed at and he would fine me for bothering him!!

       Can you imagine me telling the law and church authorities that I don't want to talk with them about my marijuana usage and that I'll deal with it "in my own way?"  Can you imagine me telling that to an employer if I fail a drug screen test and demand a job anyway?  Yeah, try it!!

       If we can keep one person from the damaging effects of wheat consumption isn't it best keeping wheat under lock and key?

       

Avatar of: LittleLuther64

LittleLuther64

Posts: 6

Replied to a comment from GerryS made on January 24, 2013

February 16, 2014

As far as keeping things under lock and key you might ought to read my post on wheat.  Think this gluten free (even that's a 1/2 measure, it should be wheat and "whole grain" free) is a fad?  I've an aunt and uncle that farm the stuff and her daddy has celiac!  The meanest nations, to include ours, are wheat heads; check out Ukraine, Russia, former Yugoslavia, GERMANY!  You maintain that it's stupid to legalize weed??

       PS

I used to manage a bar.

Avatar of: LittleLuther64

LittleLuther64

Posts: 6

Replied to a comment from Paul Stein made on January 24, 2013

February 16, 2014

Divorce does the same thing.  If an angered or hurt child comes to class, it affects everyone.  The ensuing fighting and bitterness can lead to poor grades and flunking for all, not just the child whose parents split up.  Because of children suffering from divorce, I became a martial artist.  I would also smoke weed with them to console them.  Don't know if if did any good...

       I like telling people how to live, uh huh.  One problem with both sides of the aisle is that Demos and GOP worship children.  I think if parents with children divorce they should be incarcerated and denied employment...maybe put in a higher tax bracket.  Tell that to Nancy Reagan, the "Second Lady."  Just say no!

Avatar of: LittleLuther64

LittleLuther64

Posts: 6

Replied to a comment from WilfTarquin made on January 24, 2013

February 16, 2014

I could say the same about wheat...except it is legal.

Avatar of: Vik

Vik

Posts: 1

March 6, 2014

Given the huge number of pot smokers, one would think that there would be huge social porblems seen on a daily basis ad yet .......

I think that what is seen in a lab setting may not be reflected in real life siuations. How many different strains of marijuana are there currently and what is the THC and cannabdiol content? How were the leaves processed and what contaminants (pesticides/herbicides) were present?

Lots more study needed in the lab to generate scientific publications, but in real life, the experiment has been ongoing for centuries and the results are already in

Avatar of: WhoisLB

WhoisLB

Posts: 1

April 3, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you wanna use weed recreationally, that's your own choice. It's psychoactive effects are different for everybody because everybody's psychology is different. But to deny its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects means you havn't researched its medicinal and clinical applications thoroughly. I was a former high school and college football player who has suffered 4 documented concussions. I probably had even more, b/c the hard hits add up when you play football and  your body's adrenaline can overwhelm feelings of pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each documented concussion I had caused significant psychological stressors that changed my quality of life and way of thinking. I have symptoms of post-concussion syndrom, depression, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, and am borderline PTSD. Though, I no longer play football, I am still an undergrad biology student, smoke weed 6 out of 7 days a week, and still have a decent GPA for a science major (3.0). I never quit school, even after the injuries and 2  semesters away from graduating with a BS. though I did run into some legal troubles for weed 2 and half years ago since I am in a state that doesn't even have an estb. medical marijuana program. I can only imagine how my life will imporve when I can access more effective administrations of weed such as CBD-rich oils. The charge has put some roadblocks in the career I am striving for, but I believe that these charges won't stick in the long run for me since it's my only offense and will still achieve my goals after graduating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't want more kids smoking weed, but there's no need to prosecute those who need it for actual MEDICINE. Deshedule cannabis, let the state agriculture dept. handle the cultivation of the herbs and leaves, let pharmaceutical companies handle the synthesis of the oils and tinctures and maintian the cannabinoids purity to 100% no synthetic THC or CBD, let the people of the state decide it's recreational status, let physicians and NPs prescribe the cannabis, let the real pharmacists dispense it. Overly simplified, but I believe it's much more effective than prohibition. 

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar of: wherespete

wherespete

Posts: 1

April 7, 2014

Carl Sagan smoked pot.  

Avatar of: don

don't judge me

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from TDC223 made on September 25, 2013

April 17, 2014

I believe your story scares people because they want to dig deeper than it is. I had constant nausea for several months and one day I was with some friends and a loaded bowl and just that one hit made me feel normal for 2 days. Your words are strong, do what you need to do to keep going.

