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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 07, 2016

A Primal Take on Cannabis

By Mark Sisson
189 Comments

Medicinal cannabis with extract oil in a bottleToday I’m taking on a mammoth in the living room so to speak. Based on the emails I’ve received and the string of developments around the issue, it’s maybe a long time coming.

As of November 11, marijuana is legal for recreational or medical use in 26 states. Recreational use is even legal in the nation’s capital, Washington DC. Despite the DEA declining to recognize the therapeutic potential of marijuana, formal medical research proceeds in labs and clinics, while millions of consumers in states like California, Oregon, and Colorado are running informal n=1 personal experiments. Usage has doubled in the last ten years. A recent Gallup poll found that 1 in 8 American adults “say they smoke marijuana.” Pretty much anytime legalization is up for a vote, it passes.

It seems there’s more weed out there than ever before and more people willing to consume it. They’re eating it, applying it sublingually, vaporizing it, and smoking it. Meanwhile, “pro” and “con” claims mount on both sides. 

And while hippies, burnouts, and trustafarians might be the popular face of marijuana culture, the modern cannabis consumer will surprise you. A few stats:

Nearly half of all California cannabis dispensary customers are over the age of 30.

By some accounts, Silicon Valley tech firms run on weed.

More Colorado adults are consuming cannabis, while teen usage has gone down.

Middle-aged parents are more likely to smoke weed than their teenage kids.

Cannabis never really left, but it’s definitely shifting out of the counter-culture and into mainstream society. For better or for worse.

So, which is it, Sisson? Better or worse?

Cannabis commentators, both detractors and evangelists, deal in anecdote.

“The pot heads I knew in high school ended up in dead-end jobs. Half didn’t even graduate!”

“Everyone I knew in college smoked. The smartest dude on my floor—an engineering student—grew the stuff!”

It really seems to depend on the individual, the type of cannabis, the (mind)set and setting, and a dozen other factors. It’s complicated and contextual.

In keeping with that point, my goal here isn’t to pass absolute judgment but to highlight the benefits, risks and myths.

First off, there’s some very promising research into the medical and health benefits of cannabis.

Pain: Purified THC has no effect on chronic pain. It doesn’t help postoperative pain, either.

Meanwhile, whole plant cannabis reduces Parkinson’s-related pain, neuropathic pain (even low-dose), and diabetic neuropathy.

Curiously, men seem more sensitive to cannabis-induced pain relief than women. Sorry, ladies.

PTSDMedical marijuana shows great promise in PTSD therapy, with one study seeing a 75% reduction in symptoms.

Cancer: Most research into cannabis and cancer has focused on its ability to ameliorate chemotherapy-induced nausea. And in vitro and animal studies do show some interesting effects on cancer cells and cancer, but lots of plant compounds do that. We have a ways to go before oncologists are handing out joints.

Weight loss: We don’t have any good intervention studies in people, but we do have evidence from animal and in vitro studies that isolated cannabinoids can trigger formation of new fat cells and generally impair metabolic health. We do have fairly consistent findings from observational studies showing that regular cannabis users tend to have lower BMIs than non-users, better metabolic markers (fasting insulin, waist circumference, and insulin resistance) than non-users, and lower rates of metabolic syndrome.

Tough to say, but I lean toward the totality of the observational studies. If cannabis is so bad for metabolic health, why is its use so consistently associated with better metabolic health?

Intake of other drugs: People with access to legal marijuana end up drinking less alcohol (one reason for the generally beneficial effect of weed on body weight) and using less opioids.

Type 1 diabetes: There’s limited (read: animal/in vitro) evidence suggestive of a protective or therapeutic role for cannabis in type 1 diabetes (CBD reduces pancreatic inflammation and slows down T1D progression).

What about the negatives?

Filling your lungs with hot smokeWhile it probably isn’t “good” for the lungs, the “accumulated weight of evidence” shows that “even regular heavy use” of cannabis smoke confers “far lower risks for pulmonary complications” than the “grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.”

DependencyAddiction recovery counselors claim cannabis addiction rates of 10%, which pale in comparison to cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and tobacco addiction rates but exceed the 0% addiction rates weed enthusiasts commonly tout. 

And I’ll head off the inevitable cries of “it’s just psychological dependence, not physiological!” before they arrive. Psychological is physiological. The brain is the body. It’s physical and tangible. Cannabis may not create physical withdrawal symptoms, but heavy use can create dependencies via the brain reward systems just the same.

Mental healthHeavy cannabis users with the right (wrong) genetic variants tend to be at higher risk for various mental health disorders, like psychosis and schizophrenia. Furthermore, the earlier in adolescence you start smoking, the higher your risk of psychosis as an adult.

Causation hasn’t quite been established here. Put another way, people with psychosis and schizophrenia may be more likely to be heavy cannabis users. But if your brain is still developing, whether in the womb or during adolescence, avoid cannabis. You really don’t need it, and you’ll be better equipped to handle it as a full-fledged adult.

Sleep: Many people use cannabis to sleep. It certainly can make you sleepy, but it also affects REM sleep, even going so far as to reduce dreaming. Heavy users show evidence of sleep disturbances. You all know how important sleep is.

Plus, an older study shows that smoking cannabis increases melatonin secretion. That’s a good thing at night. This could be trouble if you smoke during the day, however, as melatonin isn’t supposed to be elevated when the sun is up.

Now some things to keep in mind when deciding to try cannabis or not…

Whole plant is safer than isolated cannabinoids.

Whether you’re talking about medical benefits or recreational use, using the whole plant has better effects than using an isolated component. There is no one active component. There are many, and isolation is going to miss them.

Foremost are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). If THC provides the “high,” CBD smooths it out. THC targets the CB1 receptor, CBD gets in the way and blunts some of the effects. Why is this important, and why shouldn’t I just get the stuff with the most THC?

