Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

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meat.paste
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby meat.paste » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:35 am UTC

stoke wrote:Do you have sources for the following claims:
There are physical health repercussions for smoking pot. Anytime you inhale hot smoke and ash, your lungs will suffer.

There is a lot of tar in typical cannabis smoke compared with a cigarette.


I thought it was self evident that breathing hot smoke and ash was not good for the lungs. A simple search on "smoke inhalation" will yield plenty of sources. Here are a few: one, two, three.

It seemed obvious to me that the filter on a cigarette captures some of the crud being produced (based on the fact that the filter becomes brown). There is no filter on a joint, so the crud gets inhaled. Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette. The American cancer society claims a 7 fold increase in the amount of tar. Just because it is natural doesn't mean it's good for you :)
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Kaly » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:41 am UTC

It's a bit difficult to beat a Wiki source and all it's sources, for information. Any mind altering substance is pretty much a bad idea if done all the time, or in some cases, done ever. But that can go hand in hand with all the food we eat - pumped with artificial hormones, or the things we drink speeding heart rate, etc.. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol are legal - and both will kill you long, long before marijuana has any minor effect on your health - save for some short term memory loss after a prolonged period of smoking weed heavily. And the aforementioned lung issues.

Personal experience.. Ah.. It really isn't bad at all. I used to smoke to toss my migraines, or to deal with social anxiety. And in both cases nothing had ever worked better for me. When you start to hurt so bad you black out, or get sick, or get dizzy, or can't walk and nothing else has helped you any, I thought weed was a lovely alternative to the b.s. my own doctor was spitting at me, and drugs that made me sleep for 16 hours at a time. I quit smoking only because I'm in the market for a job.. But the migraines are still there and now I have no way to make them feel livable. When I smoked, I never felt dumb or lazy.. I was oddly motivated to work. Or to move around. Which was probably because it didn't hurt to move anymore. Hah.

I'd suggest giving it a shot at least once, as others have said, only to know what it is really like. But if you don't want to, or don't like the idea of it, don't do it of course. But it is not nearly half the deal that Health Class in the States make it out to be. It really isn't a big deal at all, and chances are the first time or two that you smoke you won't notice much difference in anything. You can't OD on pot and you can't die from one puff.. So if you want to give it a shot don't be scared of dying or anything insane like they tell us. Hah.

And obviously, if you have ever had other breathing issues ( asthma or bronchitis, etc. ) just avoid it. You're not really missing out.

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Malbert » Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:34 am UTC

Kaly wrote:It's a bit difficult to beat a Wiki source and all it's sources, for information. Any mind altering substance is pretty much a bad idea if done all the time, or in some cases, done ever. But that can go hand in hand with all the food we eat - pumped with artificial hormones, or the things we drink speeding heart rate, etc.. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol are legal - and both will kill you long, long before marijuana has any minor effect on your health - save for some short term memory loss after a prolonged period of smoking weed heavily. And the aforementioned lung issues.

There are many reasons why some people treat erowid as a better source than wikipedia for drugs. It has personal accounts of use, which violates wikipedia policy. It also goes over numerous safety things for the drugs, such as what dose is safe and what drugs are safe to mix. I'm sure a good drug wiki would be better, but I honestly have never found one.

Kaly wrote:And obviously, if you have ever had other breathing issues ( asthma or bronchitis, etc. ) just avoid it. You're not really missing out.

Vaporizers and edibles should be safe for people with lung problems. It also doesn't really exacerbate asthma unless you just get carried away (disclaimer: this might not be the case for everyone). In fact, some might claim it does the opposite: http://www.marijuanalibrary.org/ARRD_asthma_1975.html. That study was on smoked marijuana.

meat.paste wrote:I thought it was self evident that breathing hot smoke and ash was not good for the lungs. A simple search on "smoke inhalation" will yield plenty of sources. Here are a few: one, two, three.