Avatar of: Giovanniw650

Giovanniw650

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from okhotnik made on November 21, 2013

May 5, 2014

Re the study that TCH is toxic, like most studies that purport (and try!) to show something negative about Cannabis, there are serious flaws in the study, and there are many more studies that show the opposite: that THC far from being a nuerotoxic, is rather nuero-protective. Ofcourse anything is toxic in sufficient concentrations. Even water! Anyway, regarding that study here is a short refutation from a nueroscientists famiiar with the experiment:

I am a neuroscientist (pharmacologist) and am very

familiar with models of neurotoxicity in cell culture. the quoted toxicity

limit is misleading in the text of the original manuscript. Also, the

Chan et al. study does not actually measure toxicity (cell death) in

dissociated hippocampal cells (there is no assurance that their cultures

are completely or even mostly neurons-but likely include astrocytes and

glia), but rather cell survival. MTT is a color stain that indicates

living cells. MTT stains actively respiring mitochondria in a cell. So to

define toxicity the Chan study showed that after THC treatment, there was

less MTT staining which they interpreted as more dead cells and THC is

neurotoxic.

 

However, neurotoxicity aint that simple. There is strong evidence (see

attached) that cannabinoids hold antioxidant capacity. One possibility is

that in highly reductive environments (such as in this particular cell

culture environment) antioxidants such as vitamin C can actually induce a

free-radicle cascade that causes cell death. The Chan article is

interesting, but hardly damning. There is a LARGE body of literature that

argues against this case (See the work of Sam Deadwyler at Wake forest for

example). At the same time THC isnt necessarily tofu either (though there

is some evidence that tofu is neurotoxic, through a calcium-mediated

mechanism!). I personally would be more convinced if there was toxicity

data in hippocampal slice cultures or even better, in whole animal studies.

Cannabidiol and (2)D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants

A. J. HAMPSON ? ,M.GRIMALDI ? ,J.AXELROD, AND D. WINK §

*Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, National Institutes of

Mental Health, Bethesda, MD 20892; ? Laboratory of Adaptive Systems,

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD

20892; and § Radiology and Biology Branch, National Cancer Institute,

Bethesda, MD 20892

 

Contributed by Julius Axelrod, April 27, 1998


 

ABSTRACT The neuroprotective actions of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids

were examined in rat cortical neuron cultures exposed to toxic levels of

the excitatory neurotrans-mitter glutamate. Glutamate toxicity was reduced

by both cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive constituent of marijuana, and the

psychotropic cannabinoid (2)D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids

protected equally well against neuro-toxicity mediated by

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, 2-ami-no-

3-(4-butyl-3-hydroxyisoxazol-5-yl)propionic acid recep-tors, or kainate

receptors. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-induced toxicity has been shown to

be calcium dependent; this study demonstrates that

2-amino-3-(4-butyl-3-hydroxyisox-azol- 5-yl)propionic acidykainate

receptor-type neurotoxicity is also calcium-dependent, partly mediated by

voltage sensi-tive calcium channels. The neuroprotection observed with

cannabidiol and THC was unaffected by cannabinoid receptor antagonist,

indicating it to be cannabinoid receptor indepen-dent. Previous studies

have shown that glutamate toxicity may be prevented by antioxidants.

Cannabidiol, THC and several synthetic cannabinoids all were demonstrated

to be antioxi-dants by cyclic voltametry. Cannabidiol and THC also were

shown to prevent hydroperoxide-induced oxidative damage as well as or

better than other antioxidants in a chemical (Fenton reaction) system and

neuronal cultures. Cannabidiol was more protective against glutamate

neurotoxicity than either ascorbate or a-tocopherol, indicating it to be a

potent anti-oxidant. These data also suggest that the naturally occurring,

nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, cannabidiol, may be a poten-tially useful

therapeutic agent for the treatment of oxidative neurological disorders

such as cerebral ischemia.

 

Avatar of: Patrickhoyman87

Patrickhoyman87

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from GerryS made on January 24, 2013

June 29, 2014

Quote GerryS

It boggles my mind why people want to return to archaic forms of medication.  We have in our age the best medicine in human history, but it is confounded by the casual abuse of these substances.  Let me speak of another failure.  Tobacco cotains a large number of bioactive substances including known cardinogens.  The use of these in medical treatment is rendered useless.  For example, I sat in on a conference in which one researcher noted that in his model, he could produce near 100% acceptance of organ transplants by giving a dose of nicotine immediately prior to the procedure.  However, if the dose was given more than 4 hours before the procedure, there was nearly 100% rejection.  So, one goes in for transplant surgery, happens to get some second hand smoke, and drops dead because of immediate organ rejection.  Nice.