Well, the whole plant compounds are synergistic:

A high-CBD cannabis whole plant extract reduces gut inflammation and damage in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease. Purified CBD does not.

A human study tested the cannabinoid content of hair plucked from a group of regular smokers. Those with more THC in their hair were more depressed and anxious than those with CBD in their hair. They also performed more poorly on tests of visual and verbal recall, while those with higher hair CBD were better at recall and had fewer psychosis-like symptoms.

Normally, THC impairs short term memory. It’s famous for it. This is why people (like me) stumble over their words after consuming cannabis. In one study, giving CBD alongside high-THC weed mitigates this THC-induced memory impairment.

CBD may even show efficacy against schizophrenia, which makes me wonder if higher CBD/THC cannabis strains have the same relationship to mental health issues as the strains higher in THC and lower in CBD.

The superiority of the whole plant could explain why observational studies find improved metabolic health and body weight in users versus non-users and animal studies using the isolated cannabinoids find the opposite.

Whole plant cannabis isn’t perfect, though. The THC/CBD ratio has been increasing over the years as consumers chase ever more “potent” strains. The average sample of street cannabis was 4% THC in 1995. In 2014, it was 14%. In the same time frame, CBD content dropped from 0.28% to 0.15%. 

What’s great about the legalization push is that you no longer have to buy an unlabeled baggie of random cannabis from a seedy dealer. You can enter a clean, well-lighted place, chat with an expert, and choose from dozens of strains labeled with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoid levels to obtain the desired effects and thus bypass the lopsided ratios of street marijuana.

Don’t take cannabis lightly.

It’s a powerful plant, technically a psychedelic. Many ancient cultures used cannabis as a sacrament and spiritual ally. You don’t have to chant or burn incense or anything, but pay it the respect it deserves if you plan on using it. 

It can have paradoxical effects.

To some, it’s the best way to take the edge off a bad day or a stressful situation. You light up and the stress melts away.

To others, it increases anxiety. You light up and get sucked into a paranoid thought loop. You might even have a panic attack.

Some people can’t focus on anything after consuming cannabis. It scatters their mind and makes following a plot or conversation impossible.

Others use cannabis as a focus aid. They’ll create art, read books, consume film and music, and generally be more productive.

Use others’ experiences as a rough guide, but know that it’s not the final word.

Don’t use it to defeat boredom.

It’s often said that cannabis is a mood-enhancer. It won’t “make you happy.” But if you’re in a good mood, it will likely enhance it. The same goes for a bad mood.

Don’t do it if you’re bored. Don’t do it because there’s nothing else to do. Perhaps you’ll make life mildly more interesting for a couple hours, but man, what a waste.

It shouldn’t be a habit or crutch—or an excuse to not go out and grab a life you want to live….

Careful with the edibles.

Widespread legalization has ushered in an incredible range of edible cannabis products, from olive oil to butter to coconut oil to caramels to baked goods to lollipops to spaghetti sauce to entire restaurant menus. Since cannabinoids are fat-soluble, anything with fat is fair game.

Eating cannabis is very different from inhaling it. Smoking it provides delta-9 THC, which hits fast and dissipates relatively quickly. When you eat it, your liver converts the delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy THC and you feel the effects of both compounds. It lasts longer, too—5-6 hours compared to 1-2—and feels stronger and more psychedelic. Edible cannabis can get downright overwhelming, especially since most people don’t expect it.

Oh, and that pot brownie better be gluten-free or you’re excommunicated.

That’s about it folks. As I said earlier, I recognize the therapeutic effects and medical potential of cannabis all while acknowledging the apparent risks and cautions.

Now I’d like to hear from you, especially those who use cannabis. How does it affect your Primal way of life? Does it help or hinder your pursuit of health?

Thanks for reading, everyone.

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189 Comments on "A Primal Take on Cannabis"

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Pete
Pete
7 months 19 days ago

Dude!

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 19 days ago

Someone’s smoking……………

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
7 months 17 days ago

Maybe this should be a potential ingredient in the coffee substitute smoothie ( http://www.marksdailyapple.com/10-healthy-morning-pick-me-ups-that-arent-traditional-coffee-or-tea/ ). After reading about coca leaf tea or chewing (like qat) it occurred to me that maybe sometimes Mark’s healthy treat in the morning is something of.. import.

Peg Y
Peg Y
7 months 19 days ago

Just before the vote in California, I saw a YouTube video of a guy in Colorado who is experimenting with a cannabis nasal inhaler as a therapeutic intervention in status seizures in children. I was hoping the vote would pass in California because my dog has status seizures, and if I could get a mister that I could spray in his nose and bring him around, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Personally, I don’t like it for my own use. Tried it with an ex at his insistence–made me feel weird. I like having control of my thoughts.

Jeff
Jeff
7 months 19 days ago

http://www.vice.com/read/ask-hamilton-and-jason-pulverizer-marijuana-for-later-snort

You’d be better off trying to make some laced dog treats – for a handful of reasons, weed isn’t very bioavailable nasally (the article title I linked to is a joke because of the way some guy asked it, but otherwise it’s accurate).

Peggy
Peggy
7 months 19 days ago

Be careful! I have heard that weed is poisonous to dogs and cats. May not have the same effect as humans.

Rlrg
Rlrg
7 months 19 days ago

Nope, I’ve been making CO and dosing my dog 2x daily orally and with a DMSO solution topically directly on his tumor for 8 months. He’s eating, gained most of his weight back and the tumor is shrinking.

al frnk
al frnk
7 months 17 days ago

wow impressive, my dog has chronic skin issues we just seem to cycle in the vet and the meds become dependent for him not to start itching again. I’ve read some basics that cbd specifically can be helpful and so now trying to see if there is a safe effective way to use that for him

Diana
Diana
7 months 15 days ago

Dave Asprey interviewed the owner of CW Hemp on his podcast. Canine dosage is explained of the site. I just bought Charlotte’s Web CBD oil for both my aging dog and myself. http://Www.cwhemp.com

ellen
ellen
7 months 17 days ago

Apparently the nasal spray is currently being used for seizures and is being effective.

