Is marijuana a harmless drug?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
So I'm dating this new girl and I find out she's tokes up from time to time.

Now I'm no prude, but I've always thought the use of recreational drugs (even something as weak as pot) is a sign of weakness, cry for help, low self-esteem etc...

Then I got to thinking, I drink. Sometimes quite a bit. And alcohol in itself can be probably just as damaging to the body as marajuna.



What's the lowdown on marajuna and it's side effects (insert joke now).

Or is there nothing wrong with the odd toke...as long as it's in moderation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Well, as with anything you smoke, Marijuana can damage your lungs with the tar it contains. I don't know about other side effects, but that much is a given.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    there is little evidence of significant long term side-effects from chronic use of inhaled or ingested marijuana. long term smoking of anything (tobacco, mari, crack, ..) is believed to be a significant cause of several respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer and emphazema. but nothing conclusive has ever been found to prove that. short term side-effects (meaning: while under the influence [0-4h after smoke, more for ingesting; and times vary per strength of the mari]) include short-term memory loss, lack of concentration, euphoria and more. occassional use (1/week) usually has no effect on an individual's health. even frequent and chronic user's can live full and healthy lives. i've been a frequent user, and i have no serious health problems. about the only negative things i picked up from the sweet mary were: an interest in psychodels, a cigarette habit, and an irritable (to others) view of the world.



    also, try not to judge others' drug use on broad and unsubstantiated prejudices. users don't have to be shitty people to use (and we aren't shitty people just because we use either). there are a multitude of reasons why a person could start using marijuana or any drug. i didn use because i'm weak, seeking help, had low self-esteem or any similar reason; it was just something to do, and it's fun.



    also: alcohol is believed to be a lot more damaging to the body than marijuana. drinking too much can cause alcohol poisoning, smoking too much causes a weed nap. a lethal dose of marijuana is something like 40 thousand times more than an average dose. drinking can also impair your senses more strongly than marijuana.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    We should bring in an outside expert on this matter...



  • Reply 4 of 40
    Drugs are bad.



  • Reply 5 of 40
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    LOL

    Good one! But is Snoop more a marajuna or gin and juicer man?
  • Reply 6 of 40
    osxaddictosxaddict Posts: 131member
    Since you asked. Besides being stupid:



    Marijuana

    The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Short-term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem-solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.



    Health Hazards



    Effects of Marijuana on the Brain. Researchers have found that THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the hippocampus. This is a component of the brain's limbic system that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. Investigations have shown that THC suppresses neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus. In addition, researchers have discovered that learned behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, also deteriorate.





    Effects on the Lungs. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds. Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke.



    Regardless of the THC content, the amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers. This may be due to marijuana users inhaling more deeply and holding the smoke in the lungs.





    Effects of Marijuana Use during Pregnancy. Research has shown that babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies display altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness, and a high-pitched cry, which may indicate problems with neurological development. During infancy and preschool years, marijuana-exposed children have been observed to have more behavioral problems and to perform tasks of visual perception, language comprehension, sustained attention, and memory more poorly than nonexposed children do. In school, these children are more likely to exhibit deficits in decision-making skills, memory, and the ability to remain attentive.





    Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use on Learning and Social Behavior. A study of college students has shown that critical skills related to attention, memory, and learning are impaired among people who use marijuana heavily, even after discontinuing its use for at least 24 hours. Researchers compared 65 "heavy users," who had smoked marijuana a median of 29 of the past 30 days, and 64 "light users," who had smoked a median of 1 of the past 30 days. After a closely monitored 19- to 24-hour period of abstinence from marijuana and other illicit drugs and alcohol, the undergraduates were given several standard tests measuring aspects of attention, memory, and learning. Compared to the light users, heavy marijuana users made more errors and had more difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment, and in registering, processing, and using information. The findings suggest that the greater impairment among heavy users is likely due to an alteration of brain activity produced by marijuana.



