More people than you know are currently driving down the road after a few tokes of marijuana. Some are even driving heavy equipment. Some may be even flying planes. Current thought is that if no harm is done to anyone else, there’s absolutely no problem with a few tokes before your daily routine. Right…
Cutting to the chase, many relate cannabis use to driving under the influence of alcohol. With alcohol, one already knows the legal limit. With marijuana, there is no such limit. When blood gets to 0.08% alcohol, all physical effects have been documented. With marijuana, the intoxicating or overdose level is not known.
Many pot users claim they are fine after their daily intake of marijuana smoke. But they’re never sure what level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is their overdose.
There are more than 1000 types of marijuana, containing more than 400 hazardous chemicals. Cannabis contains approximately 60 different psychoactive chemicals called cannabinoids, of which the most important is THC, the active ingredient in all marijuana. Its mode of action is still not properly understood, even after thousands of years of study.
THC in any cannabis weed can vary enormously. Back in the 80’s, 2-3% was expected. With THC seized in 2006, the average content was 8.5%. Growers have learned to increase the THC content in present day weed to 20-30%. The type of plant, weather, soil, time of harvest, etc…, determines the THC strength. That strength is anyone’s guess in 10 years.
Cannabis (delta 9-THC) had been administered clinically to improve side effects in patients having items such as cancer [33, 34]. Due to its narrow therapeutic index , conflicting reports have emerged upon use of delta 9-THC in different areas of pain therapy . For every legitimate person with uncontrollable pain, there are a thousand old hippies and 20-somethings looking for a legal high.
In Marijuana - InfoFacts - NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse), intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and learning and memory problems. As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.
One can also check on Harmful Effects of Marijuana | eHow.com for similar findings.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (Department of Justice) issued a Fact & Fiction : Marijuana is NOT Harmless. Its research revealed traces of THC can be found in the body for 3 months. THC accumulates particularly in the testes, liver and brain of users. This doesn’t happen with alcohol.
Conclusive evidence, and carefully measured science, dictates what users may experience during their tenure with pot. Not all marijuana users will experience these conditions.
Many things are known:
1) the upward change in the amount of THC will cause more, not less problems
2) it is almost impossible to link a known THC level with so many types of marijuana and growing conditions available
3) pot users’ perception that nothing is wrong can be badly perverted
4) a percentage of the time pot smoking is concurrent with binge drinking
5) most studies concur pot along with binge drinking produce much worse effects
6) many pot smokers believe they know their personal overdose quantity of THC, but don’t really know what their overdose level is
7) many pot smokers have no recollection of what they did when they overdosed, or if they ever did overdose
8) a good percentage of pot smokers will graduate to harsher drugs
9) most pot smokers think, but do not know, how much THC they’ve inhaled
10) science has evaluated pot for thousands of years; little is known except for effects
11) people cannot “know” what is safe when the THC level always changes
Russian Roulette seems to be a good description of taking marijuana. The only problem is the pistol is not always aimed at oneself. Marijuana may solve some personal problems some of the time, but a bullet never cares what your problems may be.
Even for users who never overdose, it is a dangerous crutch for getting through life. Have they ever seen what might happen if they stopped any intake of cannabis “cold turkey”? It seems many would prefer the possibility of taking a bullet rather than dealing with life’s daily problems.
Kevin Roeten can be reached at [email protected]