ForumTouchy Subjects ► Cannabis (it’s time for a new one)
How are we going to reconcile having a drug that can be used recreationally, but is also capable of being a medicine? I like to call drugs like this “abuseful”.
  
are these things really at odds? "abuseful" sounds more like how one might describe opioids than cannabis. I think the potential issues with pot aren't really related to the fact that it has medical uses. I mean maybe there could be issues with like drug testing, but there are a lot of legitimate drugs that could show up on a drug test already. Drug testing is kinda BS anyway, the few areas where it's useful should focus on more direct ways to test impairment anyway. A drug test won't catch sleep deprivation, which is pretty equally dangerous and common.

Anyway, problems with cannabis are probably just going to be a slight spin on problems with fast food, alcohol, caffeine, smoking/vaping, etc
  
Opioids fit the term "abuseful" because some are used for medical purposes as well. Really, this isn't the first time we've had to worry about a legitimately helpful drug doing damage as an addictive substance. Ever heard of morphine?
  
Smoking weed is bad for a few reasons:

1. Risk to lungs (similar to cigarettes)
2. Psychological dependence
3. Makes you okay with doing nothing and general mediocrity (probably the most subtle and insidious effect).

That said, much like alcohol, you can use it responsibly in moderation. I think it should be legal - I don't feel the negatives are nearly bad enough to justify taking away someone's choice to risk it.

CBD in particular has a bunch of medical benefits as well.
  
Malcom Reynolds:
Haven’t you ever spent all day every day stoned for about a month or two? If you are taking a medicine for legitimate reasons, such as staving off seizures, but are also taking it to receive a pleasurable psychoactive effect, a higher dose than what you would need for a medical purpose, you’re abusing your medicine. Opioids are also a good example of what I call “abuseful”.

Oh, and Zia, CBD is what’s called a positive allosteric modulator of the mu opioid receptor. It causes that opioid receptor (the pleasurable one) to be more conducive to binding an opioid. It has abuse potential as well. I made the mistake of telling this to an opioid addict, and now he’s getting higher than the kite was already going to high at. However, the health benefits of cannabis can’t be solely attributed to CBD. check out THCA. It’s a very strong anti inflammatory drug. Attributing everything to CBD is short sighted and I wager the only reason many people have heard of it is because it’s now legal and was first touted as practically a cure all.
  
evergreen said:
Opioids fit the term "abuseful" because some are used for medical purposes as well. Really, this isn't the first time we've had to worry about a legitimately helpful drug doing damage as an addictive substance. Ever heard of morphine?
The problem isn’t damage it’s causing. Damage is negligible with cannabis for the most part. No one’s ever died from it either. Do you know how irritating it is to be around people who are really really stoned and you’re completely sober? It’s already pretty acceptable to be stoned in public. Not drunk or whatever else you could think of. Nothing is ever really much of a ‘problem’ to me. People are going to fucked up in public no matter what. I’m just getting crotchety. Get high in the privacy of your own home! It’s more enjoyable that way, anyway.

It’s a matter of being functional and not irritating people. I’ll laugh in your face if you’re an adult and tell me you’re worried about how cannabis is hurting your body.
  
I think the term "damage" is not only limited to health effects.
  
I forget that a lot. You mean like psychological/social damage?
  
Yeah - if it negatively affects your life, it's not great, regardless of if it's safe for your body.

They always got those questionnaires like "in the last two weeks, how often has [habit/substance/mood disorder] interfered with planned social activities?" If you're always stoned and your friends are bored and stop hanging out with you, that sucks. :P

And like Zia mentioned, if it takes away your drive to accomplish things, your long-term mental health might suffer without those accomplishments.

I am in favor of legalized cannabis, but I'd put it in a similar class as other harmful-when-overdone behavior, like video games, social media, or socially-acceptable-gambling (like the lottery). It's often very useful for self-medicating (anxiety, chronic pain, etc) or as a coping method, but like you mention, it's difficult to clearly delineate when it crosses the line from helpful to harmful.
  
Fwip said:
... harmful-when-overdone behavior, like video games ...
First of all, how dare you.
  
See, that’s what I was getting at, fwip. What I meant by “I forget that a lot”, I meant that I forget that many people besides just myself consider that harmful. We’re going to have a medication, of sorts, that many people don’t see a problem with abusing or don’t even believe is abuseable. Luckily there are tons of level headed people who understand that it will be abuseable. But the problem is that there’s no way around making it abuseable. You can breed a strain that has low THC, fine. But you can’t stop me from making a crude cannabinoid extract from the same strain and smoking that. I have smoked what people touted as ‘pure’ CBD, and let me tell you, it is 100% psychoactive. The other problem is that like I mentioned, you can’t attribute the medical benefits just to CBD or even to one chemical.