Greg
Greg
7 months 13 days ago

Look for dog CBD oil with low THC.

Shane
Shane
7 months 19 days ago
I am Paleo, and I don’t find anything wrong with smoking a bowl an hour before bed. It really does help me sleep a good 8 hours as opposed to the 3-4 hours with my normal sleep cycle. I have lowered my BMI since smoking, and the only thing I would worry about is the munchies, which oddly enough, I don’t get with pot, but I do with alcohol. I just don’t smoke it and go straight to bed, because my mind will race, but an hour before bed is just right for me. Overall, it depends on the user,… Read more »
Kat
7 months 19 days ago

It helps me sleep, too! I wake up about once every 2-3 hours but wake up after 9-10 hours rested. With weed I sleep straight through 7-8 hours no issues.

Dianne
Dianne
7 months 7 days ago

I too have sleep problems. I’ve been using the oil, but it doesn’t get me through the night. Are you using the plant?

jtcapa
jtcapa
7 months 19 days ago

I’ve been using edibles as a sleep aid for a few years now. Not every night just when I feel more stressed out. I’ll eat a very small doze of 5mg about 2 hours before bedtime and note that I do sleep longer before my bladder wakes me. As a man, I’m wondering if other middle aged men with enlarged prostates and frequent nighttime urination, have slowed that process by using edible’s like myself?

Clay
Clay
7 months 19 days ago

If I take a a small dose of indica chocolate (3-5mg) before bed, I’m so relaxed that I generally don’t get up to pee until morning. I attribute that to muscle relaxation. Since your bladder is a muscle, that is relaxed too, so you don’t feel the desire to pee as much.

Mandy
Mandy
7 months 19 days ago

I find I sleep sounder with edibles – but smoking/vaping allows me some better sleep as well. I’ve been getting up in the middle of the night to pee 3-4 times since I was a kid. I just don’t sleep well and never have. Frankly, I’m glad this is available and since I didn’t start until later in life, I am not so concerned with brain development issues. I also find vaping to be so much easier on the lungs.

Tom
Tom
7 months 19 days ago

@jtcapa Re the nighttime pee: I’m early fifties, male. A couple of years ago someone recommended a herb, to take as a tea: Willowherb / “Epilobium parviflorum” (Kleinblütiges Weidenröschen). I took it for almost three months– made a large teapot full every day, and drank it over the course of the day. It made a very big difference for me. I still have to be careful to not drink too much evenings, but before and after were dramatically different in terms of how often I needed to get up nights to pee.

jtcapa
jtcapa
7 months 19 days ago

Where do you get hoary willowherb??

Tom
Tom
7 months 19 days ago

I actually got it from someone who had collected it wild. I’m in Germany where herbs are available in Pharmacists. Presuming you’re in the States, I have no idea — it does grow there according to wikipedia, sorry cant help more.

MzEllen
MzEllen
7 months 19 days ago

I use edibles an hour before bedtime. My cPap shows fewer “episodes” and fewer “restless” periods.

Annaru
Annaru
3 months 6 days ago

Isn’t that crazy!? I have central sleep apnea, and thought I was experiencing fewer episodes, my doctor said there is that theory, and there is one small study. She is an advocate! I use micro dosing tinctures and topicals for fibromyalgia pain, the effect on my central sleep apnea is a total bonus side effect.

Kjlmtr
Kjlmtr
7 months 19 days ago

I am also Paleo, and developed a great indica paleo brownie made with coconut flour, coconut sugar and cacao and self-made grassfed indica infused butter. A small piece before sleep has really helped with nighttime anxiety and waking. I don’t like smoking, so the brownie before I crawl into bed does the trick for me.

Allison
Allison
7 months 18 days ago

are you allowed to share the recipe here?

AL FRNK
AL FRNK
7 months 17 days ago

I agree would be very interested in a recipe and details if possible

Julie Dooley
7 months 15 days ago

Make sure you do not use marijuana that has genetics that lean towards the extreme (Sativa or Indica) as you brew these types into a concentrated cannabutter the effects can cause anxiety. Using more of a hybrid ensures a calming effect.

Stealth
Stealth
7 months 14 days ago
I never tried Pot as a adolescent and now in my middle ages. I am kind of excited, somewhat giddy to try, not to get “high”, but really to get more than 5 hours of sleep. That’s my average, sometimes its less. My question is if you can recommend the type of weed, I’ll explain. Someone told me the types of weed are Indica and Sativa one is an upper and one is the downer. Which I would believe is the best for sleep remedy, so if anyone could offer advice, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Stealth
Rachel Temple
7 months 19 days ago

I have recently started using CBD/CBDa oil with my clients (MS, pain etc), with some very positive responses. You get the medicinal benefit without the psychoactive effect — surely the way to go!

Barry
Barry
7 months 19 days ago

I used to smoke the time. Got to the point no matter how little I smoked I would start to have panic attacks. Would get really dizzy and felt like I could never get a breath. Stopped it and never really missed it. I can imagine I would have a hard time controlling food impulses

jtcapa
jtcapa
7 months 19 days ago
That has been my experience too. I smoked often between 16 and 22, then started having those panic attacks. Stopped for 25 years and once it went legal tried it again and found it was still bad if I tried smoking these now powerfully potent THC versions. But Mark’s data seems right. If I consume a CBD oil and smoke, I’m fine, or if I use a little of the high CBD strain of the whole plant, I’m also fine. But still the possibility of the panic attack really keeps me from using it for anything other than a sleep… Read more »
Clay
Clay
7 months 19 days ago

I think for some people, the panic attacks and paranoia are cause by either using way too much or choosing a sativa instead of an indica (anything with kush in the name). Sativa can be very stimulating mentally and physically and can send your mind racing. Indica is much more sedative and tends to reduce anxiety.

