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    Drug Marijuana

    Hello Everyone!

    I didn't have the time to read or respond to many new posts today. Work has been busy, and I'm helping a friend with the loss of her mother. Her mother died in November.

    I hope everyone is doing fine! I have been journaling about my feelings, and wondering/analyzing what is different about this year, and praying that my normal feelings stay this way. I will download that mood chart that Paul spoke of in one thread that I just read.

    The major thing that changed this year for me is my stress level at work. I decreased my workload by almost 50% this year. If anyone is interested, I do have some good books that I have read this year, that may have contributed to my upswing. Everyone is different, but these inspirational books might work for some. I will post them soon!

    I do have a question however----this friend that lost her mother seems to be have been smoking marijuana for various reasons over a period of 9 years. She now insists that she started it due to chronic pain, and that her GP knows about it. Now, as stress levels increase, she is doing this more and more. She insists that it's better, and less addictive, than the drugs that her pdoc and her GP have asked her to take.

    I am NOT knowledgable in this area at all. I just worry about ANY drug, prescription or not, and its effects on the human brain. Doctors are the only ones that should prescribe it. I do think marijuana should be legalized, for the simple fact that when something is taboo, it seems that more people want it. I know many professionals that smoke it once in a while to de-stress. However, taken everyday is concerning to me---does anyone know the effects, or any good reputable sites that I can look into this weekend when I have more time??? Is it better than most addictive pain killers??? I have no idea....

    I am worried since she is getting very irritable when I bring stressful subjects up. She even commented that I should have taken it when I was depressed (and really belittled me about the EFFLEXOR that I was taking during my episode). I see her resting in bed more (she can't sleep through the night), and becoming more and more depressed. It is over the two week period. I am hoping that she goes to her pdoc soon, but she is insisting that no one would understand--unless they suffered to a loss of a parent at a young age (27). I do know what depression is, and the evil cloud that lingers is sooo frightening. All I can do now is be there for her. This weekend, I dropped all my work and stayed with her. Taking her mind off things was good, and I tried to get her to focus on the here and now. Laughter really helped.

    Anyhow, we just had a phone discussion that concerned me. I ignore her when she puts me down, but I'm not a good oral communicator, and feel that I am doing more harm than good when I ask her to stop smoking and do other things to reduce her stress levels. We ALL have a vice (mine is food), and I don't want to appear judgmental. Is marijuana better than other drugs?? I just think drugs are not the answer. Please help!

    Thanks! M

    Hello MickeyD. Just to give credit where it is due, I think that it was Sweetest1 who first suggested the mood chart. They can be really helpful as a doc can tell very quickly and accurately how a person moods have been over a long period of time. We tend to give vague answers to the docs, like I felt really down last month. The problem being, really down means different things to different people.

    In regards to drugs. Everybody takes drugs at some point in their life. That's part of the reason why we now have a life expectancy of around 80 yrs rather than 50 in 1901. There are a lot of other reasons too, but modern anti-biotics, insulin, high blood pressure meds, chemotherapy drugs and anti depressants have done a lot to keep us alive longer.

    In regards to pot, I don't have any objection to it being legalized. Overall I have no idea whether or not it works on chronic pain and I won't make any comments in that regard.

    Occasional use of pot is much different than heavy duty long term use. Just like having a few drinks probably never hurts but drink a dozen beer every day and you are probably going to have problems in the long term. Both booze and pot are known depressants.

    Some of those long term problems can be depression, anxiety etc.

    I take various psych meds and to be honest some of them are having a bad affect on my body, but if I needed chemotherapy I would take it and basically the theory behind chemotherapy is to kill off one part of your body while allowing the rest to survive. I view my psych meds the same way. I'd rather not take them but I would be dead long ago if I didn't take them.

    Are anti-depressants addictive. Most aren't, a few like effexor can have some unpleasant side effects while withdrawing from it, especially when done quickly. But even it has no long term effects of an addiction.

    I've listed a couple of websites for you. I'm sure that someone could find websites that also offered persausive arguments for the use of pot. Just like my psych meds, everybody has to make up their own mind. Take Care. paul m P.S. I've never met anyone who had a major mood disorder and used booze or pot heavily who got better while using it that way.
    Last edited by paul m; February 14, 2012, 01:59 AM.
    "Alone we can do so little;
    Together we can do so much"
    Helen Keller


      I can't speak for all marijuana users but I am a frequent user of marijuana, so I can give my personal experience and opinion. I smoke it typically once a day to twice a day, maybe half of a gram or less I would say. I have been smoking it regularly for about a year now, however I did have a two month period where I decided to quit smoking it all together.