I just worry that we’re going to have a medication that can get you high, can’t kill you so a lot of people won’t see a problem with actually abusing it or even consider it abuse, and that seems like it might become very wide spread. If it’s sold for both recreational and medical purposes, I worry that most people won’t see any problem with someone with epilepsy like me running out of their “medical” weed and going over to Ra Shop to buy Super Granddaddy Purp Snow Angel Northern Lights and getting really fucked up. Frequently. Y’all know what super pot heads sound like and the things they like to say. I’m pretty sure I and tons of people in your own lives have given you both a healthy dose of that.

In case it still isn’t clear: Yes. I actually am showing concern about marijuana legalization. Me. Of all people.

“I am in favor of legalized cannabis, but I'd put it in a similar class as other harmful-when-overdone behavior, like video games, social media, or socially-acceptable-gambling (like the lottery). It's often very useful for self-medicating (anxiety, chronic pain, etc) or as a coping method, but like you mention, it's difficult to clearly delineate when it crosses the line from helpful to harmful.”
The problem with that though is that video games, gambling, drinking, social media have no known medical benefits that we can attribute to exogenous drugs. It’s going to be really difficult to classify. I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this for the past three years or so.

Edit: oops you said the same thing I was saying .-. My bad, yo.

Aaaaand all of which you see above this line in this post: THAT. That is how you make a hastily written and hastily thought out post.
  
Yeah, I think we've all got a lot of agreement here.

Would a better comparison be something like cough syrup? Ostensibly for medical use, accessible without a prescription, but sometimes abused to get high.

Separately; I brought up video games as something that is specifically designed for recreational use, but some people basically abuse to the detriment of their own life. I think I clocked about 60 days of logged-in time in World of Warcraft in my first year of college - my grades did not thank me.

A related issue is gambling - a lot of people can have a lot of fun with it in moderation, but for some people it ruins their life. The lottery is state-sanctioned, and obviously you can go to Vegas or a reservation to get your fix with flashing lights.

And I guess I view cannabis and other drugs, even when abused, as sort of a maladaptive coping method. It's something you started doing because it made your life more bearable, and its absence is painful, so why wouldn't you want to do the drug all the time? This view is probably mainly influenced by my reading on Rat Park, so probably keep in mind that I'm viewing through that lens when I talk about drug addiction.
  
Yes, I would say that dextromethorphan is much more comparable to cannabis. Dextromethorphan is an opioid too, but the opioid aspect of DXM is not really what gets you high though. If anyone’s curious, look up the phrases “sigma receptor” and “NMDA antagonist”. I’m sure there are people who would object strongly, but the fact is that DXM has a similar addiction profile (perhaps less even, because DXM... good luck even having coherent vision. It’s not something people usually return to.), no one has ever died from (ab)using just DXM, and it’s legal and available to anyone over 18 (21 in some places).

I see now what you’re saying about video games and gambling. Dude, if you don’t have a gambling problem and gambling isn’t even all that appealing then casinos are super fun. With all the lights and noises though, these days I can only play video games for up to 2 hours on a given day. Video games aren’t all that appealing.

I’m curious about something.
“And I guess I view cannabis and other drugs, even when abused, as sort of a maladaptive coping method”

Did you mean “even when *not* abused”? I would compare ‘normal’ use to alcohol. Like if you’re not an alcoholic and you’re going to a bar with a friend or two. That doesn’t exactly seem maladaptive, unless you consider things like “Why is this person going to a bar with friends at 8pm on a Friday? They’re distracting themselves from work they could be getting done.” Or even if you consider “Why do the friends need to drink with each other? Are they really friends?” Let’s be honest, alcohol definitely does make boring company less boring. At the same time though... man I’m sorry to anyone here who doesn’t, but there’s something wrong with you if you’re 21 or older and you don’t ever drink, unless you had major substance abuse problems when you were younger or had too much exposure to extreme cases of substance abuse when you were younger. The only reason I don’t drink too much is because it gives me seizures if I over do it even just by a little. That opinion very well could be maladaptive though.