It seemed obvious to me that the filter on a cigarette captures some of the crud being produced (based on the fact that the filter becomes brown). There is no filter on a joint, so the crud gets inhaled. Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette. The American cancer society claims a 7 fold increase in the amount of tar. Just because it is natural doesn't mean it's good for you :)

Those three links were about smoke inhalation in burning buildings. Unless you get very, very carried away hotboxing, you will not inhale smoke of that thickness without oxygen relief. Also, Marijuana smoke has a completely different makeup from burning house smoke. It is plain to see that burning house smoke tends to be black, and marijuana smoke tends to be white. Burning house smoke also tends to be much, much hotter than ganja smoke.

When you say there is no filter on a joint... I don't know what to call that phrase but it is strange. There is no filter on a joint if you don't put one there. If you put a filter on a joint there is a filter on the joint. Most people don't put real filters on, using a cardboard crutch instead, but some people do put filters on. I also call into question the DEA as a source on this issue. They talk about how it has carcinogens, leaving out the part about how people haven't actually connected the smoke with increased chances in gaining cancer.
Here is a study about the correlation between weed smoking and cancer: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729_pf.html
And here are two about using THC to kill cancer cells and inhibit the spread of cancer:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm, http://www.salem-news.com/articles/january112008/cancer_treatment_11008.php. All three are different studies for those wondering that don't feel like clicking.
EsotericWombat wrote:The studies that the FDA uses to justify its scheduling of marijuana in perpetuity are done using federally grown weed. Federally grown weed is SHIT.

Do they not use G-13? That strain is generally considered to be dank and a half. It's origin isn't known for sure, but many suspect it was made by the CIA, or that there was CIA involvement. I don't know anything about what the feds use now though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-13. The Wikipedia article goes over some rumors/legends.

EDIT: If this is supposed to be true to the thread title completely this was off topic, as it is about physical health. As I interpret SB rules meandering of conversation (to be slightly off topic) is OK, right? I was offering rebuttals to statements people made on the thread, and this was still about Jane.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:45 am UTC

About ninety percent of that DOJ fact sheet is utter crap.

They cited two sources about pot being addictive, neither of which was a medical research paper. They were articles in Foreign Affairs Magazine and the Washington Times, respectively

As far as the statistics about the concentrations of harmful chemicals? It says that one joint contains four times the tar of a cigarette, but it cleverly fails to mention that a pot smoker will inhale about ten to twenty times less smoke than a cigarette smoker, depending on the given smoker's habit and the potency of the weed. Moreover, it assumes filtered cigarettes for the comparison. If marijuana were legal, there were sure as SHIT be filters. Also, vaporizers (which are quite common at medical marijuana centers) eliminate this issue entirely. But even assuming that one isn't going about their intake in a responsible way? THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT SUGGESTS A CAUSAL LINK BETWEEN SMOKING POT AND CANCER. That's the thing that's hanging in the silence when they pause after quoting statistics about cancer-causing chemicals

The statistic about "emergency room mentions" is especially dubious. It certainly would suggest that more people are smoking pot. Other than that? It doesn't actually mean a fucking thing, because "I was just chilling by the pool smoking a bowl when this asshole shot me in the thigh" is TOTALLY an "emergency room mention" of marijuana. And I refuse to believe that they wouldn't also be capable of extracting data from emergency rooms about visits in which marijuana was contributory if said data actually supported their thesis here.

usdoj.gov wrote:Users can become dependent on marijuana to the point they must seek treatment to stop abusing it. In 1999, more than 200,000 Americans entered substance abuse treatment primarily for marijuana abuse and dependence


Unreported here is how many were entering such treatment as a part of parole or probation terms. My guess? probably most of them. (As a side note, twelve step programs are utter bullshit, but I digress)

Marijuana is much stronger now than it was decades ago. According to data from the Potency Monitoring Project at the University of Mississippi, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of commercial-grade marijuana rose from an average of 3.71 percent in 1985 to an average of 5.57 percent in 1998. The average THC content of U.S. produced sinsemilla increased from 3.2 percent in 1977 to 12.8 percent in 1997


This part is absolutely true. What they don't say is that this is a GOOD THING. More potent marijuana means less is smoked and thus one takes in far less of those nasty chemicals they were just having a fit about.