      I have Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I currently am on Cipralex, Zopiclone and Clonazepam for my psychiatric medications. I figured I would just give some medical history to give a better perspective.

      I got into smoking marijuana quite slowly, trying it here and there. Then doing it socially while with friends which was around once or twice a month, continuing to smoke it more and more frequently until it became a daily thing. Typically I smoke it at my most stressful point in my day, rather than taking the extra Clonazepam I've been prescribed. My personal view was that the marijuana posed less potential addictive properties than my Clonazepam. Rather than taking on top of my two Clonazepam pills known to be addictive, I have one immediate acting substance that manages my anxiety attacks just as well, if not more efficiently than the Clonazepam. The reason I find it more efficient personally, is that I typical become extremely nauseated and begin vomiting when my panic attacks begin, so trying to keep a pill down is quite difficult sometimes. It also acts more quickly than waiting for the pill to dissolve in my system.

      Speaking as to whether or not marijuana is addictive, again I can only give my personal experience.

      I had spoken to a psychiatrist at the hospital that I was using marijuana and he had recommended I stop use of it, so I did as he recommended. I figured it was going to be a lot harder than it was, since I had been using it in place of taking an extra Clonazepam (which they offered me an as needed on top of my prescribed two pills a day). The first few days were hard trying to get my head around the fact that I wouldn't have an instant relief to my anxiety. I didn't suffer any withdrawal symptoms, but I did miss the feeling it gave me. I mentally missed it. I saw it as relief, and when it was first gone I was nervous I couldn't do it (however, I feel that my anxiety had built up this "need" for it in my head rather than it being a true addiction, but I could be wrong).

      After about a month and a half I spoke to my family doctor, and had mentioned that I had quit using marijuana to see if it affected my mood. When I told her I used it as an instant relief anti-anxiety in place of additional Clonazepam, she kind of rolled her eyes that the doctor from the hospital had said to stop using it. I asked her if she believed it would be safe for me to resume using it, as it did help with the instant relief, plus an added bonus of giving me an appetite which had been lacking since I had quit smoking it. She said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Theoretically you shouldn't smoke it as it can worsen depression." and then motioned with her hands the quote-unquote motion, "Theoretically." I basically said "Sooooooooo that's a.." and she pretty well told me she can't officially give me a go-ahead, and continued with "but in theory I can't see how it would do any harm for someone in a similar situation as yourself".

      So essentially the doctor can't give me an official A-okay, but she gave me more of "hint hint, wink wink" thing. So I have since continued using it about once a day sometimes twice if it's a really bad day.

      So for me, I didn't experience any physical withdrawals (other than noticing my anxiety more). I don't believe I had a mental addiction to it, but I did miss it because it did help for me. However, I know some people can mentally become too attached to it.

      I think your friend should absolutely continue her medications that her physician prescribed to her, and that her marijuana use should absolutely not replace her medications. But with my own experiences, I haven't found that marijuana is going to really cause a lot of harm if used properly. By properly, I mean, reasonable amounts, with no known pre-existing conditions that marijuana's effects can exacerbate, etc. The only part of smoking marijuana that I find is a downfall is the fact that you are bringing smoke into your lungs, which of course is never good for you.

      I figured I would just share my perspective as a daily user of marijuana, I have no medical background, and as I said before I absolutely can't speak for others and their experiences. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents.


        Hello GioDG. Thx for sharing your thoughts and story with us. Marijuana use has always been conversational but I don't know why it is these days. It's been studied to death and has it's benefits when used appropriately. That's my feeling on booze to. I know several little old ladies (I'm in that age group LOL) who take a shot of brandy to calm their nerves or to help them sleep. As far as being addictive, I've known lot's of people that have and do use it(brandy and/or marijuana) and some people become addicted and some don't. The same with clonazepam, nicotine, caffeine, gambling or for that matter driving too fast. It seems to be that some people's pleasures centres in their brains light up better to various stimulants.

        I can't even look at a cigarette without wanting one, even though I have smoked in over a decade, but I can leave a beer sitting in my fridge for mths and never look at it. I have prescriptions for both clonzazepam and lorazepam , but I haven't filled the first one in mths and the lorazepam I use only when needed. I also can tend to like my coffee a little to much, but I do manage to limit most days.

        You mentioned that you take zoplicone and there is nothing wrong with that med either, but even the makers are now admitting that it is one of the most addictive meds around. They even print the following warning on their monographs :

        "Treatment with APO-ZOPICLONE should usually not exceed 7-10 consecutive days.Do not take APO-ZOPICLONE for more than 7-10 days without first consulting your doctor."

        Although in the case of most drug companies you'll only find this warning on page 32 of a 33 page monograph and most docs write out prescriptions for 30 days with many repeats.

