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Meds Daily Cannabis Usage

Baron23

Well-Known Member
What happens when you smoke marijuana every day?

Potheads everywhere use today, April 20th, 4/20, as an informal celebration of what it means to smoke, eat and vape marijuana.

Again, like every year, people will honor the day by smoking lots and lots of weed. Meanwhile, marijuana still toes the line between recreational drug and medicine, while the federal government deems it illegal without any health benefit.

The truth is, doctors and addiction experts have only had a whiff of evidence on marijuana's effects, positive or negative. Medicinally, marijuana can treat chronic pain, nausea and the effects of multiple sclerosis. However, experts are likely to tell you it's too early to define marijuana's effect without more testing.

In the meantime, people continue to use the drug recreationally and medicinally. Here's what experts say happens when you smoke weed every day:

Dr. Stuart Gitlow, a professor at the University of Florida and a past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, said marijuana is much stronger than it was years ago, giving a more psychedelic feel rather than a mild sense of intoxication.

A small percentage, he said, could have hallucinations and paranoia. However, the vast majority, he said, experience that mild high, which fades after several hours.

After days of use, the pot becomes stored in the body's fatty tissue and THC is gradually released into the bloodstream, meaning a person can experience the effect of the drug around the clock.

Daily use, he said, promotes a chronic loss of attention, focus and concentration. Daily users perform at a lower level at jobs and at school. Focus and motivation also decrease, he said.

Caron Treatment Center Medical Director Dr. Joseph Garbely said about 15% of cannabis users develop an addiction. Daily users, he said, suffer memory, coordination, and problem-solving issues. For some, it could change the way a brain matures. Smokers who start young, he said, are more susceptible to being a daily user or becoming addicted.

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Gitlow and Garbely concede we don't know all we need to know about marijuana. It took decades, Gitlow explained, for researchers to determine the affects of smoking cigarettes.

Dr. Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine, says you can't generalize marijuana users. Other factors need to be considered such as their dosage and the reason a person is using the drug. However, he said marijuana can have impact on how people perform at their job or at school. Withdrawal can occur after a period of long-term repeated use.

Dr. Gregory L. Taylor II, a primary care physician and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, said federal limits on research have inhibited thorough research on marijuana and its effects on the body. He said the research isn't "100% clear" on the drug's negative outcomes, adding there's no overwhelming data it contributes to certain cancers. If possible, he said the drug should be used under the direction of a doctor.

Your thoughts, Community?
 

turk

Active Member
...my thoughts are to laugh out loud...after being a inspector for over 30 years...working Loma prieta earthquake and homeless htl's and all that I experienced..the suggestion that I lacked focus or didn't perform adequately is ludicrous ...over time folks develop a comfort and focus with weed that cannot be objectively measured...especially by a neophyte sitting in a lab...my two cents....:homer:
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Daily use, he said, promotes a chronic loss of attention, focus and concentration. Daily users perform at a lower level at jobs and at school. Focus and motivation also decrease, he said.
Huh.... is that so. Wonder if this is clinical study based or his opinion.... :cool:

Having used pretty much daily since I was 14... I can say that I was a successful business woman as a Comptroller of a multi million dollar manufacturing firm that had 3 rep firms spread across the country. I then raised two children while running a small floral business out of my basement. I then went on to being an aide to children with Autism and successfully created alternative curriculum and tests. Then I was an executive board member of the local Autism of American chapter.

Yeah... I'm a real slacker. :dog:
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Yep, he pretty much paints the picture as the stereotypical Bevis and Butthead stoners.

Like you folks, I was also blessed with intelligence and general good health and was also a very high achiever for most of my life while also imbibing in MJ (but now I'm retired and trying my best to be a low achiever haha).

