In the first installment of the Cannabis 101 series, I attempted to answer the ‘big’ questions about why cannabis is our favorite plant. In this post, I’m going to try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to cannabis and health. The answers are based on research that is continually being expanded along with my own personal experience.
Can Smoking Pot Cause Cancer or Lung Damage?
Let’s keep this simple, even if it’s not. Can cannabis cause lung cancer? In a word; no. Can smoking pot cause lung damage? In a word, maybe. Pot does not cause cancer… except maybe it does. In this older article from the CDC, the CDC states that many of the same cancer causing substances in tobacco are present in weed. They did start the article with the caveat; “More research is needed” which is telling us: “We really don’t know,” at least not enough about cannabis and health.
Many of the same substances found in tobacco and cannabis are also in any burned plant material. The main difference between tobacco and cannabis is quantity. If you smoke weed, you smoke a lot less weed then you would tobacco. A pack a day is not the same as 6 to 10 puffs on a pipe or bong or whatever. If you’re indirectly consuming vapor by dabbing or vaping, the smoke might not be directly from a flower, but it is smoke and it is entering your lungs. Can any of these cause cancer? Perhaps, but it’s not been shown at this point. To use that old expression; “We need more research.”
There has never been a direct diagnosis of cancer from smoking cannabis. This study from the National Institutes of Health states that it increases the risk of cancer. And this study published by webmd.com shows no link to cancer even in those who started smoking pot as teenagers. The authors of the study were even surprised by the results. But no, weed apparently doesn’t cause cancer when smoked. A more recent article, from 2019, is more ambivalent about whether smoking weed causes cancer. Apparently, the risk is low. If you don’t want to consume smoke, read below for some options. Edibles have their problems as well… not so much from a disease process, but more of an overdose issue.
Can You Overdose on Weed? Does Too Much Weed Harm Your Health?
Yes, you can indeed overdose on marijuana. It won’t kill you or cause any long-term health problems though. Weed simply is not life threatening in any quantity. If you overdose, you might, while under the influence, become highly paranoid or you may become disoriented, but you won’t die. Cannabis is one of the few drugs on the planet that behaves this way. Even aspirin can kill you if you ingest enough. There is not one documented death that can be directly attributed to over-consumption of pot. Not one. Ever.
What Should I do if I Smoke Too Much Weed?
If you do overdose, wait it out as best you can for a few hours and you’ll be fine. The characteristics of the plant are such that it’s really self regulating and you stop before you get to the overdose level. If you’re smoking for pleasure and not to relieve pain, spasms, or whatever, you’ll just stop smoking when you get to the point where you can say; “I’m really stoned.” It’s the nature of the plant and the nature of ingesting the plant.
What Should I do if I Overdose on Edibles?
Most ‘overdoses’ come from ingesting weed (in some form). That’s eating it. Edibles have always been difficult for me. It’s almost impossible to accurately dose them and it takes at least an hour to notice any effect. Now there are a new version of edible cannabis. It’s called nano weed edibles. They’re supposed to enter your system almost immediately, which would help give a more accurate dose. Note that you cannot overdose by swallowing a big bud or putting it in your salad. In fact, you can’t even get high that way. Weed needs to be heated before the THC can be released into your system.
Are There Really Medical Benefits with Weed?
Cannabis in my generation was mostly consumed to get a buzz as in: “Wanna get high?” If the answer was affirmative (it usually was) out would come the plastic bag full of weed…or maybe not so full…and joints were rolled or pipes were filled. Over the years our relationship with this magical plant has changed. A lot. We found out that marijuana wasn’t just a way to alter our consciousness. It had many other benefits too! Now we consume for both the pleasure of consumption and the health benefits we can derive from cannabis.
What Health Conditions Can Marijuana Help With?
Below is a small list of conditions that might be affecting your health. The list is from webmd.com. Cannabis can help alleviate the discomfort that goes along with these diseases. Although there are a multitude of stories in the nethersphere about how cannabis can cure cancer and all manner of diseases, there is no conclusive research that proves marijuana can cure any disease. No real cures have been identified as of yet. Weed has been shown to alleviate a host of discomforts caused by the conditions below.
Cannabis does have real benefits for cancer patients. The nausea and lack of appetite from chemotherapy have been demonstrated to be relieved with marijuana. Many brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s and epilepsy show improvement with cannabis use, whether CBD cannabis or THC cannabis. Doesn’t matter which.