Tom
Tom
7 months 19 days ago

@Clay [this all past tense as I havent smoked in a while]
with grass, I’ll get really wired, almost like taking speed. With a good oily black hash, I’ll get a really nice mellow buzz. We didnt get grass where/when I grew up, so we used make tobacco joints (with hash) — I also smoked tobacco then. After giving up tobacco, I realised how strong an effect the tobacco also had (when inhaled deeply), and that the effect of the hash on it’s own was quite different (nicer).

Crazylady
Crazylady
7 months 16 days ago

Haven’t seen any black hash in years. Marijuana makes my asthma worse so I don’t use it. I smoked black hash several times in a city with notorious air pollution, and it loosened up the airways.

Chris
Chris
7 months 19 days ago

Exactly. I can’t smoke sativa. Makes me paranoid and anxious. I exclusively use indica to counter anxiety and help relax.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

Yes, those are important differences. Without knowing if the source is one or the other or “hybrid,” it’s almost fruitless to say, “Pot does X or Y to me.” As I go to sleep easily, all my bud is Sativa. Had a new acquaintance over a few weeks ago, she and I talked for seven hours and could have gone longer except her boyfriend was increasingly panicly texting her. Ha ha….

Cinnamon
7 months 17 days ago

I’ve had that experience with weed, whether I smoked it or ate an edible. Weed is not for me. I’d rather be sane rather than smoking and having panic attacks and paranoia.

Sandra
Sandra
7 months 19 days ago

As we continue to explore the benefit of botanical medicine which includes cannabis, we are understanding the receptors in our brain that may benefit from cannabis use. Smoking is not the optimal delivery system, as temperature is important to release the medicinal value. I am on the path to help my son whom had a high dose of radiation as a childhood brain cancer survivor, and a stroke survivor. Glad to see mark do a story on it. There is no magic wand in medicine…so you must continue to learn and explore avenues of wellness. Thank you mark.

AL FRNK
AL FRNK
7 months 17 days ago

hello Sandra, I am curious to learn more about the optimal temperatures or ways to realize the medicinal value, can you share any links/details thanks

MerkyMerk
MerkyMerk
7 months 19 days ago
I have been waiting years for this post! Well done Mark! I normally consume in the form of edibles as it results in less coughing and hacking, but it looks like I will need to go back to the good ole days of lighting one up 🙂 I am the type of person that gets silly and lazy when I partake in cannabis so I save it for Friday nights when I don’t plan on leaving the couch. Mastering my “need” for munchies is the hardest part of imbibing but I have found that sipping a La Crioux helps immensely… Read more »
Ron Martoia Primal Health Coach
I am using for the 40th day my first round of CDB oil. I got fascinated by the interview done here with Stuart Tomc. Of course the CDB oil is THC free. So no buzz for me. But I will tell you it has dramatically improved my sleep cycle within about 12 days. I am going to take another 44 day round and then go off it to really see the results. I do not smoke so my endogenous cannabinoid system h.d to get opened up to see the results. My adult son does smoke and is doing the same… Read more »
jtcapa
jtcapa
7 months 19 days ago

I think your on to something here. When I consume high CBD oil mixed with small amounts of THC I do get much better sleep. Is it more or less REM? I have no idea other than I feel like I do dream more.

Stealth
Stealth
7 months 14 days ago

Hi Ron, thanks for the info on CBD oil. I am trying to improve my sleepless nights also. Can you share the name or link about the CDB oil? Also I never smoked pot, so can you also share what you do what the oil?
Thank you
Stealth

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 19 days ago
Lived in CO for decades before legalization. Visited this fall, what a trip. Oops, wrong metaphor……. If you haven’t experienced a purchase, you cannot, will not believe how controlled it is and how scientific the whole process is. Young plants have RFID chips inserted to track them all the way to the consumer, to identify the THC/CBD contents, and more. All edibles are standard servings at 10mg THC. I bought pot with 18% and 28% THC. Actually, they rate to two decimal places. Also an e-vape pen and cartridge. The CO Department of Revenue oversees the process (and collects lots… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 19 days ago

To clarify, and since this new format doesn’t allow editing……..grrrrrrrr…….smoking is almost six times as efficient as eating.

Clay
Clay
7 months 19 days ago

If by efficient you mean how quickly it hits you, then yes, smoking wins. However, milligram for milligram, eating is much stronger and longer lasting than smoking.That’s just a simple fact of how ingested THC is metabolized by the liver.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

No, they were measuring circulating THC or a metabolite in some manner.

Dave
Dave
7 months 19 days ago
Biggest issue is the munchies, so I have to watch out about that and consume sparingly. But I also don’t drink that much, and prefer cannabis to alcohol for occasional indulgence. Outside of that it really does not affect my healthily lifestyle. If anything, I am a good deal healthier than my many of my piers in my age group (49) that don’t use cannabis. That is purely anecdotal though. When great thing for me at least, is that it really seems to enhance the feelings of touch, especially during sex, but there are other that I have talked with… Read more »
keith
keith
7 months 19 days ago

Started looking into the CBD oil for anxiety and stress. I got some candy\gummies and took one last week, will have to try it again while at home to know if it helps or not. I’ve been high enough in my 20s so I’m not dong it for that, i need to take the edge off and I don’t want to go the pharmaceutical route.

Groktimus
7 months 19 days ago

What’d you say dude? Actually the stuff does nothing for me. No fun no pain relief.

wildgrok
wildgrok
7 months 19 days ago

For those with a problem with this:

“Oh, and that pot brownie better be gluten-free or you’re excommunicated.”