        You mention the dangers of inhaling , a lot of new studies are recommending vaporizing the medical stuff and inhaling it. Speaking of the medical stuff, there are now clinics that will take walk in patients and the cost of the visit is covered by OHIP. and ( both places will ask your doctor for your medical files) . Take Care. paul m
        "Alone we can do so little;
        Together we can do so much"
        Helen Keller


          Hi Paul!

          Thanks for sharing! I actually had no idea that Zopiclone was a highly addictive medication. My doctor has pretty well made it part of my long-term care medications. I haven't found I've had any addictive tendencies when accidentally missing doses of it, however, I haven't gone long periods. I'll have to talk to my doctor about a better option for sleep.

          I personally am planning on following through with obtaining a medical marijuana license, but I have to build my case. They don't typically prescribe it to those under 25, and my doctor is hesitant of it in general.

          Anyways, I believe I may be misdirecting the thread now! I am a rambler. Thanks for the interesting information and links Paul!


            Hello all,
            I'm new to this site so I'm not so sure how this goes...
            Anywho, In regards to Pot I have a few things to say. First off it has been very poorly studied at least in relative terms. It contains MANY different compounds in varying amounts based on the genetics and growing conditions. Second, I'd like to add that obviously many of us take various drugs throughout our lives in our attempts to remain healthy, so i think one must be very cautious about passing judgement on anyone for their choices. I myself would (and do) trust far more in a natural substance that has been used for thousands of years as opposed to something cooked up in a lab. I've found that regularly using small doses of the right strains of marijuana has been very effective for me.
            I feel some brief history might help. I discovered I was bipolar as a young teen, and had a pretty wild ride. I had no support, and ended up on the street. I drank, I partied, I hid under bridges... i meditated... a LOT. Eventually I realized that when I smoked a bit each day, my swings were less. Fast forward a decade or so. I found my way here because I just had a pretty wild episode. Life got pretty stressful (understatement) and I had stopped smoking. It caught me off guard because to be honest I had basically forgotten my illness. Not really forgotten, but I didn't really take it seriously anymore. I thought maybe I outgrew it or something. After a few weeks off my meds I was flying... long story shorter, I've started again and feel good. Not GREAT if you catch my drift, but just really good.
            Sorry for the rant, but I feel pretty close to this one. The stigma attached to pot is ridiculous. I'm not saying it will work for everyone, but for me it is magic. If nothing else I think it is another viable alternative in a long list of substances they give to those with mood disorders. And it won't destroy your internal organs.


              Hello Shane82 and welcome. I appreciate your point of view. I don't think anyone here is trying to say that pot can't have some beneficial uses nor criticizing anyone for using it. I did state that like some other medications it can be bad for some people. Not necessarily everyone or even the majority.

              In regards to studies I will disagree with you on that. In North America, especially the USA, the studies seem to depend on who ever is paying for them and many of the studies are geared to pleasing the gov't. Part of the problem is also that it is hard to get accurate results in a study when the country has harsh laws against the use of a substance like the USA does in places. So many of the USA studies are not very accurate and most are short term. Legalization has only recently come to the USA, so it will take a while for long term studies to develop.

              World wide there have been many studies that have been in depth and long term. In New Zealand for example they followed the health of many people from birth to age 38 based on many factors including pot from age 13. They found that, when not abused, that it had absolutely no bad health effects except for some reason gum disease. (even they couldn't figure out why the gum disease happened). As the study ended at age 38, they did advise that any smoking may have some long term effects on your lungs that are not apparent in younger people.

              In Europe an agency called European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has been gathering facts and stats on all potentially addictive drugs(including benzodiazepines like lorazepam) for 21 yrs. They don't rate marijuana as a special problem the way they do benzodiazepines. But they do have a lot of long term info on it, including strains, compounds etc.

              Finally WHO, has been studying it for decades, their conclusion are like the rest of the long term studies. For some it can be bad, for some it can have benefits. Take Care. paul m
              "Alone we can do so little;
              Together we can do so much"
              Helen Keller


                I have been using pot (mostly edibles) almost daily for a couple years now. I was never big into the stuff most of my adult life (high school sure) and only became a frequent user once I developed a host of medical issues. I find it does little if anything for pain but it was definitely helping my sleep, until recently, and improved my appetite and mood. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be helping anything much anymore. I should probably quit for a few weeks as my tolerance to THC is now through the roof. I've also heard that it can interfere with antidepressant drug efficacy although I'm not convinced of that. My doc was the one who told me to try it for an advanced form of inflammatory arthritis because I can't take NSAIDS due to stomach issues.

                Anyhow, I guess my point is that it can help and did help me for a long time.