Here’s a short list of diseases that have shown to have at least palliative effect from the effect of marijuana:
Some of the above conditions have research associated with them, some don’t. If you want to use cannabis to alleviate some of symptoms of a disease you might have, be aware that different strains have different effects on some of these ailments. For insomnia, Dos-i-Dos does the job for me. For other people, it doesn’t do anything. Perhaps for them, Blueberry does the job. It’s just hard to tell because of the differences in the strains and each strain’s 300 or 400 different compounds.
We’re continuing to add to our admittedly small body of cannabis knowledge. It’s going to take a while to catch up. There is one thing that will bring clarity to research and the medicine of pot; Remove it from Schedule 1. Make it easy for scientists to do research. Then we’ll know.
Drinking isn’t the best thing for you. Drinking has more bad effects on your body than cannabis. Now that it’s the holiday season and we’re having dinners; socially distant dinners, taking a spreader chance dinners, bubble dinners, solo dinners…whatever. Instead of drinking as much as you can, substitute cannabis.
Here’s an article from Benzinga that pairs cannabis with the different courses you may have during your holiday meals. They’re a lot like wine and food pairings…which I still adore…but different.
Alcohol consumption is up during the pandemic. You can read stories about it all over the media. And no wonder. This is a truly difficult time for many of us and alcohol is an outlet. So is cannabis. So enjoy your holiday dinners and get-togethers, even if virtual over Zoom and substitute some of that alcohol for cannabis. You won’t regret it!
UPDATE: Maybe the craziest gift of all! A gold plated Volcano. Really. Now I know that there are glass bongs out there that sell for thousands upon thousands of dollars, but the only difference between this Volcano and the regular volcano is this one is gold plated. Go figure. But I’ll bet they sell out! If you really need the gold plated variety of a volcano, here’s the link! Storz & Bickel Gold plated Volcano. Or better yet, get the regular volcano and use the left over dollars to get some cannabis to put in the Volcano!
The 2020 holidays are upon us with COVID-19 and a loony president who keeps trying to win an election in the courts. Never mind all that, the 2020 holidays will be also giving us Top 10 lists for about anything you can imagine. Cannabis gifts are part of the mix.
Adding to last week’s story about the “First Top 10 Cannabis Gifts” here’s leafly.com’s addition to the menu of silly. The first one is about Zig Zag gift bundles. If you’re rolling 3 or 4 doobies a day, that’s one thing. If you’re like me and use a pipe with the occasional joint rolling for traveling or whatever, it might be nice, but there are an awful lot about them.
I’ll be adding to this each time I come across another gift Top 10 or whatever the holidays are bringing us. Enjoy it while you can, there are only 27 until Christmas and the silly season ends…at least this one.
Maybe I should make a Top 10 Cannabis Gift Guides story. They’re coming fast and furious now.
Cannabis related gift ideas for the weed lovers in your life; gifts that are especially appreciated when they deliver both utility and style. This list has plenty of cool.
It’s the gifting season again…at least next month is. Here’s the first article I’ve seen about the “Top 10” gift ideas. One of the gifts in here is spiritually bit like the Neiman Marcus catalog of old; this one is a ‘tumbler’ that can “…process 500 pounds of material each hour…” Exactly what that process is or does to your ‘material’ is beyond me. But your favorite grower might find a great use for it! Just like the N-M Christmas catalogs of old, this is probably well over $10K!
Cannabis gear highlights from this gift ideas list:
‘If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as truth’ — Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda
I’ve been gaslit. You’ve been gaslit. We’ve all been gaslit. For the last 100 plus years we’ve all been gaslit about cannabis. The gaslighting started in the early 1900s when Mexicans started arriving here to escape the civil unrest of the Mexican revolution. They brought the use of just enjoying cannabis for relaxation and the ‘high’ it gave the smoker. Their term for it was marihuana. The “h” in the middle of the word was based on the way they pronounced it; “mary-ch-juana”. Americans didn’t pronounce the middle part and it became marijuana.
A Little More History
Through the 1800s, cannabis was considered a good crop. It was used for fiber to make sturdy, but soft cloth, paper that never yellowed and rope. It was also used as a drug, although it wasn’t used for recreational purposes. And it was always called cannabis.The gaslighting started then as anti-immigrant sentiment. Thus began the gaslighting of cannabis.
