The ‘Smoking Gun’ on the Dangers of Marijuana

Before we discuss the dangers of marijuana (cannabis a.k.a. weed, grass, herb etc.), here are a few questions:

What would happen if you were to put a frog in a pot of hot water? (Don’t try this. It’s cruel!) Answer: It will jump out immediately, as it senses the danger.

What will happen if you put a frog in a pot of cool water? It will just sit there, quite happily.

What will happen if you warm that water very slowly while the frog is in? It won’t perceive the danger, as it happens very slowly, so, according to the boiling frog legend, it will just stay in, become accustomed to the hotter temperature, and eventually get boiled alive!

Boiling frogs - smoking weed

The boiling frog legend has become a common and powerful story (a metaphor) to illustrate the inability of people to become aware of threats that arise very slowly. A study has since shown that the frog will eventually jump out when the water gets too hot. (1) Thankfully! However, I haven’t found any studies yet on frogs that smoke weed, and how they would or would not react, as marijuana seriously affects your brain.

When it comes to humans, scientific studies HAVE shown that marijuana, (while it is making people feel very calm, relaxed and “high”) contributes to a reduction in alertness and self-conscious awareness, and a decline in IQ, especially when started in the teenage years. (2)(3) Also, a study by psychologist Mikael Kowal on the effects of cannabis on dopamine-related functions, such as creative thinking, showed that regular users of cannabis are less aware of their own mistakes, and they are not good at creative thinking. (3a)

This has many negative affects on how we think and make decisions. For teenagers especially, it decreases their school performance and increases the risk of dropping out of school. The highlight from one scientific study showed that “Cannabis use accounted for a greater proportion of the overall rate of educational underachievement than alcohol use.” (4)

alcohol-vs-marijuana-500x366

Another study, done on more than 4,000 students, found that those who lost access to legal marijuana showed substantial improvement in their grades. (5)

This effect on our brains is besides many other adverse effects, as covered below. But first, let’s look at the biggest danger of weed.

The biggest danger of marijuana

The biggest danger of marijuana is its deceptive nature. It is a mind-altering, psychoactive drug, but its immediate effect on people is not nearly as intense as most other drugs, and it is almost impossible to overdose on it. Therefore many people don’t consider it dangerous. But immediate effect is just a tiny part of the whole picture. Once it’s taken you off your guard by making you feel good, it then starts messing with your brain and body.

An actual story of how this happens is sometimes more relevant than the research studies, which are included later. Here is Page Johnson’s story:

“When I was using medicinal grade marijuana from dispensaries, I defended the drug vigorously–even though I knew it was negatively impacting my quality of life. Though I could still function, and my productivity was not significantly impacted, my ability to fluidly process information and communicate slowed, I developed rings under my eyes, my eyes were always dry, my heart frequently palpitated out of sync, and most importantly I showed signs of pre-psychosis such as mania (getting over-the-top hyped about various ideas), paranoia (I feared a home invasion and went crazy with security measures), and my mind was often saturated with morbid thoughts (which I fixated on and couldn’t shake for days at a time). What kind of thoughts? Dark thoughts that became so frequent that I actually begin to think I might be going crazy. While this was happening I was on social media defending the drug against critics, sharing its many medicinal benefits, and downplaying its dangers by comparing it to alcohol and tobacco. I was rolling along in that state of dishonesty and hypocrisy when suddenly my brother, a lifelong marijuana user, shot himself to death, leaving behind a beautiful family, a successful business, and a trail of pain and sorrow. I quit cold turkey when I learned that a psychologist had previously told him to stop using marijuana because it was causing psychosis. After I quit, my health and outlook improved dramatically within days. I then began researching the relationship between marijuana and psychotic episodes and was astounded by what I found. I am now standing firmly against marijuana and doing everything I can to make people aware of its dangers. (6)

You can see how it took quite a while before Page became aware of how badly weed was affecting her, and fortunately she jumped out of the hot water in time, so to speak, unlike her unfortunate brother. So marijuana can be deadly, in many ways. The research in ref (4) above showed that daily marijuana use below age 18 is connected to 7 times the risk of attempted suicide before age 30. Parents Opposed to Pot reported that Dr. Steven Simerville, head of pediatrics at a Pueblo hospital in Colorado, has spoken about the connection between marijuana and teen suicide. In October, 2016, he said that all but one of the teens who attempted suicide had THC in their toxicology reports. (7) Another research study stated that “Globally, suicide has emerged as the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10-24 years old.” (8)

Other Dangers of Marijuana

There are 33 cancer-causing chemicals contained in marijuana. Marijuana smoke also deposits tar into the lungs, up to four times as much as tobacco smoke (9) and contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. (10)(11) As time goes on, it can cause respiratory diseases and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. (12) It harms babies in the womb, is addictive and is a major “gateway drug” that leads to harder drugs. (See more details and supporting references on “The Quick Facts on Marijuana” page.)