In the section under: "Does Marijuana harm anyone besides the individual who smokes it?"
Imagine that alcohol were on trial here. Also remember that in the case of alcohol, there are PSAs that get plenty of play regarding drinking responsibly and designated drivers that are intended to help keep the numbers down for alcohol and simply don't exist for pot in a way that doesn't actively recriminate the smoker Thank you for your time.

Also, keep in mind that the figure of 40% of adult males who tested positive for pot at the time of arrest includes those arrested for charges related to pot. in 2007, that was over 872,000, or. 6% of all total arrests As a means of comparison, the number of people arrested for violent crime was 597,447. It could be inferred that when considering "harming anyone besides the individual who smokes it," violent crime was what was being suggested. But they didn't say it. Nor did they do anything to support the claim that the marijuana use was contributory. Or that they were even under the influence at the time of the arrest or the crime. THC does stay in your system for quite a while...

(figures taken from here and here

The "gateway drug" section is more or less a reapplication of all of the fallacies that were espoused in the preceding chapter. I've textwalled enough already.

tl;dr: that fact sheet that meat.paste linked to is utterly WORTHLESS
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby youreakitty » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:38 am UTC

There are several other ways to get the active ingredients of marijuana into your system besides smoking it. For this reason, I think it is a fair assumption that cannabis use is not necessarily detrimental to physical health.

A lot of people smoke marijuana one time or very infrequently and find the high overwhelming. The onset of the high can be very sudden compared to alcohol use because inhalation gets the active ingredients into your bloodstream very quickly. If you're thinking about experimenting with the drug, I'd recommend ingesting it in some carefully-prepared food for a more gradual experience.

It's a personal choice to use or not use, but every president since 1992 has admitted that they at least "experimented" with drugs. I think it's fairly safe to say that trying marijuana won't ruin your life. As with anything, use it responsibly.

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby meat.paste » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:33 pm UTC

I apologize for the following off topic response...
Malbert wrote:Those three links were about smoke inhalation in burning buildings. Unless you get very, very carried away hotboxing, you will not inhale smoke of that thickness without oxygen relief. Also, Marijuana smoke has a completely different makeup from burning house smoke. It is plain to see that burning house smoke tends to be black, and marijuana smoke tends to be white. Burning house smoke also tends to be much, much hotter than ganja smoke.

The very first citation on smoke inhalation contains the following paragraph:
"Cigarette smoking also produces the effects of smoke inhalation. People who smoke do not get as much smoke into their lungs at once as someone trapped in a structural fire. Over a long period of time, however, the effects of cigarette smoking can add up. And eventually the effects on a person's lungs from smoking can be as bad or worse than those caused by other forms of smoke inhalation."

EsotericWombat wrote:that fact sheet that meat.paste linked to is utterly WORTHLESS

Malbert wrote:When you say there is no filter on a joint... I don't know what to call that phrase but it is strange. There is no filter on a joint if you don't put one there. If you put a filter on a joint there is a filter on the joint. Most people don't put real filters on, using a cardboard crutch instead, but some people do put filters on. I also call into question the DEA as a source on this issue. They talk about how it has carcinogens, leaving out the part about how people haven't actually connected the smoke with increased chances in gaining cancer.

There are many citations about the higher level of tar in unfiltered pot compared with filtered cigarettes. I agree that the DOJ website is biased, but empirical evidence supports the point that filters do capture tar before it is inhaled. I have never seen a filtered joint used. The closest I've ever seen to filtration is a bong.

There may not be studies showing the connection between lung cancer and pot smoking. This does not mean that pot smoking does not cause cancer. It means that there are no large scale epidemiological studies about pot smoking. Part of this is because it requires people to answer truthfully about the extent of their illegal habits. As evidence of the possible connection, I would suggest that the partial oxidation of plant or animal flesh generates many chemicals from the reactions of the proteins, sugars, and fats. Not all of them are good for you. I find this to be self evident because at a minimum, carbon monoxide will be present along with polyaromatic hydrocarbons in the smoke.

