Where is the truth? Is marijuana good or bad?
I'm a little nervous sharing about this topic at all. Not because it's highly controversial, you probably know by now that that doesn't scare me, ha! But because running around in my own mind are thoughts of those who “smoke dope” being referred to as “pot heads” and “losers”. However, I'm thankful that these days I have more of an open mind, not so open that my brains fall out, but open enough to consider that what I used to “know” just might be wrong, or at least only part of the story. I've already learned how wrong I was on many topics over the years, and my thoughts on medical marijuana have already started to come around, especially when my Mom had so much nausea from her cancer treatment. Before she died we had just started looking into it, hoping to find a way to help her keep food down. THEN I read the story from this Mom, which opened my eyes even more: Be Ready When YOU Need to Make Cancer Decisions: Conventional, Holistic, or THIS Treatment Option?
|By the way, be sure to click here to check out the Truth About Cancer series for SO much information that I wish I'd known when my Mom was diagnosed! If it's not live right now, register anyway so you'll be notified when it's live again later, they replay this fairly often.|
So hang with me, and see what this ex-police narcotics investigator has to say — here's Bob…
In the first place, I should tell you that I have experience with cannabis, or what the government renamed as marijuana.
I am a Reformed Baptist pastor, a former police narcotics investigator, a current researcher and published writer, and a Weston Price chapter leader.
More on my background…
I spent six years working undercover as a police narcotics detective and executed over 300 search warrants for the arrest and prosecution of sales and distribution of all types of drugs. I have located and destroyed many acres of marijuana grows and have arrested hundreds of persons for distribution of illegal drugs. Many of those served lengthy prison terms. The majority of those imprisoned returned to illicit drug use when released from prison. When I was promoted to police management, I oversaw the day to day operations of the narcotics drug task force. I lectured at schools about the dangers of drugs, including the use of marijuana. When I retired from law enforcement, I operated a construction company and conducted random drug testing on my employees. I fired many employees for the use of drugs, mainly marijuana.
As a narcotics investigator who bought and sold marijuana as an undercover agent, I can tell you that the majority of people who I investigated were largely unemployed and many in their early twenties, and they were on Social Security Disability for back pain or back problems. I investigated some who were employed and good workers, but the majority were not. Marijuana was not limited to use by these types of people, as it was and is used by many college professors, doctors, and lawyers.
What do you think of when you think of a marijuana user?
I will tell you what came to my mind as a cop. We had various names for marijuana users; pot smokers, stoners, dopers, pot-heads, losers, and lazy tokers. These names aptly describe the group of lazy people who smoke pot all through the day and into the night, but primarily because they don't work. These are people who live off of a relative or the government and wouldn't work even if they didn't have marijuana to smoke. These names don't describe the millions of people who smoke marijuana, but work full time jobs like doctors, dentists, lawyers, nurses, and yes, even cops. The bottom line is that the names we call people who smoke marijuana, only apply to the non-employed lazy people who smoke marijuana, and as mentioned above, would be unemployed whether they had access to marijuana or not. It doesn't apply to the productive members of society who smoke marijuana, because they are employed and don't sleep or lay around all day, and we usually don't even know they smoke marijuana.
The use of marijuana does not affect one's ability to work or to do a good job.
I confirmed this in our construction company employees. This is not exactly true with other illicit drugs, because they function differently in the body. For example, a person who has ingested heroin or methamphetamines will be greatly affected in his ability to perform good work, for the worse, but a person who smokes or ingests marijuana will be able to perform normally on the job. But, one may object, “I have seen people do stupid things after smoking pot”. I would answer, “Yes, as have I, but those same people do stupid things before they smoke pot, as well, because stupid people do stupid things.” This is confirmed in the book of Job: Job 11:12(ESV) “But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man!”
Smoking marijuana does not make people violent as do other drugs.
A person on PCP can be and usually is, extremely violent. A person on meth can be extremely violent. A person on many of the antipsychotic prescribed drugs are or become extremely violent, as confirmed by the fact that all of the ‘school shooters' were on prescribed antipsychotic medication. (1) Alcohol, an approved drug, can make people extremely violent. In fact, in my days as a cop, the only people I ever had to physically fight, were people who were drunk on alcohol or high on PCP.
Difference between marijuana and other drugs
Marijuana rarely causes a hallucinogenic effect as do other drugs, but it can if too much is used. The primary effect of smoking marijuana is described as being very relaxing and sometimes as just feeling very good. If a person smokes too much, he or she will be sleepy or groggy the next day, but a marijuana hangover is nothing like an alcohol hangover. Another important difference with marijuana is that there are no significant withdrawal symptoms, as there are with other illicit drugs, alcohol, and many antipsychotic antidepressant pharmaceuticals. Marijuana is not addictive like other drugs or even alcohol, but a person can become addicted to it in the same way they do with coffee, chocolate, and sugar.
As a police investigator, my training led me to be against the use of marijuana in any form, but I was in favor of legislation making it legal. I had two reasons for this; first of all, anything illegal is more appealing to sinful human nature than anything legal, and secondly, taxpayers spend billions of dollars trying to stop something that will never stop. It is a complete waste of police and court resources to investigate and jail people for possession and distribution of marijuana. Marijuana has been and is hailed as a ‘gateway' drug, but it is not. People who use crank, coke, and heroin, also use marijuana, but not because they want to go on a trip, but because they want to relax or sleep, and a large percentage of people who use marijuana never use other drugs, except pharmaceuticals.
My experience and belief about marijuana was reflected in the section I wrote for our church constitution, forbidding the usage of it. I have been an adamant spokesman against the use of marijuana, including supposed healing benefits of it.
The catalyst for change
All of this changed about a year and a half ago. I have a Christian brother who owns a heating and air-conditioning business. I had not seen him for four or five years, but met with him for an hour when I called him for a bid to install a propane generator. In the course of our conversation, he mentioned his beloved dog, a Jack Russell Terrier, who is now eight years old. He credits the dog for saving his life when he was under a house. The dog went with him and confronted and killed a rattlesnake. Since that day, the dog has gone everywhere with him.
He related to me that the dog contracted cancer two years ago, and finally was sent to a cancer treatment center for dogs in Boise, Idaho. The dog was in the intensive care unit and underwent three separate chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the cancer. At the end of the three month treatment, the facility called my friend and told him that the dog was about two weeks away from death, because the treatments weren't successful in dealing with the cancer. They would either euthanize the dog or he could pick it up to die at home.
At the same time, my friend was installing a climate control system for a legal and State certified indoor marijuana grow. While there, he related the story about his dog to the grower. The grower suggested to my friend that he give the dog drops of a 50/50 combination of THC/CBD in cannabis oil. My friend legally purchased a bottle of the oil, 50% THC and 50% CBD. He picked the dog up from the treatment center in Boise and took it home. The dog could not eat or drink without throwing up and was being watered and fed through IVs. He laid the dog down in its bed and placed two drops of the oil in the dog's mouth. Within three hours, the dog drank some water from his bowl and did not throw up. The next morning, my friend repeated the two drops, and several hours later, the dog got up and ate food and did not throw up. My friend repeated the two drops three times a day, and by the second day, the feeding tubes were removed and the dog was returning to normal and showing no signs of illness.
By the end of the week, the dog was full of energy, eating, drinking, playing like normal.
My friend took the dog to the vet who originally diagnosed him. The vet checked the dog and said there appeared to be no signs of cancer and advised my friend to continue two drops three times a day for another week, which my friend did. This was two years ago and my friend reported that the dog is completely normal in all respects.
A skeptic's research
If you are like me, you would be skeptical of this report as I was. I am a very skeptical person, but my skepticism is of some benefit, because it leads me to do a lot of intense research. Although I had always denied any medical benefit of cannabis, I began to research antidotal claims made by cannabis users.
These claims led me to investigate peer-reviewed studies, and those studies led me to interview experts in the use of cannabis for medical purposes. I interviewed cannabis growers, cannabis users who smoked it for the ‘high', and people who currently use it for intense pain management and curtailment of debilitating autoimmune diseases. I interviewed people who used it for making clothing 30 years ago, and many who were imprisoned for growing and selling it illegally. I have read many interviews and testimonials of people who were cured of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and children with epileptic seizures, by taking small amounts of cannabis for periods of 30-90 days.