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psycho-active chemical in marijuana and other cannabis products. Cannabis edibles can have ingredients like hash oil, which can have up to 90% THC content, whereas the THC in marijuana smoke rarely goes above 30%. (13) So the majority of effects mentioned on this website apply to both smoke and edibles. (The effects of edibles are usually delayed, often by around two hours.)

CBC (cannabichromene) and CBD (cannabidiol) are some of the other many cannabinoids in cannabis, and are linked more to the health claims of medical marijuana. So called ‘medical marijuana’ has a higher concentration of CBD and a lower concentration of THC than recreational marijuana. (13a) As THC is the main danger to people’s health, only recreational marijuana will be discussed on this site. Keep in mind, though, that medical marijuana still has THC in it, plus tar and many of the other toxic chemicals found in recreational marijuana, just in lower doses.

The short-term effects of marijuana, while you’re enjoying your “high,” include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem solving. (14) And you get bloodshot eyes as a bonus. Do you remember Richard Rojas, the guy who drove through a crowd of people in Times Square, New York with his car, killing one person and injuring 20 on May 18, 2017? Police found, and he later admitted, that he used synthetic marijuana laced with PCP before the event. (15)

Times square

So once the “high” from marijuana becomes “normal,” there is a strong temptation to move on to more potent forms of weed or narcotic drugs, and a higher potency means that the effect on their brains and perception becomes even more pronounced.

The Munchies

A common effect of smoking weed is to get “the munchies,” where people feel very hungry, and they tend to eat a lot, which can possibly cause you to gain weight. Weed really messes with your brain. The initial effect is to slow your appetite, but then another reaction soon overpowers it and makes you hungry. Here’s an interesting video which explains this concept: Why weed gives you the munchies

The Bottom Line

While weed is giving people a high and making them feel so good, it is simultaneously lulling them to sleep and gradually destroying parts of their body and mind. But due to the effect on their brains and nervous systems, they become less aware that this is happening, so they think everything is just fine.

Spiritual Aspects of Marijuana

Spiritual Aspects of Marijuana-500

Marijuana is not only detrimental to your body and mind, but also to your soul and spirit. Eventually we will all learn that “we” are not our bodies. We are the consciousness that uses our body as a driver drives a car. Our consciousness is our character, our ingenuity, our sense of humour etc. which is part of our soul and spirit. It is the part of God that is within us. We were created in the image and likeness of God. When our body gets sick, it greatly restricts the ability of our spirit to shine through us and help and motivate others.

The whole reason why we are alive is to learn and grow spiritually and share our spirit to help make this world a better place. I strongly believe that we all have a certain reason for being born, with a mission that only we can fulfill, due to our unique character and spirit.

So when our body and mind become toxic and impaired, which is what eventually happens from marijuana and other harmful substances, it makes it all the more difficult to be able to fulfill the reason for which we were born.

Renowned spiritual leaders Mark and Elizabeth Clare Prophet said this about weed: “Relying on their own personal experiences, marijuana users believe that it is harmless because they perceive no difficulties. They do not perceive the difficulties because their faculties of perception are being destroyed while they use it. And so they have a receding level of the ability to discern within themselves levels of their own God-awareness. Day by day they perceive no harm because marijuana is destroying not only the physical senses but the senses of the soul. This is one of the most subtle dangers of marijuana and most other psychedelic drugs. The user is rendered incapable of detecting the changes in himself. … And having lost the tie to life, the way is opened to experimenting with heroin and other hard drugs.” (16)

The Dangers of Marijuana for Our Future

Marijuana in the history of Egypt

egypt

Marijuana researcher Dr. Gabriel Nahas found that some of the greatest effects of widespread marijuana use were felt in Egypt long ago. (The research quoted below is from events that happened in the 13th century and is not a reflection on the wonderful current-day Egyptian people.) Dr. Nahas says: “According to the Arab historian Magrizy, hashish was first introduced in the thirteenth century at a time when Egypt was flourishing culturally, socially, and economically. First, the drug was accepted and used primarily by the wealthier classes as a form of self-indulgence. When the peasants adopted the habit, though, it was as a means of alleviation of the dreariness of their daily life.” (17)

It’s difficult to know exactly what effect cannabis had on Egypt, but Dr. Nahas continues, “the appearance of cannabis products in the Middle East did coincide with a long period of decline during which Egypt fell from the status of a major power to the position of an agrarian slave state, exploited by a series of Circassian, Turkish, and European rulers. As often happens, the very decline of the nation prompted the increased use of what may have hastened its fall.” (18)

Eventually, Egyptian rulers took radical steps to try to outlaw cannabis, but it was too late. The population was non-responsive. Napoleon ran into the same problem. After the French conquered Egypt in 1798, one officer noted, “The mass of the male population is in a perpetual state of stupor.”(19)

Boiling frogs - smoking weed - chat

A Major Wake-up Call

This story of Egypt is a major wake-up call to us today! We may think that in our modern, advanced society today in the West that the fate of Egypt will not happen to us. That’s probably exactly what the Egyptians thought when they were a major world power.

