FACT: Cannabis is NOT harmful for adult-onset users.
Here’s all the evidence you need…
To illustrate that adult-onset cannabis use is safe, I will first take a quote from the famous 2012 IQ study concerning marijuana and neuro-cognitive decline:
“This effect was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, a finding consistent with results of several studies showing executive functioning or verbal IQ deficits among adolescent-onset but not adult-onset chronic cannabis users…”
Another cohort study reported similar findings, that adult cannabis users don’t have worse working memory functioning or concentration compared to non-users, even over an 8 year period.
In fact, the longest prospective, functional MRI study found that there was no significant difference between heavy users and non-users, in terms of working memory network functionality
In the end, the strongest reviews to date conclude that cannabis does not have a large, major impact on neuro-cognitive functioning, and that chronic cannabis users maintain normal neuro-cognitive performance despite alterations in brain activity.
Experienced cannabis users develop tolerance to the impairing effects of Delta-9-THC, as highlighted by three double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.
Cannabis intoxication, at the most, only lasts for about 4 hours.
So the “pothead” who only smokes the night before work will not be impaired the next day on the job.
And don’t give me that nonsense about cannabis, psychosis, and schizophrenia.
Face it, the vast majority of cannabis users will not develop psychotic symptoms or psychotic illness.
http://arno.unimaas.nl/show.cgi?fid=25482 – page 101
Cannabis, by itself, cannot cause/trigger schizophrenia, psychosis, or other psychotic illnesses.
Consistently, powerful reviews agree that the most logical conclusion is that cannabis can interact with genetic vulnerability among adolescent-onset users to trigger psychosis or schizophrenia, not among adult-onset users with no such genetic predisposition for psychotic complications.
The rates of mental disorders are similar, once you compare non-dependent, frequent cannabis users with non-users in the general population.
Besides, we would need to eliminate thousands of cannabis users, both moderate and heavy users, just to prevent one case of schizophrenia.
Basically, if any program or group of people could convince hundreds of thousands of cannabis users to quit smoking, not even a dent would be made in the rates of schizophrenia.
Trying to fight cannabis use to prevent new schizophrenia cases would be a waste of time, money, and effort.
Cannabis use in moderation does not cause the user to become fat and lazy.
Actually, the rates of obesity are lower among cannabis users compared to non-users in the general population.
Cannabis users also have smaller waist sizes.
Cannabis only increases heart rate in the short term.
Luckily, “Tolerance to the acute cardiovascular effects of marijuana smoking develops over several days to a few weeks…”
The most recent, robust evidence finds that cannabis does not have a significant impact on mortality among survivors of heart attack.
The evidence finds that cannabis is not associated with heart failure or myocardial infarction.
At the very least, cannabis does not have an impact on mortality in populations without heart issues.
Don’t use cannabis if you have heart issues, and you will be fine.
Cannabis users do not have weaker immune systems compared to non-users.
Mainly, only low-tier, in-vitro evidence has highlighted significant immunosuppressive effects of high concentrations of Delta-9-THC, but human studies have not provided sufficient evidence.
As far as the most robust human evidence is concerned, daily cannabis use does not lower CD4 cell count or elevate viral load among non-dependent cannabis users.
And no, cannabis does not modulate the immune system in a way that affects cervical HPV risk or burden.
In the context of cervical HPV, the strongest research concludes that frequent cannabis use is not associated with cervical HPV or neoplasia, and that such use does not increase the burden of cervical HPV or disease.
Now, when it comes to cannabis and lung cancer risk, the studies with the most statistical power find that cannabis smoke is not a significant risk factor for lung cancer, even after smoking one joint every day for more than 20 years, even up to 60 years.
This is probably because the cannabinoids downplay the carcinogenic impact of cannabis smoke via their anti-cancer effects.
Furthermore, Delta-9-THC and Cannabidiol can prevent benzpyrene and other PAHs (potential carcinogens) from becoming active, robust carcinogens by inhibiting cytochrome (CYP1A1) activity.
While the most robust evidence – concerning marijuana and the respiratory system – finds that cannabis alters certain areas of the lungs, it also finds that smoking cannabis does not significantly affect airflow and that smoking one joint per day does not negatively affect lung function.
In the end, the rates of emphysema among cannabis smokers are similar compared to non-smokers, and cannabis smokers have better overall health compared to tobacco smokers.
This could be explained by the anti-inflammatory bronchodilators that exist within cannabis, even in the smoke.
Either that, or it’s because cannabis smokers don’t typically smoke a lot in one day compared to cigarette smokers.
Consistently, it has been demonstrated that cannabis users have a lower risk for developing dependence compared to users of alcohol, cocaine, or tobacco.
The cool thing is that cannabis users meet less criteria for DSM dependence than users of other mainstream drugs, cannabis withdrawals usually don’t require hospital visits, and most cannabinoid withdrawals are mild and only last for a week or two.
It should be noted that your risk for developing a dependence on cannabis becomes insignificant, if the individual commences cannabis use AFTER the age of 25, so be patient, future potheads, wait until your brain is ready for it.
Cannabis users have lower mortality rates and lower risk for premature death compared to users of alcohol, methamphetamine, or heroin.
Ultimately, as stated in the Lancet Journal 2012, cannabis only makes a SMALL contribution to mortality.
Overdose deaths from cannabis use have NEVER been reported.
Of course, health-related costs for the average tobacco user or alcohol drinker ranges from $165-800, while health costs for the average cannabis user is only about $20.
http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/sites/default/files/visions_cannabis.pdf – page 13
The Lancet finds that cannabis use introduces less social and physical harm into society than alcohol or tobacco does. http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673607604644.pdf?id=caaiu_B3MPEes48AfOBwu
Back in the 1990s, a report presented by the World Health Organization concluded, in the context of harm associated with cannabis, “Overall, most of these risks are small to moderate in size”.
A 2013 study of MILLIONS of cannabis users concluded that cannabis contributes little to disease burden.
Cannabis is a medicine, not a placebo.
Gold-standard trials and other high-tier studies have confirmed that smoking cannabis relieves spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis and neuropathic pain without inducing serious, intolerable side effects.
A recent systematic review reported that cannabis extract is effective for spasticity and painful spasms.
Basically, as reported in three reviews, cannabinoid medications reduce spasticity and improves quality of life, while abuse and addiction complications are insignificant and uncommon.
Surprisingly, vaporized cannabis can enhance the analgesic effects of opioid medications and reduce the amount of opioids needed to relieve pain, which reduces the chance of overdosing on opioid medications.