As a result of my past year of research, my position has changed on cannabis. There are very important considerations when researching cannabis. The considerations are five-fold:
- First, the majority of people who use cannabis for recreational purposes, use it to get ‘high', much in the way most people use alcohol. For the most part, these types of users know nothing about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, nor do they care. They look for the highest amount of THC they can find, and due to genetic strains and reducing to a paste, they can purchase products containing 230% THC, where cannabis has always contained between 10 and 13% THC and very low amounts of CBD.
- The second thing you should consider is that many of the peer-reviewed studies don't actually use real cannabis; they use a synthetic made THC, called Marinol (Dronabinol), which comes in gelatin capsule form and is taken orally. They also use a synthetic form of THC called Cesamet (Nabilone), which is also a capsule medication taken orally. This is important to know, because the synthetic equivalents are less effective than the actual cannabis plant and they come with a host of negative side-effects not associated with or experienced by users of the whole plant.
- The third consideration is the fact that the plant works most effectively when it is taken as a whole plant, or at least when all of its parts, THC, CBD, CBN, and Terpines are present. Numerous studies have shown that each part of the plant is synergistic, as God created it, and works together. Isolating specific compounds of the plant are less effective than taking them in their natural combination.
- Fourth, smoking the plant is the least effective way to take it medicinally. Many studies are based on smoking, which produces side-effects similar to smoking tobacco, although it has never been shown to cause lung cancer.
- Fifth, cannabis, marijuana, and hemp refer to the same plant. The difference between hemp and what is known as marijuana, is that hemp is a legal cannabis strain, has some medicinal benefits, but is very low in THC. Most hemp must have less than 1% THC in order to qualify as hemp. What is commonly referred to as marijuana is higher in THC, the psychoactive component, than it is in CBD. Normal marijuana contains usually less than 3% CBD. There are now medical strains, only a few, but increasing, with ratios of close to one to one, THC to CBD. The reason for this is that CBD tends to lessen the psychoactive effects of THC, but not the medicinal benefits. In fact, the combination of one to one ratios has been found to have the greatest medicinal effectiveness if ingested and not smoked.
- Cannabis strains are divided into two types; Sativa and Indica. Sativa strains are for daytime use, increasing energy and alertness, while Indica strains are for nighttime use, causing sleepiness and feeling relaxed.
When you do your own research, as I hope you do, take these things into consideration, because they will make a difference in the end result.
Primary means of use
There are four ways to use cannabis:
- Smoking it and inhaling into the lungs
- Vaporizing it, (without burning it) and inhaling it into the lungs
- Sublingual, placing the concentrate or tincture under the tongue
- And finally, taking it gastro intestinally by eating it.
Obviously, the pot smokers smoke or inhale it. Inhaled cannabis smoke produces a 3 or 4 hour high, while taking it sublingual or eating it produces a 7 or 8 hour effect. Notice, I said effect instead of high, because the majority of people who eat it in an edible form are not taking it to get high, nor do they get high, but purely for the medicinal benefits of it.
Smoking or vaporizing cannabis does provide for immediate pain relief, where eating it does not produce pain relief for an hour or so, until it goes throughout the system and makes contact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. I will share more about the use of it later.
But, it is a Schedule I drug!
Let's visit about this. I don't blame you for not already knowing what I am going to share with you, because you have had no need to know it. You, as did I, believed the government when they said it was a very violent and dangerous drug and had no medicinal benefits. You believed the government, as I did, when they said it should be called marijuana instead of cannabis.
So yes, to this day, the federal government's position is that it is a dangerous drug, has no medicinal benefits, which is why it is still listed as a Schedule I drug along with heroin and LSD. Our current attorney general is adamant about getting rid of it altogether. How did it come to be listed as a dangerous drug? First a little history on the plant itself…
The history of Cannabis
Just last week, I saw a picture and an accompanying article of a cannabis plant in perfect condition excavated from an archeological dig site. The plant was dated at 2700 years old. In 2900 BC, the Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi references cannabis as a popular medicine. (2)
“Holy anointing oil, as described in the original Hebrew version of the recipe in Exodus (30:22-23), contained over six pounds of kaneh-bosem, a substance identified by respected etymologists, linguists, anthropologists, botanists and other researchers as cannabis, extracted into about six quarts of olive oil, along with a variety of other fragrant herbs. The ancient anointed ones were literally drenched in this potent mixture.” (3)
“Cannabis use for medicinal purposes dates back at least 3,000 years.[1-5] It was introduced into Western medicine in 1839 by W.B. O’Shaughnessy, a surgeon who learned of its medicinal properties while working in India for the British East India Company. Its use was promoted for reported analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and anticonvulsant effects.” (4)
“Pliny the Elder, an ancient Roman nobleman, scientist, and historian, author of Naturalis Historia (79 AD), [writes] that ‘The roots [of the cannabis plant] boiled in water ease cramped joints, gout too and similar violent pain.” (5)
“The Jamestown settlers brought the marijuana plant, commonly known as hemp, to North America in 1611, and throughout the colonial period, hemp fiber was an important export. Indeed, in 1762, ‘Virginia awarded bounties for hemp culture and manufacture, and imposed penalties on those who did not produce it.” (6)
“[George] Washington's diary entries indicate that he grew hemp at Mount Vernon, his plantation, for about 30 years [approximately 1745-1775]. According to his agricultural ledgers, he had a particular interest in the medicinal use of Cannabis, and several of his diary entries indicate that he indeed was growing Cannabis with a high Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content – marijuana.” (7)
“In the 19th Century, marijuana emerged as a mainstream medicine in the West. Studies in the 1840s by a French doctor by the name of Jacques-Joseph Moreau [a French psychiatrist] found that marijuana suppressed headaches, increased appetites, and aided people to sleep.” (8)
I think you get the idea that cannabis has been around for a long time. But there are some other considerations that led to its being placed as a Schedule I drug, as revealed in the following quotes.
The seeds of illegalization…
“[O]n 30 June 1906 President Roosevelt signed the Food and Drugs Act, known simply as the Wiley Act… The basis of the law rested on the regulation of product labeling rather than pre-market approval.”
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “FDA History – Part I,” FDA website (accessed Dec. 28, 2011)
“An Act for preventing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes…
That for the purposes of this Act an article shall also be deemed to be misbranded… if the package fail to bear a statement on the label of the quantity or proportion of any alcohol, morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, alpha or beta eucaine, chloroform, cannabis indica, chloral hydrate, or acetanilide, or any derivative or preparation of any such substances contained therein.” (9)
“Bolstered by Progressive Era faith in big government, the 1910s marked a high tide of prohibitionist sentiment in America. In 1914 and 1916, alcohol prohibition initiatives would make the state ballot. Meanwhile, the legislature was tackling such morals issues as prostitution, racetrack gambling, prizefighting, liquor, and oral sex. Amidst this profusion of vices, Indian hemp [aka cannabis] was but a minor afterthought… states banned cannabis in the 1910s: Massachusetts in 1911 (150 KB); Maine, Wyoming and Indiana in 1913; New York City in 1914; Utah and Vermont in 1915; Colorado and Nevada in 1917. As in California, these laws were passed not due to any widespread use or concern about cannabis, but as regulatory initiatives to discourage future use.” (10)
The Federal income tax was ratified on February 3, 1913 in the 16th amendment, and it established Congress's right to impose a Federal income tax. During that time, the Federal government received about one third of its income from the sale of liquor. Prohibition ended those tax receipts from 1920 through 1930, but taxation and taxing products was a proven way for the Federal government to fund its operation.
“In 1937, the U.S. Treasury Department introduced the Marihuana Tax Act. This Act imposed a levy of $1 per ounce for medicinal use of Cannabis and $100 per ounce for non-medical use. Physicians in the United States were the principal opponents of the Act. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed the Act because physicians were required to pay a special tax for prescribing Cannabis, use special order forms to procure it, and keep special records concerning its professional use. In addition, the AMA believed that objective evidence that Cannabis was harmful was lacking and that passage of the Act would impede further research into its medicinal worth. In 1942, Cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of persistent concerns about its potential to cause harm.[2,3]” (11)
As with all things government, there was much work behind the scenes during this time.
For one, Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate, held vast timber holdings consistent with his need for paper for newsprint. Hemp was used in the production of paper manufacturing and competed strongly with timber, although timber yielded a better paper. But, timber harvesting is much more costly than hemp harvesting. Hearst was an avid supporter for the illegalization of cannabis and funded lobbying against it.
