Why not to do weed

Added: Candie Munsch - Date: 06.05.2022 18:56 - Views: 25519 - Clicks: 683

A few years ago, the National Academy of Medicine convened a panel of sixteen leading medical experts to analyze the scientific literature on cannabis. The report they prepared, which came out in January ofruns to four hundred and sixty-eight s. It contains no bombshells or surprises, which perhaps explains why it went largely unnoticed. It simply stated, over and over again, that a drug North Americans have become enthusiastic about remains a mystery.

For example, smoking pot is widely supposed to diminish the nausea associated with chemotherapy. Is it good for epilepsy? Limited evidence. Insufficient evidence. Irritable-bowel syndrome? Dementia and glaucoma? Probably not. The haze of uncertainty continues. Does the use of cannabis increase the likelihood of fatal car accidents? By how much? Does it affect motivation and cognition? Hard to say, but probably. Does it affect employment prospects? Will it impair academic achievement? This goes on for s. Too much means that it might do more harm than good. The amount of active ingredient in a pill and the metabolic path that the ingredient takes after it enters your body—these are things that drugmakers will have painstakingly mapped out before the product comes on the market, with a tractor-trailer full of supporting documentation.

And the few studies we do have were done mostly in the nineteen-eighties and nineties, when cannabis was not nearly as potent as it is now. Because of recent developments in plant breeding and growing techniques, the typical concentration of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, has gone from the low single digits to more than twenty per cent—from a swig of near-beer to a tequila shot.

Or simply getting more stoned, more quickly? Is high-potency cannabis more of a problem for younger users or for older ones? For some drugs, the dose-response curve is linear: twice the dose creates twice the effect. Which is true for cannabis? It also matters, of course, how cannabis is consumed.

Why not to do weed

It can be smoked, vaped, eaten, or applied to the skin. How are absorption patterns affected? He warned that the fastest-growing segment of the legal market in Washington State was extracts for inhalation, and that the mean THC concentration for those products was more than sixty-five per cent. Nor did we know how higher-potency products would affect THC consumption.

When it comes to cannabis, the best-case scenario is that we will muddle through, learning more about its true effects as we go along and adapting as needed—the way, say, the once extraordinarily lethal innovation of the automobile has been gradually tamed in the course of its history. Berenson begins his book with an of a conversation he had with his wife, a psychiatrist who specializes in treating mentally ill criminals. Berenson used to be an investigative reporter for the Timeswhere he covered, among other things, health care and the pharmaceutical industry.

Then he left the paper to write a popular series of thrillers. The result is disturbing. Many people with serious psychiatric illness smoke lots of pot. The marijuana lobby typically responds to this fact by saying that pot-smoking is a response to mental illness, not the cause of it—that people with psychiatric issues use marijuana to self-medicate. That is only partly true. In some cases, heavy cannabis use does seem to cause mental illness. Berenson thinks that we are far too sanguine about this link. He wonders how large the risk is, and what might be behind it. Messamore reports that, following the recent rise in marijuana use in the U.

These are otherwise stable middle-class professionals. Their delusions and paranoia hardly responded to antipsychotics.

Why not to do weed

Is this the reason, Berenson wonders, for the rising incidence of schizophrenia in the developed world, where cannabis use has also increased? In the northern parts of Finland, incidence of the disease has nearly doubled since In Denmark, cases have risen twenty-five per cent since In the United States, hospital emergency rooms have seen a fifty-per-cent increase in schizophrenia admissions since If you include cases where schizophrenia was a secondary diagnosis, annual admissions in the past decade have increased from 1.

The delusions and paranoia that often accompany psychoses can sometimes trigger violent behavior. Once again, there is no definitive answer, so Berenson has collected bits and pieces of evidence. For example, in a paper in the Journal of Interpersonal Violenceresearchers looked at the of a survey of more than twelve thousand American high-school students. The authors assumed that alcohol use among students would be a predictor of violent behavior, and that marijuana use would predict the opposite.