Ego te absolvo 🙂

Ulrike
Ulrike
7 months 19 days ago

I’ve tried all sorts of cbd oils and also full extract…I wanted to use it for lymes disease as well as help ease anxiety. However every product I’ve tried has caused major constipation. I really wish I could tolerate it but the constipatikn just is crazy! Had anyone ever heard of this happening or know what could be the cause? Would really appreciate some input.

Carisska
7 months 19 days ago

This is the reason I’ve hesitated – everything I’ve read has said that it slows down peristalsis, which is terrible for SIBO (my main issue).

Ulrike
Ulrike
7 months 19 days ago

I agree…slowing down peristalsis is the worst for me. It almost seems like it makes there peristalsis lame….I have read something about it working on opiate receptors…and this well known that opiates can cause constipation.

sue
sue
7 months 19 days ago

this is some interesting feedback. In chinese medicine hemp seeds are used to moisten the bowel and alleviate constipation however , my chinese dr informed me, the seeds are known to be slightly toxic.

Rick
Rick
7 months 19 days ago

I have smoked/vaporized since I was 11. I am now 51. I am a very successful computer engineer. I grow my own, for the 7.5 years, because I vaporize a LOT every day. There are many myths and scare tactics used by people that want to control the discussion.

If you want to understand the medical side – Jorge Cervantes has a new book out called The Cannabis Encyclopedia. The first section is all medical. He explains that Cannabis was the first “domesticated” plant by man. That the medical effects would have migrant tribes carry the best seeds with them.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 19 days ago

Mark/worker bees: Don’t know any other way to let you know, but your Nutritional forum is totally locked down. Can’t post a new thread, can’t make comments to existing threads. For the first month or more of this new format, pages were not accessible about half the time, “database error.” Now that seems to be fixed, but we are totally locked out.

I hope you have withheld some payment from these dolts that made this for you. Time to hire a fixer.

pm paul
pm paul
7 months 19 days ago

Thank you, this was incredibly informative. More to come as legalization may open more opportunities for formal research (beyond n=1). 🙂

Bryan
Bryan
7 months 19 days ago

Not for me. I still run, bike and swim and can’t imagine that inhaling anything other than pure air (mostly) will help me go faster and farther.

But, I’m a supporter of legalization. It should be legal in all 50 United States.

Shary
Shary
7 months 19 days ago

I agree. I live in Colorado and pot has been readily available here for quite a while. It hasn’t been without growing pains, however. The state continues to get creative about regulating and taxation. I did support legalization although I’m not a user. Like you, I can’t see sucking anything into my lungs other than fresh air. I have no interest in getting high, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use it medicinally (in other forms) if the need ever arises

AL FRNK
AL FRNK
7 months 17 days ago
I agree, I did not try any until my later adult years so I have been on both sides and while I have experienced the medicinal benefits I can see it isn’t a perfect medicine either and not the be all answer. That said if someone does or doesn’t smoke, legalizing is just another issue in terms of if someone does indulge in a bad habit without hurting others should they be jailed. When people are jaild you have tax payers paying tens of thousands per person to be in prison , the actual prisoner be it a kid or… Read more »
shasha
shasha
7 months 19 days ago
I have used the substance in question off and on or over 4 decades….a lot in my twenties, and about one to three times a week now, in my 60’s. I don’t care for many of the effects, such as anxiety (at times overwhelming) and the general drowsiness. My main reason to even bother with it currently is because of something I noticed with my very first use and continuing til now. I lose my appetite right away and the effect lasts for hours. I have lost as much as fifty pounds and kept it off for years (this last… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

Wait! You get the anti-munchies? Wow, I’ve never heard of that. I always presumed pot to be illegal because the increased demand for food would cause shortages and there would be riots. Right? 🙂

Jamie
Jamie
7 months 19 days ago

Hi Mark – I watched some Truth About Cancer episodes and there were a few people on their who took hemp oil (rubbed it on their gums) and their tumours shrunk and disappeared. I thought this was too good to be true but did some quick web searches and there are many stories in local UK newspapers of others who have also cured themselves of cancerous tumours. Is there any scientific support anywhere that you have found to support these claims? I’m not saying everybody and every type of cancer would be cured but it must have some basis?

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

Since hemp is devoid of THC, it’s not unreasonable to presume that it still has the CBD. But that needs to be confirmed.

You could rub it anywhere, not just the gums. It’s a topical treatment.

Clay
Clay
7 months 19 days ago
I use edibles (generally very low dose indica chocolate) occasionally as a a sleep aid when my stress levels eclipse my ability to wind down my brain, or sometimes when sick or having too much pain and inflammation to sleep comfortably. Usually a low dose (3-5mg THC) an hour before bed is all that’s needed to “reset” myself back to baseline. Low doses shouldn’t mess with your REM cycle. If cannabis is interfering with sleep, then the dose is too high. And like mentioned above, be very careful with edibles. They take at least an hour to kick in and… Read more »
jtcapa
jtcapa
7 months 19 days ago

I’d have to agree with your comment, I’ve been doing the same and have enjoyed the “reset” aspect myself. Low dose is the best way to get better sleep.

Gentleman Jak
7 months 19 days ago

Personally I’ve done weed only once many, many years ago in college and wasn’t really impressed so I never touched the stuff again.

As with anything else, I’d be interested to see how the medical benefits of cannabis weigh out against the societal risks. This looks like something that only time will tell.

Mark, another plant that is making ripples is Kratom. There’s a lot of controversy over this plant with a recent push to postpone the banning of it in the USA. Would be interested to hear your take on it.