From 1928 through 1937, DuPont worked on the invention of nylon for rope and fabric. The strongest competitor was cannabis/hemp, because it had superior strength and was not only used in the clothing industry with a pair of hemp made jeans lasting thirty years, but also in all ropes, especially ropes used by the Navy to secure their ships in port. DuPont lobbied extensively against cannabis/hemp. (2,13)
Now, I must tell you that many today believe that the idea of Hearst and DuPont having anything to do with the illegalization of cannabis is false and that it is nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Personally, I believe it, because I see actions like this everyday where members of our Congress are given huge amounts of money to their PACS by pharmaceutical and chemical companies in exchange for votes that are beneficial to the industry. Here is an article to read that confirms my belief in the Hearst/DuPont efforts: How Marijuana Became Illegal.
In case you believe that Hearst and DuPont had nothing to do with the illegalization of cannabis, there are additional factors that are historically recorded and that greatly helped to reschedule cannabis. The social factor was a huge one, as was the name change, from cannabis, a name that everyone was familiar with, to marijuana, a name that no one had ever heard of, and one not associated with cannabis. Before you read this, I should tell you that opium was made a Schedule I drug, in part, to make it easier to deport and deal with problem Chinese immigrants, because all of them possessed some amount of opium. Dealing with problem Mexican immigrants was dealt with in the same way, because cannabis was used and possessed by Mexicans.
The following quote is lengthy, but it provides accurate information, because it is taken from the paper entitled, Debunking The Hemp Conspiracy Theory, although it confirms facts from the ‘conspiracy theory' articles.
“New York City made cannabis prescription-only in 1914, part to pre-empt users of over-the-counter opium, morphine and cocaine medicines from switching to cannabis preparations, but with allusions to hashish use by Middle Eastern immigrants. In the West and Southwest, anti-Mexican sentiment quickly came into play. California's first marijuana arrests came in a Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles in 1914, according to Gieringer, and the Los Angeles Times said “sinister legends of murder, suicide and disaster” surrounded the drug. The city of El Paso, Texas, outlawed reefer in 1915, two years after a Mexican thug, “allegedly crazed by habitual marijuana use,” killed a cop. By the time Prohibition was repealed in 1933, 30 states had some form of pot law.
The campaign against cannabis heated up after Repeal. “I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigaret can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents,” a Colorado newspaper editor wrote in 1936. “The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a DEADLY DRUG, and American children must be PROTECTED AGAINST IT,” the Hearst newspapers editorialized.
Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, headed the charge. “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marihuana, he would drop dead of fright,” he thundered in 1937.
An ambitious racist (a 1934 memo described an informant as a “ginger-colored nigger”) who had previously been federal assistant Prohibition commissioner, Anslinger railed against reefer in magazine articles like 1937's “Marihuana: Assassin of Youth.” It featured gory stories like that of Victor Licata, a once “sane, rather quiet young man” from Tampa, Fla., who'd killed his family with an axe in 1933, after becoming “pitifully crazed” from smoking “muggles.” (Actually, the Tampa police had tried to have Licata committed to a mental hospital before he started smoking pot.)
Anslinger's other theme was that white girls would be ruined once they'd experienced the lurid pleasures of having a black man's joint in their mouth. “Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with female students (white) smoking and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution,” he noted. “Result, pregnancy.”
In 1937, after a very cursory debate, Congress enacted the Marihuana Tax Act, levying a prohibitive $100-an-ounce tax on cannabis. “I believe in some cases one cigarette might develop a homicidal mania,” Anslinger testified in a hearing on the bill.” (12)
Additional government action
Since the relegation of cannabis to Schedule I status, many, including Congressmen, have tried to get it moved from Schedule I, although unsuccessfully.
“During hearings on marijuana law in the 1930’s, claims were made about marijuana’s ability to cause men of color to become violent and solicit sex from white women. This imagery became the backdrop for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which effectively banned its use and sales.
While the Act was ruled unconstitutional years later, it was replaced with the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970’s which established Schedules for ranking substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I, supposedly as a placeholder while then President Nixon commissioned a report to give a final recommendation.
The Schafer Commission, as it was called, declared that marijuana should not be in Schedule I and even doubted its designation as an illicit substance. However, Nixon discounted the recommendations of the commission, and marijuana remains a Schedule I substance.” (13)
Lack of knowledge results in remaining bias
The statements made by Anslinger and Nixon's actions were not supported by the facts. Many doctors and scientists, who at one time were against the medicinal use of cannabis, are now in full support of it. Few doctors know the history of it, but more and more are becoming aware. This is not surprising, because few medical doctors know anything about nutrition, since they receive no training in medical school, but more and more doctors are coming to the fact that all disease begins in the gut and that our gut microbiome is critical to our health.
Fortunately, there are many medical doctors who have become knowledgeable about cannabis and dosing for various forms of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other ailments, and are actively supporting and prescribing the real thing, not the synthetic versions of it.
They are seeing amazing results, not a cure-all, but amazing results.
One such doctor who made the switch is Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Here is what he said in a letter:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Source: Hamilton Nolan, “New Surgeon General: Dr. Sanjay Gupta,” gawker.com, Jan. 6, 2009
“I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have ‘no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.' They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications… We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” (14)
Other plants at risk for assignment to Schedule I classification or private ownership
I am only going to list a few, because there are too many others to list. Pharmaceutical companies and chemical companies like Bayer, who recently purchased Monsanto, cannot patent natural substances. A patent gives its owner exclusive rights to sell its unique product. A natural substance, like a plant or a seed, cannot be patented, since it belongs to all. In order to patent something, it has to be genetically altered in a way that sets it apart from its natural counterpart. (15) This is exactly what Monsanto did with corn, soy, and cotton. They inserted a gene into the plant and then got a patent for the seeds of the new genetically altered plant, so that you have to pay them for use of the seeds. It is illegal to save the seeds from the harvest for the next year, and most of these plants have been genetically altered so that saved seeds will not germinate or grow another crop.
Interestingly, Bayer and Scott's, the company that makes Miracle Grow, are reported to be buying up legitimate marijuana grows and are working to genetically modify cannabis so that it can be patented and grown only by those companies. They stand to make billions if they are successful.
There is another herb-like plant called Kratom. ” Kratom is not a drug. Kratom is not an opiate. Kratom is not a synthetic substance. Naturally occurring Kratom is a safe herbal supplement that’s more akin to tea and coffee than any other substances. Kratom behaves as a partial mu-opioid receptor agonist and is used for pain management, energy, even depression and anxiety that are so common among Americans. Kratom contains no opiates, but it does bind to the same receptor sites in the brain. Chocolate, coffee, exercise and even human breast milk hit these receptor sites in a similar fashion.” (16)
There has never been a documented death from the use of cannabis.
This is also true of Kratom, yet six States have made it a Schedule I drug, even though it is not a drug. There have been thousands of deaths from the use of prescription drugs, as much documentation proves. “Prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people each year.” (17) According to the Center For Disease Control, 88,000 people died each year between 2006 and 2010, from excessive consumption of alcohol. (18) Alcohol is not a Schedule I substance and remains a legal product. I am not suggesting a conspiracy and I do not believe that alcohol should be illegal, but I think you will agree that politics and greed play a big part in determining what is legal and what is not.
Synthetic vs. Natural
Many of the natural plants we eat or use do not require further processing in order to experience their benefits. Eating raw cannabis will not produce a ‘high', since it must be heated to transform THCA into THC, which is why it is smoked by those seeking a ‘high'. The transformation of THCA into THC takes place around 380 degrees when smoked, and at about the same temperature when vaporized. In order to make edibles for ingestion, raw cannabis must be heated, decarboxylated, at a temperature of 250 degrees for about 30 minutes. This is accomplished in baking when cannabis is used for brownies or other baked goods.
Wine is made from grapes and ferments naturally. Whiskey is a distilled product made from various grains. Cocaine is made from a natural plant, but petroleum diesel is used in the process and its conversion into a damaging substance. PCP and Meth are made entirely from dangerous chemicals, as are most of the newer Schedule I drugs. The point is, that man-made chemically created foods and drinks have adverse side-effects much the same as synthetically produced drugs that try to mimic natural herbs and plants. Every edible and beneficial plant that God created, was created to be used in whole form, because different parts of the plant work in perfect synergy with other parts of the plant to provide a benefit.