The lungs like air, they do not like high temperatures, fine particulates and ash. As evidence, I will suggest that the reason people cough after taking a hit is because the lungs are trying to get an irritant out.

Basically, smoking is not a healthful activity. Put the pot in your food or use a nebulizer (as others in this discussion have pointed out).

Because the cannabinoid receptors are the most widely expressed G-protein receptors in the brain, and because evolution is a bitch, these receptors are likely to be important. I am assuming that prolonged use of pot builds up a resistance, much like with other drugs. So, long term pot usage is likely to change the way the brain is fundamentally operating.[/off topic]

Another thing that I experience when using pot is a partial destruction of my time-binding sense. It is not as strong as with the potent hallucinogens, but there is definitely a sense of "I have always been here." I also find that I have pleasant visual disturbances that can make a game of breakout quite fun.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

And what I'm saying is that comparing filtered cigarettes with unfiltered pot is inherently intellectually dishonest.

meat.paste wrote: I have never seen a filtered joint used. The closest I've ever seen to filtration is a bong.


they sell filters for hand-rolled cigarettes. That pot smokers don't tend to use them has more to say about the fact that no one is putting out the message about how to smoke safely than it does about any inherent difference between smoking tobacco and smoking pot

meat.paste wrote:There may not be studies showing the connection between lung cancer and pot smoking. This does not mean that pot smoking does not cause cancer. It means that there are no large scale epidemiological studies about pot smoking.


Google says that you're wrong

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729_pf.html

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=large-study-finds-no-link

If what you're saying is "Inhaling smoke can't be a good thing? Then you're right! As soon as I can afford a volcano vape, I'll be getting one. But citing those facts about comparative amounts of carcinogens without mentioning that there's no causal link between pot and cancer is nothing short of fraud.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby stoke » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:06 pm UTC

meat.paste wrote:
stoke wrote:Do you have sources for the following claims:
There are physical health repercussions for smoking pot. Anytime you inhale hot smoke and ash, your lungs will suffer.

There is a lot of tar in typical cannabis smoke compared with a cigarette.


I thought it was self evident that breathing hot smoke and ash was not good for the lungs. A simple search on "smoke inhalation" will yield plenty of sources. Here are a few: one, two, three.



Sorry, I thought I edited my post to be clear, but I guess I forgot to actually submit it. I meant, how bad is it for you? There was a study at UCLA that I've been looking for but can only find news articles citing it so far: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060526083353.htm. Granted this was a study in L.A. so even non-smokers could be expected to have higher risk. Still, if I live in a populated area, this suggests smoking weed does not significantly increase my risk of developing cancer. But one study is not enough to make a conclusive argument. I'm still looking at studies to see if any sort of consensus has been drawn.

If you are going to post a source please make sure it specifically about marijuana smoke and preferably goes into details about the method of the study. In a case with as much political charge as this I tend to think it's a good idea to look at the actual studies and not just summaries from normally reputable sites.

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby meat.paste » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:43 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:If what you're saying is "Inhaling smoke can't be a good thing? Then you're right!

This is all I was trying to say.

EsotericWombat wrote: But citing those facts about comparative amounts of carcinogens without mentioning that there's no causal link between pot and cancer is nothing short of fraud.

All I talked about was the relative amounts of tar. I do not think it is dishonest to compare what I thought was the normal method of smoking cigarettes with smoking pot. If most people now use filters on their reefers, then this becomes an irrelevant argument. I would argue that the epidemiology is still inconclusive on the cancer effects from pot smoking. There is a high probability that we will all get cancer if we live long enough (~40% lifetime risk). Trying to tease out what proportion is caused by smoking is very difficult. It took from the 1920's through the 1960's before cigarettes really began to be understood as a cancer and health risk. We know now that the incident of lung cancer is from a 7.91% for males, but it is 17.2% in smoking males and 1.3% in non smoking males [1]. That seems significant to me. However, the risk of cancer rises dramatically with age. I found a paper describing a 2-3x increase in throat cancer probability in pot smokers (cited in a previous post). If the overall rate of this cancer is ~0.1%, tripling it to 0.3% would still get lost in the noise of a 40% lifetime probability. I did not look that number up, it is an example to illustrate that increasing the cancer risk 3-fold may not be a big deal.