Thom
Thom
7 months 19 days ago
I smoke occasionally but I can only take one or two hits before I’m baked. I’ve had a couple vicious panic attacks after smoking too much (one in 05 and a small one this last spring). Thought I’d gone insane and all that fun stuff. Just that endless loop of madness. (Deep, steady breaths, water, fresh air, walking, and knowing you’re just peaking and you’ll come down soon seems to help.) Also I usually get hardcore munchies so even if I’m eating primal fare I’m eating way too much, once I start I can’t stop. This usually leads to bad… Read more »
kathy
kathy
7 months 19 days ago
I have asthma (which primal/paleo really helps me to control) so smoking weed is so not an option for me 🙂 and my n=1 experiences involve 2 different extended family members and 1 ex who are very negatively impacted by their smoking habits… so i’ll wait for further non-n=1 studies to examine who best benefits, when, and how. Altho it seems to me that the legal weed really should hit THC levels that were native to the plant originally (and at which levels weed has the long history of alleged anecdotal evidence of “healthy usage”), and not the modern “pumped… Read more »
Nikki
Nikki
7 months 19 days ago

“Oh, and that pot brownie better be gluten-free or you’re excommunicated.” – You are very adorable and charming, this line had me lol

Elizabeth Archer
Elizabeth Archer
7 months 19 days ago

My husband was addicted the first 36 years of our marriage. I knew for years something was wrong but what? He went to school and received 2 degrees. But he is incapable of holding down a job. I have supported the family, and was unable to go to school because we needed income. It has caused hell in my life. He was erratic with the kids. I can’t even consider it doing any good if not used medicinally.

Mandy
Mandy
7 months 19 days ago

I’m sorry you had to go through that. However, alcohol is legal and just because it’s not good for some people doesn’t mean all of us can’t use it. I feel the same with cannabis. It’s an adult choice to make, and a few bad apples should not keep everyone else from deciding what is right for them. I hope you’ve found some peace.

Elizabeth Archer
Elizabeth Archer
7 months 19 days ago

Thank You. Yes I have found peace :o) And I agree alcohol is just as destructive.

AL FRNK
AL FRNK
7 months 17 days ago
true, my best friend has never smoked or drank in his life. He has ballooned to 400 lbs on just a horrible diet and has stagnated his comfort, confidence, and ability to live in a lot of ways. So I think so many things can be abused. While the saturation of all the chemicals in food may affect the brain,obviously with alcohol and cannabis the connection is more direct in it being psychoactive so you have to be careful and mindful with any medicine. I’ve experienced the medicinal benefits in ways that have really helped me heal/live and then I’ve… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

This kind of one off anecdotal experience drives me bonkers. You didn’t know he was smoking? Apparently, a lot? If he got two degrees I suggest he could focus and meet goals. And that perhaps he has underlying psychiatric issues that got in the way of jobs and the kids.

Is this past or present tense? Has he ever been off of pot for a few days in 36 years? Did his behaviors improve? If so, then perhaps you nailed it.

Rob Alberta
Rob Alberta
7 months 19 days ago

Good start on the analysis.
There are many other cannabinoids. For example Cannabavarin which is actually an appetite suppressant. I wonder if it is this component that makes cannabis users leaner than non users.
In addition there are many terpenes present in whole plant. Many users attribute psychoactive properties to them. Certainly they are responsible for many of the aromatic properties. (Limonene, Pinene, Linalool etc.)
There is a lot of research to be done, made easier as various levels of legal barrier are reduced.

Mamagrok
7 months 19 days ago

To me, the simplest explanation for the thinness is the same reason smoking “keeps you thin”: it partially replaces the endorphins so many are deficient in, and when that pseudo-replacement is gone, high-reward foods are needed to keep us functioning.

John
John
7 months 19 days ago

Weed is not physically addictive, and it is very easy to prove. Have you ever seen a pot head on the street corner offering sexual services for their next hit of weed? Answer: Never, but I have seen plenty of crack/cocaine and heroin addicts doing just that. It is a drug and all drugs have consequences that vary person to person, but it is not physically addictive.

Mike
Mike
7 months 19 days ago
I live in Washington where it has been medically legal for quite some time and recreationally legal for a few years now. I use it and have found it fantastic for sleep and stress and have used it several times successfully for pain resulting from physical injuries, muscle pulls, sprains and injuries sustained from the occasional mountain bike crash. I have done quite a bit of research on the topic and I would say that Mark has done a very good job of touching on almost everything. The one piece that I think still needs addressing is the part about… Read more »
Clay
Clay
7 months 19 days ago
Spot on. I think many people who say pot makes them paranoid are smoking sativa. But back in the 70’s and 80’s it was just “pot”. It was hard to get and no one even talked strains, CBD content, etc. I remember recently when I was experimenting to find a proper emulsifier to suspend cannabis oil in water. We were sampling as we went yo test for the best mouth feel. The extract was Sour Diesel. An hour later it’s bedtime and right when my head hit the pillow it kicked in.My mind got very active. My skin was buzzing.… Read more »
virgil bunyan
virgil bunyan
7 months 19 days ago

I find that smoking (I vape) sativa is giving you a paranoid out look in your mind you have to do something physically active or stimulating. Thats why you hear that stoners make great gamers especially shooters. Sativa gives you energy and if you don’t channel it you will feel it trying to escape. So don’t lie down and smoke sativa go do some shit. My thing is hitting the gym and using the energy to develop muscle! ? it becomes very internal.

Ryan Mercer
7 months 19 days ago

Haha, loved the excommunicated bit.

liz
liz
7 months 19 days ago

great piece. i would just love to see “chemical laced tobacco” instead of tobacco. tobacco in its organic form is a sacred plant. a sacred plant should not be demonized because there are so many that disgrace it by poisoning the earth and its creatures. ritualistically smoking organically grown tobacco is natural and good, just like marijuana. keep up the great work Mark! (:

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

Tobacco is just a plant. Anything about “sacredness” is just what people choose to assign to it. Ditto pot. Smoking a lot of tobacco, organic or not, will still cause ill health and perhaps death.

ajb
ajb
7 months 19 days ago

You forgot probably the most obvious negative about smoked marijuana – it stinks.

Also, marijuana being put into edible products becomes a hazard for children.