The components of the cannabis plant
The cannabis plant is made up of hundreds of natural compounds, over four-hundred. (19) There are thirteen primary compounds that have been identified with definite and specific beneficial properties. Here is a link to a pie chart showing eleven of these. As you can see from the chart, some of the benefits overlap, but all of the benefits are realized when the whole plant is utilized as opposed to separating specific parts of the plant.
Two of the most widely known and talked about cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the compound people are most familiar with and the one that makes people feel ‘high' or ‘relaxed'. It is also the compound that induces deep sleep at night. CBD or Cannabidiol, is a compound in Cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel “high” and actually counters some of the effects of THC. Higher amounts of CBD in relation to THC are used for epilepsy and pain relief.
This next quote from one of the most experienced and reliable sources on cannabis strains, and provides a more detailed look at cannabis compounds:
“One hefty word that belongs in every medical marijuana patient’s vocabulary is cannabinoid. Cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. These work their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health. To put a complex system simply, they mediate communication between cells, and when there is a deficiency or problem with our endocannabinoid system, unpleasant symptoms and physical complications occur. When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they bind to. For example, THC binds to receptors in the brain whereas CBN (cannabinol) has a strong affinity for CB-2 receptors located throughout the body. Depending on a cannabis product’s cannabinoid profile, different types of relief are achievable.” (20)
God equipped the human body with cannabinoid receptors
One of the most unique things about cannabis and its cannabinoids, is that our body has an endocannabinoid system. Our body doesn't have receptors for most Schedule I drugs, but it has receptors for cannabis. Consider this statement from the government pubmed:
“The endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of brain, endocrine, and immune tissues. It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress…………….. It is therefore possible to speculate about a future clinical use of CB1 antagonists, as a means of improving gonadotrophin pulsatility and fertilization capacity as well as the prevention of cardiovasculary disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus.” (21)
Cannabis is not the only plant that contains cannabinoids, because there are several others, including black pepper, but as of this writing, cannabis is the only plant to contain THC.
The significance of the endocannabinoid system in the body, the significance of the cannabinoid receptors, is that the body is designed to receive the cannabis plant, unlike the toxic and man-made synthetics and chemicals found in most pharmaceutical drugs. I find this to be very fascinating.
Another unique benefit of cannabinoids is that they cause apoptosis to cancer cells without destroying surrounding good cells or tissue. (22) Apoptosis is the induced death of a cell, any cell, but cannabis targets cancer cells specifically, for destruction.
It is not my goal or desire that you begin using cannabis.
In fact, if it is illegal in your State, you shouldn't use it if you have to break the law to do so. As of this writing, 29 States have legalized cannabis for at least medicinal use. It may be true that the motive behind this is to increase revenue for the State coffers, because most States add a 20% tax to the purchase of any cannabis for recreational use. The tax in most States is not added if the cannabis is purchased for medicinal use, but the purchaser must hold a valid State issued medical marijuana card.
State licensed dispensaries are the safest places to purchase cannabis, because even though black market sales are strong and less expensive, black market growers often have little regard for chemicals used as pesticides and fertilizers, which can and do negatively taint the product. All dispensary cannabis is lab tested, which is a good thing.
My goal is for you is to see cannabis for what it is; a God-created and a God-given plant. It can be abused, just like alcohol, but unlike alcohol, it doesn't kill people, and unlike alcohol, it heals people.
Most people seem to be trusting of synthetic and toxic chemical based pharmaceuticals, but don't often read the huge list of side-effects not printed on the label, due to insufficient space. These side-effects are not the result of overdosing, but can be the result of taking the medicine as prescribed.
Consider this example: Keytruda is a new pharmaceutical drug for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The drug comes with packet information that instructs the recipient to immediately notify the doctor if any of these symptoms present: (23)
1. Lung problems (pneumonitis), 2. Intestinal problems (colitis) that can lead to tears or hole in your intestine, 3. Liver problems (hepatitis), 4. Hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, and pancreas), 5. Kidney problems, including nephritis and kidney failure, 6. Problems in other organs, 7. Infusion reactions that can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.
It is interesting to note that these are listed under ‘warning', because there is a separate page listing the negative side-effects. The cannabis plant does not present with either these warnings or side-effects!
In fact, I recently heard the testimony of an elderly man who had been given all of the pharmaceutical medications for Stage IV lung cancer to no avail. He was given a few months to live and sent home to die. With nothing to lose, he ingested a small piece of cannabis edible every night and within several weeks, his lung cancer was gone, and has been gone, not in remission, but gone, for eight years.
Final note about cannabis
As I have already stated, cannabis is not a cure-all. Some folks benefit and some don't. Some cancers are cured, and some are not. One size does not fit all and dosing is something that should be guided by a doctor who is familiar with cannabis and knows your personal medical history. There are some people who shouldn't use cannabis, because of specific medical issues, but a good doctor will know what those issues are.
In an article about the benefits of cannabis for those who suffer with arthritis, the writer acknowledges that it will be some time before physicians learn the science behind it.
“Similar to other ailments, a gap exists between physician knowledge base about cannabis and patient interest. Some patients and physicians will wait until there is irrefutable evidence before trying cannabis as an alternative therapy. Others will not wait for more information and seek to improve their quality of life with cannabis now.” (24)
In an article entitled, Hypertension, the author, based on his research of studies, states that human cannabinoid system plays a role in the regulation of blood pressure and is positively affected by the cannabinoids in cannabis.
“Emerging research indicates that the endogenous cannabinoid system plays a role in regulating blood pressure, though its mechanism of action is not well understood. Animal studies demonstrate that anandamide and other endocannabinoids profoundly suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension and can normalize blood pressure,[2-3] leading some experts to speculate that the manipulation of the endocannabinoid system “may offer novel therapeutic approaches in a variety of cardiovascular disorders.“” (25)
A note of interest is that the government has studies that show the benefits of cannabis, because they have been testing the synthetic form of THC for several years, yet it remains listed as a dangerous drug. In a study entitled, Cumulative Lifetime Marijuana Use and Incident Cardiovascular Disease in Middle Age: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study, the conclusion states:
“Neither cumulative lifetime nor recent use of marijuana is associated with the incidence of CVD in middle age.” (26)
In another study entitled, Associations Between Cannabis Use and Physical Health Problems in Early Midlife: A Longitudinal Comparison of Persistent Cannabis vs Tobacco Users, the abstract conclusion states:
“Cannabis use for up to 20 years is associated with periodontal disease but is not associated with other physical health problems in early midlife.” (27)
Many players in the National Football League are plagued with pain and many are addicted to toxic and debilitating pain medications. Players are increasingly turning to medical marijuana for pain relief, because it works and doesn't have the negative side effects of prescription pain medications.
In an article entitled, NFL players fight pain with medical marijuana: ‘Managing it with pills was slowly killing me’, the Washington Post quotes Eugene Monroe:
“This pain is never going away. My body is damaged,” said Eugene Monroe, 30, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens last year three weeks after becoming the first active player to publicly call on the league to permit medical marijuana. “I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis.” (28)
This is good news, considering that the long-term use of prescription pain medications is devastating. Although proven to have negative side effects and highly addictive, prescriptive pain medications like meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), and fentanyl (Sublimaze, Duragesic), continue to be prescribed by doctors. We have an epidemic of deaths from abuse of OxyContin and fentanyl right now in this country and many legislators are trying to create laws to curb the abuse of these drugs, yet these drugs are listed as Schedule II, while marijuana is still listed as more dangerous under a Schedule I classification.
My hope is that your view of cannabis is changed based on your own research, and that you consider it as the healing plant that it is. I want to leave you with two links, both of which are unbiased, and both of which list beneficial medicinal uses of the cannabis plant — please visit these links as part of your research:
Now tell us what YOU think?
Is marijuana Good or bad?
If you've read all the way to the end, then you must be hardcore! In that case, you may want to look through these posts too:
- Vaccinations are another biggy that comes to mind when it comes to topics I realized that I was SO wrong about. Click here to peruse my posts about vaccine decisions.
- I'm Not Normal
- Where Focus on the Family is WRONG
- Is Buying Organic Food Worth it? Does it even Matter? A Point-by-Point Response to this Burning Question
- WE Can Help Ban Glyphosate — Real Foodies UNITE and Big Brother Be Gone!
- Benefits of CBD Oil and Do the Medicinal Properties of Marijuana Make You High?