    Longitudinal research on marijuana use among young people below college age indicates those who used have lower achievement than the non-users, more acceptance of deviant behavior, more delinquent behavior and aggression, greater rebelliousness, poorer relationships with parents, and more associations with delinquent and drug-using friends.





    Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    All drugs are harmful to some extent, (and there is absolutely no correlation between a drugs harmfulness and it's legal status). The chief harm from marijuana comes from the intake of smoke into the lungs, which we all know is carninogenic. I read awhile back (can't recall the link) that to overdose from smoking marijuana would require so many joints in quick succession that the smoker would have long succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning before THC poisoning set in. I don't know what the oral overdose for THC (and other active constituents of pot) is but as far as I know, nobody has ever died as a direct chemical result from smoking/eating pot.



    There are probably no statistics on how many people get into car accidents etc etc when stoned....but that probably happens frequently, specially when taken in conjunction with other drugs such as alcohol, antidepressants etc. If you want to take pot, the least harmful way is probably in brownies....ie don't smoke it...smoking (anything) causes lung cancer, throat cancer, heart disease etc etc.



    Probably one of the greatest risks smoking marijuana is getting busted, going through the penal system and ending up in jail....where drugs are rife, there's hardened crooks all over the place, you may end up getting raped or beaten....



    My advice is...don't bother. Drugs (or drink) ain't 'cool'. You can get a far more intense effect from, for example, yoga and meditation which its great for your wellbeing.....and...it's free. Just watch out for the born again Christians...they may call you "satanic"
  • Reply 8 of 40
    enaena Posts: 667member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sammi jo

    .....and...it's free. Just watch out for the born again Christians...they may call you "satanic" [/B]



    ...that was a fairly bigoted comment----prayer and meditation are not the exclusive realm of Christophobes.



    On the pot thing---the Ads are right, when you smoke pot "nothing happens" the weed they've got these days can be an ass-kicker I remember a weekend that lasted 4 hours once....but I digress.



    At any rate, I have found that you are either moving AWAY from using any kind of drugs to escape (and yes that includes alchohol) or TOWARD using drugs to escape.



    Also, the people who are in the marajuana enterprise industry can be less than stable in many ways---be careful---they are breaking the law and they have a conspicuous absense of risk-adverse behavior.



    And finally, you will eventually be drawn to your girlfriend's lifestyle or she to yours. It is hard to control the uncontrollable.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    wyntirwyntir Posts: 88member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by OSXaddict

    ...Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.



    Or if you're looking for a slightly more balanced view on the matter, NewScientist's compilation of marijuana-related information is great IMO.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    don't smoke, bake...
  • Reply 11 of 40
    osxaddictosxaddict Posts: 131member
    Hey! Get back your home now!



    Groverat, did you let him out??
  • Reply 12 of 40
    fangornfangorn Posts: 323member
    An occasion toke versus heavy drinking: she wins. Back in them olden days of college, I knew people who thought because all they did was drink to excess, they were better than the "dope smokers." I also knew people who thought because they were in college and "doing something with their lives" that it didn't matter if they smoked pot. Taken to excess, I'd say they are the same. The only redeeming point is that alcohol doesn't have to be taken to excess. You can actually drink without getting drunk. One doesn't smoke pot that way.



    And again, physiologically, she is probably better off with the "occasion toke" then you are drinking to excess, particularly if indulge very often.



    Smoking pot doesn't make one a bad person. It isn't what you put into your mouth that makes you unclean, but what comes out. [paraphrase]



    Oh, and yes Sammi, that's coming from a born-again Christian and I don't recall calling anyone "satanic."
  • Reply 13 of 40
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    While this is not a done deal, there is a possibility of decriminalising marajuna here in Canada. The feeling is that small amounts for personal use is acceptable. Perhaps smoking pot has become so routine that it's becoming acceptable.