Clay
Clay
7 months 19 days ago

But a child can’t die from THC like they can from aspirin. But we all have aspirin in our house.They even make tasty children’s aspirin. They also make all cold medicines and pain killers in tasty children’s formulas. Most homes also have bleach, solvents, WD-40… all sorts of things that can kill you. The marijuana puts children at risk argument only sounds right when you don’t see what other risks are available. The number one preventable cause of death in children is car accidents followed by drowning in home pools.

ajb
ajb
7 months 19 days ago

People don’t usually put aspirin into brownies.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

I agree with ajb, Clay. None of the items you mention are enticing to children. This is “false equivalency” at its finest.

Clay
Clay
7 months 18 days ago
How many children have died from ingesting marijuana? The answer is zero. No one has. No one has gone into a coma, had massive liver failure or started bleeding internally from marijuana. There is no known overdose level for THC. And yes, children’s medicine is very attractive to children. That’s the whole point. You should check out the OTC drug isle…looks like rows of candy. But no one says don’t make aspirin taste like candy because it’s dangerous. And I don’t know any parent that keeps their cannabis anywhere near where their kids can find it. But in most homes,… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago
Stink is in the olfactory bulbs of the beholder. It stinks to you, but for many of us, it’s the opposite. I’ve experienced non inexpensive perfumes that stank to me. Also, the vape smoke smells sweet, very unlike the bud smoke, and only minimally at that. Yes, the issue with children is real. Of course, the bottom line responsibility lies with the parents, not the herb. They shouldn’t buy edibles that look like candy, perhaps they shouldn’t buy edibles at all. They wouldn’t put vodka in a water bottle, but they do this kind of stuff? If I don’t want… Read more »
Matt
Matt
7 months 18 days ago

“it stinks.”

That’s, just, like, your opinion, man.

jag
jag
7 months 19 days ago

I’m going to be trying whole-plant cannabis shortly to see if it helps with my full-body, idiopathic neuropathy. I tried CBN while in Colorado without success.

derwood
7 months 19 days ago
I’m a medical user, and it’s a lifesaver in many respects. There are so many physical and emotional aspects to living with a dangerous cancer. I use less pain medicine than I would without it. I use less anti-anxiety medication. I can relax in the evenings and simply “forget” about the cancer, but still function with my family. I sleep better. I’m currently doing a course of radiation, and it’s very helpful there for the nausea problems. It really is time to get weed and a few other botanicals off of Schedule 1. I’d love to try psilocybin legally to… Read more »
Liz Mostaedi
7 months 19 days ago

“Oh, and that pot brownie better be gluten-free or you’re excommunicated.”

LOL!!!

Gentleman Jak
7 months 19 days ago

I smell an opportunity for a new recipe section on MDA: Cooking With Cannabis.

Mandy
Mandy
7 months 19 days ago
I’ve more recently been partaking in cannabis – for medical reasons. After sudden onset daily migraines and headaches for a YEAR with no relief from doctors (they just wanted to push low dose antidepressants, which I refuse to take) I tried cannabis. Strains are REALLY important for me, and yes I do need THC. I haven’t had too much luck from isolated CBD, but maybe getting full flower would be the way to go. The good news is that I’ve reduced my migraines and headaches from every day to…maybe a few times a month. I don’t have to use rescue… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

To clarify, Mark’s “whole plant,” is not “whole flower.” The former includes the leaves, aka “shake” in the parlance.

Woody D.
7 months 19 days ago
I was in Law Enforcement for almost 30 years. Although I am just South of 60 I have the spine of a 90 year old man, fuse spine etc. I was prescribed various opiates and nerve pain drugs while working. Having seen the ravaging of our community by prescription opiates I started using medical cannabis since retiring. For me the Indica strains work best for pain and sleep. In essence more or a body and less of a head high than Sativa. As mentioned in this article edibles work differently. In short they provide a more intense longer lasting effect.… Read more »
Charles
Charles
7 months 19 days ago

Best pain killer I’ve ever tried. 51 years old doing construction for a living. Smoke in the evening and the body aches just dissappear. No anxiety, sleep like a baby. I prefer the sativa strains, but do the indica strains on occasion. It replaces alcohol consumption very nicely. I hope they take it off the class 1 narcotic classification. I would classify it as an herbal medicine. It shouldn’t be off limits to people that need or want it, just to protect the cotton industry.

Jed
Jed
7 months 19 days ago

Bingo! Or should I say Bongo!

Lawrence
7 months 19 days ago

Finally, some serious thought to the plight of the Primal Pot Smoker. It’s a sizable class of people. I am one of them and I can tell you 1st hand that everything found in this outstanding article to be accurate. Smoking is best. Edibles, not for me. YMMV, but it is definitely worth trying.

Bob Niland
7 months 19 days ago
On the downside, people need to keep in mind that this herb is still illegal at the US federal level. One way people get bit on this is ATF Form 4473 question 11e (and the October 2016 revision of that form makes the issue quite clear). Merely having had a med mary card issued in your name can suffice to disqualify you. I have no idea what the implications are for security clearance screening or various careers that require background/character checks, but people need to do their homework. Still illegal in many states too, who are leveraging that for revenue… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago
Bob, I think every adult in the USA is well aware of this matter. As I pointed out in my first post, in CO I was a recreational user, I drive home to Texas and I am a possession with intent to distribute felon. Eric Holder did the smart thing and narrowed the list of marijuana concerns to eight, as I recall. Things like making sure organized crime doesn’t get inserted in the states where legal, keeping it aware from children, all things no one could disagree on. Personal us? Not on the DOJ list. A true “conservative” position on… Read more »
primalplum
primalplum
7 months 19 days ago
Tried it in high school, many times. Didn’t like it. I had more trouble staying awake than falling asleep anyway, so it seemed like a redundant drug for me. And my then-boyfriend spent way too much money on it. That being said, I think it has been just stupid to criminalize its use. Alcohol, for many reasons, seems like a much more dangerous drug. My father died of lung/kidney cancer. During chemo, he had trouble keeping food down, especially nutritious things that could have kept his strength up to fight the cancer. We tried to get him to try pot… Read more »
Melissa
7 months 19 days ago
Thanks for your discussion about cannabis. We need better studies, that’s for sure. It is hard to sort out truth from fiction since there haven’t been enough studies, and there are extreme opinions out there. Just today I saw another article about pot not helping sleep. I do take a quarter to half a teaspoon of a marijuana coconut oil before bed sometimes and it has helped. I have to time it right or else I will experience hunger pangs before bed. It really has helped, but I have experienced a reduction in dreams, so I don’t like to get… Read more »
David Kozlowski
7 months 19 days ago