More from Bob:
36 School shooters/school related violence committed by those under the influence of psychiatric drugs
This was shared with permission: Valley Reformed Church, Bob Martin, Copyright 2017. Email: va[email protected]. Website: valleyreformedchurch.org.
Kimberly Hartke says
Just learned of a book coming out in January about marijuana mental health risks and violence. Looks like an important read.
There is no shortage of reports like the ones discussed by the emergency room doctor. In fact, I just talked to a gal who unknowingly ate a potent cannabis cookie and she experienced all of those symptoms. She reacted the way she did, because she did not know the cookie had cannabis in it, nor did she know the amount of THC in the cookie. The cookie was intended for a man whose pain is relieved by eating 3 cookies per day; a man for whom none of the prescription pain meds worked. If I gave a pint of whiskey to a person who had never drank alcohol, and ordered them to drink it all in one sitting, they would have the same kind of reaction. Legalizing allows for dosing research and the openness to share with others information on dosing. In an illegal situation, people don’t have that option.
The study you cited about the guy who committed suicide after shooting up the church, says nothing about the cause of his suicide or the cause of his violence being attributed to cannabis! It just says that he had cannabis in his system, but it also says that he had anti-depressant drugs in his system. I can assure you that he was on anti-depressant drugs since his previous rage against his wife. Every school shooter, every violent shooting in the past twenty years involved a shooter on SSRIs. Maybe they smoked pot as well. Maybe they drank alcohol as well, and maybe they drank raw milk, but the only proven violence and suicidal ideation factor is the SSRIs, because they come with a warning of the same.
I am not responding in order or with the hope of changing your mind, because your mind is made up on this issue, but I am responding to set the record straight for those who have not yet done their research. I spent six years undercover working with heavy cannabis and other drug users. I know what it causes and what it doesn’t cause. Experienced cannabis users find relief from anxiety; they don’t call their doctor and order anti-anxiety meds, as if it were that easy. Ordering anti-anxiety meds would be stupid, because that would only increase their anxiety and in addition cause suicidal ideation.
Searching the internet for negative reports on the use of cannabis is easy, but it is grasping for straws, because the proof is in the pudding. If you don’t like cannabis, don’t use it, but allow others to decide for themselves without the scary stories and half-truths presented by click-bait websites.
Kimberly Hartke says
Here is a list of deaths and mayhem in just one statehttps://waalm.org/wa/waviolations.html
This is the can of worms legalization is opening.
Kimberly Hartke says
One reason parents should avoid cannabis. It compromises your good judgement. Look at this story!
Because of the work I am doing for drug prevention groups, I see stories like this daily.
Hi Kimberly, I just read the article you linked to on the pot/psychosis study. Like all studies, more questions must be asked, since this study does not say that cannabis causes psychosis. It says there is a “casual” association. Some very important questions to ask: Was the cannabis organic or was it grown with toxic pesticides/herbicides. This is a very important question, because there are growing concerns that the pesticides themselves cause psychosis. Secondly, were the 3700 participants of the study also on SSRIs or Antidepressants? This too is very important to know, because these drugs cause psychosis all by themselves, which is why they come with a Black Box warning. Third, it is currently illegal in all States for minors to use cannabis. This doesn’t mean cannabis is bad; it means that minors don’t have the wisdom to use it properly without abusing it, which is why it is illegal for them to drink alcohol. Making it more legal is not going to increase the already illegal use by minors. They will continue to buy it black-market, untested, unregulated, and unknown amounts of THC. There are currently some THC extractions as high as 300%. Anyone, even you and me, would have a psychotic event if we smoked or ingested too much of very high THC. The best way to fight cannabis if that is what you want to do, is to legalize it fully and make the consequences very harsh for illegal use by minors. I agree that no drugs should be used on developing brains, although SSRIs are now prescribed to five year olds.
Both of your associated websites provide many anecdotal stories, so I will share one with you of a personal nature. I don’t smoke cannabis, but I purchase organically grown cannabis, because it is legal in my State, and I convert it to an oil. I use organic coconut oil for the base and infuse the cannabis, 50% THC and 50% CBD. The THC percentage is around 16% and about 15.5% CBD. This one to one ratio is very beneficial for a variety of issues. I take one quarter of a teaspoon nightly for a good solid ten hours of sleep. We also use it on our pets. We have an eleven year old blue-heeler who was dying last year. She couldn’t get up, couldn’t walk, and lost about fifteen pounds. Since cancer is the number one dog killer, we assume she has cancer. We began giving her two drops of the oil three times per day. Within three days, she was getting up quickly and walking with a slight limp. Now, one year later, she walks five miles per day through the forest with my wife. She has the energy she had as a pup and shows no signs of any illness. The amount of oil we have given her cost about $2.00 over the last year, which is quite a bit cheaper than the $6 or $7,000 the vet would have charged for chemo, and we still have her.
I agree with you as far as keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors for recreational use. But, we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, because it is an excellent healing modality that is much needed in this world of greed and pharma drugs.
Oh, I’m so happy for your dog! Fantastic!!!
Kimberly Hartke says
Other dogs have not fared so well. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/more-dogs-being-poisoned-marijuana-vets-say-n889451
Bob Martin says
I appreciate your passion, even though I believe it is misplaced. I too visited the websites you referred to and find them highly emotional, but lacking citations, proofs, or credence. I find it interesting that all of the advisors on the potpot.org website are doctors who prescribe pharmaceuticals, especially SSRIs and Antidepressants. Cannabis is a major threat to their profit margins. I also find it interesting that in the “loss quilt”, cannabis is listed as the cause of death, when in some cases, the actual cause of death was heroin overdose, but the deceased had at one time used cannabis. This is like saying that the guy who blew his brains out with a shotgun was driven to suicide by eating eggs, because two days prior, he ate eggs for breakfast.
We all choose to believe what we want to believe, sometimes, regardless of the facts. If we want to get emotional about something, we should get emotional about the over 9,000,000 people who have committed suicide while on SSRIs, or the 868,000 babies who have been murdered in the womb, all since Jan 1, 2000.
As Sally_Oh said, there have been no provable deaths from cannabis. The one cited article about the eleven month old baby who died from a heart issue didn’t say that the baby died from THC. It said that the baby had THC in its system, but they couldn’t determine the actual cause of the heart issue.
All drugs, including Tylenol, can be abused. Alcohol is often abused, and yes, cannabis is often abused, but this doesn’t mean that people can’t take Tylenol responsibly, or drink responsibly, or use cannabis responsibly.
There are many false statements on both of the websites you mentioned, but I understand that you have chosen to attack a natural substance and there will always be those who align with your choice.
Thank you for your response and the effort you put into it. Again, I appreciate your passion.
Kimberly Hartke says
Bob there is plenty of science referred to right on the menu bar of poppot.org you will find this page:
And, Dr. Christine Miller is a neuroscientist who researched the causes of psychosis during her career. She is now retired and not dispensing meds to anyone. This is the science she posts on this page:
I know that pot advocates poo poo the gateway idea, but the truth these moms and dads share is that the entry into drug use for their child led down the road to use of other drugs which killed them. They lived the experience up close and personal. Please don’t diminish their loss by dismissing their observations.
I urge others on this comment thread to research the dangers, risks and warnings about this drug. You won’t be sorry.
Kimberly, I’m curious if you’re also against medicinal marijuna/CBD (for seizures / epilepsy, pain control or whatever it may help)? Because this video is SO convincing and makes me cry every time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_yewN2l99I&feature=youtu.be
Kimberly Hartke says
I dislike drugs period. They are potent and have negative side effects and risks. I believe food is the best medicine. Our bodies make cannabinoids from the fats in our diet. If these parents try a ketogenic diet they may even get better results. CBD is currently unregulated and contaminants, synthetic ingredients and THC have been found in CBD products. If I were to buy a drug I certainly wouldn’t buy it online, a pot shop, gas station or beauty salon, which is where these products are being sold!
We can agree on that point: I dislike drugs as well!
CBD is VERY heavily regulated here in KY. All of our growers are organic, I’ve visited the farms, I know the farmers — just like my food.
I have several friends who have kids with epilepsy and CBD has given those kids a life. One family had to move to CO because their child needed more THC in her CBD than is available here in KY. She has been there for several years and is doing fantastic!
A very dear friend’s son just graduated high school because of CBD. This was not in the cards for him just 4 years ago.