    I don't want to pass too much judgement on this girl yet. If the usage is very limited, I wouldn't have a problem with that. And Fangorn's right, it doesn't necessarily make her a bad person. But I'm sure of one thing...I'm not one to follow into her footsteps...regardless of how much I like her.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    smoking pot . . . . who cares?!?!?! its such a nothing



    its something if you are a pot-head and get stoned A LOT . . . but once in a blue moon? who, beside Arsecroft, cares?



    experience different experiences and you may even grow a little
  • Reply 15 of 40
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    i'll put it to you this way.



    ever heard the phrase "he's a mean drunk"?



    ever heard "he's a mean stoner"?



    exactly.



    pot heads are harmless. better than drunks IMO.



    the occasional smoke won't hurt her or you.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    occasional smoke, like occasional drunk won't kill you (except if you drive while under the effects of it), but regular use of marijuana is bad for memory, and it can be irreversible. One of my patient says that since she use to smoke for years, she has not got any more memory, and she is not able to studie anything now.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    Quote:

    Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use on Learning and Social Behavior. A study of college students has shown that critical skills related to attention, memory, and learning are impaired among people who use marijuana heavily, even after discontinuing its use for at least 24 hours. Researchers compared 65 "heavy users," who had smoked marijuana a median of 29 of the past 30 days, and 64 "light users," who had smoked a median of 1 of the past 30 days. After a closely monitored 19- to 24-hour period of abstinence from marijuana and other illicit drugs and alcohol, the undergraduates were given several standard tests measuring aspects of attention, memory, and learning. Compared to the light users, heavy marijuana users made more errors and had more difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment, and in registering, processing, and using information. The findings suggest that the greater impairment among heavy users is likely due to an alteration of brain activity produced by marijuana.



    actually, i've found a study that shows "no significant differences in cognitive decline between heavy users, light users, and nonusers of cannabis over a 15-year period." (C. Lyketsos et al. 1999. Cannabis use and cognitive decline in persons under 65 years of age. American Journal of Epidemiology 149: 794-800.) I suppose in the short run those students may have acquired learning disabilities, but in the long-term marijuana does not seem to cause cognitive damage.



    also, the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (www.norml.org) has a pretty largeamount of studies from the U.S. and abroad on all kinds of topics relating to marijuana.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    i can say that the once-a-day burnout types that i know are significantly more 'impaired' on a continual basis than the weekend-binge-drinkers.



    occasionally though, it's nothing to be worried about, i suppose. personally, i'd be more concerned about a cigarette smoker than someone who tokes every once in a while; much less weakness inherent in the every-few-weeks-have-some-fun type.



    i'm sure everyone has their chosen foible or occasional indulgence; it just happens that hers is prohibited by the antediluvean drug laws of this country... oh well.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Powerdoc

    occasional smoke, like occasional drunk won't kill you (except if you drive while under the effects of it), but regular use of marijuana is bad for memory, and it can be irreversible. One of my patient says that since she use to smoke for years, she has not got any more memory, and she is not able to studie anything now.



    Agreed. I have known some daily users or even "moderately-heavy" users. They DO have memory and cognative impairment. There is no question.



    More disturbing are the effects on motivation and social skills. All of the daily users I have known suffer froma lack of motivation and lack of personal responsibility. I have seen two VERY intelligent people acheive literally nothing, mostly due to the fact that all they want to do is smoke. On other words, it may not be physcially addictive, but it sure as hell is psycologically addictive.



    I tried it twice. I don't care for it. Oh, and I disagree: Occassional binge drinkers can be much more functional than can daily marijuana users. After a while, daily users look permanently stoned. By comparison, moderate daily drinking can be GOOD for you.



    EDIT: BTW, I think drugs should be legalized...except for children, that is.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sammi jo





    Just watch out for the born again Christians...they may call you "satanic"




    We will? How would you know? actually, me as a B.A.G I say legalize em all, then tax em!

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