Tuesday, November 22, 2005

EFFECTS OF CANNABIS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES ON MY PERSONAL HEALTH

By Tom Bachman

Courtesy of Advanced Nutrients hydroponic plant food company, www.advancednutrientsmedical.ca

Copyright, 2005

It is interesting to read about the medical uses of cannabis. I have mostly used it recreationally, but I don’t know if there is all that much of a difference between recreational use and medical use, at least not for me.

My belief is that people use drugs so they can feel better. Maybe one definition of medicine is “something that makes you feel better.” By that definition, maybe all of us who use marijuana are using it medically, even if we don’t feel sick. Maybe all use of marijuana is a medical use. We're trying to medicate from the harshness of life sometimes, I guess.

I can compare the use of marijuana with the use of other drugs as it relates to my health. For example when I use alcohol, which I don’t do very often, I usually have predictable effects that include getting dizzy, talking loudly, feeling uncoordinated, and getting a headache. I guess I don’t tolerate alcohol very well, which is probably a good thing, because a lot of people I know who are able to tolerate it more than I can have a problem of becoming an alcoholic who cannot get through the day without a drink. I have known at least two people who were normal people but then they started drinking alcohol on a regular basis and they later on ended up on the street and homeless.

I also can compare the use of marijuana with the use of cigarettes. I tried smoking cigarettes when I was in junior high school and it was a major achievement just to get a puff of the stuff down my throat. I was trying to smoke cigarettes because I thought it was a hip thing to do. There was a lot of advertising of cigarettes at sporting events and in other places. When I look back on it, I realize that the idea of sucking on a burning tobacco cigarette is anything but cool. Smoking a marijuana cigarette is a totally different type of smoking, for several reasons, although I am sure that smoking a joint does transmit heat and carcinogens, it also transmits lots of other substances that are not contained in cigarettes and which have medical properties and which taste better than tobacco cigarettes. Also, I usually only have a puff or two off a joint; I rarely smoke an entire joint by myself. Lately, I have been smoking mostly from a glass pipe, so that I am not smoking any joint paper at all.

Before I got off on this tangent I was telling you that I tried cigarettes and felt sick to my stomach when I inhaled them. It was an ugly feeling that left me woozy and my mouth and hands smelling like crap. I am very glad that I never developed a liking for cigarettes, because it is obvious to me what a shitty habit they are. I mean- exactly what good do they do for anyone? They don’t get you high or provide a medical benefit. They are really a very strange product: you smoke them, you don’t get anything from them, then they addict you, and you have to keep smoking them so that you will not feel the ugly withdrawal effects that are related to being addicted to them. So they are like a medicine in that one way, in that they keep you from feeling the bad effects that you will experience when you try to quit using them. But what kind of “medicine” is that? It seems to me like a cruel hoax to sell people a product that is designed to addict them, so that they have to continue using the product or else they will get sick trying to give the product up. It is really a sinister and devious plot, don’t you think, to hook people on a product so that they suffer a lot of pain when they want to stop. It reminds me of the old government anti-marijuana advertising, which featured a shady-looking character lurking in the corner of a schoolyard cleverly luring little children into trying an “evil marijuana cigarette,” thereby to hook them and create more and more customers. It is unclear to me, but probably true, that few people in the marijuana world actually would try to “hook” kids on pot to create customers. Most people that I know who sell good pot, well, they don’t have to seek for customers, because they have so many customers coming to them, that they can’t keep up!

You know what, I also didn't like it that when I kissed a girl she told me that my mouth tasted like an ashtray!

The other substances that are probably relevant to this rambling blog discussion are things like over the counter medicines and prescription medicines. I have used them over the years for things like coughs, allergies, headaches, injuries. Without fail, these things have made me feel worse instead of better. They may even do what they are supposed to do, such as suppress a cough, or get rid of a headache, but there are other effects that come along with that relief, and those effects created their own problems that made it to me not worth it to have used the product in the first place. It’s not like I wanted to keep coughing or having a headache, but the stuff I took made me sleepy along with getting rid of my cough or headache, so it was a trade-off, and in most cases the trade-off wasn’t really worth it.

One thing I just thought of as another drug that people take is caffeine. Like, I can really feel it even when I drink a cup of coffee. It makes me so hyper, and it makes me have stomach acid. I see other people drinking gallons of coffee and I am like, wow, how can they do that? I also know that they are dependent on their coffee and that for some of them it’s almost like cigarettes; if they try to quit coffee they get really depressed, irritable and sad. Seems like there’s a coffee bar on every corner. Coffee is very useful for the ruling corporate people, because it’s a drug that doesn’t relax you and make you feel like listening to Bob Marley, it makes you hyper, so you can go work on an assembly line without falling asleep.

Marijuana makes me feel good in certain ways that nothing else does. It is hard to explain how it makes me feel. I have problems with my eyes that the doctors say are the beginning of glaucoma, and when I smoke marijuana I can feel those problems subside for about four hours. If I have a problem sleeping, I can smoke marijuana and it makes me relaxed and sleepy. If I want to eat a lot of food or go on a boat or airplane, I can take a puff of marijuana so that it makes my stomach able to handle what I am doing to it without it getting nauseated.

Marijuana makes me cough and it makes my mouth dry and my eyes red. It makes me tired the day after I use it. It makes me a bit depressed about two days after I use it, and I want to use it again. I suppose it is somewhat likely to cause me to be dependent on it, because it is such a comfort and is so easy to use. It is like a nice warm fire at the end of a long, cold day. We all need some kind of comfort, don't we?

I guess I haven’t exactly matched up my words to the title of this blog. The more I write, the more I realize that I know little about exactly why cannabis affects my health mostly for the good, instead of for the bad as prescription drugs do. I think it helps me be a happier person, and that is good for my health. I don’t think that it hurts my health. When I have used cannabis in moderate amounts, like once a week, it has no measurable negative effects that I can see. I have had a lot worse experiences with drugs I bought at the drug store. So if I have to use any drug at all, it’s going to be cannabis. That’s my healthy choice.

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