My point is not to argue whether smoking pot causes cancer or not. Knowing that tobacco smoke causes cancer, and knowing that similar materials will produce similar compounds in smoke, it seems reasonable to assume that smoking any kind of plant on a chronic basis will increase the cancer risk. I do think it is intellectually dishonest to claim that smoking pot causes cancer, which is why I do not think I have said this. I also find it dishonest to say that smoking pot does NOT cause cancer. There are too many confounding influences one way or the other to conclusively state the causality of pot smoking and cancer, in my opinion. We need bigger sample sizes and longer term studies of people who smoke a lot of pot on a daily basis. I have not searched for them, because I don't really care. My points are that the health effects of smoking pot are a generalization of inhaling any hot, partially combusted material and that unfiltered pot has more tar in it than filtered cigarettes.

In any case, this side discussion about the health effects of cancer is far off topic. I would suggest we table this to IM or just drop it.

I'm ok with it because, for the first time, there is an actual intellectual debate going on with facts and counter points and good or bad sources and WHEEEEE!

-Az
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Freakish » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:47 am UTC

It is not reasonable to assume that smoking any kind of plant on a chronic basis will increase the cancer risk.

From one of the cite's.
The researchers interviewed 611 lung cancer patients and 1,040 healthy controls as well as 601 patients with cancer in the head or neck region under the age of 60 to create the statistical analysis. They found that 80 percent of those with lung cancer and 70 percent of those with other cancers had smoked tobacco while only roughly half of both groups had smoked marijuana. The more tobacco a person smoked, the greater the risk of developing cancer, as other studies have shown.

But after controlling for tobacco, alcohol and other drug use as well as matching patients and controls by age, gender and neighborhood, marijuana did not seem to have an effect, despite its unhealthy aspects. "Marijuana is packed more loosely than tobacco, so there's less filtration through the rod of the cigarette, so more particles will be inhaled," Tashkin says. "And marijuana smokers typically smoke differently than tobacco smokers; they hold their breath about four times longer allowing more time for extra fine particles to deposit in the lungs.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Malbert » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:17 am UTC

meat.paste wrote:it seems reasonable to assume that smoking any kind of plant on a chronic basis will increase the cancer risk.

This is reasonable to assume unless there is a chemical in there that is stopping the cancer from developing. And, if you still aren't sure that something in the weed is doing that, go back up and click those links about the cancer studies people are posting. There have been a lot of them in the recent posts.

As for filtration: I've smoke filtered spliffs (that's a tobacco and cannabis mix), and I sometimes tighten the crutch on a joint enough to act as filter (it does undergo some discoloration). That is what made your blanket comment about joints being unfiltered seem funny. In general, it is uncommon for people in California (where I've smoked) to put filters on joints, but people do use them.
Here is the only source I found that talks about filtered joints in an academic setting: http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v06n3/06359mj1.html
The point in the study was to test vapes, but they used both filtered and unfiltered joints as controls. Here is the significant quote:
Surprisingly, the unfiltered joint outperformed all devices except the vaporizers, with a ratio of about 1 part cannabinoids to 13 parts tar. This disturbingly poor ratio may be explained by the low potency of the NIDA-supplied marijuana used in the study, which was around 2.3%.

That would mean putting a filter on is counterproductive. Unlike bubblers and bongs, the filter doesn't cool the smoke either. I don't like this study as much as most, because it doesn't look like they used much rigor and they didn't have a classic pipe as one of the controls (I would expect this to be the "best" smoking method in terms of tar to cannabinoid ratio just because you aren't burning a piece of paper as well).
EsotericWombat wrote:As soon as I can afford a volcano vape, I'll be getting one.