I just did a long FB post about fixing the food first — that if you don’t fix the food, nothing else will work. There are some things food alone won’t fix, usually because of damage done by environmental toxins.
Have you seen The Magic Pill? Incredible movie about the healing power of food!
Have you read those studies on the sidebar, Kimberly? Many are quite old, the ones that I glanced at have been soundly refuted. The inclusion of the suicide study further reduces the site’s credibility. It leads the reader to believe that cannabis has something to do with suicide rates increasing when the website does not mention cannabis at all! And the vomiting study? Please… studies of studies are suspect in the first place, usually with so many holes in them you can drive a truck through it.
The gateway drug theory has been soundly refuted as well. Nobody is “poo-pooing” it. NIDA even admits cannabis is not a gateway drug. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug
You suggest that I diminish a parent’s loss because I don’t agree with their conclusions? Is that how facts should be determined?
According to grieving parents, science and the authorities, raw milk is dangerous:
Then there’s this:
Those of us in the real food arena know you can find studies and science and stats to support ANY position. We are also well aware of the agenda behind keeping us from drinking raw milk and knowing which foods contain GMOs! I’ve come to believe — passionately and without question — that those same forces are behind keeping cannabis illegal and for the same reasons!
It’s important to use thoughtful consideration, read all the “science” and all the anecdotal evidence before reaching conclusions.
For the record, we drink raw milk, we know it is safer than pasteurized, we know our farmer, and we make the WAPF formula for our precious grandbaby.
Kimberly Hartke says
I know of a husband and father who entered the hospital yesterday and entering drug treatment because cannabis is making him suicidal. I only want to warn people that this drug can have deleterious effects on life and health.
Here is a website that the Schizophrenia Society of Canada has put up to educate about brain dangers of this drug:
Bob Martin says
Thank you for your expertise and for your comments. You addressed every issue and this remains an issue of choice. We don’t expect everyone to choose natural healing, but we are thankful for those who do and they are thankful as well.
Thank you, Bob! I appreciate your comments!!!
Kimberly Hartke says
PopPot just published an article about the link between marijuana related psychosis and mass violence. I think it is important that folks know that this drug does kill. https://www.poppot.org/2018/07/03/marijuana-violence-know-connection/
Oh, Kimberly, I just don’t have time anymore. You have two sites against, we have hundreds for and all with verifiable, reproducible science. Plus 5,000 years of recorded history is on our side. Cannabis is being studied worldwide for its healing benefits. I’ve had it work on me, I’ve had it work on friends and — like with raw milk and vaccines — we don’t ignore the mountains and mountains of anecdotal evidence.
I wonder if you read any of my links?
In my world of aging hippies, we all smoked as teens, many (many) of us do now and we prefer our offspring to smoke it over drinking… We are good. Nobody’s dying, nobody’s kids are crazy or killers.
All the best to you.
Well stated! Sally_Oh. People are dying daily from prescription meds and we work daily to get people off of them and into natural medicine like cannabis.
Kimberly Hartke says
Even in states where cannabis is legal, parents and grandparents can be charged with felony child abuse if a child gets into your stash. This is a news report out of California.
I have worked for several drug prevention groups for the last 5 years. The negative outcomes for many young adults who use this drug are shocking. It does trigger mood disorders, including depression, paranoia, and psychosis and schizophrenia.Contrary to what this article says it does cause hallucinations and does provoke some to violent outbursts and physical violence. Edible marijuana is particularly dangerous and has caused people to kill themselves or others. Impaired driving is skyrocketing in states that have legalized and commercialized the drug. I would not recommend anyone to try cannabis for any reason. I also have a relative whose son has wasted years of his life on this drug and it greatly diminished his ability to find a meaningful path in life. He was an intelligent highly motivated teenager but all that changed with his marijuana use. Please do more research than this article. Check out https://facebook.com/poppotorg and https://momsstrong.org.
Thanks for those links, Kimberly, I’ll ask the author of this post to check those out and I will too. 🙂
I have checked out both of those sites and find them heartbreaking, but less then credible — Kim and I talked about the topic on her blog a couple of years ago.
The anecdotal stories on those sites ignore a veritable mountain of uncontrolled variables. Like all of today’s lifestyle-induced health crises — e.g., thyroid, adrenal, diabetes, obesity — mental health does not exist in a vacuum. There are many contributing factors which these stories ignore.
There are millions of humans — teens, adults and sick children — using full-plant medicine today to great benefit and zero harm.
The U.S. gov did a study on the gateway drug theory and found that the theory itself if fatally flawed… if there even were such a thing as a gateway drug, breast milk would be a gateway to everything.
In fact, the study found that more teens started their drug use with tobacco and alcohol, then went to cannabis, not the other way around.
There are zero deaths attributed to cannabis. There is no body of evidence to suggest that cannabis is harmful to anyone, EXCEPT perhaps (perhaps!) when a person ALREADY has mental health issues. There are many, many studies (and more coming out all the time all over the world) along with anecdotal stories of cannabis helping heal all manner of physical and mental health issues.
Why do today’s teens have mental health issues???? Industrialized food, poor gut health, EMFs, toxin-overload… all the things we aim to correct using WAPF principles.
I could go on (as anyone who knows me can attest, lol) but I’ll stop 🙂
2017 Denver gov report on teen use of cannabis
2018 Cannabis effects on teens overstated
2016 My post examining 16 studies on cannabis and teen use
When people say cannabis has never killed anyone, they are ignoring a lot of traffic fatalities due to THC impairment. The websites I posted don’t just have personal stories of marijuana addiction, death, and psychosis, they also have many links to science on the subject.
When young adults commit suicide and refer to marijuana as the reason, is that not credible?
Do your own research, take no one else’s word for it. Marijuana/Cannabis is a brain changing drug. Use it at your peril.
There are zero traffic fatalities due to cannabis alone. To blame cannabis when the driver is under the influence of other drugs and alcohol, both well-documented as the cause of traffic accidents, is not science.
Marijuana carries the same risk of physical dependence as caffeine, both of which are very low. Withdrawal from marijuana is very mild and requires no medical intervention.
Personal stories are important but, again, there is a mountain of uncontrolled variables there — something which must be addressed if we are to draw conclusions of any significance. History of mental health, diet, drug use (both illegal and legal pharmaceutical), vaccination, environmental exposure (glyphosate, nuclear, weather modification, water contamination, fluoride), family stability, sleep patterns, heavy metals… the list is long of all the many things that can destroy gut health and in so doing, destroy mental health.
Meanwhile, there are thousands of websites and videos done by people whose lives have been saved by cannabis, healings of all kinds, compared to your two of tragedy blamed on pot. I have friends whose lives have been changed for the better by the addition of cannabis as medicine.
When doing research, I urge everyone to READ the studies, not just the headlines. At least read the summaries. I’ve read plenty. I’m a legalization activist and well educated on the topic. I am 30 years sober and a drug and alcohol counselor for 22 of those years.
Is cannabis brain changing? For two to four hours. That’s why people like it.
As far as brain chemistry and what that has to do with mental illness, there is quite a lot of evidence that brain chemistry cannot even be measured! This is an excellent interview on the topic with Robert Whitaker, author of “Anatomy of an Epidemic”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm77RQdtpSY
95% of your seratonin is made in your gut. The link between gut health and mental health is being more and more firmly established every single day. I suggest we focus on the healing aspects of food!
Zero traffic deaths from marijuana alone? That is so untrue. Here is one: https://momsstrong.org/2017/10/26/medical-marijuana-daughters-life-collided/
Marijuana combined with other substances is more deadly, because it magnifies the intoxicating properties of both. The truth is, people don’t substitute marijuana for alcohol, they often use both. Making our highways unsafe.
We don’t recommend people recreate with cough syrup, so why are we advocating people recreate with cannabis?
Yes, I agree food is the best medicine. I avoid drugs.
Ask Phil Drum if cannabis (alone) behind the wheel kills. He lost his sister and now studies this DUID issue. https://momsstrong.org/2017/11/30/seattle-nurse-killed-marijuana-impaired-driver/
I need more info for both of these. In the Gaspar case, what is the man’s name who drove stoned at 82mph? That alone is suspect.
Durden’s blood test was thrown out by the judge. I’m no fan of judge’s but… need more info.
I don’t take anything at face value. So far, I find nothing on either case online. That is also suspect.
