Getting hIgh can bring you down

Many of my clients, including teachers, cooks, construction workers, nurses and university professors …report years, sometimes decades of regular, often daily, marijuana.  They are generally surprised to learn they are exacerbating, if not causing, the anxiety, depression, insomnia and / or psychosis they suffer.  It also interferes with treatment.   When marijuana use is reduced or eliminated, many of their symptoms lessen or disappear.

Cannabis is a depressant.  It is frequently used to alleviate uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, but paradoxically it can worsen and / or create these symptoms. A lot of cannabis, grown with the help of technology in recent years,  is much more potent than in the past. It can contain almost twenty times more THC.

Also, some varieties breed out cannabinoids, a substance scientists speculate may protect against psychosis. For some, it can spark schizophrenia.*  In the emergency room, young adults commonly present with a first episode of psychosis associated with marijuana use.  Studies show that schizophrenia is up to four times more frequent among regular users of cannabis.

“I don’t consider marijuana a drug,” said a 20 year old client. “It should be legal.”    There are many valid reasons to decriminalize cannabis.  It can reduce physical pain and government regulation, as in Holland, can help control its composition.  Yet, no matter it’s classification, legal status or intended use, marijuana is not harmless.  

                                                                  *see David Suzuki’s Downside of High online

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