I wouldn't recommend assuming that volcanoes are the best (now they are obviously very good). The volcano vape uses an aluminum heating element (I can't find where they say this on the site for volcano, sorry for no source), which many claim is not the most healthy. I can't find an academic source on this either (the noise from marketing style sources is too much on google), but here is an explanation of why ceramic is better than aluminum: http://www.wickedroots.com/Vaporizers/Ceramic-vs-Aluminum.html. As far as I know, volcanoes are indeed the best in every other way.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby nazlfrag » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:32 pm UTC

alexh123456789 wrote:They use plant hormones for plants, not human hormones.

More on topic, Marijuana is bad for your health because it makes you want to sit around smoking and takes away your drive to do other things. It's the same problem all addictive things have.


Thanks for the advice, I just know it's recommended to not get in touch with these chemicals to the point of wearing full sleeve gloves, goggles, mask and a frock when handling them. I didn't realise that they are unrelated to our hormonal system, hence my baseless supposition disclaimer.

So on topic, dope is bad for your health in that it will distract you from the important things in life.

Responding to a two-week-old comment when there's better than a page of comments after it is rather poor form. Doubly so when you seem to have glossed over a number of challenges and refutations to the assertion in your final sentence.

~CM


Edit: Sorry about the delay, I don't check these forums too often. I'd like to keep discussing this, and have read through the replies. There was only one other quoting me, and it was also referring to the hormones comment. My final sentence comes from experience and is merely a first hand account, nothing more or less.

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby keith_ » Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:38 am UTC

this one isnt really about the ganj, but it deals with the original topic of "beyond physical health" and makes the case for hallucinogens and creativity.

just as a post script, because we all love anecdotal evidence, imbibing the reefer can have similar effects as described in the article. especially if its potent, like a 'kush' or 'blueberry' strain you can find at your local medical marijuana shop. Hopefully you'll have a store like that near you within the next few years.

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby EsotericWombat » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:22 am UTC

Huh. Interesting. I guess the question is how are the findings of that study applicable to pot, which skews towards the hallucinogenic but doesn't necessarily live there.

The Study wrote:They reported a feeling of low inhibition and anxiety. "There was no fear, no worry, no sense of reputation…," "…a lowered sense of personal danger…," and "…the normal blocks in the way of progress seemed absent…" (1970). There was also the capacity to restructure a problem in a larger context. "I could handle two or three different ideas at the same time and keep track of each" (1970). "Looking at the same problem with psychedelic materials, I was able to consider it in a much more basic way, because I could form and keep in mind a much broader picture" (1970).


Of course, reliance on that sort of reasoning to assume that pot will have the same effects is the same as assuming that it'll cause an increased risk of cancer.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby s.blue » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:05 pm UTC

My experience: using marijuana as a teenager gave me severe anxiety attacks and I believe it may have been a main contributor my social anxiety disorder. Two of my friends also suffered anxiety attacks due to marijuana use and also have anxiety disorders. It's hard for me to look at marijuana and say that it's not a dangerous drug. It seems to have a reputation as a somewhat mild or weak drug but I have found its effects to be quite strong. On several occasions it has caused me to become completely physically and mentally incapacitated with considerable loss of vision. On one occasion my friend suffered complete loss of vision for several minutes and was scared shitless. Other people I have known use it chronically and don't have these nasty side effects.

Edited. Mind your tone.

-Az

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Azrael » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:47 pm UTC

s.blue wrote:My experience: using marijuana as a teenager gave me severe anxiety attacks and I believe it may have been a main contributor my social anxiety disorder.


Wouldn't it, since you're speaking with a dearth of medical backing, make more sense that using a drug only a few times *triggered* an episode of an existing psychiatric disorder, rather than caused one?

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Freakish » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

Marijuana can cause panic attacks if you have anxiety. As long as your calm there really shouldn't be any problems.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:59 pm UTC

I am sorry I am at work and do not have my sources on me, but when I did a report on marijuana and health things all the studies I found had no link between smoking weed and mental health issues (at least not creating them). Some of the flawed studies that do connect the two ignore that they had flawed samples.
There is possibly more of a problem with people who are depressed/whatever seeking to avoid life by using drugs, but nothing to say weed is the cause of their problems.