I’m a veteran and I use medical cannibis to self-treat both social anxiety and chronic insomnia. Tried a lot of different strains of THC and CBD, and I enjoy both edibles and vaporizing. Results for me have been life-changing, and I lost 50 pounds over the last few years by combining cannibis with Paleo.

NOTE: I sought professional treatment for my sleep and anxiety issues for years, most doctors prescribed drugs, like Zoloft, which essentially turned me into a constipated zombie. Drug companies are strongly anti-cannibis, so be wary of what you read.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago
“Drug companies are strongly anti-cannibis, so be wary of what you read.” The American public hardly factors this into the legality equation. If the new administration decides to return to the old days and ways, it will be because Big Pharma is behind it. The money needed to clamp down on the new tolerance via K street will not be coming from some anti-drug nonprofit……….although they will make it look that way. Like the astroturf anti-tax organizations. Just in June Big Pharma convinced Visa and Mastercard to no longer process payments from the online pharmacies. They are the only business… Read more »
John
John
7 months 19 days ago
I was a light recreational user in social situations in high school and early 20’s. Jump in time to around 40. I had been hearing how potent the stuff on the market was compared to that of my youth. I had a friend who smoked so I decided to take a couple hits. My conscious explore and I began rocking back and forth. Puked and went to bed. I tried it again a short time later with the same results. The stuff I smoked in high school was baby food compared to the stuff on the market ten or so… Read more »
John
John
7 months 19 days ago

Spell check alert:. That should read “My consciousness exploded.”

Gary Murphy
Gary Murphy
7 months 19 days ago

After using marijuana, LSD, magic mushroom, etc. in my youth, I find the legalization of recreational marijuana a tragedy. Why can’t people enjoy life without toxic substances? Traffic deaths in Washington state are up due to marijuana use. Do you want to be in a medical situation where the doctor or nurse is a little high? How about someone who works on your car brakes? What about someone on a production line, or a lawyer representing you? Very sad and destructive for our society.

Mandy
Mandy
7 months 19 days ago
“Toxic” is a relative term. What is “toxic” because the federal government says so, is actually beneficial to a great many people who would otherwise be living with very painful conditions. Governments are not right just because they are governments. This site is a main advocate of scrutinizing everyone, and definitely popular opinion, or CW. While I do not advocate for intoxicated driving of any kind, I’ve seen some of the statistics pushed forward in regards to Washington. After looking at the sources, many even admit they do not know what driver was even at fault. More to the point,… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago
DUI’s are down in CO. How can you link traffic deaths up in WA to pot? I know that the police at all levels in CO are still trying to come to terms with how can there be an objective measure of impairment? We all know that the THC will hang around for up to a month (fact, I did testing on myself once to clear for a job) while the alleged impairment is for a few hours. If someone thinks they are causully linking deaths in WA, they are smoking something. Or, should be. For instance, an improving economy… Read more »
Matt
Matt
7 months 18 days ago

“Traffic deaths in Washington state are up due to marijuana use.”

Can you site a source for this claim?

Ruth
Ruth
7 months 19 days ago

“CBD gets in the way and blunts some of the effects”

Pun intended?? =D

Scott
Scott
7 months 19 days ago

I no longer partake, but back then I always enjoyed a toke before a mountain bike race, a surf contest, snowboard session or a long hike. It certainly didn’t hurt performance.

jackson
jackson
7 months 19 days ago

I’m a light, very occasional user. I use it in the evening when I’m very stressed out, using a high quality vape and high-CBD whole plant. The effect on me is mild but noticeable.

One interesting observation is that when I was eating the SAD, cannabis would give me the munchies. And then after I went Primal and became a fat-burning machine and lost 30 lbs, it no longer gives me the munchies.

TheMadRoot
TheMadRoot
7 months 19 days ago
Started at 15 when I discovered it and realized it resolved my lifelong sleep issues. Sadly, I get addicted to anything very easily so it soon turned out to be more of an issue than a helper in my personal case. Fast forward a bit and I ended up as a chronic user finding any reason under the sun to smoke up because it was an “enhancer” and supposedly made everything I lived more enjoyable. This brought me a whole lot of issues in my relationships and my finances, something I still am recovering from. This lasted for over 22… Read more »
Carisska
7 months 19 days ago

I’m all for new, better, and heathier ways to live. In the same vein, I’d love to hear more about mushrooms and LSD in treating depression!

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
7 months 18 days ago

There’s this thing called the internet and Google or Bing. 🙂 The NYT just had an article about using a measured amount of psylocibin during a structured setting. One time, and 80% of the sufferers of PTSD were cured. Cured. Not just reduced.

Roberta Werdinger
Roberta Werdinger
7 months 19 days ago
Thank you–a very intelligent and balanced post. I have no doubt that cannabis has remarkable healing properties for various illnesses. I also have no doubt–and yes, this is anecdotal–that it can turn you into a total couch potato, and have seen lots of people who can’t get through the day without getting stoned. I live in an area of California known as the Emerald Triangle, and I can tell you that, legal or not, marijuana is big business. We need to evaluate its value and usefulness carefully and independently, because soon we will be deluged with ads promising us what… Read more »
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