Why not to do weed

In fact, those who used only marijuana were three times more likely to be physically aggressive than abstainers were; those who used only alcohol were 2. But they invite the sort of research that could. Berenson looks, too, at the early from the state of Washington, which, inbecame the first U. Berenson, though, finds it strange that, at a time when Washington may have exposed its population to higher levels of what is widely assumed to be a calming substance, its citizens began turning on one another with increased aggression. His third question is whether cannabis serves as a gateway drug. There are two possibilities.

The first is that marijuana activates certain behavioral and neurological pathways that ease the onset of more serious addictions. The second possibility is that marijuana offers a safer alternative to other drugs: that if you start smoking pot to deal with chronic pain you never graduate to opioids.

Which is it? This is a very hard question to answer. Maybe cannabis opens the door to other drugs, but only after prolonged use. Methodologically, Berenson points out, the issue is complicated by the fact that the first wave of marijuana legalization took place on the West Coast, while the first serious wave of opioid addiction took place in the middle of the country. So, if all you do is eyeball the s, it looks as if opioid overdoses are lowest in cannabis states and highest in non-cannabis states.

Why not to do weed

Not surprisingly, the data we have are messy. Berenson also enlists a statistician at N. The National Academy panel is more judicious. Seventy-two thousand Americans died in of drug overdoses. Should you embark on a pro-cannabis crusade without knowing whether it will add to or subtract from that ?

Drug policy is always clearest at the fringes. Illegal opioids are at one end. They are dangerous. Manufacturers and distributors belong in prison, and users belong in drug-treatment programs. The cannabis industry would have us believe that its product, like coffee, belongs at the other end of the continuum.

Why not to do weed

The experience of most users is relatively benign and predictable; the experience of a few, at the margins, is not. Products or behaviors that have that kind of muddled risk profile are confusing, because it is very difficult for those in the benign middle to appreciate the experiences of those at the statistical tails. For the moment, cannabis probably belongs in the category of substances that society permits but simultaneously discourages.

Cigarettes are heavily taxed, and smoking is prohibited in most workplaces and public spaces. Prescription drugs have rules about dosages, labels that describe their risks, and policies that govern their availability. Late last year, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, announced a federal crackdown on e-cigarettes.

In the dozen years since e-cigarettes were introduced into the marketplace, they have attracted an enormous amount of attention. There are scores of studies and papers on the subject in the medical and legal literature, grappling with the questions raised by the new technology. Vaping is clearly popular among. Is it a gateway to traditional tobacco use? Yet other people see e-cigarettes as a much safer alternative for adult smokers looking to satisfy their nicotine addiction.

Last year, a Parliamentary committee recommended cutting taxes on e-cigarettes and allowing vaping in areas where it had ly been banned. Since e-cigarettes are as much as ninety-five per cent less harmful than regular cigarettes, the committee argued, why not promote them?

Every argument that the F. Something is terribly wrong with our sense of perspective when we take the e-cigarettes off the shelf but allow the old-fashioned ones to remain. Among members of the public-health community, it is impossible to spend five minutes on the e-cigarette question without getting into an argument. And this is nicotine they are arguing about, a drug that has been exhaustively studied by generations of scientists. The drugs through the gateway that we worry about with e-cigarettes are Marlboros, not opioids. Yet we still proceed cautiously and carefully with nicotine, because it is a powerful drug, and when powerful drugs are consumed by lots of people in new and untested ways we have an obligation to try to figure out what will happen.

A week after Gottlieb announced his crackdown on e-cigarettes, on the ground that they are too enticing to children, Siegel visited the first recreational-marijuana facility in Massachusetts. Here is what he found on the menu, each offering laced with large amounts of a drug, THC, that no one knows much about:. An earlier version of this piece misstated the percentages of increase for murders and aggravated assaults in the state of Washington.

By Patrick Radden Keefe. Laurie Wolf is a leader in its gourmet revolution. By Lizzie Widdicombe.

Why not to do weed

Of course? I said. Yeah, they all smoke.

Why not to do weed

But they all smoke. Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since

Why not to do weed

email: [email protected] - phone:(659) 833-1204 x 3863

What we know and don’t know about pot