Some study I found real quick
Mental disorder at age 15 led to a small but significantly elevated risk of cannabis use at age 18; by contrast, cannabis use at age 18 elevated the risk of mental disorder at age 21. The latter association reflected the extent to which cannabis dependence and other externalizing disorders at age 21 were predicted by earlier level of involvement with cannabis. Conclusions. The findings suggest that the primary causal direction leads from mental disorder to cannabis use among adolescents and the reverse in early adulthood. Both alcohol use and cigarette smoking had independent associations with later mental health disorder

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby alexh123456789 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126885.100-cannabis-radical-alternatives-needed.html

An interesting article which concludes that there's a lot of damage damage beyond physical health caused by marijuana. It also contains links to some studies and statistics.

Good find. It'd be delightful if everyone participating in this thread from here on out read that article first.

-Az

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Malbert » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:21 am UTC


That article made me angry but I read the whole thing anyway (it made me angry because they want to try to eliminate potent strains... have us all smoking shwag)
It is obvious that there will be many types of users of a substance like this. Some will let it be a gateway drug, some will continue to extensively research every drug they think about trying before trying them (like I do).
Page 24 of the PDF of the Beckley report they keep mentioning talks about the 2 reported deaths. It doesn't mention names or reports, and says that they may not be caused by the THC anyways. This was of interest to me because most articles claim zero reported deaths caused by THC overdose.
Another thing about the article posted that jumped out at me is they are unsure of the causality on everything. That makes sense as studies on the correlation between two things teaches you nothing about which caused which.
Also, the claim that it makes bad parents is kind of sketchy. It says "see 'how bad is it?'" but there is no mention in that section of the bad parents thing. If they mean it will be harder to have a kid, that is believable as it reduces reproductive capabilities (mentioned in that pdf on page 27 onward). If they mean that it makes people worse at raising their children... that is a daring claim and I can't find backup in the PDF (I haven't read the whole thing, it's long).
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:28 am UTC

alexh123456789 wrote:http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126885.100-cannabis-radical-alternatives-needed.html

An interesting article which concludes that there's a lot of damage damage beyond physical health caused by marijuana. It also contains links to some studies and statistics.


From the article:

They are also more likely to drop out of school early, be involved in traffic accidents, and be poor parents (see "How bad is it?"). The report also found evidence that cannabis may act as a "gateway drug", increasing the likelihood that users will go on to try more damaging drugs such as heroin or cocaine.


I think its already been pointed out but I think this might be putting the cart before the horse. I.e. those who are more likely to drop out of school are more likely to get stoned. Likewise, those who were gonna end up using hard drugs were gonna get there without trying weed first. They would have used glue or whatever first if they didn't have a choice.

From my personal experience, weed can have different psychological effects on different people. Many can smoke it without any real problems. I heard of one guy who smoked weed for a long time until he just snapped, and went into a rage. From then on, just the smell of it in a room would set him off: make him very agitated and potentially violent. It's not all that different from how alcohol affects people differently, no matter how tolerant they are. Some people get really sleazy, others just talk crap, some get really happy, and some can spontaneously get extremely aggressive.

TL;DR version: just because you've never got the panics or seen someone get them, doesn't mean they don't happen. But this doesn't that there aren't any stoners out there who can function normally.
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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby Azrael » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:45 pm UTC

This topic will quickly wear out it's welcome if it devolves into sharing about what our once-stoner girlfriend said it felt like.

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby serope » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

I looked online for any solid info on the effects of marijuana beyond those of physical health but could not find any. I checked out the library at a local university and found a book which summarizes current (2004) understanding of the mental effects of marijuana, in both the short and long term.

I've been busy with personal stuff and school the past little while, but when I get a chance to read more of it I'll write more about it here. I'll see if I can quote important parts of the text itself, too, since it is not available online that I know of and it would probably not be available in most public libraries.