But this is the kind of prejudice and half baked science we will have to fight in our battle toward legalization and acceptance.
 

turk

Active Member
...tell it mom..lol...I know baron23 doesn't subscribe to that theory either...:smile:..posted same time baron23...I knew you were just testing...
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Oh.... and I forgot to add that that was all without the benefit of a college education. I finished high school and went to art school for a year. :lol:

This slacker learned her way up the ladder.. So perhaps the real deal is that cannabis enhanced my learning abilities by HELPING me focus? Just my :twocents:
 

turk

Active Member
...well I did four years college...Ivy League school too...stoned out my mind...the whole time..
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
New Study Finds No Evidence of Long-term Damage from Daily Cannabis Use

A new joint-study between the University of Colorado and the University of Louisville has been making waves in the medical cannabis community. That study boldly titled, “Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults”, makes a compelling case based on three different physical analyses of the brain in daily cannabis users vs. non-users. Taken alone, there’s nothing particularly advanced about the study from a technological standpoint; the real significance of the study is that it flies in the face of a larger body of evidence that seems to indicate that cannabis *can* cause structural changes. …So who’s right? Does cannabis cause structural damage or not? Furthermore, if this study is correct, how could so many independent studies from around the world be wrong?

According to the researchers, the issue revolves around dependent variables and how to account for those variables. To give an analogy here, I may claim that living near the beach causes people to take up surfing, and I may back up my claim with data that shows that beachside communities have a higher percentage of surfers. At first glance, that seems logical. However, this relationship, between the neighborhood and the percentage of surfers, is not proof of anything. In fact, it’s common sense that many of the surfers living in those neighborhoods moved to those neighborhoods specifically to be able to surf frequently. Without acquiring more data or removing this effect somehow, we can’t possibly know if living near the beach makes people more likely to begin surfing. In other words, when answering a scientific question, we have to be very careful to examine the cause-and-effect relationship between variables or we may very easily misinterpret the results.

In this case, the relationship in question is that between alcohol use and cannabis use. At face value, frequent alcohol users are more likely to be frequent cannabis users and vice versa. It’s also well known that frequent alcohol use can lead to structural brain damage. So if we just compare the brain sizes of cannabis users vs. non-users, without taking into account that increased likelihood of alcohol use, some of the differences we observe may have be caused by the alcohol use alone and not the cannabis use. In traditional studies, the answer has been to control for alcohol use by assuming it is an independent variable. This compares frequent alcohol users in the study vs. non-users and corrects for the difference in their scores. The theory is that removing that difference will leave behind the effect caused purely by cannabis. However, the authors of this paper argue that this is an incorrect assumption – specifically it’s possible that alcohol damage is worse when cannabis is present or vice versa. Removing the effect of alcohol alone wouldn’t account for any interaction there. To achieve more accuracy, this particular study ranked all participants on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and then made comparisons between cannabis users and non-users within the same groups of alcohol use.

Unfortunately, while researchers try to remove the effect of as many covariates as possible (like alcohol), some are difficult to quantify. For instance, since a large percentage of cannabis sales are illegal, cannabis users are statistically more likely to be types of people who engage in high-risk behaviors, which could affect results if these people are exposed to more sources of brain damage. How do we account for that? In this study, a specific strength of the adolescent data is that it came exclusively from individuals in the juvenile justice system in Albuquerque. This allowed the researchers to compare both users and non-users with similar high-risk behavior, rather than cannabis users with high-risk behavior to non-users with low risk behavior. Unfortunately, this is not common in many cannabis studies, meaning that the data is consistently skewed to suggest cannabis is capable of structural changes that it may not actually be causing.

After taking both of these issues into account, researchers compared three metrics of brain structure in participants, which included voxel-based morphometry volumetric/density analysis, FreeSurfer surface-based morphometry volumetric analysis, and FIRST shape analysis. These methods are beyond the scope of this article, but essentially researchers wanted to record differences in volumes, densities, and the actual shapes of different parts of the brain, in order to have a well-rounded analysis of brain structure. After computing this data, researchers observed no statistically significant difference in brain structure between daily cannabis users and non-users. None.

Of course, there are a few caveats to this study. For starters, the average age of adolescents in the study (almost 17) was over the age that has been cited as the age under which damage most frequently occurs (16 with the most exacerbated damage under 12). So unfortunately, that data doesn’t hold much weight. Secondly, despite all the talk about the relationship between alcohol and cannabis, researchers did not fully remove that effect. Instead, they compared groups of similar alcohol use between cannabis users and non-users, which is certainly more accurate than a blanket removal of the effect of alcohol, but with a sample size of under 50, this would mean that the groups were pretty small and therefore subject to bias from the specific group of subjects. This is less critical if we make the assumption that that population is fairly representative of the population at large, which was arguably true for the adult data, but clearly not accurate for the adolescent data (since it came exclusively from the juvenile justice system). So again, the adolescent data in this study is questionable at best. Finally, lack of long-term structural damage doesn’t mean that cannabis use is harmless – the researchers themselves are quick to point out that short term impairment from cannabis use is real, and for a daily cannabis user, this effect would exist throughout his/her lifetime, regardless of whether the change was structural or not.