I had a similar experience with weed when I was younger. Frankly though, I didn’t want to do it all the time. It got me high. Which I liked. But it got me high. Definitely not something I wanted to on every hour of the day. See what I mean? Perhaps this is a good way to put it: I am fucking fed the fuck up that there is no such thing as a non psychoactive anticonvulsant. I have seizures most mornings. Almost every morning. When they were really bad, a little under a year ago, just to be able to actually walk by making my body either stop shaking or stop being rigid and tense, it was almost as if I had to smoke some weed. My daily seizure meds took an hour to kick in fully. I was NOT about to take my on demand medication because “on demand” anticonvulsants are all benzos and barbiturates. I didn’t have hours to get ready. I’d smoke, but it got me fucking high and I didn’t want to be high at 6 in the morning. I remember when I did have a problem with it, and back then the rat park model actually was at play, but I don’t think that’s such a good way to model addiction. It probably is for drugs that actually make you feel gooooood, man, but consider tobacco. Have you smoked a cigarette before? I’m sure you have. I’m sure most people over 18 have. All it does is just remove a negative feeling. Anyone who wants to weigh in and say it have them amposofive feeling, I’d be really curious to hear you out. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone try to tell me that cigarettes get them feeling gooooood, man unless they were a child or low body weight and smoked a cig for the first time. I also would say that drug abuse doesn’t just depend on socialization and having needs met. Before I ever got on this website and met any of y’all, I was pretty well off. (Family shit, I ain’t about to blame twocans for my teenage years’ emotional problems). Happy. Lots of friends. Someone my older sister knew just gave me a description of what things looked like when he was on DXM and I just thought to myself “Okay that sounds kinda cool”. Rat park isn’t even that good of a model for opioid addiction either, considering that a lot of people get addicted to opioids in the same way I’m addicted to *any* anticonvulsant. They started out having pain problems and were prescribed opioids and their pain comes back (plus normal opioid withdrawal) when the drug is removed. I have seizures when any of my five anticonvulsants are removed. It’s a freaking great model though for the sad cases of people who start doing drugs from a place of depression, which is unfortunately a lot of cases of drug addiction.

Considering that weed has some pretty strong anticonvulsants in it, I’m proabably not a good example to look at. As well because I’ve developed that “Walk it off, pussy” mindset when it comes to if I start to feel bad in almost any way. Except intense anger, that’s what brick walls are for. It makes not being a 420blazitALLDAYERRYDAY cannabis addict pretty easy. For instance, I just ride out the morning seizures and literally walk off the muscle rigidity because who in their right mind wants to be stoned at 6 in the morning when they have responsibilities.... that they want to actually do well at.

This shit is difficult for me to think about, because I also believe that it’s okay and not uncommon to have some maladaptive habits as long as they aren’t fucking you over. I consider being intoxicated in the morning orn any time when responsibilities are there to be “fucking one over”. I mean, I’d call cursing frequently and even using the phrase “I mean” frequently as maladaptive. I know those aren’t drugs, but if we’re gonna talk about maladaptive behaviors, it should be pretty obvious from this fucking big ass fucking post, I mean like, I mean fucking big post that I’ve got these maladaptive behaviors ... and I don’t need anyone to point out my others, I've got more self awareness than I like to let on. Come to think of it, a lot of people curse and say “I mean,” frequently. I’d go ahead and call forum posting, especially ESPOUSING MY VIEWS ON THE WORLD WHAT DOTH LIFE, to be maladaptive. If you look hard enough, this entire post and I’d say every single post on this website is FULL of maladaptive behaviors. Hell, any given website.

The only difference there is you run the risk of being ‘addicted’ to endogenous drugs. Not exogenous. Which I do realize is a big difference that almost always introduces more problems.
  
I actually haven't smoked a cigarette - I was real lame in school, and once I got older I figured I'd smoke weed instead. :P (My grandpa was a couple-pack-a-day smoker for most of my childhood, and he made sure I didn't think about trying them. He did finally kick the habit about five years before he died, so that was something he was proud of.)

I meant that even when somebody is abusing drugs, it's often still a coping mechanism even though it's clearly having negative effects on them. Like, if you're smoking all day every day you probably want to cut back on that, but you probably have got other stuff you need to fix that is making you want to be high all the time.

Thanks for talking about your experiences, I think I understand better now where you're coming from on the medicinal angle.
  
Alright now I see. Yes! That’s very true in a lot of cases. Most. I guess that’s really what my worries come down to with weed. aside from the odd cases like mine, which have their own unique worries (for one it’s pretty short lived anticonvulsant, look up rebound excitation if you’re curious), what concerns me a lot is that tons of people have medical problems that they’re aware of and tons of people have psychological problems they might not be aware of. Suppose you take someone with neuropathic pain, prescribe them weed. What’s the likelihood that this person also suffers from such problems that would give them the desire to be stoned all the time? Would their doctor or the people around them even see a problem with them smoking to get high intentionally? I like that people are becoming more liberal with weed. I just worry that, just like with amazing drugs that were shown to help tons of conditions in the past, people might become too liberal with it and not even think about doing anything until tons of people suffer the problems that come with being stoned 24/7 for a long period of time. Just like what Zia said (lol even family guy of all things), being really high can make you feel okay with doing nothing. Which is beneficial for some kinds of anxiety, but... usually not a good thing.

Ultimately, I guess this is to be expected with any psychoactive drugs that also have important medical uses.

Ask me anything else too if you’re curious for more anecdotes or want any clarification on the things I’ve experienced with epilepsy and weed and etc. I know I’m biased, but I think epilepsy is a good condition too look at when you’re curious about cannabis’s medical potential. Not just because epilepsy was one of the first things it was pushed for, but because it’s a pretty simple condition.

Also, don’t you ever smoke a cigarette, ya heard me?
  
Forum > Touchy Subjects > Cannabis (it’s time for a new one)