The book is called 'Marijuana and Madness'. It is edited by David Castle and Robin Murray. A official page for it is here: http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/cata ... 0521819407

Edit: Moved new material to a new post.
Last edited by serope on Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:22 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Marijuana: Beyond Physical Health

Postby serope » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:21 am UTC

Continued from my last post:

Summary of Chapter 3: 'Acute and subacute psychomimetic effects of cannabis in humans'

Note: psychomimetic means producing effects that resemble the symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoid delusions or hallucinations.

Self-reported effects
Marijuana and Madness (pg 43) wrote:
In a large British study of 2794 cannabis users (Atha and Blanchard, 1997), nearly 60% reported positive effects, including relaxation and relief from stress (26%), insight and personal development (9%) and a positive effect on mood (5%) or sociability (2%). Again, adverse effects were common (21% overall) and included impairment of memory (6%), paranoia (6%), apathy/laziness (5%) and anxiety/panic (2%).

The study they citied is:
Atha, M.J. and Blanchard, S. (1997). Regular Users. Self-Reported Consumption Patterns and Attitudes Towards Drugs Among 1333 Regular Cannabis Users. London, UK: Independent Drug Monitoring Unit.

Note that all that info is self-reported by users. This should help explain more clearly (beyond 'to get high') as to why someone would want to take this drug.

Subjective reports by 12 medical volunteers
Marijuana and Madness (pg 44) wrote:
  • Disturbance of consciousness: this was described as a 'constriction of the field of awareness' with enhanced 'self observation'
  • Disordered time perception, with a prolongation of the sense of the passage of time such that minutes 'seemed like an eternity' and subjects' estimate of time was later than actual time
  • Impaired immediate recall, experienced as a 'fragmentation of thought' and apparent to observers as a disjointed speech
  • Mood disturbance, encompassing euphoria and often uncontrollable mirth, sometimes followed by short-lived depression
  • A detachment from reality, probably best understood as depersonalization/derealization

The study quoted here is Ames, F.R. (1958). A clinical and metabolic study of acute intoxication with Cannabis sativa and its role in the model psychoses. J. Mental Sci., 104, 972-999

This results are more detailed and specific than the first study, since the users were asked to describe the effects of marijuana while using the drug.

On Pot use and Anxiety
I don't want to say too much here, except that it is noted that a paradoxical effect of marijuana use, as reported by users, is that it both causes and relieves anxiety. Anxiety seems to be more common with higher doses and with less experienced users. (pg 45-46)


The 'motivational' syndrome (quotes verbatim)
Theres alot of info here discussing different studies, so I'll just paraphrase it here then post their conclusion paragraph.

This is still considerable debate about whether the amotivational syndrome (ie does marijuana make users lazy?) really exists or not. The components of the syndrome are said to be a loss of interest in life, loss of desire to work, loss of energy, moodiness and irritability, impaired concentration, lack of concern for hygiene, and a preoccupation with obtaining and using marijuana. Many studies into this syndrome have been flawed, either through a bias in subject selection (for example picking subjects from a group in whom it is likely that users and non-users alike will have this symptoms) or through bad controls (picking non-users for comparison who differ from the users in important ways beyond marijuana use). Some studies have also not been careful assessing how much marijuana people are using, which seems to be an important factor for the syndrome. (pg 48-50)

Marijuana and Madness (pg 48) wrote:Thus, the issue of whether the amotivational syndrome is a true entity remains controversial. In reviewing this area, Castle and Ames (1996) concluded that it is probable that prolonged heavy use of cannabis can have 'amotivational' effects, but that these might reflect a subacute encephalopathy[disease of the brain], consequent upon chronic intoxication with cannabis (being high lipophilic, it is stored in fat cells for weeks) and reversible upon discontinuation. Hall and Solowij (1998) argue that there is a therefore no need to invoke a syndrome - poor motivation may merely be symptomatic of chronic intoxication.


So very likely 'the amotivational syndrome' is just being high all the time.

I can post more if people are interested. I would recommend the book to anyone; you need a background in science to understand it, probably a high school science course or two would be enough. My own background is physics/mechanical engineering and I understood it well enough, although many of the details elude me. I hope some find it interesting, and I would love to hear comments or criticism of any of the above.

EDIT: Grammer, etc


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