Now as for cannabinoids, research is positive in treatment of glaucoma, and bone healing.  At the same time, there is the very real threat of inducing schizophrenia or schizoid disorders, or creating just enough mental disorder tht an individual never reaches their full human potential.  Maybe this was causal in some of the abuses in military operations in the past such as made public from the Vietnam war.  I recall another researcher being able to induce certain malformations in the brains of his model that directly resembled some electron micrographs of certain areas of the human brain found in autopsies of schizophrenics compared to non schizophrenics that I had seen years prior.  The difference was astounding.  If there is a loss of IQ, this is consistent with schizophrenia.  This is a very serious matter, as to save even one person or family or community from the scourge of schizophrenia is worth the while of keeping cannibis under lock and key.

As for its pain killing abilities, cannibis is very poor so that can not be justified.

As long as many people continue to use these substances as a usual practice or even a once in a while practice, we all stand to lose.  Research will be unable to study these substances for the commmon benefit because so many chose to look only after themselves in their self-centered interests.

Most interesting is the correlation of tobacco use with schizophrenia, around 95% correlation.  Then there is the very high tobacco use among those in combat.  It is possible that canibis adds to the scourge of post-war trauma and nicotine aids in the prevention of such and in preventing or slowing the progression of schizophrenia (it cannot reverse schizophrenia). 

The gravest human abuses I have had to personally witness have been under the influence of not alcohol, but cannibis, including attempted murder, abuse of weaponry, and narcissistic and sadistic behaviors.

Much needs to be learned by the rational study of substances for mutual benefit.  The stupidity of legalizing them is a travesty against humanity, but whoever accused politicians of being intelligent?

Well said!

Avatar of: ichyarty

ichyarty

Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from intelligence made on July 22, 2013

September 17, 2014

exactly. not so much a poverty issue, but your on to the monkey bananas concept. despite consequences is better. imagine? the dishonesty, the selfishness. the mental scizo might be a little off, but the term dependence has been associated with many disheartening studies. the depth of your rehab concept is fasinating. i cant grow ice cream so i just buy it all the time. cuz i like ice cream.

the valium or (mothers little helper) is easy to see because mommy is nut with her meds and new relations see her disassoiateive state and frown. nobody wants to eat a pill every time a shoelace breaks.

preoccupation is another area to seek the dependent person. insight is rare but you just have to temper the wider view. talk to former addict and they will agree. its almost a fantasy world- on pot- one might say. try the movie half baked or reefer madness. many consequences are related to the effects it has on them. i liked your frankness and sure your on to a helpful solution. honestly pleased for your insight. thanks.

Avatar of: AlastairMac

AlastairMac

Posts: 1

October 19, 2014

The difficulty I have with the debate is not the science but that too many assumptions enter this debate without being tested. When we talk of psychosis and schizophrenia we immediately think of harm, but schizotypy can be a very useful attribute, creative thinking and novel problem solving is in demand.

Damage to IQ? Let's remember that IQ is not everything, emotional competence is also critical to human performance. Solipcism and the narrowing of attentional capacity during cannabis use may be seen by those surrounding the user as negative, while the user is exploring their inner world possibly for a better understanding of themself and others. Exploring your inner world can be fruitful. And what of the user while they are not stoned? What is cannabis use has latent positive effects some time after cessation?

May I offer up a personal perspective? I use cannabis regularly in conjunction with meditation, yoga, and other practices, and while walking in the mountains and while playing and writing music. I used it throughout my phd in order to enhance my creative thinking with statistical methods, and IMHO it helped a lot. I use its psychotropic effects to look inwards both mentally and physically (it helps me to identify stress in the body). Then I straighen up for a few days, a few weeks. Both states (stoned and straight) give me two complementary ways of feeling myself and the world, but neither is true reality. Having the two perspectives is better than one. I have tried psilocybin and LSD but cannabis in particular strains of different CBD/THC ratios definitely gets me somewhere.

The debate appears to me to be characterised by assumptions from a mainstream cultural perspective about what harm is, what human potential is, and what a person's objectives should be within society. Furthermore it fails to inspect the possibility that, as with alcohol, many of the harmful social effects associated with it are merely released potentials that were already there rather than created by the substance. For some people alcohol elation hurts nobody but for others that elation emerges as violence toward others.

Research into cannabis use has a long way to go before I will be convinced either way about harms vs benefits.

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