If being stoned was the cause of any traffic deaths, that is heartbreaking! This is still not enough to warrant the demonization of a plant that is healing and helping millions.
Marijuana legalization is a fait accompli. Banning a thing has never worked. It has always led to more death, injury and crime than legalization.
Shall I start putting in links to all the people killed in the drug war?
Honestly, if half of this energy was put toward stopping glyphosate or vaccines, the world would be a very different place!!!
Kimberly Hartke says
Phil Drum sent me this study to show you. Pot doubles the risk of a crash, add one beer – now the risk is 6 fold.
Del Balzos study show a 10 fold increase with carboxy-THC in the urine.
THC can be detected in the urine up to 30 days after cannabis use. I would also call into question the mountain of uncontrolled variables.
What CBD oil do you recommend? Thank you for explaining everything so thoroughly!
This one because it’s organic and I have a friend who uses it and really researched it well: https://kellythekitchenkop.com/cbd-oil.
Kelly (p.s. I haven’t researched it myself, but I know it’s also considered raw, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, soy free, nut free, and free of artificial coloring and flavoring.)
Adella Hansen Olson says
High grade edible medical marijuana is a welcome natural alternative to the damaging drugs prescribed for adults’ pain, nausea, etc
Marcia Bultman says
Yes, it is very interesting and informative.
Ali Romaine says
That was a long but very well written and very comprehensive article. Much needed! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Kelly and Bob, for this post. Very informative — everyone needs to read it, IMO 🙂 Great primer!
Moderate tobacco use [use organically grown] can also have benefits for some people – but a significant portion of the population gets just as incensed when told this as they do when people want to smoke weed or use it in a medicinal way. There’s a proper use for virtually everything in this world. Even alcohol.
Yep! Thank you.
Julie Long March says
It’s truly a gift from God we are just beginning to benefit from it medicinally. Laws and attitudes are just beginning to catch up.
Bob Martin says
True, true story, Julie!
Bob Martin says
Here is a pretty good piece on cannabis and lung cancer: “No studies can say conclusively whether or not cannabis consumption contributes to lung cancer. However, studies have shown that smoking the equivalent to one cannabis joint a day for up to 20 years was not associated with negative impacts on lung function.
Though, studies on whether or not chronic, heavy cannabis smoking contributes to lung cancer have been inconclusive. With the evidence thus far, there is no way to rule out whether or not heavy, protracted consumers face greater risks.
Further studies have found no link between moderate cannabis smoking and negative lung health. While tobacco has been linked time and time again to high risk for lung cancer, researchers have been hard-pressed to find the same link with cannabis. ” (https://herb.co/2017/05/10/lung-cancer-cancer/)
Bob Martin says
I am not an advocate of smoking marijuana to get high or for medicinal benefits. The burning of the leaf produces tars just like tobacco, but there is no conclusive evidence that smoking pot causes lung cancer. The safer way to ‘smoke’ it is to vaporize it, because the leaf is heated to about 360 degrees, but doesn’t burn and there are no tars released.
Mary Poole says
marijuana is a slang word for hemp/cannabis promoted by corrupt Federal Bureau of Narcotics-Aslinger-Hearst etc.—descedule hemp(cannabis as a God-Given Whole Plant-Not as a Synthetic Single Molecule(Compound) for Big-Pharma–End prohition on Whole Plant Hemp(Cannabis-Not only CBD!!!
Gina Mitchell Keener says
Why are we so afraid of something that was put here by God, but don’t think twice about using a chemical created in a lab?
Bob Martin says
Good point indeed.
Mary Branham says
I don’t think any thing good can come from drugs. That’s my opinion, if you smoke it you can get lung cancer as well as other things. I think it should be available with a script for sick people that need it. My friend died from cancer and the treatments made her so sick. I think she should have had access. I never smoked pot never had a desire to, never did drugs . I watched my dad die from a life time of drinking and my husbands dad too. So I don’t think alcohol is good either and I don’t drink. I am not a bible thumping do-gooder. I am a person that tries to be kind and give back to the community. My husband drinks on occasion and I am alright with that.
If you’ll read the comments above, you can get the FAQs about smoking pot and lung cancer. 🙂
Jane Hartje says
I think it stops being medicinal once its being smoked….its just for a quick high and for leisure. When its used in oil form for legit health issues can be very helpful to many.
Gary Schachtner says
Tell that to the people who receive it in smoking form FROM UNCLE SAM.https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjTr5Su3d3WAhUe0IMKHUgjC_gQFgg0MAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2Fpictures%2Ffree-pot-federal-program-ships-marijuana-to-four%2F&usg=AOvVaw3oP7hZUz9XMKW5mQyTwTm6
Jane Hartje says
Gary Schachtner…im sure it benefits them in ways yes, but then it also has its cons….paper to smoke it….even if its a pipe they smoke it from, can be harmful to lungs, and so on. Im all for medicinal marijuana….but on the other hand. ..just like any legal drug it can an will be misused.
Lynn Koehn says
Oil and eaten raw in smoothies and salads, very medicinal
Daniel Martinovich says
“The use of marijuana does not affect one’s ability to work or to do a good job.”
Don’t have to read any further than this to see the whole article is a crock of crap. Doesn’t even bother specifying if they mean high the night before or high at work. Anyone who smokes pot knows darn well being high and most kinds of work do not work well together. My God the man goes right on and says pot and construction work which is inherently dangerous are just fine together. People in my youth I smoked dozens of pounds of weed. You DO NOT work in any dangerous work environment or operate tools and equipment high!!!!!! Period. There is no discussing this. I suspect y’all are being punked by a “legal” weed dealer here.
Bob Martin says
I certainly agree with your view that pot and work do not go together. I routinely tested our construction employees and fired those whose use of it affected their work. Having said that, there are many very productive members of society who use it after work in moderation, and their work performance is not affected; think doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc.. Since I am not a ‘weed dealer’, I am not trying to convince people to start using it, but I am trying to convince people to do their own research on it and make their own informed decision instead of believing what they have heard or have been told. Thank you for sharing.
Christal Brock says
My highly praised electrician, OCD, & ADHD hubs worked very well on marijuana. It gives him focus and clarity on the tasks at hand. So don’t rant on something you have never had first hand experience with. ?
Daniel Martinovich says
Christal Brock Focus and clarity on pot? Please.
I know others who work very well on it, too. Most of us don’t — me for instance — but we are all so different. Plus different strains for different effects. That’s a huge problem with black market pot, you don’t know what you are getting.
Sheryl Senkiw says
I think medical marijuana can be very helpful in some situations. But marijuana can also be addictive, and when smoked, can also cause lung cancer. So, it isn’t perfect. I don’t want people driving under it’s influence, and I don’t want them smoking it close enough for me to smell it.
Bob Martin says
People definitely should not drive after or while smoking cannabis.
Jeff Buller says
I’m so glad that your blog? guest blogger? article? mentioned Kratom as well. I was in extreme debilitating pain for months and not any of the many prescription medications that I was prescribed even came close to helping me be able to function normally (quite the opposite in fact.) It was only Kratom that helped me be able to function with some normalcy. I was able to get off all prescription medications and am only using kratom and CBD now, with no side effects. Have you read or heard the side effects of prescription medications? kratom and cbd have none of those awful side effects and dangers!
Bob Martin says
So glad you found relief with Kratom.
William Kubat says
Having done pot and booze, Pot is way easier on the body.
Flo LaDuke Richards says
Just the other day I heard that marijuana users were more likely to be violent than users of some other controlled substance — I wonder if it was opium, maybe. Something on the radio, in passing, in discussing the Las Vegas shooter. That sounded weird to me but I put it out of my head.
Then some time earlier I read on another post from a woman I used to go to church with that she was FOR it after her dear husband got pain relief with it when he was dealing with a very painful cancer that finally claimed his life. She’s at least eighty and very conservative so I was surprised, to say the least!
I’m coming to the conclusion that the government and Big Pharma have their reasons to “inform” us in the way they do. Not helpful to us!
William Kubat says
Surely not alcohol. Who ever went into a rage on the highway, in a bar, or at home while drunk?
Flo LaDuke Richards says
Just reporting some things I’ve heard recently, William.
Bob Martin says
In my experience as a cop, I never encountered a violent cannabis smoker unless he was also using another drug in conjunction.
Thank you, Bob. In 29 years of alcohol recovery and 21 years of drug/alcohol counseling, me neither!