Gaslighting isn’t new. It’s been called a lot of things, but essentially, it’s as Goebbels said; Say it often enough and it becomes ‘fact’. The Nazis were masters at gaslighting, although they were absolutely not the master race. They did have a propaganda manager who was good at his job; Goebbels. During the course of their reign of terror, their gaslit propaganda cost millions upon millions of lives.
After a while though, the baldest faced and boldest lies become just that; lies. And after that same while, people become weary of those lies and see them as the lies they are. Sometimes it’s a matter of days (or hours in this free-for-all social media time) and sometimes it’s a matter of years. In the case of Nazis, it was a matter of a decade or so, but eventually, their lies were outed and the German people (mostly) began to see the lies.
What about the lies we’ve been fed? They’re not as insidious, but in many ways, they’ve been just as harmful to societies all over the world, starting with the U.S.
What Were the Lies?
What lies? Let’s start with a few of the first lies about cannabis. That started over 100 years ago with stories planted to vilify Mexicans coming across the border during the Mexican Revolution. “This axe murderer helped make weed illegal“. There were many stories published with similar themes and headlines. Harry Anslinger the head of the Bureau of Narcotics took these stories and ran. He got the Marijuana Stamp Tax enacted in 1937. This essentially outlawed its use for anything.
Who Opposed the Marijuana Stamp Act?
Even in the environment of lies, only the American Medical Association recommended that cannabis not be outlawed. There were a number of reasons and all the reasons had a medical basis. Today’s AMA, on the other hand, thinks that cannabis shouldn’t be voted in by ballot, but rather after rigorous research. “After vigorous research” is shorthand for ‘no’. How did they get this way? It’s simple; The AMA bought into the gaslighting the U.S. government has been doing for over a century. The AMA was suckered into it, just like most Americans…and then the rest of the world.
How Did Marijuana Gaslighting Start?
Originally, Harry Anslinger didn’t believe that cannabis was bad, harmful or there was anything else bad about it. That was while he was the Commissioner of Alcohol. After that, he became the Commissioner of Narcotics and needed a job. As commissioner, he needed some way to grow his department in the government. Somewhere in the early 1930s, he latched onto a plant that was mostly used by black populations in the American ghettos they inhabited. The campaign was helped along by some producers in Hollywood who wanted to get on the good side of the government.
The Worst Cannabis Gaslighter
This is your brain on drugs
Although Anslinger started the ball rolling, he was abetted by two US Presidents later on. The worst gaslighter of all was Ronald Reagan, but Clinton wasn’t far behind. Reagan had two gaslit philosophies. The “Trickle-Down” economy is so much hooey that it just doesn’t work and we’ve seen the results of that in the past decade and a half. The other was his “War On Drugs”. There has probably never been a more misguided and propaganda policy in our country that was aimed at hurting minorities. Clinton perpetuated the “War” and it’s become part of the landscape of American policy. And the rest of the world picked up on it.
Reagan was no better than Goebbels. And yes, I put him in the same category as Goebbels when it comes to cannabis. I know there are a lot of Reagan fans out there, but without any scientific evidence, but a lot of stigma about people of color, he perpetrated as phony a “War” as Bush did against Iraq in the early 2000s. We could learn from this as a society. We could learn from this as a society. But we won’t. The “War on Drugs” has been a hugely disastrous venture for the U.S. government.
There is nothing new about gaslighting. And there is nothing new about the fact that it doesn’t work. We know it works for a while, but not in the long term. it worked for the Nazis. It worked for Anslinger and it worked for Reagan and Clinton…although they could have been gaslit by someone else he believed. It certainly wasn’t based on scientific evidence. Now we’re beginning to see an end.
More than half the population in the U.S. lives where cannabis is legal either for medicine, adult use (called recreational by many) and more states just authorized the sales of cannabis. We’re seeing an end to this insane, racist and truly misguided prohibition of cannabis. When the hippies in the 1960s started making it a national phenomenon to now, when a huge majority of people in the U.S., cannabis has gone through a huge transition from the 1930s when it was demonized by Harry Anslinger. Maybe this will help the stigma go away along with the prohibition and putting people in jail for the flower of a plant.