Regardless, the big picture, and the reason this study is making waves, is that the adult data gives a hearty, reliable account of cannabis as a substance that does not alter brain structure. Anti-cannabis activists that claim that cannabis destroys the brain or causes irreversible damage are now finding that their claims are not genuinely supported. On the one hand, this type of finding doesn’t sell papers and is unlikely to receive much mainstream coverage. On the other hand, the medical community is at least finally starting to take notice, and ultimately as more research occurs, the truth will come to light.

Works Cited

Barbara Weiland, Rachel Thayer, Brendan Depue, et al. “Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults”. The Journal of Neuroscience (2015) 25(4):1505-1512.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
No kidding? :dog:

Study: Morning Cannabis Use Makes You Feel Good

Wake-and-bakers’ lifestyle choice vindicated with scientific research that shows cannabis can elevate a morning mood.

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed from time to time is inevitable. Those of us who are not morning people — and never will be! — can take solace in the facts that even the most insufferably cheery morning person has a bad day.

Now, scientific research has proven a reliable way to elevate one’s mood and shake off a bad start: waking up on the side of the bed closest to the dab rig and kicking things off with some cannabis, a recently published daily report study suggests.

Researchers led by Maria Testa, a senior research scientist at the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, asked 183 heterosexual couples — in which at least one partner used cannabis at least twice a week — to log their daily cannabis use activity for 30 consecutive days and to specifically record in their journal an “event-triggered report every time they were about to use cannabis” and again “immediately after they finished.”

The study’s aim was to determine whether a user’s morning mood, their “positive or negative affect,” influenced their cannabis use.

The couples were asked to record their feelings pre- and post-consumption (with one of 11 options including “irritable,” “stressed out,” “anxious/nervous”); what effects their partners’ use had on their feelings or propensity to use, if any; and their overall “positive” and “hostile” affects.

Among researchers’ assumptions entering the study is the notion, common in substance-use and addiction research, that humans pursue substance use as a technique of “reducing their psychological discomfort.” (Anyone who greets the day with a squinty-eyed grimace relieved only by the first cup of coffee can relate.)

Researchers found that a lower-than-normal morning mood did make cannabis use later that day more likely, but showed that neither anxiety nor hostility in the morning had much impact. Research subjects were more likely to use cannabis if their partner also used.

“For both men and women, the likelihood of using cannabis on a given day was greater when morning positive affect was lower than one’s average, suggesting that people may use the drug to restore positive affect to more typical levels,” the researchers wrote. “However, results do not provide convincing support for the self-medication hypothesis because neither hostile nor anxious mood contributed to later cannabis use.”

And the results of that cannabis use seemed to be mostly positive — at least when considering positive feelings. Cannabis increased “positive affect” and decreased “hostile and anxious affect,” the researchers found, a phenomenon “identical for men and women.”

While allowing that “we cannot state unequivocally” that improved moods were directly related to cannabis use and not “naturally occurring diurnal patterns,” the “positive consequences” of cannabis use “probably reflect the immediate ‘good drug’ feelings associated with cannabis,” the researchers added. Meaning: Smoking weed does indeed appear to make the smoker feel good. Whether or not it’s the cannabis or feelings associated with the cannabis probably don’t matter much at the moment.

The findings were published in the August edition of the journal Addictive Behaviors. Among the study’s limitations is a lack of control on what kind of cannabis was used and how much. There is a difference between dabbing an enormous glob in the morning and taking a few hits of 1:1 CBD:THC before jumping in the shower — although maybe for the individual users, the end effect is similar.

Does this mean you should use cannabis if you wake up in a sh*t mood? That’s entirely up to you and it is entirely possible that your negative affect may be entirely unrelated to your cannabis use. But if you do start the day on the wrong foot and do use cannabis at some point throughout the day, there’s at least some explanation for the satisfied and beatific smile you make find yourself wearing later on. Cannabis certainly appears to make other people feel better; why not you?
 

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