Kimberly Hartke says
This church shooter was found with marijuana and anti-anxiety meds in his system. Long term use of cannabis can lead to mental health issues and turns some people violent. https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/texas-church-shooting/autopsy-confirms-sutherland-springs-church-gunman-died-suicide-n888051
Cannabis causes anxiety and many users then add anti anxiety drugs like Xanax to their habit.
I work with parents (moms in particular) who tell me their sons became violent towards them and their siblings while using cannabis. In some cases they had to ask the drug using child to leave their home.
Since cannabis can stay in one’s system for up to 30 days and since anti-anxiety drugs are known to cause homicidal and suicidal ideation, it would be reckless to say that the cannabis caused this man to be violent.
Moms often don’t know all the drugs their kids are taking. There is no science to backup a claim that marijuana makes a person violent.
Kimberly Hartke says
Here is just some of the science about marijuana and violence:
See this page for more:
Kimberly Hartke says
And another one related to PTSD and cannabis and violence. https://www.psychiatrist.com/JCP/article/Pages/2015/v76n09/v76n0925.aspx
Ann Garcia says
Or i should add…most things in moderation
Jeff Buller says
oh yeah, I get your point, because it is really hard to use cocaine in moderation. 🙂 … so yes… most things in moderation!
Ann Garcia says
My opinion…everything in moderation
Bob Martin says
Good rule to have, but different than the old maxim; “moderation in everything, especially in moderation”
Kimberly Hartke says
Addicts are incapable of moderation. There is a new
syndrome hitting the emergency rooms, ‘scromiting’ check out what this ER chief says about it: https://momsstrong.org/2018/06/27/san-diego-doctor-coins-name-for-cannabis-related-illness/
It’s not new, it’s rare and a hot shower relieves the symptoms. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/marijuana-screaming-vomiting-aka-scromitting/
Kimberly Hartke says
ER departments are seeing it daily in pot legal states. So as we liberalize drug laws, it will become commonplace. The victims of this syndrome can’t stay in the shower all day, which is why they end up in the Emergency Room!
Lisa Ferreras Peters says
Great post! Thanks
Bob Martin says
Thank you for reading it.
Kelly Kelly Kelly severely disappointed. This is an “I give up road”. Please do not try this drug. It is an escape. Here is the big reason…Marijuana does not heal. It only temporarily masks pain and can stop or slow the road to true healing.
Hi Kathy, thank you for your honesty and sharing your thoughts!!! Don’t worry, I have never tried marijuana and don’t have any plans too UNLESS there is a good reason to in the future. (Did you see this post I linked to? https://kellythekitchenkop.com/cancer-decisions/.) But I’m curious, haven’t you also heard stories of people it has truly helped? Because I have and their stories are compelling. I’d love to hear more about what you’ve said though, if you’ve done research on it and found information to lead you to believe it just masks pain as you said, and stops or slows true healing, please share that with me, I’m truly interested, I’m only just learning more about all of this.
Kelly you are a gem. Learning is what it is all about. I appreciate your refreshing honesty. I am hoping you will run an opposition article on this topic. I am emailing you concerning this idea. Best, Kathy
Would love to learn more Kathy! Just replied to you. 🙂
Kimberly Hartke says
A tweet from a physician that just came into my inbox:
Dr. Angela J Leach 3 days ago
@Patricia Wilson @Dr. Alan Reyes @Dr. Barry Kaufman Dr Reyes is telling the truth. Psychiatric Emergency and Inpatient staff see families experience this the hard way – going through a drug-induced psychotic episode with a beloved young adult child. The teen/early-twentier often never returns to his/her pre-use potential, and the parents and grandparents end up bogged down in a long heartbreak path instead of the university graduation and wedding they anticipated for the better part of 20 years.
I searched Dr. Angela J Leach and found nothing but a psychiatrist with 8 years experience on LinkedIn. Twitter had no results for Leach or any of the others.
“Often” never returns? I am a cannabis activist for many years, smoked my fair share in high school, have used it medicinally in the last 8 years, sober 30 years, been to meetings all over the US and in other countries, and a counselor to young addicts/alcoholics…
This is the FIRST I have heard that cannabis alone caused a psychotic break.
I had a psychotic break after using LSD twice in college. I recovered, no meds, no therapy — I was alone. It was terribly frightening — I didn’t know what was happening except I had 5+ anxiety attacks a day… I recovered simply because I had to in order to survive. I’m grateful now that no one took me to a doctor…
Conversely, a dear friend’s 19yo son had a psychotic break 5 years ago after using LSD and they went the doctor/med route. LOTS of meds… he has not recovered, is now violent and on more meds and in a home. I blame the pharmaceuticals, not the LSD.
Kimberly, please check your sources. What is your motivation here?
Kimberly Hartke says
Dr. Leach was commenting on a Medscape study that I wasn’t able to post because you need a subscription. She was just concurring with the study author.
My motivation? I disagree that marijuana/cannabis is safe and harmless. I want people to know there is another side of the story. I also work on the issue as a publicist for several nonprofit groups, although none of them are paying me to have this discussion on Kelly’s blog. I have seen lives destroyed by both alcohol and drugs and that is a personal reason I speak out. I see every day the harms to the environment from marijuana cultivation, and the corrupting influence of this industry. It sickens me what is going on and that no public awareness is happening.
On the Moms Strong website, Shane’s story mentions he had a psychotic break from cannabis alone.
“Shane was hospitalized in a locked psych unit, massively drugged and he tested (+) and admitted to just one substance- (THC). His use of marijuana was ignored by the psych facility.”
25% of new psychosis cases in one London study were found to be due to cannabis, especially the high THC strains which are so prevalent today.
If you want to learn more about the risks and harms of marijuana follow: https://facebook.com/poppotorg.
Kimberly Hartke says
This is the study Dr. Leach was commenting on: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2681642
This is exactly what I mean about being able to support any hypothesis with a study. If I’m reading this correctly, 4000 students were included representing 76% of the 7th graders in 31 schools… 31 schools being only 15% of the total number of schools. We’re talking a tiny sample here.
13-16yo students “self reported” both their cannabis use and their PS (psychosis symptoms)? Per the study, “One limitation is that cannabis use and PS were not confirmed with clinician and collateral reports.” That’s a pretty huge limitation.
These are all psychiatrists, by the way. Smells of Big Pharma.
Kimberly Hartke says
Here is an interesting study just published from Australia. Cannabis users only ‘think’ that they are being helped with their pain by the drug. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/pain-control-no-evidence-cannabis-improves-outcomes
Do you read these before posting or just jump at inflammatory headlines that supports your pov?
This study result is based on about 300 Australians (25% of 1500 people)… And “It’s worth noting the study took place mostly before medical cannabis was legalised, so the drug was often obtained illicitly and smoked. This potentially limits the relevance of findings for medical cannabis.”
I’m done here, Kimberly. Feel free to litter the comment thread here with inflammatory headlines. I trust Kelly’s readers will make an informed decision.
Way to go, Kelly! I’m so proud of you for featuring this post, and thanks to your guest poster. I never told you this before, but when I was living on the farm in California, I was a medical cannabis grower. Despite working hard to strictly adhere to California’s laws, we were repeatedly harassed by law enforcement in our county, who treated raids of cannabis growers as their own little money-making operation. I now feel strongly that states (and the federal government!) should legalize marijuana for “recreational” use for adults as well as medical use for all ages. (It’s all self-medicating, as far as I’m concerned. Stress relief is serious business!) That’s because the corrupting of law enforcement under prohibition is continued when cannabis is divided into legal use vs illegal use. I I’m not that big on the idea of regulating it either, but that’s probably inevitable and certainly preferable to prohibition.
Cannabis is an amazing plants. Just from the standpoint of growing it and working with it, it’s an amazing plant. And yes, it is truly medicinal. I was never a heavy user, but I’ve never slept so well as when I used to use a little before bed. I’d always wake up refreshed, no “hangover” of any kind. Now that I live in Utah, where only CBD oil is legal (and I still marvel that I can walk into a local health food store and buy even that!), I really miss access to cannabis and miss growing this marvelous plant.
Again, thanks for this post.
Thanks for sharing this Jeanmarie!
Bob Martin says
Thank you for sharing this! Your ‘hands on’ testimony is very helpful and lends credence to the value and wonder of the cannabis plant.