It’s time for us to get some spine and some enlightened courage and take a strong stand to stop this infestation of marijuana into our society that will contribute to destroying our youth, who are our future, and destroy our principles and way of life. We all know this at a soul level. But doing something will take us out of our comfort zone. The trouble with comfort zones is that if we stay there, they lead to complacency and eventually to death, the death of the soul and then the body, which is exactly the way marijuana works.

Those who support and promote marijuana have a long list of reasons why they think it is a good idea, and you will hear them all when you take a stand against it.

We have so much going for us without drugs. We were created in the image and likeness of God. We have the inner potential to achieve as much or more than any of the great geniuses, leaders and inspired examples who have gone before us. Our destiny is reunion with God, as we are God’s children. But we’ve been brought up believing the mass media that life is all about getting more possessions and acknowledgement (including social media likes) and comfort from something outside of us. It is not. We already have God within us, no matter what religion or path we follow. Life is about developing and using the talents we already have to give to others, including helping those who are being drawn in to all these activities and substances that are not of God. In a way, this is Armageddon of the soul. We need to fight with all our might to turn around the drug culture, among other things, and especially marijuana, as its deceptive nature is pulling so many people in.

We have lots of resources to roll back this marijuana culture. Besides lots of ways you can take action with the technology and resources we have today, we also have abundant spiritual help. God will not go against our free will, so the angels are waiting with bated breath to be called into action in answer to our prayers, no matter what religion or no religion. We need a balanced and practical approach to turn this cannabis threat around. A key is education, so please share this website with others.

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Note:
After reading the above, you may think it insane to legalize marijuana or to use it as medicine. Or you may think it is no problem at all. It is up to you to interpret the facts and views presented here, and to take action as you see fit. Actions speak louder than words!

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

The “Quick Facts on Marijuana” page. (Follow this link to find the research and references on the effects of marijuana.)

References
(1) ‘Next Time, What Say We Boil a Consultant’. Fast Company Issue 01. October 1995. Retrieved 2017-11-07. (Link)
(2) Volkow ND, Baler RD, Compton WM, Weiss SRB. Adverse health effects of marijuana use. N Engl J Med. 2014; 370(23):2219-27.
(3) Meier MH, Caspi A, Ambler A, Harrington H, Houts R, Keefe RS, McDonald K, Ward A, Poulton R, Moffitt TE Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 2; 109(40):E2657-64. – ‘Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife.’ (Link)
(3a)Universiteit Leiden: Mikael Kowal, research on the effects of cannabis on dopamine-related functions, such as creative thinking and the ability to recognise one’s own mistakes. PhD defence, 6 October, 2016. Link
(4) E. Silins et al. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, November 1, 2015 Volume 156, Pages 90–96, ‘Adolescent substance use and educational attainment: An integrative data analysis comparing cannabis and alcohol from three Australasian cohorts.’ (Link for graphic.)
(5) Olivier, Marie and Ulf, Zölitz – ‘High’ Achievers? Cannabis Access and Academic Performance’ – 27 March 2017 – The Review of Economic Studies, Volume 84, Issue 3, 1 July 2017, Pages 1210–1237. (Link)
(6) Confession of a Former Marijuana User on stoppot.org: www.stoppot.org
(7) Parents Opposed to Pot – Marijuana Use is Linked to Increased Suicide Risk. (Link)
(8) Van Ours, JC, Williams, J, Fergusson, D, and Horwood, J. ‘Cannabis use and suicidal ideation.’ J Health Econ. 2013; 32: 524–537. (Link)
(9) Wu T-C, Tashkin DP, Djahed B, Rose JE. Pulmonary hazards of smoking marijuana as compared with tobacco. N Engl J Med 1988;318:347–351.
(10) ‘Marijuana as Medicine: Consider the Pros and Cons,’ Mayo Clinic, Aug 2006.
(11) National Institute on Drug Abuse, Infofacts [2004].
(12) Hall, W. (2015), ‘What has research over the past two decades revealed about the adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use?’ Addiction, 110: 19–35. doi:10.1111/add.12703.
(13) Inciardi, James A. (1992). The War on Drugs II. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company. p. 19. ISBN 1-55934-016-9.
(13a) Alice Mead J.D. LL.M. ‘The legal status of cannabis (marijuana) and cannabidiol (CBD) under U.S. law’ published in Epilepsy & Behavior, May 2017.
(14) Drugs of Abuse – 2015 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide pg 72. (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration).
(15) ‘Times Square driver was apparently high on synthetic marijuana (K2) at time of pedestrian crash’ abc7ny.com on Friday, May 19, 2017. (Link)
(16) Prophet, M. and E.C. – “Paths of Light and Darkness” pg 46. Summit Publications Inc. (Volume 6 of Climb the Highest Mountain series.)(summitlighthouse.org and Expose)
(17) Gabriel Nahas, Keep Off the Grass: A Scientist’s Documented Account of Marijuana’s Destructive Effects (New York: Reader’s Digest Press, 1976), pp. 14–15.
(18) Ibid
(19) Ibid
Copyright © C. Nicholson. All rights reserved.
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