The Nazis had their day in the sun for about a decade. Reagan had his place in the sun as well. But it was all gaslighting. And while Anslinger started the gaslit debacle that resulted later in the “War on Drugs” it didn’t work.
Gaslighting can work for someone’s ends for a while. It doesn’t work for long
Some Articles About Nazi Propaganda and It’s Success at Seducing a People
[Canniseur: Well, here’s one for the books. This story was published in 1975, about 40 years ago. I haven’t heard the term Astral Projection for decades. Back then, some people believed there was such a thing. But back then, there was a whole lot of LSD around. Shrooms and mescaline as well, so who knows what was going on. A whole lot of fun. Read the whole story by following the link at the bottom of our excerpt.]
From the December/January 1975 edition of High Times comes Art Gatti’s fascinating guide to astral projection, and protection.
Astral bummers are heavy. Unwilled, abrupt discorporation makes first-timers think they’ve died and not gone to heaven. Triggered by dope, involuntary astral travel can be an excursion into ominous worlds that threaten the snuffing of the voyager. Astral adventurism. motivated by egotistical thoughts of private gain, career advancement, even the innocent wish to penetrate the girls’ gym, can backfire and produce paranoid reverberations that may last a lifetime, and beyond. Once the body and soul part in the trance state, the body lost in the bournless ether while the soul lies naked to its enemies, the chances of reunion, perfectly congruent as before, grow smaller in direct proportion to the lack of karmic training and astral agility of the individual.
Do you like smoking out of a pipe that smells of old, dank used up weed? Of course not! You want a pipe that allows you to fully taste the flavor of the smoke and terpenes, not a danked out tarry musty tasting pipe you can barely draw through. Keeping your pipe clean and tasteless (glass doesn’t taste of anything) pipe is easier than you think. And the best part is it will take you less than 2 minutes to make your favorite pipe smelling and tasting as fresh as when you bought it.
Resin loaded pipe
When I was younger, I never cleaned my pipe. It wasn’t made from glass either. Now, most pipes are glass and are super easy to clean but they need to be cleaned. People are always asking about the best way to clean their glass pipe. It’s simple and easy. You can use any number of different solvents, but isopropyl alcohol is still the best. This is grain alcohol and is not mean for consumption by people. As of this writing, it’s also in short supply because of COVID-19. But it IS findable. If not, you can use Everclear, which is (supposedly) drinkable, but I wouldn’t drink it. Nope not me.
This is what you’ll need to clean your pipe the way I do.
First, get some Ziploc containers. These are the ones I use. My pipes are generally small and fit inside the small size easily, but they do come in a variety of sizes.
Next get some isopropyl alcohol. Lately, I’ve found the 70% strength available in groceries and drugstores these days, but I’ve been using the 90% when I an find it.
Liquid dish soap like Dawn.
A microwave oven
Pipe cleaners or a teensy bottle brush that will fit through the business end of your pipe.
This is my method. If you can see a way to improve on it, please let me know.
First, put your pipe in the Ziploc container.
Pour on the rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol until it fills up the bowl of your pipe. The alcohol will come through the mouthpiece and the carb (hole) on the side of the pipe.
Put the lid on the Ziploc container, but don’t close it all the way. Leave one corner unsealed, but make sure it’s still covering the container so the dank alcohol doesn’t boil over into your microwave!
Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. 😉
Take it out and wait a few minutes for the residue to loosen and dissolve. Alcohol boils at a far lower temperature than water, but it’s still about 170 degrees, so it’s hot.
Then take the pipe out of the alcohol bath and wet the pipe cleaner with the alcohol and swab the inside of the pipe.
When you’re done swabbing, put the pipe back in the alcohol and swish it around for a while.
The last step for me is to pour some Dawn or other liquid dish detergent in the pipe and run it under very warm water to completely rinse it out.
I know a woman who owns a head shop who swore she could tell if a pipe had been smoked in. So I set up a test with a brand new pipe and a pipe that I’d cleaned out. She picked the wrong pipe. And she was astonished.
Yes, there are pre-made liquids for cleaning your pipe. They are expensive, but no better than this method. You an also use vinegar and other solvents that will make the pipe feel cleaner, but they’re nowhere near as fast or as efficient as the method described above. Many of the other methods have you leave the pipe in a bath overnight. But usually we want to use our pipe immediately. This is a fast, cheap and highly effective way to get the dank out of your pipe.